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Cyber group fills church choir void during lockdown

An alto who teaches the choir at her church has found joy singing in the Samoa Cyber Choir which released its second recording on Tuesday this week.

Faaolo Utumapu, a pianist and choir leader at the Vaitele Uta Methodist Church, said it fills a void caused by rules of the state of emergency (S.O.E) that banned choir gatherings, practices and performances in Samoa for the past two months.

 “I teach the choir at my church so since the lockdown we haven’t been able to practice…we haven’t had choir practice for two months now,” she said in an interview. 

“This shows how amazing the God is that we serve, we find these other ways, he gives us these others ways. I felt really humbled…I’m not a great singer or anything. I think [Rev.] Letupu Matautia is amazing, he’s very talented and he got the skills…how he managed to pull it all off.”

Rev. Letupu Faauuga Matautia, leader of the Congregational Christian Church of Samoa-Loimata o Apaula, is founder, director and producer of the Samoa Cyber Choir.

“We haven’t had any pese or choir practice since the lockdown started…no more gatherings and even now that churches are opened, we still don’t have choir practice,” Utumapu said.

“I like it because it’s a multi-denominational thing…if it’s a Lotu Taiti song, we all learn it together and make it our own…if it is a Methodist song, we sing it together and make it our own so it’s a chance for us to unite in music…we always say music is a language that speaks to everyone…so no matter what church you belong to…I would encourage to join. It’s fun.”

She thanked Rev. Matautia for accepting their voices and pointed out that people should not feel apprehensive to join the choir because “it’s not like you are singing solo.”

“It’s fun and when you hear that song, a song you are a part of, you feel really humbled to know you have been a part of something like that with our brothers and sisters in other parts of the world,” she added. 

“I encourage people to join, especially people who love to sing.”

Asked if the Cyber Choir plans to make money with their music, Rev. Matautia said “a very good question but no.”

“It was never our intention,” he told the Samoa Observer.

Rev. Letupu has invited Samoans to join the cyber choir, which was formed to bring hope and comfort to Samoans around the world during the coronavirus global pandemic.

The group comprises 75 Samoans living in 14 different countries.

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