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The Young Singing Sensations: Les Petits Chanteurs de Saint-Marc



As a choir group, Les Petits Chanteurs de Saint-Marc (The little singers of Saint Marc) has been entertaining audiences around the world since 1986. This sensational young group is currently comprised of 70-85 school children from Saint-Marc College in Lyon, France. As all of the group’s members are aged between 10 and 15 years old, performing on the world stage is an especially great opportunity for these sensational young performers. The Saint-Marc choir will grace Tianjin with their angelic vocal talents on 21 October. We asked them some questions about the life and work of a young, world famous choir group.

How does it feel to be performing on the world stage at such a young age?
It is exciting to prepare for a tour in general, but it's even more exciting when it is a large country like China, with a culture so different from ours. In fact, it puts a lot of pressure on us because we don’t know what to expect from the audience. All we can do is prepare for our show to the best of our ability.

What are your impressions of Tianjin and China?
This is the first time we have come to Tianjin so we look forward to exploring this city. We have been to China several times and we always enjoy coming back. The Chinese are our friends and we really appreciate their kindness to us. We see in the concerts that they like our music and their appreciation of our performances is the best gift they can give us. We also very much like China’s fascinating culture because of its blend of traditional and very modern aspects. Finally, we love Chinese food!

There is so much pressure on you to train your voice and rehearse before your performances. How do you cope with these demands and balance your other obligations such as school?

In our school, we organise our time to work on both our school work and music. We work with teachers who accept our projects and help us a lot to succeed. We have to work on music every day, but it is very important to always grow and to offer quality concerts. We must work on our voices, piano, music theory, choral singing and theatre dynamics. It takes many hours. The school also needs to invest a lot to help us. We have had to learn how to organise ourselves well, to become independent and successful in a minimal amount of time.

Do you think sacred music, as a genre, is becoming more popular around the world and if so, why?
I think that sacred music is becoming more popular because it is not only sung in churches and sacred places. They can also now hear it being performed in concert halls, as we do, for example. And then, the public discovers music that touches them. This is a style of music that goes straight to the heart. Even if you do not understand the words or if one is not a believer. This is music that elevates the soul. The great composers have written all of the beautiful sacred music. And when that music, in addition, is being performed through the voices of children, it is even more heart warming. Perhaps nowadays people need more spirituality in their lives.

Finally, tell us about some big performances you have done and your feelings about them?

In general, we like concert tours- especially ones which involve going abroad. We loved discovering Mexico, Asia, Lebanon and all of the other places we have visited. We also remember some very big concerts with more than 100,000 people in Madrid (Spain) and concerts at Peking opera’s and the Forbidden City. We also sang for street children in Mexico City and we got to meet them afterwards. It was very moving. The choir has been performing for 25 years now, we have many beautiful memories. In addition, the film ‘Les Choristes’, in which we participated in 2004, was a huge success worldwide.

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