23 Jul 2014

Doctoral choir sings for the local community

The WTI’s doctoral students proved they had more than one string to their bow when they gave a concert at the retirement home in Zollikofen, near Bern, in the middle of July.

The eight singers were accompanied by faculty member Christian Häberli on the double bass. The choir sang a number of traditional Swiss songs.

The singers – many of whom do not speak Swiss German ­- were coached by Simona Weber, Judith Wehrli and Jenny Surbeck of the WTI.

“Our motivation was to give back to the wider community, to keep some big picture perspective even though we are generally in our books all day, to create lasting memories and to give a taste of Bernese culture to our international students,” commented Doctoral Programme Director Shaheeza Lalani.

”I very much enjoyed being part of the group who performed at the retirement home," said PhD researcher Roberto Claros, who comes from Peru.  "This was a great opportunity for foreign students to know a little more about the Swiss culture, and, most importantly, to bring joy to and share with such lovely people.”

The audience of elderly people seemed to enjoy the event, with some linking arms and swaying in time to the popular song, Es Burebüebli mahn i nit.

To end the concert doctoral student Clarence Siziba sang a solo farewell song from his native Zimbabwe, drawing enthusiastic applause from the audience.