Berdychiv is a town rich in historical monuments and traditions, where Ukrainian, Polish and Jewish cultures are closely interconnected. The names of many artists are connected with Berdychiv, including composers Yosyp Vitvytsky, Dionysius Bonkovsky, Anton and Mykola Rubinshtein, Yakiv and Solomon Faintukhy, Viktor Bely, Viktor Tomilin, singers Maria Budkevych, Yuliy Modestov, Hryhoriy Shapovalov, Ostap Dapar. The town has good choral traditions which preserve and multiply more than 10 choirs.
Today’s young people are trying to preserve the best traditions of the past so that future generations will realize what we should value and pass on from parents to children with great love.
One of the educational and cultural centers of the city is CI “Berdychiv Pedagogical College” of Zhytomyr Regional Council that is one of the best educational institutions known far beyond the region by highly professional teachers and talented students, including participants and winners of festivals, competitions, talent show “Voice of the Country” and “X-Factor”. The college is famous for creative groups (6 choirs, 2 orchestras, ensembles, small forms), multi-annual traditions and interesting innovations. In the pedagogical college the subject-cycle commission of choral conducting teachers of the Musical Department is characterized by absolute uniqueness, a combination of the energy of youth and the power of experience, that became the initiator of many large-scale projects: charity event “Greet Berdychiv with carols”, festival-competition of vocal and instrumental creativity “Music that unites young people”, choral art festival “Choralcombat 2019”. It was the creative team of this subject-cycle commission that initiated the annual conference “Choral Art of Ukraine: History and Personalities”, this year for the fifth time interested creative youth have been hospitably invited there. For objective reasons, the conference has been held online using the Zoom service. After talking about the history of Ukrainian choral art, they discussed the problems of vocal-choral education of the younger generation, turned to the property of famous domestic composers, conductors, good groups, got acquainted with new names of choral art, researched the property of little-known artists.
At first the conference was planned as an internal event for college students, that should help to expand knowledge about the choral achievements of Ukrainians, master the material on the subject “Chorography” in detail and improve students’ preparation for state exams. However, in the first year students from secondary schools in Berdychiv and Berdychiv Children’s Music School joined the conference.
From year to year the conference expands its borders. Today it has the status of All Ukrainian with international participation. For 5 years it has been attended by 127 youth representatives – students of secondary and art schools, students of vocational schools, colleges, universities, academies from eleven regions of Ukraine. We are especially pleased to welcome the participants of the EE “Belarusian State University of Culture and Arts” who sing in the choir, love Ukrainian songs and promote Ukrainian choral art in their country.
The problems of research of young choreographers are quite wide: the history of choral works, the activities of conductors and choirs of Ukraine, new names in choral art, the achievements of Ukrainian composers in the field of choral music, methodological aspects of working with choirs. It is pleasant that a large number of studies are of a local history nature, and first of all young people study and preserve the choral heritage of their area, because it is as sacred in the heart of everyone as a mother’s song.
The college is famous for its hospitality, so every year it welcomes distinguished guests to the conference. So, in different years in college walls such artists acted as:
Mstislav Sergeevich Yurchenko, Candidate of Art History, Professor of the Department of Academic Choral Art of the Dean’s Office of Musical Arts in Kyiv National University of Music and Art;
Oleksandr Oleksandrovych Vacek, Honored Art Worker of Ukraine, Artistic Director of the Academic Choir “Oreya”;
Stepan Andriyovych Tseliukh, Honored Art Worker of Ukraine, leader of the Stryi Municipal Men’s Choir “Kamenyar”, chief of the association of conductors of the Stryi region “Camerton”;
Dmytro Vasyliovych Radyk, Honored Art Worker of Ukraine, Professor of P. I. Tchaikovsky National Academy of Music of Ukraine, Chairman of the Association of Performing Music Education and Upbringing of the NIMS;
Volodymyr Volodymyrovych Kurach, Honored Art Worker of Ukraine, Professor of the Department of Bandura and Kobzar Art of the Dean’s Office of Musical Arts of Kyiv National University of Culture and Arts;
Vasyl Ilyich Fedoryshyn, Dean of the Faculty of Arts, Honored Artist of Ukraine, Doctor of Pedagogical Sciences, Professor of M. P. Drahomanov National Pedagogical University;
Serhiy Semenovych Horbenko, Doctor of Pedagogical Sciences, Professor of the Faculty of Arts named after Anatoliy Avdievsky of M. P. Drahomanov National Pedagogical University;
Yuliya Valeriyivna Hryshchenko, Candidate of Pedagogical Sciences, Senior Research Worker of the Department of Theory and Practice of Pedagogical Education named after Academician I. A. Zyazyun of the Institute of Pedagogical Education and Adult Education of the National Academy of Pedagogical Sciences of Ukraine;
Lyudmyla Pavlivna Vasylevska-Skupa, Candidate of Pedagogical Sciences, Associate Professor, Head of the Department of Vocal and Choral Training of Theory and Methods of Music Education of Vinnytsia Pedagogical University named after M. Kotsyubynsky;
Roman Ihorovych Bunyk, director of the Stryi choral school “Shchedryk”, a graduate of the music department of the Berdychiv Pedagogical School in 1983;
Oles Kolyada, member of the board and artistic council of the Ukrainian Cultural Foundation, composer, singer;
Andriy Bondarenko, Ukrainian composer and pianist, public figure, member of the NCSU, co-founder and first chairman of the board of PO “Wikimedia Ukraine”.
