9 IX edition of the festival, which was organized on 24th and 25th January, gathered a record number of performers. 28 choirs and carol bands from Poland, Belarus and Ukraine came to Terespol. On the last weekend of January, as Istvan Grabowski noted, reporting on the festival for the ” Word of Podlasie”, in addition to 28 bands, Terespol was joined by a lot of Orthodox and Catholic faithful. A huge sports hall was filled to the brim. The excellent guests headed by Archbishop Able – Primate of the Lublin-Chelm Diocese, Bishop Miron – Orthodox Primate of the Polish Army, Minister Lech Nikolski, Paweł Latuszka – ambassador of the Republic of Belarus in Poland and consul of this country in Biala Podlaska Igor Sekreta also added.
HE Archbishop Abel, opening a two-day caroling in Terespol, stated:
The traditions associated with Christmas are of a special nature, they are close to the heart of each of us. At the same time, they have been extremely rich in the past. After all, there are hundreds or even thousands of Carols sung in churches. The difficult events of the past century have also caused the traditions of caroling to be impoverished. The aim of the festival is to preserve these traditions, and where possible, even their rebirth. Another goal was and is to encourage the parish choirs of the Lublin-Chelm Orthodox Diocese to raise its artistic level, as well as to be able to present achievements not only in its own orthodox church, but also in front of a wider forum. […] It also provides an opportunity to exchange experiences, learn new songs ,, looked at” in other choirs. Carol choirs competitions and festivals also featured Catholic and secular choirs. For these bands, the festival is an incentive to take an interest in the Podlasie cultural tradition, reaching for the memory of grandparents or great-grandparents who still remember christmas carols, formerly widely performed in Podlasie, today, unfortunately, often forgotten. […]
I am pleased that the festival has developed so significantly in these few years – from the local review of carol choirs to the international festival widely known outside our region. I feel great satisfaction when from the territory of Podlasie come bands that bring forgotten and unknown Christmas carols, formerly sung in their villages. In this way, the festival helped to remind the famous pages of the cultural tradition of our region and saved from oblivion the beautiful Christmas carols.
The host of the festival, The Mayor of Terespol Zbigniew Banach noted in a welcome speech that it was the perfect finale of the week of prayers for the unity of Christians.
- As if to confirm his words, with carols and prayer appeared on the stage the choir of the Orthodox clergy of the Lublin-Chelm Diocese under the direction of Andrzej Boublej. The black outfits of the performers and perfectly voice-lined priests introduced the audience to a specific mood of prayer and caroling. Burning thin candles, fragrant sprucetrees from the forest district of Krasa, written with paints by a self-made woman from Bielsk Podlaski, the icon and the fabric draped by Danuta Izdebska creates an unforgettable and stimulating set design.
- Soon after, a four-person harmonica band called “Echo”, representing the municipal cultural center in Drelow, appeared on the stage. “I’m alive,” Said Tadeusz Sojka, the band’s manager in a swashbuckling hat, after the performance. As they come down in four it will play everything, Polesia Czar on municipal reunions, cankana at the wedding, Barca for the Pope and Tichaja nocz for Archbishop Abel. Catholic and organist in the church has no trouble that he carols in Terespol in East Slavic. The notes all over the world are the same, God too. He shrugs himself over the Eastern Carol, although he admits that he doesn’t understand everything: The speeches were learned in the band by heart, especially for the performance. Fervently, a few evenings sat above the notebooks. And since the language is similar, you can recognize individual words and adjust the game to your mood.
- In a similar mood, they recalled their performance “Ziemianki” from Przegalin Duzy representing the municipal cultural center in Komarowka Podlaska. Ladies in Lublin folk costumes and red corals do not know what in these eastern carols is, that the tear turns in the eye. Singing “po ichniemu” taught them before the festival an old woman from Terespol.
- In a special way, girls from Horostyta were preparing for the performance in Terespol. To stand out among other groups, they decided to perform in angelic costumes. Much early they had to carol around the area to buy gold chains for angelic cardboard wings. On the day of the performance, their parents brought to Terespol, a whole set of actors. They drove more than 100 km to sing for Archbishop Abel. To see that they are, there are that:
Since the young rector Tomasz Lotysz came to the parish two months ago with his wife “matuszka” Agnieszka, we have nowhere to go, something has moved in the village. It’s nothing that we sang for one voice later this year. Next year for the decade of the festival, His Eminence will see how we will split into tons, how we will hum ,, Mnogaja leta”. It is important that the bishop does not forget.
