Elitza Folk Choir marks its 30th anniversary

Photo: private library

In 2018 Elitza Folk Choir marks its 30th anniversary. The rich history of the choir includes numerous concerts and participations at different music festivals. Elitza Choir released two CDs and its third CD will be recorded in 2019.

Elitza Folk Choir was established in 1988 in difficult times for Bulgaria and for us, choir member Tsveti Kaneva told Radio Bulgaria. In the beginning we functioned as a school choir, but in 1989 we lost support. We were trying to find a way out of this situation, because we wanted to continue singing. That is why we rented some music halls and hired conductors, because we wanted to develop as a choir. Maria Yovcheva was the first conductor of the new music formation Elitza. We held our rehearsals in clod music halls without electricity and piano. We used a tuning fork only. We went through a lot of difficulties in these 30 years, but we never stopped working. Now I can say that all conductors of Elitza choir contributed to its development over the years. They influenced the careers of all choir members. Currently, the relations between the choir members are excellent. We gather after the rehearsals and are good friends.

Dimitar Stoyanov has been conducting Elitza Folk Choir for two years now:

I was a substitute for Galya Petkova who was the previous conductor of Elitza Choir and helped her during the rehearsals. We studied together at the music school and later at the National Academy of Music in Sofia. We got on very well with the choir members. Later, Galya moved to another city and I took her position. It happened naturally somehow. I established a new type of rehearsal process which yielded results. The good relations with the choir members and our friendship help us develop as a choir. I make arrangements to old songs and look for new songs that are suitable for our choir members. We try to select songs that appeal both to me and the singers. This helps us prepare our concert repertoire quickly. Choirs usually perform songs of their own folklore regions. However, I follow a different philosophy- I am interested in the artistic motivation of the composers to write and arrange folklore.

Dochka Dimitrova is a chairperson ofElitza Folk Choir. She organizes the participation of the choir at various music events in Bulgaria and abroad. Elitza Folk Choir earned a series of music awards at festivals in Macedonia, Serbia, Turkey, Montenegro, Italy, Germany, the Netherlands, etc. Elitza Choir participated at three editions of Harmonie festival in Limburg, Germany. The event is held once in four years and gathers folklore ensembles from many countries. Elitza Choir also took part at another big folklore festival in Tonen, the Netherlands.

English version: Kostadin Atanasov

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