Music project brings hope to disadvantaged children

Friday, 2017-12-01 17:29:09
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Pianist Trang Trinh (first from right) and members of the Miracle Choir and Orchestra
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NDO – Since it was launched four years ago, the Miracle Choir and Orchestra (MCO) has helped orphans and disadvantaged children in Hanoi to get easier access to music, while providing them with free music education.

The MCO members will join other choirs at a charity concert entitled ‘Sing for Joy’, which will be staged at the Hanoi Opera House on December 2, to raise funds for the MCO’s operations.

Pianist Trang Trinh, the founder and art director of the MCO, granted an interview to Thoi nay (Present day) publication of Nhan Dan (The People’s) Newspaper on the threshold of the event.

Question: Why is ‘Hope’ selected to be the theme of the ‘Sing for Joy 2017’?

Pianist Trang Trinh: The first edition of the ‘Sing for Joy’ concert was held at the Hanoi Opera House in November 2015, under the theme ‘Beauty in Harmony’, attracting 233 artists, who entertained roughly 600 people.

After the event, we questioned ourselves as to what music has done for each of us? What would make the participating choirs in the first edition come back to us? Is it because of joy or other reasons? Many participating artists told us that performing together in choirs has brought them joy and the opportunity to admire the beauty of music.

By selecting the theme ‘Hope’ for this year’s concert, we want to express the dream of each choir member. By singing together, that dream will be reinforced to nurture and encourage the belief within each individual, while helping to build up a strong community which is full of hope.

Founded in 2014, our MCO project is operated with the primary objective of changing lives through music. The project targets to create improved living values for children living in difficult circumstances. Learning music will help the children to recognise that by nurturing their hope, they can overcome the hardships in their lives and attain their dreams.

Can you tell us about the new features at the Sing for Joy 2017 concert?

Pianist Trang Trinh: This year’s event will welcome more artists than the previous one in 2015, with around 350 artists from 20 countries and eight different choirs.

Conductor Koo Chun, art director of the National Chorus of Korea, will join 30 other musical experts at the concert.

The encouraging news is that Vietnam will attend the event with two choirs, one is the MCO and the other is the choir of students from the Vietnam National University, Hanoi.

We hope to treat the audience with a musical party which is a fusion of choral pieces from different genres: classical melodies such as Ravel’s Bolero and Besame Mucho, Asian folk music with Arirang (the Republic of Korea), and traditional Vietnamese melodies.

What have children learnt at your class?

Pianist Trang Trinh: With the hope of bringing positive changes to the lives of orphans at children’s villages in Hanoi, we have organized free music education classes for them. When it was first launched, our class attracted 33 students but that figure has now increased to 116.

At the class, children are taught about music, invited to play music and learn about discipline and patience. They are taught that when they are standing on the stage, they serve as the one who delivers the beauty of music. They are also instructed to play musical instrumentals, such as the violin and the piano.

The upcoming concert will feature a violin solo performance of one of our 14-year-old students, who has just been learning to play the instrument for one year.

What do you think about the development of choirs in Vietnam?

Pianist Trang Trinh: I think that choirs have seen healthy development in Vietnam, particularly in big cities. More and more people are now interested in music, with a larger number of parents now encouraging their children to learn how to sing and play music.

Non-professional choirs have been established at schools, universities and companies. In Hanoi, I have heard about choirs of Korean and Japanese women who have come to Hanoi with their husband for their work. They have great joy through joining a choir.

What should we do to bring music into our lives, in your opinion?

Pianist Trang Trinh: I think the first thing to bring music into our lives is to provide people with more opportunities to get access to music, such as by developing choirs at schools and offices. Secondly, there should be more music concerts so that enjoying arts and music will become a public habit. Last but not least, we need more training courses for those who are working to bring music to the community.

Thank you so much for the interview!