Choir goes west to say thanks

RENOWNED Ukrainian choristers the Boyan Choir can sing now their winning – but when they first arrived in England they had no money and no where to stay after a tour was cancelled.

By Victoria Knowles

RENOWNED Ukrainian choristers the Boyan Choir can sing now their winning – but when they first arrived in England they had no money and no where to stay after a tour was cancelled.

Today, thanks to the help and kindness of one Suffolk headmaster, this celebrated choir from Kiev perform to packed audiences all over the UK and they are coming to Suffolk to say thank you on Wednesday.

As they prepare to sing at Snape Maltings Concert Hall, their saviour, Orwell Park head Andrew Auster told how he first met them in 1991.

"They had arrived to compete at the Cardiff Choir of the World. But things did not go well, first there were problems with visas, then the dilapidated state of their bus meant they missed the competition and finally the promoter cancelled their concert tour so they were left with no means of supporting themselves.

"I had brought a group of Russian orphans over to England for a holiday while I was working at a school in Malvern and it was suggested that I might be able to help the choir," he said.

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After a series of impromptu recitals at the school the choir found they not only had accommodation but also massive national press, television coverage and a national tour.

They have been invited back frquently and when Mr Auster moved to Orwell Park he kept up the links with the choir.

Tickets for the performance on November 6 can be bought from the concert hall box office on 01728 687110.

The concert is being promoted by Friends of Aldeburgh Church in aid of the vestry re-building.

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