The Children’s Choir “Zabava”

The Children’s Choir “Zabava”

The citizens of Odesa are very proud of the children’s choir “Zabava”. This creative team is a welcome guest in many stages both in Ukraine and abroad (Bulgaria, Spain, Germany, Czech Republic). It is not only a children’s choir, but also a creative workshop, where ensembles, quartets, duets are formed and solo performers are brought up. The choir “Zabava” was founded in 1999 on the basis of Odesa Children’s Music School №3. The leader and conductor is a graduate of the Odessa Music Academy named after A. Nezhdanova – Svitlana Smirnova.

Svitlana Smirnova

The concertmasters are famous pianists, composers, graduates of OMA named after A. Nezhdanova Oleg Polevoi, Dmitry Kutsov, Igor Parada. The unique style of the choir is created by the choreographer Olena Mool. All the teachers of the choir department work for the flourishing and prosperity of the team. In 2009 the choir received the title of Exemplary Children’s Choir.

The repertoire of  “Zabava” is a real palette of music of various genres: from sacred and classical, arrangements of the Ukrainian folk songs, to musicals, musical performances and rock operas. An interesting aspect of the creative work of the choir is singing the modern Ukrainian choral music written by famous composers such as O. Kostin, S. Zheleznyak, O. Polevoi, V. Stepurko, I. Frantseskevych. The choir “Zabava” initiated the creation of a collection of musical works by S. Zheleznyak “Dialogue with the choir” (for junior, senior and mixed choirs), prepared it for publication and illustrated it. “Zabava” regularly participates in church services and performs Christmas services.

The creative potential of the choir “Zabava” is revealed in participation in many grandiose projects e.g. the cooperation with the Odesa Chamber Philharmonic Orchestra (conductor V. Dykyi) in the projects “Cantata Mundi” (music by K. Jenkins), 2011, 2013; cantata “Gloria” (music by A. Vivaldi), 2016; “Rock Hits concert”, 2016. The choir also participated in the project “Magic Organ” (directed by A. Marushko), 2019. The team had a great challenge in the project “Tribute Show of the band “Ocean Elzy” (directed by the conductor M. Kiladze), 2017. The projects with the jazz trio of O. Petukhov (talented jazz pianist, composer, arranger, conductor) – “Jazz talks”, 2016; “Odessa International Jazz Days”, 2017, 2019, supported by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO); “The Beatles in Jazz”, 2020 – are unique for the children’s choir.

“Zabava” has extensive and long experience of participation in the theatrical productions by Georgy Kovtun (National Artist of Tatarstan, Honored Artist of Russia). Rock operas “Romeo and Juliet”, 2001, “Girl and Death”, 2011, “Ariadne”, 2014, musicals ” Vii “, 2005, “Pippi Longstocking”, 2010, 2013 (music by Y. Lapeiko); musical “Konotop witch”, 2018 (music by O. Petukhov) are the result of a persistent work of all members of the team.

The children’s choir “Zabava” gathers halls full of grateful spectators during their concerts both in the native city and abroad. At the personal invitation of the mayor of  Regensburg (Germany) the choir performed in 2001, 2012, 2016. In 2012 the choir performed in Vienna (Austria).

“Zabava” is a winner of many competitions and festivals: “South Palmyra” International Choir Competition (2003, 2007, 2011, 2017), “Golden Orpheus” Ukrainian Choir Competition (2005, 2007, 2009), F. Chaliapin International Vocal and Choral Competition  (2006, 2007, 2012); an owner of the “Golden Diploma” of the International Choral Competition “Artek Stars” (2008); a winner of the 1st and 3rd prizes of the International Choral Competition “Moscow Sounds” (2012),  the International Competition “Golden Voices of Barcelona” (2019). Choir “Zabava” has five “Grand Prix”: the International Competition-Festival “Merry Rainbow” (2004), the Ukrainian Choral Competition “Golden Orpheus” (2011), the International Competition-Festival “Danko” (2011), F. Chaliapin International Vocal and Choral Competition (2012), “A Ruginit Frunza Din Vil” International Competition (2019).

The choir “Zabava” leaves passion for creativity in its pupils’ souls, so many choir graduates have connected their lives with music and art.