Kooskõlas 2019 is a choir, comprising singers from Estonian choirs across Australia, who are aspiring to be selected to the Laulupidu (Song Festival) in Estonia in July 2019. As reported in Meie Kodu in March they held their first national rehearsal on February 17th and 18th. Kooskõlas held an event in Sydney on 5 May where in addition to a dinner accompanied by various fundraising games of chance and auctions, an impressive first concert mostly by the local members was performed to the delighted audience.
More than a hundred people were in attendance on Saturday May 5th to enjoy a feast of Estonian favourites (thanks to Toomas Nelson and his army of volunteer cooks) and plenty of lucky games.
Barbara Howard organised an impressive silent auction of more than 50 items which included a beautiful set of Noarootsi rahva-riided, works by Estonian artists, jewellery, handicrafts, pampering gift packs, accommodation donated by EESKI Lodge and travel discounts from Aerotravel. With so many unique items generously donated by choir members and supporters, bidders certainly had a lot to capture their attention.
Also helping with the fundraising efforts were a very competitive vodka toss game, money board and lolly jar guessing.
The night began with the first public performance by 'Kooskõlas' – which is made up of singers from across Australia aspiring to sing at Laulupidu (Song Festival) in Estonia in 2019.
'Kooskõlas' director Kieran Scott, introduced the choir's Musical Director Dr Naomi Cooper who conducted thirty of the group's NSW-based singers in five songs:
- Ta lendab mesipuu poole ("He flies towards the beehive") - a long-standing favourite likening patriotic Estonians to bees returning to the hive
- Koit ("Dawn") - the traditional opening song of Laulupidu- Mu isamaa on minu arm ("My fatherland is my love") - the de-facto Estonian national hymn during the Soviet occupation- Emakeelelaul ("Song of our mother tongue") - a new composition for Laulupidu 2019, and an audition song for choirs to get into the festival
- Tuljak – one of Estonia's most-loved songs, about a wedding - often a concert finale.
It was an impressive first concert performed to a delighted audience. It gave singers a chance to share their progress as they build towards an audition-quality performance in September to qualify for Laulupidu.
All those who gave their time and effort to make the night happen and the great crowd who were so generous in their donations, ensure it was an inspiring success.
"Sydney Eesti Selts, long-time supporters of Kooskõlas, once again helped out with the venue and the bar."
A special suur tänu to Pille Püvendi for her overall organisation of this event.
The funds raised will make a valuable contribution to the challenge of managing a choir of more than 70 singers split across 5 states and territories. The choir has also gratefully received a generous sponsorship grant from Austraalia Eesti Seltside Liit – which has assisted with the costs of Laulupidu registration and songbooks.
It all adds up to helping with their dream of singing at Laulupidu in Eesti, in July 2019.