Endings and Beginnings

Feb 1st, 2012 | By | Category: Choir Events, Int. Choir Competition & Festival Malta, Personal Reports

Author: Jelena Dobrota (CHOIR REPORTER), Female Chamber Choir “Banjalučanke”, Bosnia and Herzegovina

End of a year and the beginning of a new one is usually the time to make some kind of summary – was it successful, did I accomplish everything I set out to do, what do I need to better? Answering those questions, female chamber choir “Banjalučanke” has much to smile about. To quote Frank Sinatra: “It was a very good year”.

I’ve already written about one of our great accomplishments this year – Golden Diploma in the competition “Venezia in Musica” in April. Our second big success came in early November, when we participated in yet another INTERKULTUR event – “International Choir Competition & Festival Malta 2011”.

Malta in November is something everyone should experience. Sunny, warm weather, people strolling along the beach in short sleeves; some were even swimming. Quite a difference from rain, snow and -2 degrees Celsius we left back home. That was the first impression of Malta. Second one was the beauty of its architecture – all of its town merging one into another, with houses, buildings and forts made of the sand colored stone Malta seems to have in abundance. And on every step, as a reminder of its history and cultural heritage, were the mementos of Knights order of Malta – armors, coat of arms and Maltese crosses.

My third impression of Malta was that it was a Mediterranean England. English is one of the official languages, English newspapers are delivered every day, the stores and brands are the ones you can only find in England (even my favorite Cadbury chocolates), driving on the wrong side of the street – I never knew where to look when crossing the street, so I basically looked all over.

The whole event was wonderfully organized, and despite the tight schedule we had, we never had any problems. Sure, we were a bit tired the first day – eight hours bus ride, two connecting flights, but it was worth it. The Opening ceremony was great – a parade through the streets of Malta with our own marching band. After that came the knights’ ceremony followed by a concert and cocktails! It was almost too much to take in at once. However, we couldn’t relax entirely, because the next morning we were due for the competition. The competition itself went great and once again all our efforts were rewarded with another Golden Diploma for our choir.

The next day was reserved for a concert with the Symphonic Orchestra of Malta. It is definitely our favorite event, mainly because we got to perform under the conduction of Mr. Gábor Hollerung, whom we met at the World Choir Games in China in 2010 in a similar event. We always have so much fun in those events – the music is great, we meet choir singers from many countries, we get to perform in front of crowd that can really appreciate what we do.

The Closing ceremony took place back in the venue where competitions were held and selected choirs were chosen to participate. I am proud to say we were one of those choirs. After the ceremony, we had a cruise through the Malta bay with all the other participants. One more chance to meet fellow choir singers, exchange experiences and have fun.

Unfortunately, all good things come to an end and before we knew it, we were on our way back home. Very happy, a little bit sad, but knowing we will get to do it again. We’re already preparing for our next big adventure – World Choir Games in Cincinnati in July 2012. Let’s hope that this year will be as great as the last one.

Watch some of Jelena’s photos taken in Malta on flickr!

Tags: ,

Leave a Comment