For three years already, the youth choir of the Foundation Come Along! brings together young people, comprising singers with blindness, visual impairment, intellectual or physical disabilities. Altogether, we are a group of 23 young people, aged 14-35, and we have a passion for singing.
We rehearse once per week, as our members live in different cities, including Aizpute, Balvi, Rēzekne, Dobele and Sigulda. The choir is led by conductor Rūdolfs Bērtiņš, and our singers’ vocal skills are honed by pedagogue Valda Dzene.
In the past three years, the choir’s vocal ability has strengthened because of our perseverance and effort. We also strive to organise our own concerts: we visit retirement homes to bring joy to the elderly people, we participate in choral friendship concerts. We have also recorded the CD Come Along and Sing in Europe!, which includes songs in 12 European languages.
However, our future goal is to participate in the Latvian Song and Dance Festival in the year of our country’s centenary. We want to show that people with special needs, too, can be a part of the great joint choir of the Song Festival. Our choir does not receive any support from the state or the municipality – we are able to sustain our work with the help of donations. Therefore, to be able to take part in the festival, we need financial support to cover rent for practice rooms, to remunerate our pedagogues, and rent a bus for getting to the collective rehearsals of the Song Festival. We also need to think about sewing costumes for the singers.
However, we do believe that we will find forthcoming hearts, and in 2018, we will stand next to thousands of Latvian singers on the Grand Stage in Mežaparks.
23 young people – slightly different, but willing to sing
Foundation “Come along!” is a public benefit organization, which operates on a statutory basis.
Our goals are to protect children and young people’s specific needs in the areas of cultural education and offer diverse opportunities of cultural processes accordingly to various interests and possibilities. To support children and young people with disabilities integration into society and their parents’ understanding of the problems they face.
Our festival Come along! is an invitation for every child and young person with special needs to come together with the ones who are healthy and have their families to meet on the stage – to sing, dance, act, cite poetry together with other children and young people so that they feel equal in the society. If not in the every day’s life then at least via the creative expressions everyone can be and feel equal.
More information www.naclidzas.lv