Lily – from Ireland to Finland

Lily Lacey [Association of Irish Choirs – AOIC] visiting SULASOL [Finnish Choral Association] in May-June 2018.

“I was very fortunate to be able to partake in the Staff Exchange Programme through the European Choral Association – Europa Cantat. It is an activity organised in the frame of the Network Funding project “Upgrade – Connect – Reach out: Raising Awareness for Collective Singing in Europe” where Choral and conductor´s organisation can send or host an interested staff member to/from another organisation.

This programme offers participants the chance to spend some days learning from each other, sharing experiences, and getting an insight into a foreign (working) culture.
When we first enquired there were various options avilable to AOIC to choose from and we were able to look at what would be the best fit for AOIC and myself.

We chose Sulasol for various reasons; they are a membership organisation, they run various training opportunities for members and they are a publishing company. They are also hosting EuroChoir in July 2018 and as part of AOIC’s future plans we are looking to host some international choral events in Ireland so we felt this was a great opportunity to learn more about EuroChoir whilst also allowing me to learn from others, share experiences and experience working in another culture.

I spent the week from 26th May to 2nd June working with Sulasol in Helsinki, Finland. I arrived on the Saturday night and spent the Sunday being a tourist in Helsinki where I saw various churches, monuments, islands, markets and more. This gave me the perfect opportunity to learn my way around this beautiful city.

While with Sulasol I worked mainly on EuroChoir preparing and sending information to singers, helping with the schedule, music and general plans for the course while working with Reijo and Ahti from Sulasol, Flannery and Côme from ECA and Kristiina from Europa Cantat Festival in Tallinn. I also got to visit the various relevant venues where the singers will be staying, rehearsing and performing.

On the Wednesday night I attended a choir concert in which a colleague was performing. Vantaan Karmarikuro and Kamarikuro SonorEnsemble were the two choirs performing and they performed a wide variety of repertoire.

I learned more about the struture of Sulasol and the organisations that are under it’s umbrella while I was there. – Mixed Voice Choirs – Male Voice Choirs – Female Voice Choirs – Children and Youth Choirs

I am very thankful to AOIC, Sulasol and ECA- EC for giving me this opportunity.
Read my short interviews below with some of the staff to learn more about Sulasol.”

Lily Lacey
Association of Irish Choirs