WollCon hosts Visiting Choir from East Timor

Long-awaited return visit by East Timor Choir reflects true spirit of making friends through music.

Wollongong Conservatorium will be hosting Koru Lian Timor a choir from East Timor which has been especially formed to tour NSW.  Community Choirs and WollCon’s Con Artists will come together with Koru Lian in the Wollongong Art Gallery to sing and perform together.

“This tour is a long-awaited return visit.” Said WollCon’s CEO David Francis who in 2019 was based on the Far South Coast of NSW leading a project with the ‘Bega Valley Advocates for Timor Leste’ to form a choir of singers from the Far South Coast to tour East Timor in the spirit of making friends through music.

The choir “Balun Malu” (pictured below) was formed in January 2019 and rehearsed every Sunday until their tour of Timor Leste in July 2019.

Harry and Bertie

“It is true to say that the tour was a profoundly moving and emotional experience.  We had several key events lined up in various locations across East Timor.  These became festival like celebrations with communities coming together through music.  In some cases singing and music making went on all day and we learnt what an exceptionally musical country Timor Leste is.”

David Francis

CEO, WollCon

Other moving moments included when the group took a short break from travelling and sang with a remote village community who had never welcomed a visiting choir.  They also visited and sang at the location of the Balibo 5 shooting.

Following the 2019 visit, David and the Bega Valley Advocates set about fundraising to bring a choir from Timor Leste to Australia.  David (who was Executive Director of Four Winds Concerts at the time) was able to secure a grant from DFAT to support Koru Lian’s visit.
COVID restrictions delayed the Choir’s visit to Australia but will now be visiting the Blue Mountains, Canberra, the Far South Coast and Wollongong over April/May 2023.

Koru Lian is led by Ego Lemos, a songwriter and permaculturalist who has received several international awards for his contributions to music, art & culture and community development.

He was encouraged and inspired by his mother (a skilled harmonica player) to become a musician and is now a self-taught singer, songwriter and musician. He was asked to write the song for the feature film Balibo which was awarded the best original song composed for screen at the 2009 APRA Awards.

Ego will be visiting with 12 singers for Timor Leste who have come together to form ‘Koru Lian’ especially for this tour. The choir will sing in their native tongue Tetun.

‘Koru Lian’ and Ego Lemos will be performing in Wollongong Art Gallery (WAG) for the final performance of their Australian tour.  They will be joined by community choirs and musicians from Wollongong who will also sing songs in Tetum.

WAG Event Details:
Date: Saturday 6 May 2022
Venue: Wollongong Art Gallery
Time: 4pm – 5pm (no interval)

The concert will include: Community Choirs Singongo and Eklektika, members of WollCon’s ConChords, WollCon’s Community Music band the Con Artists, an Ego Lemos Set, Koru Lian Timor set, and a final Sing/Play together of all musicians and singers.

ENTRY BY DONATION AT THE DOOR (cash & card accepted).