Singing for the Dalai Lama – Aftershow Emotions

Posted by on Jul 28, 2013



Singing for the Dalai Lama

“I heard these people in rehearsal and they are a fantastic choir…” That’s how Joe Mahon, TV presenter and MC at the Dalai Lama conference earlier this year, introduced Encóre Contemporary Choir to the 2,500-strong audience in Derry’s biggest arena, ‘The Venue’.

A frisson of pride and excitement, mixed with the nerves, ran through every member of the choir as we stood there looking expectantly at our wonderful and talented Musical Director, Emmet Doherty, and waiting for our intro to ‘Something Inside So Strong’ to begin.

And then it happened…we opened our mouths and we sang our hearts out. All the work to perfect the piece, to learn the harmonies, many of us ‘by ear’ because we don’t read music, to practice the choreography, to remember the dynamics – as well as the words! – and to show the joy that each of us have in Encóre, spilled out on that stage and was evident by our energy, the smiles on our faces, and more importantly than anything, the reception from the audience. And…And…His Holiness the Dalai Lama was listening from the wings!

As soon as we came off the stage after the conference, our phones started beeping with messages of congratulations from friends and family who had watched the live stream of the event going out on the internet. They relayed compliments and messages of congratulations from all over the world – Iceland, America, Australia – that were posted on the internet as we were performing. The atmosphere in our dressing room was electric. But the smile on the face of our MD, Emmet, was really all that we needed. If he was happy, we were happy. That’s how it works.

We have many more performances booked in the coming months, not least our concert in the Millennium Forum on 8th September which promises to be an amazing night. But we will never forget that few minutes on the stage of The Venue when we sang, and truly believed, there’s “Something Inside So Strong”