The Italian Choir created by Griffith’s School of Languages and Linguistics and the Brisbane Dante Alighieri Society will take to the stage at the Nathan Campus Open Day on Sunday, August 9.

Unicoro (the name suggests both ‘unique’ and ‘university’ choir) will perform a selection from its repertoire of traditional and contemporary Italian songs, ending with that timeless crowd-pleaser ‘Volare’.

Since its establishment in August 2013, the choir consisting of Italian language students from the School of Languages and Linguistics and members of the community, has gone from strength to strength.

“Students who have been with us over the past two years have definitely improved their singing but they have also greatly improved their language skills,” said conductor Ms Rosalia Miglioli.

“Students joining the choir don’t have to be singers, in fact many of our choristers have never sung before; however they have to be willing to interact in Italian. This can be intimidating at first, but it’s wonderful to see how confident they become in both singing and speaking in Italian after a few weeks.”

Conductor Rosalia with accompanist Lochlan MOrrissey a Griffith PhD candidate

Unicoro conductor Rosalia Miglioli with accompanist Lochlan Morrissey, a Griffith PhD candidate from the School of Languages and Linguistics.

The weekly rehearsals held at the Queensland Conservatorium are conducted entirely in Italian.

“It’s a full immersion experience and it helps them to understand the language and culture more deeply.”

The choir’s community members include native speakers of Italian, and those just in love with the country and the language. The social interaction is another bonus in learning the language.

Ms Miglioli, aside from her experience in working with community choirs in Italy, is a sessional lecturer at theSchool of Languages and Linguistics and at the QueenslandConservatorium where she teaches Italian for opera singers.

Dr Claire Kennedy, Languages and Linguistics Acting Head of School, said research showed the benefits of combining music with language learning.

“Music enhances attention to qualities such as intonation, rhythm and pronunciation. And repetition through singing is simply more fun,’’ she said.

“Choir participation also alleviates some of the anxiety of learning, improves the vocabulary and speech fluency, increases self-confidence and motivation and provides insights into Italian history, culture and values.”

The choir is accompanied at rehearsals and performances by various members, including students. It performs several times each year, including at the annual “Cantando’’ con brio’’ concert held by the Dante Society.

To find out more about Open Day click here.