Media Release by Senator the Hon Concetta Fierravanti-Wells

Australian choir invited to prestigious Estonian festival

The Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Social Services, Senator Concetta Fierravanti-Wells, today congratulated the Kooskolas choir as the first Australian choir to be invited to participate in the famous Laulupidu festival in Estonia since it began in 1869.

“As the Parliamentary Secretary with special responsibility for Multicultural Affairs and Settlement Services, I commend the Kooskolas choir for its success,” Senator Fierravanti-Wells said.

“The Laulupidu festival, the Estonian Song and Dance Festival will be held in Tallinn, Estonia in July, and is so prominent it has been placed on UNESCO’s prestigious list of Intangible Cultural Heritage.

“Held every five years, the event attracts thousands of singers and dancers dressed in national costume, and this year, Kooskolas is one of only three international acts to perform.

“In 1934, dance was included in the festival and this year the Sydney based Virmalised -Northern Lights Estonian folk dance group will join the choir at the festival and several members of the group will participate in both singing and dancing.

“During the festival, more than 20,000 singers and instrumentalists perform under the massive arch to an audience of roughly 100,000 people.”

Senator Fierravanti-Wells said the choir was an excellent example of Australia’s diversity representing our country on the world stage at events of international prominence.

“While the Australian Estonian community is small in number, it is making a definite contribution to Australia’s arts as well as many other aspects of our community,” Senator Fierravanti-Wells said.

“I was pleased to attend the farewell concert at All Saints Anglican Church in Hunters Hill today and enjoy these wonderful performers before they embark on this amazing journey. The choir will all be wonderful ambassadors for Australia and show the world how unique our brand of cultural diversity really is.”