More than a hundred European choristers from Belgium, Bosnia Herzegovina, Hungary, Rumania and France met in Wrocław (Poland) after gobbling up thousands of miles by coach or plane. They all found their way to be greeted on the evening of July 26th by their Polish hosts, members of the Cantilena Male Choir and partners of the VoCe project since its creation.
For there is no better way to get together than singing together?:
The daily tempo of our residence in Wrocław consisted in musical wanderings in the streets of this gorgeous East European city, in improvised concerts in shopping galleries and trams, and in intensive rehearsing sessions which ended up in a final concert on Sunday 31st. Day after day, singers of different nationalities, ages and cultures have learnt to know each other and have tied strong and friendly links.
But most important, the idea of memory was at the heart of that fixture. Indeed, Polish organizers named it Stones of Memory (in Polish it reads Pamiec Kamieny). What are the stones of memory? They are all the marks and traces that bring back to mind the victims killed during the conflicts that marked the history of the XXth century, beginning with the First World War: they range from huge war memorials adorned with impressive sorrowful or warlike statues, to the smaller graves with their modest, sometimes anonymous, headstones.
A visit to Łambinovice War Cemetery was one of the highlights of the week: more than 6000 soldiers from different nationalities killed between 1914 and 1918 lie buried there. After forming a silent chain of friendship in the paths between the graves, the choristers sang a deeply moving song for peace.
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On Saturday 30th, another more festive highlight took place in one of the public park in Wroclaw, where people come and relax at the week end. Choristers went along to meet families and children to play, dance or sing with them and above all evoke with the elders their own family memories linked with the First World War. Thanks to our Polish hosts, these true moments of sharing were moving without pathos, friendly, musical and filled with the spirit of peace.
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On Sunday 31st , a final concert in the Auditorium of the city Music Academy was given by the choristers from different choirs, joining in one same program (ulotka DL3). to conclude this new and successful exchange organized as part of the VoCe project.
See the address to the audience by Mascha Joint Lambert, president of the VoCE association
Each participant agreed to meet in August 2017 in Cluj in Rumania.
Our most sincere thanks go to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Poland and to the Centenary Mission in France who backed the important efforts made by each chorister and choir to make this fixture a success. Participant send their friendliest regards to members of the Cantilena Choir and most of all to Robert Maniak, who initiated this project and stood as a key stone to the whole venture.