10 X edition of the International Festival of East Slavic Carols in Terespol took place on January 22 and 23, 2005. As befits the jubilee, the organizers stood up to the task and prepared a rich setting.
Honorary patronage of the Festival included:
- Aleksander Kwasniewski – President of the Republic of Poland
- Archbishop Sawa Metropolitan of Warsaw and All Poland
- Archbishop Gen. Miron – Orthodox Primate of the Polish Army
- Archbishop Abel – Primate of the Lublin-Chelm Diocese.
- In addition, the invitation was accepted by the several parliamentarians, diplomats from Belarus and Poland, representatives of the Lublin provincial authorities, directors and presidents of many companies and institutions, local governments in southern Podlasie and an increasing number of sponsors.
Immediately after the official opening, HE Archbishop Sawa appeared on the stage, accompanied by the then governor of Jableczna monastery, Archimandrit Jerzy Pankowski. The Council of Bishops of the Polish Autocephalous Orthodox Church, decided to reward the organizers of the Festival for their many years of effort and work for the Orthodox Church and awarded the Order of St. Mary Magdalene III Degree. They received it:
- Protopriest Jarosław Los – rector of the Orthodox parish in Terespol, who, on behalf of the Orthodox Church, directs the work of the Social Committee of the Festival
- Ryszard Korneluk – then director of the Municipal Cultural Centre in Terespol
- Jerzy Horbowiec – animator of the festival and author of monographs and publications, dedicated to Terespol caroling.
HE Metropolitan Sawa said:
Here in Terespol you are doing a good religious and social cause. I hope that the moments spent in this city will be one of us all. Perhaps Jesus Christ will knock on one of us and change our lives. May God bless everyone gathered here and let him enlighten us all, especially those who govern, to direct the country well.
The group of honorees grew that day by another, most outstanding figure, and at the same time the spiritual guardian of the Festival, HE Archbishop Abel – Orthodox Primate of the Lublin-Chelm Diocese. The Minister of Culture and National Heritage awarded the badge of the Distinguished Cultural Activist, which was presented to the Archbishop by Lech Nikolski and Jozef Poterucha, Director of the Lublin Marshal’s Office. The large audience, who on the first day and on Sunday, filled the hall almost to the last place, rewarded with thunderous applause.
Saturday – Day I
The applause was also spared as many as 34 choirs and ceremonial groups, who came to Terespol from different places of our country and from Belarus, Ukraine and for the first time from Germany.
- The many hours of spiritual feast began with a youth choir of high school students from Bielsk Podlaski. The multi-voice mixed choir performed carols with a truly youthful enthusiasm.
- In an exceptionally soulful way of caroling sang the male vocal band of the Orthodox Cathedral of the Transfiguration in Lublin under the direction of Andrzej Boublej, who has been the artistic director of the Festival for several years.` This team sounded so good in the carol repertoire that in the vote of conductors received a Grand Prix and two thousand PLN bonuses. In addition, he left with a commemorative brass statuette symbolizing carolers, cast specifically for the jubilee edition of the Festival and with a diploma and icon.
The statuette, icon and diploma were awarded this time to all artists performing on the festival stage and the most generous sponsors. According to many observers and lovers of choral singing, great progress has been made this time by the village choirs:
- young choir of the Orthodox parish in Kostomloty, where the attention of the listeners attracted 6-year-old Olenka Swiryt
- choir of the Orthodox parish in Slawatycze
- choir of the Orthodox parish in Koden.
Their progress, despite the amateur preparation of the singers, was noticeable.
The choirs sounded great on the first day of the Festival:
- choir of teachers “Fermata” from Lublin
- children’s choir “La Musica” under the direction of Zdzislaw Ohar, who won the audience award and left Terespol with a thousand PLN prize and other gifts given to the participants of the 10th edition.
- male choir “Wiarus” from Miedzyrzec Podlaski.
Although the repertoire of East Slavic carols for many performers was not yet known, they did quite well. I am impressed by the unusual spiritual feast. In Terespol, saturated with multicultural threads, an extraordinary work succeeded. These words were uttered by Istvan Grabowski, a journalist of the “Word of Podlasie”, who reported on the Teresopolian caroling, Mieczysław Lavender, one of the choristers of “Wiarus” from Miedzyrzece. In a similarly commendable tone, in the pages of the aforementioned weekly, Zofia Kowalczuk, head of the folk band “Ziemianki” from Przegalin Wielki: For the third time we perform in Terespol, because we are captivated by the atmosphere of this event and the birth of the Lord Jesus can be praised in Polish and Russian.
- The children’s folk band “Wiesiolka” from Brest, Belarus sang in Russian. Children dressed in folk costumes performed in Terespol with a very limited caroling repertoire. Their vocal or dance performances may have pleased, but with the caroling they have not had much in common.
