Following their success in gaining a bronze award with a virtual performance in the choral competition in Szczecin, Poland, in March, as reported earlier in York European, some of 70-strong Prima Vocal Ensemble are thrilled now to be able to rehearse in-person.
The choir, under the indefatigable leadership of Ewa Salecka, has a wonderful repertoire including works by European composers such as Mendelssohn, Faure and the more modern Swiss Ivo Antognini, and folk songs from England, Scotland and Wales.
Choir members are hugely appreciative of Ewa’s efforts. One recently wrote “I just wanted to say how amazingly fantastic you’ve been in working your way through all the regulations. The care and thoughtfulness you’ve put into the planning of these outdoor rehearsals is brilliant”.
Another remarked that “It’s great to have the stability, stimulation and enjoyment of Prima to come back to each week”.
Forward-looking as always, Ewa has already planned an outdoor summer concert and a Christmas concert in Selby Abbey in December. She is now even recruiting new members, all non-auditioning, with top sopranos, baritones, tenors and basses particularly welcome.
Ewa recently commented to members “I cannot tell you how proud and inspired I feel by your commitment to the choir, and am so grateful for the shared love of music”.
The feeling is definitely mutual! We cannot wait to get back to unrestricted singing and performing, not least with our many friends in European choirs.
Christine Kyriacou, PVE choir member
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.