Chor Warszawski: a triumph!


I have to interrupt my narrative to mark the singular success of my choir yesterday. In its first competitive action it came third in the Warsaw International Choir Festival held at the Chopin Music University.

Stiff opposition? Certainly, our women are handsome and the men, well, I’ll leave others to judge, but age and intonation were not on our side, though, as one member said,”Given the amount of work we did, we did really well.” I have to agree.


Most of our members lead busy lives. Finding two and a half hours a week for the choir is not easy. And yet, what rewards it brings. There was not one member who did not glow with pride (if those large smiles across their faces I could see from the stage meant anything) as I strode across to collect the bronze certificate.


Who beat us? A deserving youthful Polish group whom, I suspect, put it a lot of extra time, though I may be wrong, and a group from abroad.

Had we not been placed I should have been pretty cross, the other Polish groups were pretty grim. As it is, I have no complaints save one. Given the thrill of the event why is it so difficult to get men involved? “Lazy” said one member, clearly thinking of her husband and son. More likely scared, scared of the culture gap.


A young student from the Polytechnic came to a rehearsal last week. He sat with the basses. He sang heartily but horribly out of tune. He left at the interval. Later he told me that the atmosphere was great, marvellous, entirely new. It just isn’t for him.


I have a feeling that it is much closer to him than he thinks. If only he’d had some positive musical experiences in school. What a loss. Anyway, he’s got his IT start-up to think about, but with more cultural background, how much better he might be able to face the future, to innovate with imagination and originality, to succeed.


3 thoughts on “Chor Warszawski: a triumph!

  1. As you know Richard we live now in Konstanz, which is a city with 80 000 citizens and 10 000 students at University. There are more than 22 choirs, unbelievable. When I was looking for the nearest choir in Poland to place we live – I thought Pruszków, which has 59 000 citizens can be an option. I have found one church choir there (maybe there was another – which I did not found ;-). After this not successful search I was singing in your choir for one year. Now I live in choir El Dorado, we are singing in two choirs and also sometimes in smaller projects. What a pity for Poland.

  2. Congratulations on the success of your choir Richard ! Doubtless every win must inspire you to do more to reduce "the culture gap" .What do you think is actually missing to focus on what could be done, (apart from the obvious lack of "good experience") in Polish schools.If you had 30 minutes to present your views in front of the Polish Prime Minister, what would tell him ?

  3. A good question. I would tell him to take reform of primary and secondary education seriously:improve teacher training, introduce arts education for all children, and ensure that every child has access to careers advice for children between the ages of 15-18. Can you get me a meeting with him?

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