- On the first day, orthodox choirs from Bialystok and folk bands cultivating Belarusian folk traditions were delighted with the singing. The audience filling the sports hall to the brim with thunderous applause rewarded on Saturday:
– “Ramonka” band from the Narwia cultural centre,
– two choirs: children’s-youth and central of Orthodox parish from Grudek,
– “Ichos” from Bialystok.
- The bands from Lublin performed perfectly:
– Choir of the Orthodox Cathedral of Transfiguration in Lublin under the direction of Andrzej Boublej,
– Choir of the Orthodox Parish in Zablocie,
– the newly created choir of the Orthodox Parish of St. Serafim of Sarow in Kostomloty,
– teachers’ choir of the city of Lublin ,,Fermata”. Vincent Kulisz, one of the choristers of this band, was very impressed:
I’ve heard a lot about this festival, but I haven’t had the opportunity to visit it before. What I heard, exceeded my wildest expectations. It is difficult to find an event today, bringing together so many groups with an equally varied program.
- The finale was surrounded by beautifully arranged voices of choristers from abroad:
– Children’s Ensemble “Namysto” from the Karol Chodkiewicz Municipal Palace of Culture in Lviv
– extremely colorful literally and figuratively band “Wytinanka” from Stolin in Belarus.
The audience decided who wan the award according to the rules. This time, the young choir of the newly established Orthodox parish in Kostomloty under the direction of Jan Podoluk received the most votes. The choir received a cash prize of 1,000 PLN from Archbishop Abel, a beautiful icon performed in Piotr Adamczyk’s Art Crafts Studio and a commemorative diploma. The icon and diploma was awarded to each of the performers.
On the second day of the festival, as on Saturday, Catholic and Orthodox choirs sang. On Sunday early afternoon, caroling began with the choir of the Roman Catholic parish of the Holy Trinity Church. in Terespol. The choir performed outside the review, as it did not sing in accordance with the rules of at least two East Slavic carols.
- Other Catholic groups: “Corda Vox” from Terespol under the direction of Thomas Jesuit,
- a band of Roman Catholic parishes of St. John the Baptist church in Warszowice
- a group of educational institutions in Koden met the regulations.
- The small parish choirs from the Lublin-Chelm Diocese performed quite well at this review:
– the young choir from the parish in Slawatycze, reactivated two years ago, is getting better
– the authenticity and simplicity of singing was put by the choir of the Orthodox parish in Koden.
- He amused the thoughtful staging of the folk band “Wiesiolka” from the palace of railwaymen’s culture in Brest. Their colorful outfits and props aroused the sincere admiration of the numerous audience.
- As on Saturday, the class for themselves were Orthodox choirs from the north-eastern outskirts of our country. Multi-voice, numerous and well-set bands from Bialystok, Bielsk Podlaski or Narwia gave a show of amateur vocals, but of a very high level.
- There was a complete silence in the hall when the first tons of Christmas carols were heard in the performance of the excellent choir of the Orthodox parish of St. Nicholaus in Brest under the direction of Iraida Ivanchenkov. A magnificent four-voice choir, so poignantly singing, that it was possible for many moments to move into a completely different, otherworldly world and experience an authentic spiritual feast. The same was true during the performance of the children’s and youth choir of the parish at the Monastery in Suprasl. The vocal performances of the youngest four- and five-year-old children charmed all.
- The finale was a show of the excellent chamber Choir of the Volhynian Land “Volhynian Bells” from Lutsk, Ukraine under the direction of Marija Wyslocka-Fedosiuk. Carols in their performance: Radost man sia jawila, Ziemlu Judiejsku, Spi Iisusie, Szczedrik and A w Jerusalimi, hummed many hours after the performance, tuned the audience to the prayer and beauty of the podlaska Carols. This is hardly surprising, however, since the choir, which has been in place for 7 years, has already been successful in demanding Ukraine. They are the winners of the 1st, 2nd and 3rd places at the Ukrainian Festival of Orthodox Choirs “Hlas Peczerskij” in Kiev. It is the most important in Ukraine and one of the most important festivals in the world in the field of Orthodox singing. Despite their fantastic performance, they did not get an audience award. This time, thanks to the voices of viewers from Terespol and the surrounding awards: a cash prize of PLN 1,000 and a beautiful icon got to the hosts, the choir “Corda Vox”.
