Tuesday, June 04, 2013

Australian Choir to Sing in Fes Festival Fringe

One of the highlights of the fringe events at the Fes Festival of World Sacred Music this year is the Australian choir Timbre Flaws. The 24 strong group will sing heavenly harmonies on Wednesday June 12 at 5.45 PM at the ALIF Riad in the Fes Medina. Choir director Stuart Davis told Suzanna Clarke about his venture.

Renowned choir director Stuart Davis told The View from Fez, "I visited Fez three years ago with my family and was utterly enchanted...Ever since then it has been my dream to come and sing in Fez and to be part of the Festival in some way.

"Amazingly, this time I have convinced a whole choir to come along with me on this adventure. Timbre Flaws is a unique group. We're a community choir in the true sense of the word - we are a community that loves to do things together, as well as sing."

Based in Sydney, Timbre Flaws numbers 40 singers, and 24 of whom are on this trip to Morocco. Each Wednesday they get together to sing acapella harmonies - pop, Gospel and African traditional songs. "We sing a lot of different styles, but we have tried to stay with a 'sacred' theme for this trip and will be performing sacred music from all over the world, as well as some pop music that is sacred in its own way," says Davis.

They will be giving a concert at the ALIF Riad in the Fez Medina next Wednesday June 12 at 5.45 PM, one for ALC students on Saturday June 15, as well as impromptu "pop up" concerts in the streets of the Medina.

Stuart Davis has been running community and school choirs and workshops for over 20 years, as well as singing professionally. "At the moment I direct three adult choirs and one school choir, as well as co-ordinating six other community choirs in and around Sydney," he says.

"I’m a lucky guy - my job gives me immense joy, and I know that every week 350 other people (across 10 choirs) are getting a similar dose of happiness...We are also trying to make a difference with each trip by supporting local communities...There are villages in Africa, New Guinea, India and Vanuatu who have classrooms, wells, toilets and books because we put on a few concerts."

Two years ago the choir travelled to Vanuatu and sang in churches, markets, villages, halls, schools, a hospital and a radio station.

"We took several boxes of expensive medical supplies with us to Vanuatu for a small hospital there which was unable to source them locally."

This trip, Timbre Flaws will spend 14 days in Morocco, including travelling to the desert. Here they are supporting two communities - Sahara Children and the SOS Orphanage. "We have donated money to a Sahara Children programme to buy several goats, and will be dropping into SOS to say hello, meet and sing for the kids and donate cash to help them out," says Davis.

Choir member Kevin Meagher explains, "We’re a group of people who just love to sing – whether it be each Wednesday night learning new songs or fine tuning our repertoire, or singing to audiences, big or small."

Timbre Flaws concert in Fez will be hosted by the American Language Center and the Arabic Language Institute. 

Timbre Flaws will be performing on Wednesday June 12 at 5.45 PM the ALIF Riad, 6 Derb Drissi, Batha, Fes. If you don't know the way, meet at Batha Fountain at 5.30 PM. 

Story: Suzanna Clarke  Photos: Julia Charles Photography

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Anonymous said...

Fabulous! Wish I could be there to see it. Also really loved the comment made about supporting a Vanuatu hospital and supplies that "couldn't be sourced locally"... If more people who wanted to help others first checked what was actually needed/wanted (as it appears this group has done), good intentions would do the world a lot more actual good. Well done!

Unknown said...

What a brilliant opportunity! And congrats Timbre Flaws for embracing it. I have always believed in the power of community choirs. To feed the spirit and heal the heart. To sing together is a gift one should bestow upon oneself. Good luck and yes...WELL DONE!!