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SPIEVY z-pad mosta: a concert at the church

The Belarusian women's choir performing live with a church organ and a saxophone in the Church of St. Alexander, Warsaw. Check out the video!

Photos by: Pasha Kritchko

Чытаць па-беларуску

It was a joint concert of the SPIEVY z-pad mosta women's choir together with composer Volha Padhajskaja, who played the organ during the concert, and saxophonist Vitaly Appow. The event was held in the Warsaw Church of St. Alexander, which certainly added the vibe to the show.

We asked the head of the choir, Rusia Šukiurava, and one of the participants, Poliakowa Carolina, to share their own impressions of the event, as well as tell us how this event became possible. Check out the recording of the event on SPIEVY z-pad mosta's YouTube channel, accompanied by a magnificent video shooted by Tanya Kapitonova and edited by Dziyana Ratkevich.

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- How did this collaboration become possible?

Rusia: It all started with myself and Nadzia (ex-Shuma group member. - editor's note) wanting to do a concert with a church organ. We chose the songs, we talked about it with Volha Padhajskaja, but then 2020 put a stop to our plans. Eventually, we met up here in Warsaw and carried out what we had once planned.

Carolina: A Belarusian priest, father Barok, serves at the Church of St. Alexander, where our event took place. He organizes various concerts for the Belarusian community there. Volha Padhajskaja also lent a hand in making this happen. She contacted us asking to show our repertoire. And in a month she had arrangements ready for our vocal parts.


– What was the prep process for this show?

Rusia: I was very surprised how quickly we, non-professional singers, prepared such a concert. This once again showed how strong and motivated the female community is. Despite each of us having their own private lives, jobs, depressions and apathies we still rehearsed almost daily. This, of course, has borne fruit.

Carolina: We, as a choir, had to prepare and rearrange the songs into a four-bar format, since usually folk singing has a free rhythm and is difficult to transcribe to musical notation. It was a big test for us. But it turned out great, especially since this fusion of religious and folk themes originally existed in the Belarusian traditional songs.

Volha Padhajskaja, in addition to arranging and performing the music for the entire program, also directed us on stage, the movements, when we enter and when we sing from different levels.

As for the music video, we made it using videos shot by the audience, and a general plan that we set up to have this event documented. We asked our audience to share their videos after the event, and we are very grateful to those who did.


By the way, now you can also arrange the choir's singing with your own music. They recently released a sample pack of acapellas that you can freely use in your productions. All they ask is to tag SPIEVY in the releases and send them links to the tracks you made using the samples.

<center style="color:white;">Photos by Pasha Kritchko</center>
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