The Colours of Love

NDO – A music show, entitled ‘The colours of love’, was jointly performed by Da Dang (Diversity) Choir and Australia’s Pacific Pride Choir at the Vietnam National Music Academy, receiving endless applause, lots of emotional tears and appreciation.


From the first community music project

From an aspiring and romantic idea, Diversity Choir was formed in November 2019 under the initiative of the Institute of Social, Economic and Environmental Research (iSEE). This was the first community music project in Vietnam. Only a short time after the announcement, over 200 people registered for audition. They were needy people in the society, including teenagers, youths, the elderly, people with disabilities, LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender) people, and domestic violence victims.

The choir’s director and conductor, Nguyen Hai Yen, who is also Deputy Director of Sol Art Centre, has selected 70 members, aged from 7 to 74. All of them have not previously sung in any choirs. The iSEE’s project has connected them together and the choir’s name aimed to convey a message of giving respect for diversity and difference as well as removing discrimination and joining hands towards a peaceful and better life. This is similar to UNESCO’s message on the annual May 21 – “World Day for Cultural Diversity for Dialogue and Development”. Each member of the Diversity Choir is a messenger conveying the messages of “I am different, you are different, we exist” and “Each one of us a single note, together we make a masterpiece”.

Yen shared that she initially faced some difficulties working with such a diverse community. “My academic knowledge was not too applicable. However, in return, the diversity of the singers has made the interesting difference for the choir. Moreover, everyone practiced very passionately and grasped instructions quickly and unexpectedly”.

The compensation of pleasure

Each member of Diversity Choir should overcome their own difficulties. Dang Hieu Loi, a small woman with weak legs, has to travel a very far way, from Phu Xuyen district to Giang Vo street, Hanoi, to learn singing every week. However, she always smiles, likes singing and is an encouragement for others.

Nguyen Thi Yen, a member of the Soprano group, has a strong and beautiful voice. She has had a motor disability since she was very young, so she cannot stand for long or walk far. Her husband has to take her from Tu Son district, Bac Ninh province, to Giang Vo street by motorbike. Despite her disabilities, the energetic young girl Vu Thi Thuong has tried her best to learn English and left Quang Ninh province for the capital city to start her career. Thuong has to arrange her working schedule effectively to practice singing. She said: “My grandparents, friends and I are very happy because I can sing on large stages. I am also interested in experiencing many new things and I want to share them with everyone”.

Musician Luu Quang Minh composed the song ‘Giac mo toi’ (My dream) for the choir. ‘The Circle of Life’ is also a song inspiring both teacher Nguyen Hai Yen and her students. Despite the difficult song, all members believed that they could sing it very well. In addition, the choir practiced other English and Vietnamese songs to perform with the Pacific Pride Choir which has similar principles. After four months of practicing, Diversity Choir gave their first performance, held by the Australian Embassy in Vietnam, at InterContinental hotel in Hanoi. The unique choir then appeared many times on media channels.

At the common performance on July 20, Sarah Penicka Smith, the conductor of the, said that under the instruction of conductor Nguyen Hai Yen, Diversity Choir has made a breakthrough. Pacific Pride Choir have appeared on Australia’s national television for years and performed at a graduation ceremony for female leaders that was held by the Australian government. These are extraordinary achievements for any choir. Meanwhile, Diversity Choir is only six months old and comes from a country that has not had any special choir like that, she added.