GRODNO, 20 February (BelTA) – Choirs from eight countries are taking part in the 18th edition of the festival of Orthodox songs Kolozhsky Blagovest, director of the festival Natalia Gaplinchik told BelTA.
The festival has been growing in popularity. “The last two years have seen a record high number of applicants. We are happy to acknowledge this fact which emphasizes the importance of the festival in the world of Orthodox singing art,” Natalia Gaplinchik said.
The participants went through a stringent selection process. All in all, the competitive program will feature more than 40 groups from Belarus, Russia, Ukraine, Poland, Serbia, Romania, Latvia and Lithuania.
“We are happy to see men's choirs on this year's line-up as they are not many today. A male parish choir is a unique thing. The festival will feature two such teams this year,” Natalia Gaplinchik added. There are many youth and children's choirs among the contestants.
The festival kicks off today with an opening concert of the Shirma State Academic Chapel Choir in Grodno Regional Drama Theater. Auditions will be held at the Cathedral of the Patronage of the Mother of God on 21-22 February. A gala concert and an awards ceremony are scheduled for 23 February.
The program of the festival traditionally includes film screenings, thematic exhibitions, poetry and bard songs evenings. An excursion program has been prepared for the guests.
The first edition of the festival was held in 2002 and was timed to the 10th anniversary of the restoration of the Grodno Eparchy. In 2011, Kolozhsky Blagovest got an international status from the Belarusian Culture Ministry. The festival is organized by the Orthodox Eparchy of Grodno in cooperation with the main directorate for ideology, culture, and youth affairs of the Grodno Oblast Executive Committee.More about Society