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Cotati girls singing at Olympics

Friday, July 27th, 2012 | Posted by | no responses

Cotati sisters Ceilidh and Reilly Austin, ages 14 and 12, sang at St. John at Hackney in London Thursday with the Benicia-based VOENA children’s choir as part of an Olympic Torch Relay Path Performance.

The group is also scheduled to perform Friday at Central Hall Westminster for an opening day gala and Saturday at the main bandstand in Olympic Park. The choir presents itself as goodwill ambassadors of peace through the voices of children.

Ceilidh and Reilly perform a solo duet in the near-extinct language of Bubi from the island of Bioko in Equatorial Guinea.

The girls conducted all of the research on the song, called “e hatta a beta apebba,” transcribed the lyrics, and taught the choir the song, according to mom Stacia Mott Austin. The song is about two sisters separated by the ocean.

VOENA (Voices of Eve ‘N’ Angels) is a professional performance arts program for children ages 5-18, who sing a capella world music in 21 languages promoting peace through the exchange of culture.

Fifty of the choir’s 140 singers are part of the Olympics tour, and planned to sing in Swahili, Zulu, Gaelic, Japanese, French, and others. After their London performances, the group will tour Ireland and perform at several castles and hospitals.

Ceilidh has been with the choir for six years, Reilly for four and a half. Ceilidh in particular looks forward to visiting Ireland where the folks will know that her Gaelic name, Ceilidh, is pronounced “kay-lee.”

Click to see and hear the choir in concert.


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Nick Walden is our Cotati and Penngrove correspondent.
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