culture

Winter Choir Night brings music to the masses

Writers

  • Kessler Gretchen

2/11/2020 9:55 AM

Enjoy a fabulous night of choral music on February 15 at the MagNet Community House, when their third annual Winter Choir Night brings together 17 ensembles for one unforgettable evening.

Featuring 300 singers from 17 participating groups, the Winter Choir Night is a popular event at the MagNet Community House. Many of the singing ensembles are returning for a second, third or fourth time, all seasonal shows included. Organised by volunteers from the Csíkszerda Association, the evening is designed to bring music to the community, and prove that choir culture extends beyond the classical concert halls.

Attendees from the Summer Choir event lean over a balcony to listen to the choirs.

Photo: MagNet Community House

The choirs are divided into six categories: folk, classical, pop, contemporary, early music and children’s. This provides wide variety of styles for visitors to choose from, and the event finishes with a rousing final song, in which attendees are encouraged to participate. Sheet music can be downloaded from the website ahead of time. The event begins at 5pm, and brochures will be provided showing when and where each choir will perform, ending at 10pm in the inner courtyard.

The Song Factory Budapest

Photo: Song Factory Budapest

The Song Factory Budapest, a young-adult ensemble singing everything from jazz to pop to rock and more, will be performing at the Winter Choir Night for their first time. Their members come from Hungary, the US, Canada and Germany, and represent a wide range of professional backgrounds. The group will be presenting songs both in English and Hungarian, and look forward to singing some favourites from their repertoire, as well as new pieces prepared for the evening’s festivities. Song Factory Budapest are led by conductor Benedek Hetei-Bakó.

SoulAir Kids Choir

Photo: SoulAir Kids Choir

The Bakáts Square Music Primary School will be performing through its SoulAir Kids choir, once featured in the Oscar-winning short film Sing by Kristóf Deák. The school has been in operation for 180 years, and the SoulAir Kids choir was formed of the most talented pupils in 2010, led by choir director Mónika Molnár. In addition to Gregorian, Renaissance, Baroque, Classical and 20th-century choral works, their repertoire also covers pieces from today’s popular music.

The Syrinx Choir

Photo: Syrinx Choir

The Syrinx Choir of the University of Veterinary Science are a group founded in 2008 by students of the Veterinary University in Budapest. The choir sings regularly at university ceremonies and covers songs from the Renaissance to the 21st century. The meaning of the name is bifold: syrinx is the vocal organ of birds, and also the name of the first panpipes. The Syrinx Choir have appeared at the MagNet Night of Choirs before, and are excited to return.

The Gemma Singers

Photo: Gemma Singers

The Gemma Singers are a vocal ensemble of 14 members, including artistic director, Márton Tóth. The group was founded in 1996, when largely connected to the Zoltán Kodály Hungarian School. Their repertoire contains mainly sacred music from the Renaissance period, as well as contemporary songs. They have issued four CDs, and have thrice participated in the summer version of MagNet’s Night of Choirs. In this Winter Night of Choirs, says Márton, they will be performing pieces from their favourite composer, Thomas Tallis.

The Fibonacci 5

Photo: Fibonnaci5

The Fibonacci 5 are a small vocal ensemble named after one of the numbers in the famous Fibonacci Sequence. They sing mostly Renaissance and Baroque music for mixed voices, and were initially formed as a study group at the Zoltán Kodály Pedagogical Institute. This is an international group of singers, including members from Hungary, Portugal, the US and China, and features music teachers, music therapists and others on their way to becoming music educators in their own countries. They look forward to bringing alive works by a number of noted composers, and will be performing favourite pieces in their repertoire, as well as new pieces they’ve been working on in recent months.

Jazz and More Choir

Photo: Jazz And More

The Jazz and More Choir were founded by music teacher and conductor Ágnes Halkovics in 2001. In the beginning, the focus was solely on jazz, but over the next few years, the genre expanded to pop, rock, musical and more. At present, the choir numbers 20 members, under the direction of Gabriella Lovas. This is the fourth time that Jazz and More will be performing at the Night of Choirs, allowing them the opportunity to get to know different ensembles for potential future collaboration. They have also performed with a number of big names, including evergreen rocker Miklós Fenyő, the group Hooligans and renowned singer Kati Wolf.

Tickets are on sale now for 2,000 forints online and can also be purchased on-site for 2,500. Admission is free for children under six, and kids up to 13 are charged 1,000 forints. Family tickets are also available. More information can be found at the Facebook event, and a full list of participating choirs can be found online.

Photo: MagNet Community House

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