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XXVth European Grand Prix for choral singing (Arezzo, Italy, 2013)

XXVth European Grand Prix for choral singing (Arezzo, Italy, 2013)

In the summer of 2013 “Credo” focused on the preparation to the one of the most significant events in the biography of the choir – participation in the final of XXVth European Grand Prix for choral singing (Arezzo, Italy). The chorus got a chance to participate in this competition after a brilliant victory in 2012 at the 44th Tolosa Choiral Contest (Spain). The latter is one of a large choral Six – six European choral competitions that take place every year in Italy, Slovenia, Hungary, Bulgaria, France and Spain.
The winners of the six competitions spent the whole year in a preparation to meet in the final and compete for the title of “Grand Prix of Europe in choral singing.”


Participation in the competition of such a high level requires very careful preparation of the program, selection of the strongest and most talented singers, and a lot of rehearsals with a special attention to the musical nuances. But for “Credo” preparation to the competition amongst the world strongest choirs wasn’t just a technical work. There was a lot more of the inner, spiritual work of a team as a whole, and each singer individually. And the point was not only to understand the meaning of the texts of performed spiritual songs and to be a religious person, knowing the Church charter. Here is laid, perhaps, a deeper meaning: competing among other participants, the singer has to be strong and immaculate in his or her work, and their skill should be flawless. The singer should be determined to win, be mature in his or her spirit – not to have a shadow of a doubt. At the same time, the singer and the choir should rely on the Lord, on His will. Shortly: do everything you can but don’t be afraid to surrender to the will of the Father in Heaven. With such an aim we went to Arezzo.


For ten days trip to Italy, our bus was our “home on wheels”. We were happy to have a talented manager and a reliable friend on this trip: Vyacheslav Olshansky organized several concerts for “Credo” on the way to Arezzo. So, we sang in the temple in Trebyshev (Slovakia), Lambach Abbey (Austria), Ursulinenkirhe in Linz (Austria), in the church of Sant ‘Ercolano in Perugia (Italy), and in the Cathedral of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary in Budapest (Hungary). In every city we met hospitable people, and we want once again express very special thanks to Tatiana Boekshtainer, Eliah Oberndorfer, Svyatoslav Bulakh, Marina Bilku, don Elio Bromuri, Yaroslav Lashchak.


In Arezzo, the sounds didn’t cease even at night with so many competitions, master classes and concerts. But all our focus was on the next day – a day of competition. It was held in the Basilica of St. Dominic. There were five groups in the final of XXVth Grand Prix of Europe for choral singing: Musica Quantica voces da camers (Buenos-Ares, Argentina), Batavica Madrigal Singers (Jakarta, Indonesia), Youth Choir «Kamer» (Riga, Latvia), Akademski Pevski Zbor Tone Tomsic University of Ljubljana (Ljubljana, Slovenia), and chamber choir “Credo” (Kiev, Ukraine). Each choir presented to the jury thirty minutes of the best music in their repertoire, with no limits in style, manner or method of singing. And, after an hour of secret voting, the jury made a verdict – the name of the winner. In 2013 it became the chamber choir “Kamer” from Riga.

We’ve done all we could in Arezzo, and we were ready to accept the God will. We were satisfied with the level of performance we demonstrated, with a feedback and comments of audience, with the reviews of famous musicians. In Arezzo, we realle achieved a productive results, in particular – an invitation to the choral festivals in France and Germany. Overwhelmed with emotions, feelings and fatigue, we went home, to our dear Kiev. Another page of the choir biography was written, but there is still a lot of new and creative in the future.