The group was established in 1999. Its leader Tetyana Sherstiuk is a talented creative person, a musician and a teacher of high professional level, the winner of the Pride of Balakliyshchyna contest, a person who has been in love with Ukraine and Ukrainian song since she was a child. A graduate of B.M Lyatoshynsky Kharkiv Music School and I.P Kotlyarevsky Kharkiv National Univeristy of Art returned to her native Balakliya Music School as a teacher of solfeggio. As a result, the love for folk songs combined with professional education bore fruit. Thus, a group of Ukrainian folk song fans «Slobozhanski Malyata» was formed, which was later renamed to the folk songs group «Vesela Sloboda», and began working at the district Cultural Centre. Students of the music school folk singing class eventually joined the main. Groups like «Soloveyki», «Spivanochka», «Kraplinky», «Lelechenky» are companions of the youth group and are part of a large singing family. In 2005, the gropu was awarded the honorary title of «Folk Amateur Group».
The repertoire of «Vesela Sloboda» consists mainly of Ukrainian folk songs adaptations, created by the leader of the group – teacher-methodologist Tetyana Sherstyuk. They have a rich harmony, combining features of different genres and styles. Over the years, the band has made a significant contribution to the development of folk song culture of Balakliya. Young amateurs also recreate folk rites, adopting their features from the guardians of the folk art.
The folk group «Vesela Sloboda» is an indispensable participant in all folklore festivals and cultural events taking place in the area. The high professionalism of the ensemble is evidenced by numerous victories at competitions and festivals of international and national levels both in Ukraine and abroad, including: Grand Prix F.I Shalyapin International Festival of Choral Music (Yalta), International Festival-Competition «Golden Note» (Dnipro), All-Ukrainian Festival-Competition «Peasant Stars» (Genichesk), All-Ukrainian Festival-Competition of Folk Art at the Sorochyn Fair. These are also high titles of winners of international festivals-competitions «Our Land – Ukraine» (ICC «Artek»), «Kolyada» (Rivne), «Na Ivana, na Kupala» (Dubichi Tserkovni, Poland), «Spevachek» (Velke Loziny, Czech Republic), «Silver Voice» (Moscow, Russia), «Hotmyzh Autumn» (Belgorod, Russia), «Flowers of Ukraine» and «North Star» (Tallinn, Estonia), «White Lily» (Cahul, Moldova), A.P Mistyukova festival-competition of folk art (Lipetsk, Russia), «Song Land» (Poltava), «Colorful Wreath» (Dnipro), «Crimean World: Constellations» (Simferopol), all-Ukrainian festivals. competitions «Pervotsvit – Nadiya» (Kyiv), «Rodoslavchyk» (Ivano-Frankivsk), «Slobozhansky Spas» (Svatove, Luhansk region), «Voice Bells» (Mariupol), «Flowers of Zymcerly» (Kharkiv), festival-competition in memory of Oksana Petrusenko (Balakliya) and others.
Numerous performances of the ensemble and its soloists are broadcasted on the district and regional radio and television aimed at popularizing of Ukrainian folk songs. Videos of «Vesela Sloboda» songs can also be seen on the Internet.
The band consists of many talented soloists who are winners of international and national competitions. For some of them, classes in the group gave a ticket to professional music and a solid base for admission to higher educational institutions of art.
Young amateurs honor the memory of the «Ukrainian nightingale» – a prominent fellow countrywoman, National Artist of Ukraine Oksana Petrusenko and immortalize her image with their work, increasing the glory of the native land of Balakliya.
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