Shchedryk Fest is our history.
The history reveals that in distant 1904-1908 Mykola Leontovych lived in the settlement Grishino (now Pokrovsk), where he worked at the railway school, taught music and singing, and created the first working choir of railway workers in Ukraine. Here he wrote one of the arrangements of ‘Shchedryk’. Today there are a lot of places in Pokrovsk to remind on Mykola Leontovich, such as children’s music school named after M.Leontovych, a sculptural composition in honor of the composer and the first stone of the future museum ‘Shchedryk’.
The history reveals that Dmytro Leontovych (father of Mykola Leontovych) presented his son a carved wooden vase for rusks made by himself. The father made small picture of a little swallow (shchedryk) on a vase that is a symbol of awakening and new life. Today the vase is carefully preserved in Pokrovsk Historical Museum, and the author’s image of a bird (shchedryk) is represented on the emblem of the All-Ukrainian Choral Contest ‘Shchedryk Fest’.
The history reveals that 100 years ago the Ukrainian People’s Republic fought for state independence and international recognition, and for this purpose mobilized a new ‘cultural army’ – the Ukrainian National Chorus (Capella) leaded by Olexandr Koshyts. In 1919-1924, the Chorus made an unprecedented world tour through Czechoslovakia, Austria, Switzerland, France, England, Belgium, the Netherlands, Germany, Spain, Poland, USA, Canada, Mexico, Brazil, Argentina, Uruguay, Cuba, Trinidad and Tobago. About 1000 concerts in 18 countries of the world. And every time the Chorus performed ‘Shchedryk’, raising ovation of thousands of spactators. This was the first project of cultural diplomacy in the history of modern Ukraine. Today Ukraine faces the question of preserving independence and international recognition again. Therefore, the choir-winner of the All-Ukrainian Choir Contest ‘Shchedryk Fest’ will become a new agent of the cultural diplomacy of Ukraine and will make a world concert tour along the Chorus route, as it was 100 years ago.
The tour aims not only to popularize Shchedryk’s history, but also to promote Ukrainian economic interests under support of cultural diplomacy. A presentation program of the tour is being developed with the help of industry and entrepreneur representatives of Ukraine. The program includes promotion of Ukrainian brands and goods on the world market, search for international partners to attract investments into Ukrainian economy and restoration of infrastructure, creation of new working capacities for the population living in Donbass (territories controlled by Ukraine), and after the establishment of peace – on the territory of the entire Donetsk region.
Shchedryk Fest is our identity.
Choirs from all over Ukraine are invited to participate in the Contest. These are dozens of collectives, hundreds of singers of all ages. These are the most talented Ukrainian conductors. Highly-honored international Jury. Ukrainian and European choral associations, state institutions, patronage entrepreneurs, media representatives. Powerful Organizing Committee. Broad audience. Shchedryk Fest will bring together all these people to say by means of music that we are Ukrainians – strong singing nation with rich culture, generous soul, open heart and aim to live in peace.
Shchedryk Fest is our future.
There is no future without the past. Respectful attitude towards our history and creation of significant events today will build up the way of our nation to future. One day Shchedryk Fest will also become a history. That will mean that we managed to show our children a worthy example of respectful attitude and love towards our Ukraine, our song, our Shchedryk.