York based choir, Prima Vocal Ensemble, took part in the International Choral Festival of Sacred and Passion Music in the beautiful Polish city of Szczecin, along with 30 other European choirs including those from Spain, Norway and Poland. The festival was planned in hybrid form encompassing both in-person and virtual performances, from 26-28 March 2021.
Prima Vocal Ensemble’s choral director, Ewa Salecka explained,
“As the anniversary of the covid Lockdown was approaching I was keen to reach out and engage with other choirs. This festival is a great opportunity to do this, to promote York and the choir and see at first-hand what other singers are doing at this difficult time”
Ewa is keenly aware of the importance and benefits of international involvement and collaboration with others and, since its formation in York in 2010 has taken members of the 100-strong mixed voice choir to festivals and competitions in Italy, Poland, Spain, Hungary and USA, as well as collaborating with international composers including Grammy award winner Christopher Tin and flamenco-jazz composer Eduardo Niebla, choirs such as LA’s Angel City Chorale and Norway’s Neopolis Quartet, and soloists such as Monique Thomas and Russell Watson.
For the Szczecin festival Ewa chose to submit four performances by Prima Vocal Ensemble, two from previous live concerts, one from a past rehearsal recording and one a recording of the wonderfully evocative ‘O Filii et filiae’ by Ivo Antognini which was made last December at St Chad’s Church in York with part of the choir, when socially-distanced in-person singing was possible.
“I think it is critical, during these troubled times, with so much inevitable damage to society and the arts, that we actively maintain ties and friendship with choirs and musicians at home and abroad. International cultural exchange is clearly invaluable in the development of the arts and enriching all our lives albeit, at the moment, largely online.”
York European couldn't agree more.... Well done to all concerned.