California Girls' Choir

Post Advertiser, October 1985, Vol 1 no 7


Most unusual visitors to Cashel in June 1986 will be the California Girls Choir. The visit will be part of an international tour that will take the choir to England, Wales, Belgium, Holland, Germany, Switzerland ·and France. It will be the choir's fourteenth tour and the members will spend about a week in Ireland. As well as Cashel they will perform in Dublin, Limerick, Cork, Dungarvan and Wexford. 

The California Girls' Choir's story began in 1959-60 when it was founded by its music director, John Vaznaian. They made their first European tour in 1961. The choir is an independent and self-sustaining enterprise and the tours are financed by the individual members. 

The choir's primary purpose is to promote goodwill, better understanding and to provide European audiences with a musical window into the California world while, at the same time, educating choir members to the cultures and customs of the different overseas countries. 

During their tour the members of the choir stay in homes with host families. This will be the case in Cashel where host families will be required to look after the members of the choir during their stay. This practice fosters friendships which endure long after the music fades, sustained by letters and renewed by exchange visits.

The girls in the choir number about twenty-seven and are of high school age. Their ages range from fourteen, fifteen to some sixteen or seventeen year aids. There are about fifteen adults also in the choir group. 

It is a great distinction for Cashel to be chosen as one of the stop-off points of the choir's Irish tour. The members will put on a concert during their stay and the event will be organised by the Cashel Lions Club. Part of the concert will be devoted to some local group, who will put on Irish dancing. Between now and June next the Lions Club will be looking for host families to look after members of the choir for one night. 

The choir's stopover in the town should be an interesting evening for the people of Cashel. The choir's repertoire is varied and consists mostly of songs associated with America such as folk songs, negro spirituals and numbers from popular musicals.