Middle-aged women, young men and women, children – members of the Green Wind Choir sing joyfully: “And the wind sings forever in my heart/Go with me to far away places / And the pure heart speaks / The word of love for life.”
As they dance to the tune, their faces light up. It seems that the gift they bring to the audience is not only a song but also the positive energy of music.
Using the power of music to spread love and goodness is the guiding principle and factor that unites the members of Green Wind, a special community choir in Hanoi.
Music for the sake of humanity
Conductor Nguyen Hai Yen founded the Green Wind Choir in 2019, with the desire to familiarize people with choral music and bring good values to the community.
|Green Wind Choir performs with singer Le Cat Trong Ly. Photo courtesy of Green Wind|
She never forgets that art, in general, and music, in particular, is meant to serve people. The harder life is, the more lonely and sad people are, the more music must be there to soothe, understand and encourage.
“Music makes people feel the beauty of life and love. That’s the motto of the Green Wind Choir. We make music for the sake of humanity,” she said.
When Yen was a student at the Vietnam National Conservatory, her teachers sometimes gave her tickets to foreign artists’ concerts. At that time, she seemed to live in another world, immersed in music, feeling the value of music and cultivating beautiful emotions for the soul.
Since then, Yen has continued to learn and improve so that she, in turn, can bring this music to many people so that more people can enjoy and feel the great values of music.
She sees it as a circle: Enjoy, feel, learn, dedicate, like the circle of life, and this circle should be green – the color of life, nature, earth and youth. That’s why she calls her special choir, whose members range in age from 6 to 85, the Green Wind.
|Conductor Hai Yen is the founder of Green Wind Choir. Photo: Ngo Minh/The Hanoi Times|
So far, Green Wind has almost 200 members who share the same passion for music despite their different ages, backgrounds, professions, religions, and genders. They practice singing together every weekend.
Green Wind works with the spirit of truly making music for the community and for the community. Along the way, Hai Yen has witnessed choral music’s miraculous healing power.
“I never thought that just singing together every week could ‘save’ someone’s soul, but it did. And I believe more in my community-oriented way of making music, I believe in the mission of Green Wind, which is to continue to spread the love of life wherever it is needed,” Hai Yen confided.
Nhat Mai joined the Green Wind Choir in 2019 while suffering from depression. She will never forget the feeling of being swept away by the water and about to drown. Then, when she attended the audition for the first time, she knew that Green Wind was a life raft for her in the middle of the raging water.
“When I came to Green Wind, heard Hai Yen talk about the values of music, and saw everyone singing ‘Thank you for the music,’ I knew this was my community, for me,” Nhat Mai said.
Nhat Mai cried because she suddenly felt inspired to live happily no matter what. Since then, she has joined the choir and, along with other members, has spread the healing values of music to the less fortunate through performances.
|Conductor Nguyen Hai Yen and Green Wind Choir. Photo courtesy of Green Wind Choir|
For Nguyen Tien Anh, the leader of the tenor band, choral singing helped him discover his abilities and completely change his life. Having just graduated from Hanoi University of Science and Technology, Tien Anh decided to attend Hanoi College of Arts to become a professional tenor.
Tien Anh fully understands the value of music. It is not only the sound that resonates but also a gift that people give to each other.
“Through many performances, I realized that we may be materially poor, but thanks to music, we will never be poor in soul. With pure, simple, unobtrusive music, Green Wind brings encouraging energy to underprivileged children,” said Tien Anh.
The tenor singer still remembers a charity performance in Quang Ninh. When the choir sang the song Believe (composed by Ryuichi Sugimoto, Vietnamese lyrics by Nguyen Hai Yen) with the lyrics “Then the storm will pass quickly, the dawn will be filled with light,” everyone was moved to tears. That was the moment when Tien Anh felt that the music had touched everyone’s heart.
“After the performance, we gave teddy bears to the children. The value of the gift is not much, but the children are really happy. The teddy bear will become a friend, a source of encouragement for the children to see that they are not alone in this life,” said Tien Anh.
The spirit of Green Wind has inspired and united many artists.
Singer Ta Minh Man, a soprano singer of the group Operaphilia, performed at the concert Green Passport with Green Wind Choir in 2022 and felt that all members, even children with disabilities and orphans, are adventures in music with nobility, faith, and purity.
“I was emotional. Music is the only and most beautiful language. Music is where people find faith, where people share love. I love the good energy that music in general and the music of Green Wind, in particular, has spread,” said the singer.
The Green Wind Choir held the first annual concert, called Green Christmas (2020), and the second annual concert Green Passport (2022), with disadvantaged children.
The program will feature about 20 musical works, including many well-known songs such as “When You Believe,” “The Circle of Life,” “Bohemian Rhapsody,” and popular Vietnamese folk songs.