Not awards and distinctions are the most important here, but as Archbishop Abel acknowledged:
Striving to preserve this cultural tradition, which has been cultivated by the faithful of the Orthodox Church in Podlasie and Chelmszczyna for many centuries. The traditions associated with Christmas are of a special nature, they are close to the heart of each of us. At the same time, they have been extremely rich in the past. After all, there are hundreds or even thousands of Carols sung in churches. The difficult events of the past century have also caused the traditions of caroling to be impoverished. The aim of the festival is to preserve these traditions, and where possible, even their rebirth.
Another goal was and is to encourage the parish choirs of the Lublin-Chelm Orthodox Diocese to raise its artistic level, as well as to be able to present achievements not only in its own orthodox church, but also in front of a wider forum, which is a great and positive challenge. It also provides an opportunity to exchange experiences, learn new works “looked at” in other choirs. The carol choirs and festivals also featured Catholic and secular choirs, such as those operating at houses of culture. For these bands, the festival is an incentive to take an interest in Podlasie cultural tradition, reaching for the memory of grandparents or great-grandparents, who still remember christmas carols, formerly widely performed in Podlasie, today, unfortunately, often forgotten.
Archbishop Abel asked on the summary of the ninth edition for comment on the choice of the festival venue so bloomed the choice of Terespol:
After all, this city is the gateway between East and West. Next to it is the Polish-Belarusian border. Thousands of people are swept through Terespol, and Terespol and its surroundings are an area of encounter between western and eastern Slavic. East Slavic culture has been present here for centuries. Even today you can hear both conversations in Polish, Ukrainian, Belarusian and mixed language in the villages. Here people still sing songs, also Christmas carols, in the language of their ancestors.
Archbishop Abel asked to present his own feelings related to the festival told.:
I am pleased that the festival has developed so significantly in these few years – from the local review of carol choirs to the international festival widely known outside our region. The groups are constantly expanding their repertoire. I feel great satisfaction when from the territory of Podlasie come bands that bring forgotten and unknown Christmas carols, formerly sung in their villages. In this way, the festival helped to remind the famous pages of the cultural tradition of our region and saved from oblivion the beautiful Christmas carols.
- HE Archbishop Abel Primate of the Lublin-Chelm Orthodox Diocese
- Minister of Culture and National Heritage
- Ministry of Defence
- Air Force and Air Defence Command
- Land Council in Biala Podlaska
- . pr. Ryszard Andruszczak – abbot of the Roman Catholic parish of Holy Trinity in Terespol
- Terespol City Hall
- Municipality office in Terespol
- Koden Municipal Office
- Municipal Office in Piszczac
- Association for the Development of the Municipality in Terespol
- GSM Plus
- Cooperative Bank in Terespol
- Municipal and Residential Economy Company ltd. . In Terespol
- Chotylow Forest District
- PPUH “Awena” in Koden
- PPH Biala Podlaska
- Association for the Promotion of Amateur Air Force Creativity and Air Defense
- “Taxa” Ltd . in Malaszewicze
- “Concret” Distributor of Heating Oils in Biala Podlaska
- SGS Poland ltd. . in Malaszewicze
- Auto School – Julian Wasil in Terespol
- Notary Office – Stefan Durlej in Terespol
- Maria Krzeska from Warsaw
- Krystyna and Zbigniew Banach
- Barbara and Ryszard Osypiuk from Terespol
- PKP Cargo in Malaszewicze
- ABA “Cuprum” Studio of Artistic Crafts by Piotr Adamczyk
- “Pronar” Narew
- “Wostin” by Stanislawa and Stanisław Filipek from Woskrzenice
- School Team No. 1 in Terespol
- School Team No. 2 in Terespol
- Municipal Cooperative “Samopomoc chlopska” in Terespol
- Road and Bridge Service in Terespol
- Bank PKO BP in Terespol
- Meat Plants “Dolina lak” in Malaszewicze
- Masarsko – Wedliniarski – Zdzisław Klebaniuk plant in Terespol
- Polish Economic Consortium Koroszczyn