Choir Singers in Serbia Get an Online Platform for Improving Choral Creativity

There is no place in Serbia where choir singers can find tutorials, i.e. educational guidelines and tools for learning choral compositions. The ’Digital Choir Treasury’ project of the ‘Sveti Stefan Dečanski’ choir changes that. This special moment when choir singers in our country get an online platform for improving choral creativity will be crowned with a concert of the choir of the same name in the Svilara Cultural Station on Monday,12 October, at 8 p.m.

Tamara Adamov Petijević ,the conductor of the ‘Sveti Stefan Dečanski’ choir, has been actively involved in choral music for over three decades, as well as in the organisation and coordination of choral life in our country and abroad. As she says, she saw the need for such educational and promotional content a long time ago, but there was no possibility to start it.

Matrices, which will be posted on the website of the Serbian Choir Association, as umbrella, national choir organisation, can be used by local choirs, primarily amateur, but also foreign choirs, even professional – they do not need musical support as much as help in correct pronunciation of lyrics in Serbian or Church Slavonic. In that manner, this project goes further than similar projects in England, Germany, because only instrumental matrices were recorded there, with extracted (again instrumental) sections for individual voices. We recorded the real, live voices of the singers on audio files, so it is also a model of how to sing compositions and pronounce lyrics. Users of these files will even be able to go through two levels of singing training: performing their voice with a matrix – accompanied by the sound of a piano or choral score, as well as performing with a quartet of singers, composed of all voices from the composition,’ explains Tamara Adamov Petijevic.

The project will be presented in the Svilara Cultural Station on 12 October at 8 p.m., with a concert where compositions of Serbian spiritual music from the standard most famous choral repertoire will be heard.

The concert itself is very rich in programme, the theme is spiritual music from the 15th to the 20th century, mixed and female choir, soloists are presented, etc. The concert is dedicated to the recently deceased musicologist, academician Dimitrije Stefanović, PhD, a man who changed the history of music. We will perform his transcriptions of medieval music, as well as the first scores we received from him (these are the first notes that the choir sang after its founding, 33 years ago, when there was no internet or opportunities to get spiritual music notes anywhere). We also perform compositions by two Serbian music greats: Petar Konjović and Marko Tajčević, whose anniversaries we celebrate in 2020 –120 years since the birth of Tajčević and 50 years since the death of Konjović,’ says Tamara Adamov Petijević.

‘Digital Choir Treasury’ is one of 42 projects that received funds in the Public Call to Novi Sad artists within the ‘Artists. Now!’ project aimed at strengthening cultural scene through a network of cultural stations, raising its capacities, decentralisation of culture and audience development.