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Choir share culture with Biberach
Bel Canto Choir
The choir took part in the trip along with other local classical musicians

The German town of Biberach was the site of a Nazi internment camp, during the Second World War, to which a number of Guernsey residents were sent.

In recent years it has entered into a cultural exchange with Guernsey which led to some musicians heading there.

Choir leader Christine Anthony MBE said: "The people of Biberach were so welcoming."

As well as performing the musicians went on a trip of the town's historical sites with a local guide.

The Bel Canto ladies choir was accompanied on the trip, in October 2009, by the Town Church Strings, violinist David Le Page and The Guernsey Jazz Collective.

The week they spent in the town was part of an initiative designed to build the already close relationship that exists between Guernsey and Biberach.

Bel Canto Choir on Biberach trip
The musicians were show around by locals in traditional dress

During their time there the musicians got to see the remains of Lindele Camp, the Second World War internment camp just outside the town where non-local Guernsey residents were sent during the Occupation of the island.

"They are very proud of their link to Guernsey, and I think the Biberach Week celebrations really strengthened that bond," Christine explained.

During their time in the town Bel Canto sang at the Sunday morning service at St Martin and St Mary Church, a church that is rather unusually used by both Catholics and Protestants.

Christine said: "We sang a selection of traditional Latin works which sounded beautiful in the wonderful acoustics of the Church, even if it was a little chilly for the girls in their uniforms."

The choir then performed alongside the Biberach Stadtkelle (wind band) at the gala grand finale concert of the week.

"The band came over to Guernsey in May and it was lovely to be able to perform with them again. The evening was a real celebration of music, as well as strengthening the bond between Biberach and Guernsey," Christine said.

Bel Canto rounded off the performance with a special run through of Sarnia Cherie.


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