The singers of the Garagekoor in Borgerhout look to the future with a fearful heart. There is not enough money left to pay the rent of the hall and the choirmaster. The first semester would still be feasible, then it’s done. “The loss of the choir would be very painful, because then the only reason to go outside would be lost,” says choir member Edgard Peeters (77).
Sacha Van Wiele
Yesterday at 6:02 PM
The Garagekoor still hopes for subsidies from the city to keep the choir together. This choir arose in 2018 from a project to bring residents of the social residential area Luisbekelaar and the surrounding area together. Thirty people come together once a week to sing in the Theater Garage.
Edgard Peeters was there from the start. “Besides singing, being with other people is very pleasant. If this choir were to disappear, it would be very painful for me. It’s the only reason for me to come out.”
Anne De Prins (64) has been with the choir since March. She comes from a musical family and in the past sang in a church choir. “Singing together in the Garage Choir relaxes me,” says Anne. “Young and old make fun of singing. I am struggling with osteoarthritis, so this is the only thing I can do without any problems.”
Bénédicte Verbeeck (64) is a teacher in Brussels. She joined the choir a year ago. “Teaching is stressful, but after an evening of singing, my batteries are recharged,” says Bénédicte. “If this were to fall away, I’m going to miss it very much.”
After the difficult period during corona in which the choir could not get together or singing was only allowed with a mouth mask, there is now a financial problem.
“We want to make our choir accessible to everyone, including people with a low income,” says Ellen Baert, co-founder. “That’s why people don’t have to pay anything to join us. We applied for various grants that we used to pay for the choral accompaniment and rent of the Theater Garage. Only we now have insufficient money to start the choir year. There is only money left for the first semester. We are therefore looking for new income. We are knocking on the door of the city, but any constructive proposal and support are welcome. For the time being, the start of the choir year has been postponed to October.”