- In the traditional caroling mood of multicultural borderland, the choir of the Orthodox military parish in Warsaw reintroduced numerous listeners. Mixed, multi-voice, youth choir did a great job with church carols, as did the choir
- “Resonance” from Zamosc, who with the mastery of the caroling repertoire of the Orthodox Church had to cope in just over a month. However, the desire to participate in the Terespol carol was so strong that many hours of rehearsals gave a wonderful effect. Although the choir did not win the award, it could please increasingly fastidious listeners.
- As usual, the expectations of the audience were not disappointed by the choristers from Ukraine. Children’s vocal band “Namysto” from Lviv dressed in folk costumes, presented the eastern school of multi-voice singing.
- It so difficult to reach the level of choral vocals, many times already hosting in Terespol, the choir “Volhynian Bells”. Professionally set female and male voices moved into an otherworldly world, a little tired of many hours of caroling, but happy listeners. You could also listen to forgotten or unknown christmas carols sung in Eastern Galicia.
On the first day you could still listen to christmas carols performed by:
- choir of Educational Institutions in Koden
- orthodox parish choir in Chełm
- team of the Police Headquarters in Bialystok. The performance of the latter, dressed in gala uniforms, heavily disciplined the Terespol audience. It turned out that “the Christmas carol given in uniform tastes better”, and perhaps arouses more respect. Andrzej Boublej, artistic director of the Festival, also noted this in the conclusion of the first day of the 10th edition.
Sunday – Day II
And here is the account of the second day of auditions as part of the 10th International Festival of East Slavic Carols in Terespol.
- The concert was started by a choir of the Roman Catholic parish in Terespol.
- Shortly thereafter, a choir of the Orthodox parish in Horostyce performed.
- Then presented the ceremonial group “On a familiar note” from Zahorow. The ladies of this band performed in folk costumes singing Polish and Ruthenian carols in two voices, as is spoken here in Terespol about the liturgical languages of the Catholic and Orthodox Churches.
- A lot of youthful joy and caroling enthusiasm was brought by the children’s and youth choir “Corda Vox” from Terespol, which is led successfully by Tomasz Jesuit. This is the most numerous choir, performed during this edition. Children from Catholic and mixed families used Eastern Carols very efficiently. An example of this is the very beautiful and moody Carol “Nova radost stala”(“The new joy stood”). During their performance, the choristers also used instruments such as guitar and drums. The colorfully dressed band aroused the recognition of the Terespol audience, who on that day awarded it it’s award.
- With great interest, the Terespol audience listened to German Christmas carols for the first time. This was due to the Scholzel family band: Volker, Matthias, Katleen and Claudia. Guests from Germany presented unknown and unsung Christmas carols of the Germanic culture area, performed this time with the accompaniment of keyboard, trumpet and percussion instruments. This family music band called “Die Original Kronenberg – Musikanten” has been touring in Germany since 1996. It has also performed three times in Poland: in Zgorzelec, Tczew and in Dobre Miasto . After performing in Terespol, they admitted that it was a big spiritual experience for them, and they learned about the festival from the internet. They are very pleased that their dream of performing in Terespol may have come true, especially since the festival already has its reputation and is known for its high level of music.
- In the atmosphere of christmas carols of the Eastern Church of Terespol, the choir “Ichos” from the Bialystok Orthodox Culture Centre was reintroduced. The mixed, multi-voice youth choir sounded beautiful, despite not the best acoustics of the MOK hall.
- Thunderous applause for his performance was also received by the choir of the Orthodox parish in Grodek. Especially thrilling sounded the old and well-known christmas carol “Spi Isusie spi”. In addition to well-mastered vocalism, the girls also did well with percussion instruments and flute, thus fitting in this way during the performance.
- The show of proper work with young people was given by the choir of the music school from Rivne in Ukraine. Children dressed in folk costumes and properly arranged by voice coped perfectly with each Christmas carol. Their performance is not only singing, but also full caroling with elements of wishes addressed to the audience. It is such natural old spoken texts, concerning Christmas, that are still not enough during the Terespol caroling.
- Zdzisław Marczuk, a well-known folk music performer and teacher of many generations of rural children, can not complain about the lack of musical talents, including the Golden Tower at the Festival of Bands and Folk Singers in Kazimierz. This time he performed with a group of young people from Zakalinek in the municipality of Konstantynow. The Carols of the Eastern and Western Churches sounded particularly beautiful with the accompaniment of the violin.
- Without any musical instruments, with a rich caroling repertoire, the choir of the Brotherhood of Orthodox Youth in Biala Podlaska did quite well.
- Very well came out catholic mixed choir from Garwolin – Warszowice. The combined choirs of these two villages were very well positioned by voice and dealt with the repertoire of Orthodox Carols and the Old Orthodox-Slavic language.
- He had no problem performing christmas carols of the Orthodox Church folk ensemble “Prymaki” from Grodek in Bialystok region. Dressed in folk belarusian costumes and speaking the language of our eastern neighbor, the 7-person team, aroused a volley of applause from the audience after each carol. Led by Jerzy Ostapczuk, the choristers were had no equal that day. They won the Grand prix, awarded by conductors of all choirs and groups performing on the second day on the Terespol stage. In this way, they deservedly enriched themselves with another trophy.
