|Gió Xanh Choir conductor Nguyễn Hải Yến.|
Gió Xanh (Green Wind) Choir will perform in Đà Nẵng, Hà Nội and Hạ Long on August 12 and November 4 and 11.
Việt Nam News reporter Nguyễn Bình interviews the choir's conductor Nguyễn Hải Yến about the choir and the upcoming concerts.
How did you establish the choir and why its name is Gió Xanh?
I graduated with orchestra conducting but I have been fortunate to work with choirs for both the youth and the elderly. I've found that choral music has a wonderfully powerful connection with me.
Regardless of age, when people sing together and harmonise to create beautiful music, everyone seems to return to the purest of their souls.
After I finished a musical project in 2019, my friends and I felt the great spiritual value that choral music brings. We want to let more people enjoy these values and allow the choir to become a cultural activity in daily life not just for performing on stage.
We decided to establish Gió Xanh Choir for people to sing together.
Music is like the wind, even if you can't see it you can feel it when it appears. Green is the colour of nature and symbolises youth and the purest of things. I want Gió Xanh Choir to always keep its pureness and the choir members to always maintain their innocence and joyousness.
If someone just comes to sing with Gió Xanh Choir one time, they will feel this and be inspired by all the members of the choir.
The pandemic COVID-19 broke out right after the choir's establishment. How did you overcome it?
During the pandemic, almost all crowded activities came to a standstill. We were no exception. We missed each other and we missed singing so when social distancing ended we gathered to sing wearing masks. It was really something amazing. You know when people love together and sing their happiness will multiply.
At the end of 2020, we had the first concert entitled Green Christmas. In 2021, the situation was very complicated due to the pandemic so we could not organise the second concert.
However, Gió Xanh was invited to perform on Việt Nam National Television and Quốc Phòng Television. Plus, we performed in a music video for a documentary with K+ and sang the theme song in Memento Mori: Đất by director Marcus Vũ Mạnh Cường.
During the period of social distancing, we made a video singing Believe with the participation of 80 members who recorded themselves at home with their phones. The video can be found on the official YouTube of Gió Xanh. It is a beautiful memory from the pandemic.
Only the conductor and pianist of the 200-member choir are professionals. The singers are of different ages and professions but one thing they all have in common is a passion for music. Some of young people want to become music students continuing with Gió Xanh to serve the community.
Gió Xanh concerts in 2020 and 2022 were joined by underprivileged children. Could you tell us more about this?
We originally intended to organise the concert for our family and friends. We later wanted to bring the music to people who don't have a chance to come to the beautiful halls and hear masterpieces from our country and the world.
In the first concert, we invited more than 160 children from orphanages and child protection centres in Hà Nội. When I visited the centres to teach the children singing I could see that they were shy and embarrassed. Later, the music helped us connect more and bring a wonderful world that we can travel together. We feel free and rich with beautiful lyrics and melodies.
The children became our friends. They are motivated to try their best to experience the music.
Why did you choose Đà Nẵng and Hạ Long besides Hà Nội to organise the concerts this year?
Hạ Long is my homeland. This was the first city besides Hà Nội where I brought 70 members to come and perform last year.
Hạ Long and other cities and provinces lack academies and music events. I was worried to organise the concert in Hạ Long but my family, friends and teachers supported me a lot. The concert was received enthusiastically by the audience there.
We have friends in Đà Nẵng who were eager to welcome us. We went on a field trip in April to introduce Gió Xanh Choir and we were received warmly.
|Underprivileged children and blind people participated in a Gió Xanh Choir concert Green Christmas in 2020 in Hà Nội. — Photos courtesy of the choir|
What is your plan to develop Gió Xanh Choir for serving the community and underprivileged children?
I've never thought that singing together every week can save someone's soul. I know that choral music makes miraculous healing. It happened and I strongly believe that my path with Gió Xanh Choir will continue to expand the green circle spreading life, love, and happiness.
I think that the development of spirit and soul is very important for human development. It plays a decisive role in who he or she will become.
Through choral art, I hope that underprivileged children will gradually have access to academic music and listen to beautiful melodies.
From those initial approaches, they will believe that there are good things in life knowing that they can be motivated not only by things of material value.
I want to build choirs at centres for children helping them to gain confidence. I need more support because a choir must have a conductor or singing teacher and the most important thing is that they want to make music for the community.
We plan to organise the concert in cities and give more opportunities for children to perform in Gió Xanh Choir.
How can someone become a Gió Xanh Choir member? Does it welcome foreigners?
The choir welcomes everyone regardless of age, gender and nationality. If you like singing and live in Hà Nội you will be welcomed. Of course, we have a little test to make sure you can sing. That's all. VNS