In the fall of 2015, at the height of the refugee crisis in Germany, Andreas Fellner, together with the Krefeld refugee council, founded a choir. Invited to join were both refugees and Germans. The aim was to give Germans a chance to get to know the people, who so far had only been anonymous faces on TV. Many of the refugees, who had arrived in Germany were living in unpleasant conditions in gymnasiums. This way, the refugee council with the help of Andreas Fellner, offered once a week an activity and a variation to their daily routine.
One major challenge was that this choir had to work without sheet music. Many singers could not read music, or could not read at all. In a very short time, Andreas Fellner made headway to include everyone by singing for repetition, with humour and a relaxed atmosphere during practise.
German songs, Austrian yodel, Arabic pop songs and canons in many languages were rehearsed and after a few weeks they already had their first public performances.
Even if temporarily you could sense the participants’ worries and depressions, after practise the singers always went away in a cheerful mood. The refugee choir in Krefeld had reached its goal very quickly: many acquaintances resulted in friendships, several refugees had found their first apartments, and some even their apprenticeships and employments through these newfound friends.