ІX International vocal and choral contest-festival “Let a Song Gather Friends” took place in Chernivtsi in April 2018 for the first time. The purpose of this musical forum was the popularization of vocal choral singing.
For eight years the youth forum has been held in Luhansk region at Taras Shevchenko Luhansk National University. However, due to the forced evacuation of the university at that time, the contest-festival ceased to exist. The festival was revived as part of the “East + West = Peace” project.
The founder of the contest and ideological inspirer is Olha Churikova-Kushnir, the associate professor at Yuriy Fedkovych Chernivtsi National University. The forum immediately has become popular among supporters of vocal-choral art, famous performers, musicologists and representatives of Chernivtsi cultural community.
About 800 participants took part in the festival last year. There were both collectives and solo performers. The members of the jury were prominent figures in the musical arts of Ukraine and foreign countries such as Austria, Italy, Romania, Moldova and China.
The unique musical project brought together outstanding professional and amateur choral and vocal groups, as well as vocalists from all over the country at Yuriy Fedkovych Chernivtsi National University and the concert halls of the city.
The contest-festival presented the audience with vivid emotions from performing vocal choral singing, giving participants the opportunity to share creative achievements and to get to know each other better. Within the framework of the event there were concerts of participants with a free program at various concert venues of the city and Chernivtsi National University. Performers had the opportunity to communicate with famous singers, composers, conductors, improving their professional level.
Since 2019, the Contest-Festival is under the patronage of the Ukrainian National Commission for UNESCO. Since that time the historical city of Chernivtsi has gained a new status – the capital of vocal and choral art.
Yuriy Fedkovych Chernivtsi National University is a precious amalgam of a generous and luxurious wreath of art. It is situated in ‘little Vienne’, where the streets used to be swept with bunches of roses, and where the Viennese Waltz by Strauss sounded majestically in a magnificent constellation of famous musicians’ performances including Franz Liszt.
It is a pleasure for me that Luhansk Taras Shevchenko National University entrusts us with its incredible creation – the contest festival. It will take place in the capital of Ukrainian songs – Chernivtsi, in particular, in the pearl of the city that is Yuriy Fedkovych Chernivtsi National University.
I am sure, that Luhansk Forum in Bukovyna will be in safe keeping.
Yuriy Fedkovych Chernivtsi National University will guard this unique piece of art on Dominic Mountain, where it is situated; will value the piece of art that was donated from Luhansk region. We open the university gates for the good, tolerance and songs as symbols of our national union!
Rector of Yuriy Fedkovych Chernivtsi National University,
prof. Stepan Melnychuk
Dear friends! We live in a world with a mix of tunes and melodies that sound in a single entity. People of Ukraine have a unique and delicateperception of rhythms so they managed to create more than three hundred thousand folk songs known and approved around the world.
Our songs along with different motives (whether it is with passionate Carpathian rhythms or with restless intonations of the Crimean Tatars) go beyond the borders as they have the vivacious spirit of Ukraine.
I am really pleased to note that the international competition-festival “Hai pisnya sklykae druziv” (“Let the song unite all friends”) which was first initiated in Luhansk 10 years ago is going to continue its work in Chernivtsi, on the melodious land of Bukovyna.
And this is no accident, because the world-known and unsurpassed composers and singers as Joseph Schmidt, Dmytro Hnatyuk, Volodymyr Ivasyuk and Nazariy Yaremchuk come exactly from Bukovyna.
The competition-festival “Hai pisnya sklykae druziv” is held in the framework of the International project “East+West=Peace” and now it is launched in Chernivtsi.
I reckon that it will become a peculiar platform for annual meetings putting together not only artists but also businessmen, diplomats and politicians – not because of their posts but because of their love to music in the name of peace and prosperity of independent Ukraine.
With all my heart I warmly welcome every participant of the festival to one of the oldest classical universities of Ukraine, to a real gem of architecture – Yurii Fedkovych Chernivtsi National University. You will have a great opportunity to exchange ideas and experience, to meet new personalities and prove that Art is a universal language and important tool for a soft power conception’s implementation, intercultural dialogue, and public and cultural diplomacy.
Vice Rector of Yurii Fedkovych Chernivtsi National University,
Prof. Tamara Marusyk