We started out with the idea of creating a group which would make it possible for local ladies to experience the pleasure of singing together and to share the many benefits that choral singing brings. Through a wide range of choral music and performance experiences, we wanted Allegri to inspire and increase the confidence, self-expression and creativity of those who sing with us.
We wanted the group to be as inclusive as possible - we felt very strongly that joining Allegri should not be dependent on an audition process - and we sought to target those who for whatever reason may have had reservations about joining a vocal group. Above all, we wanted to create a space where members could feel comfortable, supported and uplifted.
We had no idea what to expect - we spread the word among people we knew and our beginnings were humble, yet from the start we knew the group was something very special. Only 6 weeks after we met, 11 members bravely took to the stage to perform our first concert, and once word spread we were inundated with people interested in singing with us.
… to now
We have been overwhelmed by the response from members to the benefits of sustained choral coaching. They speak regularly of the love they have for coming to rehearsals and performing in a wide range of settings. For some, it provides an escape from the stresses and pressures of everyday life, for others, singing in a choir is about the fulfilment of a long-held ambition, and many feel empowered and motivated by singing and performing. The social side is such a huge part of our group and strong bonds have been formed.
In 2018 Allegri commissioned American composer Dr Shane M Lynch and Derry poet Mícheál McCann to collaborate on a set of 3 choral works which would celebrate two long-standing traditions in the city of Derry - singing and shirt-making. These new works were premiered here in the city and involved more than 200 local singers. Watch and listen on the following link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1btLJwSPx3I