At an equally high level of music presented the other artists of the X edition:
- mixed multi-voice choir of the Technical University of Bialystok, which delighted with beautifully arranged voices and beauty of choristers
- the male choir of the Warsaw seminary, which captivated the audience with a rarely seen spirituality in the performers.
The finale of the 10th edition of the Festival was indeed impressive. On the Terespol stage it appeared in uniform, representative artistic team of the Polish Army under the direction of Piotr Racewicz. The thirty-person professional male choir performed a dozen carols of both Churches, arousing admiration. The choir performing outside the competition was the undisputed star of the jubilee edition.
Despite the late January evening and the fatigue of participating in the carol for hours: those in the audience, in the backrooms, as well as a multitude of more than 900 performers felt that here in Terespol a big thing, unheard of elsewhere. That there is a true reconciliation of people with the Newborn Son of God
Archbishop Abel – Primate of the Lublin -Chelm Orthodox Diocese in the summary of the 10th edition stated m:
Orthodox Carols are a manifestation of the pulsating of religious life. As a song of praise, they express the joy of the faithful for their graces and divine benefactors. It is particularly pleasing that the Terespol caroling encourages Orthodox youth to seek out old, often forgotten carols and sorrels, so beautiful in the malorussian pronunciation.
The Terespol caroling was noticed by many audiences not always spiritually connected with the Orthodox Church. Jan Turski, then Secretary of State at the Office for Veterans and Repressed Persons, wrote in a letter addressed to Ryszard Korneluk of the then Chairman of the Social Committee:
Festival concerts are nurtured by the traditions of East Slavic Carols in Podlasie, and festival meetings are a special occasion for the presentation of the multicultural and multi-faith community of Central and Eastern Europe…
Terespol’s caroling was reported quite extensively by the media: radio, television and the press, including regional and local: Word of Podlasie, Eastern Journal, Gosciniec Bialski and Terespolski Goniec. Editor Marek Pietrzela from the Eastern Journal wrote:
This event has already gained due prominence not only in our country, but also outside its borders. In addition to the International Festival of Orthodox Music, “Hajnowka” became one of the largest cultural events in Poland related to Orthodox culture. It is also an ecumenical event. In addition to bands from Orthodox parishes and other centres, there are also Catholic choirs and groups representing secular cultural institutions, universities and music schools.
In turn, Jerzy Domanski, editor-in-chief of the weekly Review wrote:
For ten years, Terespol became the heart of Slavic carols, proving that church music is simply needed. Although the notes around the world are the same, the emotions provided by the music in Terespol are unique – worth not only listening but also describing…
As well as many weeks of commenting, discussing and promoting Terespol caroling also in the virtual, online world. The next edition already and, would say, only in a year.
- HE Archbishop Abel Primate of the Lublin-Chelm Orthodox Diocese
- Ministry of Culture and National Heritage
- Agricultural Real Estate Agency in Lublin
- Polkomtel S.A.
- Petrolot Warsaw
- Association for the Promotion of Amateur Creativity of the Air Force
- The Food and Veterinary Office of the European Food Safety Authority Veterans and Repressed Persons
- Marshal’s Office in Lublin
- Department of Education and Defence of the Ministry of Defence
- District Office in Biała Podlaska
- Anna and Micholaj Daniluk
- Terespol City Hall
- Terespol Municipal Office
- Koden Municipal Office
- Piszczac Municipal Office
- Zalesie Municipal Office
- Mayor of Slawatycze Municipality
- Cooperative Dairy “Spomlek” in Radzyn Podlaski
- Chotylow Forest District
- A Plus 1 Andrzej Krzeski from Warsaw
- “Transgaz” in Zalesie
- Lew-Pol Jaroslaw Lewkowicz from Biala Podlaska
- Cooperative Bank in Terespol
- “Taxa” Ltd . .
- Janusz Jencz from Malaszewicze
- PHP “Arspol” Wieslaw Arseniuk from Biala Podlaska
- Antoni Sacharuk’s Orchard Farm in Malowa Gora
- Polish Economic Consortium in Warsaw
- PHU “Alchem” Alina Lynx in Terespol
- “Auto School” Julian Wasil
- “Naftan” Ltd . . in Solksz – Oria
- Stefan Durlej’s Notary Office in Terespol
- PHU “Agrostop” in Malaszewicze
- prot. Ryszard Andruszczak – abbot of the Roman Catholic parish in Terespol
- Barbara Osypiuk Pharmacy in Terespol
- PHU “Centrum” by Ryszard Osypiuk in Terespol
- PGK and M in Terespol
- “Avena” of the Kaluzynski from Koden
- SGS Ltd . . from Warsaw
- Krystyna and Zbigniew Banach
- Public Schools Team No. 1 in Terespol
- General Schools Team No. 1 in Terespol
- The Team of Schools of Władyslaw Stanislaw Reymont in Malaszewicze
- Municipal Bridge Road Service in Terespol
- “Dolina Lak” in Malaszewicze