The Diocesan Polyphonic Choir “Laetare” was founded in January 1990 to animate the solemn liturgical functions of the Diocese of Locri-Gerace, and is composed of about 40 choristers. In 1991 it was formed into an Association whose main objectives are the promotion and dissemination of sacred and profane choral music.
Founder and director is Maestro Natale Femia.
The choral group animated the SS. Masses broadcast live on Rai on 3 June ’90 from Gerace (RC) and on 13 July ’97 from Stilo (RC).
In collaboration with the Diocesan Liturgical Office, he has curated 25 editions of the “Gathering of Parish Choirs” with the annual participation of over 800 singers from all over the area. On December 30, 1998 he was ranked 1st in the Competition of Christmas carols in the Calabrian vernacular Su jorna di Natali which took place at the Cathedral of Reggio Calabria with the song Si la facimu la cammisella elaborated for choir by Mgr. Ivo Meini of the Diocese of Volterra (Pisa).
Together with the choirs of the OCC he animated the Holy Mass celebrated by the Holy Father in St. Peter’s Square in Rome on the occasion of the eightieth birthday of John Paul II, on May 18, 2000.
He won the 1st Prize for the best performance at the “IV Competition of Choral Elaboration of Calabrian Christmas carols of oral tradition” on December 30, 2001 in the Cathedral of Reggio Calabria with the song Nta la notti si sentiìa harmonized by Maestro Giuseppe Gai.
He animated the Liturgy of Beatification of Mother Teresa of Calcutta together with the Choir of the Diocese of Rome, directed by Msgr. Marco Frisina, and the related events presided over by the Holy Father that took place in Rome from 17 to 20 October 2003.
In the summer of 2005 he produced the CD Concerto d’estate – musica tra ieri e oggi sotto il cielo d’agosto. The choral group carries out an intense concert activity with the accompaniment of the symphony orchestra and with the patronage of numerous Bodies and Associations.
On August 27, 2006 he participated in the Concert of Sacred Music for polyphonic choir and orchestra in the Cathedral of Gerace; the event was directed by Maestro Marco Frisina, a well-known composer of soundtracks. On July 3, 2010 he performed the Oratorio Confido in Te, inspired by the life and writings of St. Faustina Kowalska, composed and directed by Maestro Marco Frisina himself.
In August 2007 he performed in Fiumedinisi (ME) and since August 2007 for three consecutive years on the Island of Salina (ME) in the presence of authorities and personalities from the political, artistic and journalistic world. In January 2010 he held the Concerto for polyphonic choir and orchestra in the Municipal Auditorium of Polistena (RC) as part of the 2009/10 Major Events Season. The Laetare Choir performs numerous solidarity concerts aimed at the weakest groups; performs two concerts a year for the inmates of the Locri Prison.
At the invitation of the Minister of Defense, the Laetare Diocesan Choir and the orchestra performed at the Concert for Polyphonic Choir and Orchestra, which took place in the Basilica San Francesco di Paola, in Piazza Plebiscito in Naples, on November 8, 2009 as part of the events organized by the Ministry of Defense and the program developed by the Military Command of the Army “Campania” for the National Unity Day and the Day of the Armed Forces.
He ranked second at the “XIV Review of Choral Singing in the Calabrian Vernacular” which took place on December 30, 2010 in the Cathedral of Oppido Mamertina (RC).
On October 5, 2015, on the occasion of the XXV anniversary of its foundation, the Laetare Choir presented a photographic book entitled “I will sing forever the mercy of the Lord” in the presence of Bishops Antonio Ciliberti, Giancarlo Bregantini and Francesco Oliva, Of Msgr. Marco Frisina, Don Vincenzo Barbieri and Msgr. Giorgio Costantino.
The “Christmas Concert” of December 26, which takes place annually in Locri (RC), has reached its XXIX edition in 2019.