#CHOIR19: Introducing Belgium – Almakalia

Belgium return for the second Eurovision Choir contest, after taking part in the augural edition in Riga, two year’s ago. This year, the Belgians will be represented by Almakalia and will feature second in the running order.

The following biography about Almakalia has been sourced from the EBU Press Handbook. Therefore the following biography is credited to the European Broadcasting Union:

ALMAKALIA is the IMEP’s brand new pop choir from Namur, Belgium. The IMEP (Institute for Music and Pedagogy) is the first francophone classical music college in Belgium to have recently opened a new pop section for voice studies. In order to teach its students the benefits of group singing and close harmony, in 2017, a pop choir was created to explore contemporary choral styles ranging from gospel, rock, pop, a cappella, to musical theatre.

Last year they focused on ensembles from Broadway musicals with excerpts from Dear Evan Hansen,Rent and The Color Purple, and this year they hosted the IMEP’s Christmas Concert with a selection ofHollywood Christmas hits accompanied by a thirty-piece orchestra.

The majority of the choir is comprised of students from the voice faculty with the addition of a few enthusiastic students from the IMEP’s other departments such as electronic music, guitar and violin.The name of the group has been chosen by the students and has a funny double meaning, ALMA inmany Latin languages means “soul” and KALIA derived from the Greek καλός means “beautiful”, so “Beautiful Souls”, but in Arabic “almaqaliya” means French fry, which is a actually a Belgian invention,a national food staple and, in this context, a very good example of the typical surreal Belgian sense of humour.

Author: Richard Taylor

Source: European Broadcasting Union

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