In five years the conference has grown into a large forum that brings together true connoisseurs of choral art. On the main stage of the college local choirs presented their performing skills:
- Folk Choir of Berdychiv Pedagogical College (leader – Zelenyanska, concertmaster – T. Komandyshko) which brought together teachers and the best students of the Musical Department;
- Folk Choir “Polissya” of Berdychiv Pedagogical College (leader – Honored Worker of Culture of Ukraine Pupin, choirmaster – O. Yablonska, leader of the orchestra – T. Demyanchuk) which became a real business card of the college;
- Classic children’s choir of Berdychiv MS (leader – teacher of vocal and choral disciplines Olenyuk) that teaches the basics of choral art to the youngest connoisseurs of group singing;
- Classic artistic group “Folk Singing Ensemble “Vinets’” of O. Razumkov Center for Extracurricular Education (leader – Kulichenko) that charms everyone with little-known folklore samples.
- Jazz singing ensemble “Old Piano” of O. Razumkov Center for Extracurricular Education (leader – Poplavsky) whose performance always causes a storm of applause by both Berdychiv residents and Berdychiv guests;
- Students’ Choir of the Department of Academic Choral Art of Kyiv National University of Culture and Arts “ANIMA” (chamber composition) (leader – Head of the Department of Academic Choral Art, Honored Artist of Ukraine, Associate Professor M. Krechko);
- Folk Choir “Red Guelder-Rose” of the Faculty of Arts named after Anatoly Avdievsky in M. P. Drahomanov National Pedagogical University (artistic director – Laureate of the All Ukrainian competition of choral conductors named after Mykola Leontovych, senior lecturer Litvak, leading concertmaster – A. Dovbnia);
- People’s Amateur Youth Folklore and Ethnographic Group “Dniester Bells” Petrov of Tlumach district of Ivano-Frankivsk region (leader – V. Zhyliuk);
- Senior members of the folk choir studio “Strumochok” of Zhytomyr Center for Children and Youth (artistic director – Vashchyshyna, head of the senior choir – O. Malinovskaya, concertmaster – V. Dobrovinska).
Each choir not only presented their work. Its participants, having previously researched the issue, acquainted the listeners with the history of creation and creative achievements of their choir.
What great and original choral art of Ukraine it is! The guests and organizers of the conference were once again united by the joint performance of famous choral works – musical symbols of our country: the National Anthem of Ukraine, more than 150 years since its writing; the outstanding “Shchedryk” by M. Leontovych, dedicated to the 100th anniversary of its presentation. The audience felt like a nation and true patriots when the powerful sounds of D. Kryzhanivsky’s song “The mighty Dnieper roars and bellows” written by the Great Kobzar filled the hall. The spiritual anthem of Ukraine “God, the Great, the Only One” by M. Lysenko sounded like a prayer for the future of the state and its long-suffering people.
Since 2017 “The Choirmaster’s Creative Workshop” has been operating within the conference, where leading choral artists of Ukraine share their experience with teachers and students of the college, music teachers of secondary schools, leaders of creative groups, cultural institution workers:
- the experience of vocal education of children according to the methodology of D. Ogorodnov was shared by the director of the Stryi choral school “Shchedryk” R. I. Bunyk;
- Unknown pages of M. Berezovsky’s life and work were opened by the candidate of art history, professor of the department of academic choral art of the dean’s office of musical art in Kyiv National University of Music and Art M. S. Yurchenko (lecture “Unknown M. Berezovsky – reformer of Ukrainian choral music”);
- the highlight of the workshop was master classes in vocals and work with the choir of the Honored Artist of Ukraine, artistic director of the academic choir “Oreya” O.O. Vatsek.
- the secrets of vocal work were revealed by Candidate of Pedagogical Sciences, Associate Professor, Head of the Department of Vocal and Choral Training in Theory and Methods of Music Education in Vinnytsia Pedagogical University named after M. Kotsyubynsky L. P. Vasylevska-Skupa;
- the findings of the methodology of choral conducting by the Honored Artist of Ukraine, Professor of Bandura and Kobzar Art of Kyiv National University of Culture and Arts V. V. Kurach were interesting.
- the methodology of practical work with the children’s choir was shared by the head of the senior staff of the folk choir studio “Strumochok” of the Center for Creativity of Children and Youth of Zhytomyr O. V. Malinovska;
- the real master-class of teaching the art of choral singing was shown by the winner of the All Ukrainian competition of choral conductors named after Mykola Leontovych, Senior Lecturer of the Department of Theory and Methodology of Music Education, Choral Singing and Conducting, Faculty of Arts named after Anatoly Avdievsky in M. P. Drahomanov National Pedagogical University A. A. Litvak.
In the future it is planned to expand the issues of the conference, to involve famous composers, conductors, choirs, to expand the cultural program of the conference – to organize a sightseeing tour of the city with visits to outstanding monuments of history, architecture and monumental art, there are 92 ones in Berdychiv! Therefore, participants and guests of the conference will be able to walk through the cozy streets of the city, visit the monastery-fortress of the Barefooted Carmelites, the Church of St. Barbara (the wedding venue of Honore de Balzac and Evelina of Ghana), view the historical museum of Berdychiv.
The conference “Choral Art of Ukraine: History and Personalities” at Berdychiv Pedagogical College is not only an opportunity to discuss the history and problems of domestic choral art, but also an exchange of experience, the opportunity to meet outstanding choirmasters, present their own achievements and research, join joint performances of choral works by Ukrainian composers. And all together it contributes to the popularization of choral art in Ukraine.
teacher of conducting and choral disciplines and Ukrainian musical literature of the highest category CI “Berdychiv Pedagogical College” of Zhytomyr Regional Council
chairwoman of the cycle commission of teachers of choral conducting CI “Berdychiv Pedagogical College” of Zhytomyr Regional Council, head of the Zhytomyr regional department Association “All Ukrainian Choral Society named after Mykola Leontovych”, member of the National All Ukrainian Music Union