3rd Polish Doctors' Choirs Festival

3rd Polish Doctors' Choirs Festival

 The strength of the third edition of the Polish Doctors' Choirs Festival surprised everyone, starting from the participants, through the organizers, and ending with the singing audience and the Festival certainly can be called a great success. 'We are the power,' said Dr Jarosław Wanecki, announcing the last part of the Final Concert, in which the Poznan Doctors Chamber Orchestra  and the Warsaw Medical University Students' Orchestra joined the choirs of the festival, creating a band of two hundred and sixty members. The performance of the song "Boze cos Polske", which finished the Festival, dissolved into a beautiful basilica of Trzemeszno, filling each corner with  dignified sound, supported by the audience’s  sincere voice, full of indescribable emotions.

Preparations for the Festival began in March 2017. At that time, ten medical choirs from Olsztyn, Szczecin, Warsaw, Katowice, Opole, Lublin, Bydgoszcz, Bialystok and Poznan (the Festival host) were invited to participate, as well as the newly organised young choir of Gdansk. We had also been able to find a doctor's choir abroad, 'Rodina', f
ounded at the Bulgarian Ministry of Health Care in Sofia.
The Bulgarians, who thought, that  they were the only medical choir in the world, accepted the invitation with great enthusiasm and joy.

 The workshop is a characteristic part of each edition of the Festival, because doctors are ambitious singers, who are always ready to expand their musical knowledge and skills (reflected in the noticeably increasing musical level of each edition of the Festival). Due to the significant date of the Independence Day, the theme of the lectures was 'National Polish Dances in Choral Music', which we later learned in practice during the practical part of the workshop. We invited an outstanding choirmaster, a wonderful musician and a fantastic man Prof. Marcin Tomczak from the Music Academy in Gdansk to make a lecture and lead the training part.

Choirs could be heard in a slightly longer program during Festival Concerts on Thursday 9.11.2017 in the Cathedral of Gniezno and on Friday 10.11.2017 at the A. Fredro Theater in Gniezno. We particularly remembered the Friday performance of our Special Guest, the Bulgarian Choir 'Rodina, who conquered the hearts of the audience, reacting
spontaneously with singing along, cheers and loud applause in the Gniezno theater (which was creacking in the seams). The Polish-Bulgarian emotions reached the zenith, when the soloist Velislav Velev sang during the Saturday Final Concert with his magnificent baritone “God bless” for the “International Doctors’ Choirs Festival" and the Polish-Bulgarian friendship.

The Saturday Festival Concert was unusual for many reasons. On the one hand a beautiful, over 1000 years old basilica in Trzemeszno, a pearl on the Piast Route with preserved Romanesque and Gothic elements, though astonishing with baroque artistry inside. On the other hand, two hundred and twenty singers - doctors, for whom a special stage had to be built for the final concert. A whole range of colorful costumes, a rich repertoire of Polish and foreign songs, sacred and patriotic songs, ancient and contemporary, performed solo and ensemble, and finally a full symphony orchestra, which played the famous Polonaise from the movie “Pan Tadeusz” under the baton of Professor Marcin Tomczak. The warm and charming 'Ave Verum' of Mozart filled the basilica and finally the Festival was finished by a pathetic performance of the Polish song "Boze cos Polske", sung by every living soul in the church. During the whole concert the music was underlined by fantastic light effects, lighting up the interior of the church, changing according to the music and highlighting the mood and featuring beautiful sculptures, the choir and the dome of the building.

To me personally it was a very special experience, because I come from Trzemeszno. I am glad, that I have managed to organize the Festival right here and to pay attention to the beautiful cultural heritage, that we here take care of. I sincerely thank all the people involved in the organization of the Final Concert for kindness, benevolence and selflessness, and my special thanks go to Rector Piotr Kotowski for his hospitality and to my wonderful Parents for the great support.

Justyna Chełmińska