The Academical student choir “Ad Libitum” of V. Karazin Kharkiv National University is an amateur choir founded in 2004. It’s artistic director and conductor is a winner of the First All-Ukrainian Choir Conductors Competition Andriy Syrotenko.
Based in Karazin University, the choir has a long history.
In 1854, with the assistance of Archbishop Innokentiy Borisov, a church choral singing class was organized in Kharkiv University. Classes were held on a regular basis (three times a week) and resulted in a permanent and well-trained choir singing in the university chapel. The class existed till the beginning of the 20th century.
In 1934, the university administration organized a music and literature artistic club where the choral singing class had a leading role. The choir consisted of 90 singers back then. A prominent choir conductor A. Perunov handled the club and the choral singing class. Right after World War II, in 1946, a female choir was set up. Since 1949 the choir was led by Z. Yakovleva and since 1965 – by A. Ptits. In 1967, the choir won the 1st prize in Amateur Art Festival as the best student ensemble. At that time the choir also had a tour in Vilnius, Lithuania, and two tours in cities of the Upper Volga region, namely, in Volgograd, Nizhniy Novgorod, Yaroslavl.
To celebrate the bicentennial of V. N. Karazin Kharkiv National University in 2004, the student choir was brought back to life at the initiative of the rector Vil Bakirov.
The choir repertoire consists mostly of arrangements of the Ukrainian folk songs and sacred music since the choir aims to popularize among the youth Ukrainian folk song and the national choral tradition.
The choir takes an active part in the university cultural events being an indispensable part of University Foundation Day, Student Initiation Ceremony, Masters Graduation Ceremony, Charitable Winter Ball etc.
The choir has participated in such international and national contests and festivals as:
2011 – the Grand Prix, “Poyushchaya Feeriya” (Singing Fairy Show) II National Technical Education Institutions Choir Festival;
2012 – the 2nd Prize, XIX National Sacred Songs Festival “Vid Rizdva do Rizdva” (From Christmas to Christmas);
2013 – the Grand Prix, XX International Choral Art Contest “Pivdenna Palmira” (Southern Palmira);
2018 – the 1st Prize, XXV National Sacred Songs Festival “Vid Rizdva do Rizdva”.
The choir participates annually in the Orthodox Choir Festival “Rizdviyanochky” (Christmas Carols).
In 2017, the choir participated in setting the record of Ukraine “The greatest number of people performing “Molytva za Ukrayinu” (Prayer for Ukraine) by M. Lysenko”.
Since 2016 the choir has been organizing the annual student choir festival “Karazinski Khorovi Zustrichi” (Karazin Choir Sessions). The festival aims to revive and foster choral movement in non-core higher education establishments, to bring back the sound of academic choral music to student environment, and to popularize the work of prominent Ukrainian choral composers, namely, M. Leontovych, K. Stetsenko, O. Koshits, as well as the work of contemporary Ukrainian composers.
Karazin Choir has very ambitious plans as to the further work and is open not only to students of Karazin University, but also to all youth willing to sing.