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RESOURCE PAGE - Choirs and other Georgian Groups


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GLOBAL HARMONY is a large mixed community choir based in TOTNES, Devon.
Meets Wednesday evening in Totnes and Monday evening in Exeter. The choir sing songs from around the world including many
Georgian songs. They perform occasionally to fundraise for local and international charities.

Also in TOTNES, the women's choir VIVA meet on Thursdays at 1pm and sing songs only written or
arranged by women, including healing songs and lullabies from Georgia.

Both GLOBAL HARMONY and VIVA are run by Roz Walker, tel.: 01803 862246 or 07816 936521 - Email: rozwalker[at]hotmail.co.uk

The UNIVERSITY OF EXETER WORLD MUSIC CHOIR, Devon is directed by Alise Ojay and normally includes at least one Georgian song in their repertoire. Please see their website : www.ojay.eclipse.co.uk
Alise also created the singing exercise programme for snorers 'Singing for Snorers' (www.singingforsnorers.com) : a triple CD of singalong singing exercises designed to tone the throat and reduce snoring. She ran the first trial of singing exercises to reduce snoring at the University of Exeter in 1999 and designed this specific programme as a result of that research.
Alise can be contacted at : admin[at]singingforsnorers.com

CANDY VERNEY runs community choirs called "Singing in the Round" based in BATH, and BRADFORD-ON-AVON and TROWBRIDGE, Wilts. They do some Georgian music along with much else.
Contact : Candy[at]CandyVerney.co.uk

The KVIRIA ACAPELLA TRIO performs Georgian polyphony at various events. To book contact Nina Chandler on 01367 240489 or 0797 4793251
or email : kviria[at]googlemail.com

THE BRISTOL-TBILISI ASSOCIATION was formed in the mid 1980s to support links with Georgia and now it helps manage the official twinning, signed by both Bristol and Tbilisi City Councils in 1988. A range of educational, cultural, commercial and social initiatives is supported in collaboration with our partners in Tbilisi.
For further information please contact the Secretary : btasecretary[at]bristoltbilisi.com

MASPINDZELI is a Georgian choir based in central LONDON. It was founded in 1999 and has about 50 members and gives 2-3 concerts a year plus other events. The Musical Directorship is currently held by Bernard Burns. Maspindzeli has visited Georgia several times to sing at the biennial International Symposia on Polyphony at Tbilisi Conservatory of Music between 2002 and 2012 and the Batumi Festival in 2013. The choir normally meets from 2 to 6 pm. on the 3rd Saturday of the month at All Saints Church, Highgate N6 4QH and is open to new members.
For further details please see website : www.maspindzeli.org.uk or contact the Secretary at : requestinfo[at]maspindzeli.org.uk

HELEN CHADWICK A composer, singer and song theatre creator, Helen first fell in love with Georgian music at a theatre festival in Nantes in 1982. Later she became a close friend of Edisher Garakanidze and Joseph Jordania, and went on three field trips to record and meet singers. Helen organised the first UK teaching tours for Edisher and translated for him via German. She taught the Georgian songs for CAUCASIAN CHALK CIRCLE at the National Theatre/Complicite and in workshops around the country as well as for the National Theatre Studio Choir. The first year of Sing For Water was entirely made up of Georgian Songs. Helen also toured in the UK with Nino Tsitsishvili and Nana Kalandadze as BEBIA and performed with Nato Zumbadze, Nana Kalandadze and Voix Polyphoniques in SONGS FROM THE BLACK SEA which was recorded as a live album. See her website www.helenchadwick.com
Email : romaine[at]helenchadwick.com

ELIZABETH CAROLA includes Georgian songs within her "Sing Your Heart Out" course which is run by the Mary Ward Centre, an Adult Education Centre in LONDON - tel: 020 7831 7711. The course takes place between 6 - 8pm on Wednesdays at The Central Baptist Church off Shaftesbury Ave. This class is open to all & includes songs from many cultures. Elizabeth has a particular passion and interest in Georgian and Bulgarian singing. She is also involved in the Natural Voice Practitioners Network. Contact Elizabeth at : ecarolauk[at]yahoo.co.uk

SALLY DAVIES is a workshop leader with a large repertoire of Georgian songs who teaches workshops of acapella folk songs from Britain to Georgia and much in between. The Wing-It Singers based in Stoke Newington, London always have several Georgian songs in their concert programme.
Email: sallyjdavies[at]email.com

CHELA and BUSKA are two groups of enthusiastic Georgian singers based in CAMBRIDGE who formed in 2000 and 2010 respectively. Chela is a mixed choir and Buska is a male group. The repertoire includes songs learned at workshops given by visiting Georgian musicians. Chela meets in central Cambridge once a week on Sundays at the house of one or other of the members, in winter from 4:30 - 6:30 pm and in summer 5:30 - 7:30 pm. Buska meets on Wednesdays 8:30 - 10:30 pm at the home of one or other of our members.
Performances include Ely Cathedral in 2005, Trinity College Chapel in 2007 in combination with Maspindzeli, the London based Georgian choir, Emmanuel Reformed Church, Cambridge in 2007 and regular candlelit Christmas and Easter performances at St Peter's, Kettles Yard. More recently in 2017 they performed an Easter concert at Jesus College Chapel. In August 2017 they performed a concert and gave a workshop at the 'Folk East' Festival at Glemham Hall in Suffolk. Proceeds from our concerts go to Georgian charities as well as to the choir's running costs.
For more information please call Ashlyn and Miranda on 01223 353586 or email miranda[at]armour-brown.co.uk or ashlyn37[at]armour-brown.co.uk
Website: https://georgianchoircambridge.wordpress.com/
Secretary & treasurer: Spike Jackson: spikejackson[at]btconnect.com
Music score archivist: Derek Wilcox: derekjwilcox[at]hotmail.com . Derek maintains a score exchange site with Georgian musical scores which can be downloaded for a nominal fee.
Please go to : http://www.scoreexchange.com/profiles/derekjwilcox

CHRIS ROWBURY runs singing workshops open to the public across the UK. He has a substantial number of Georgian songs in his teaching repertoire
and offers both Eastern European and world music workshops. Contact Chris on 01394 610486 or email : chris[at]chrisrowbury.com

THE DERBY GEORGIAN CHOIR meets at members' houses. They don't have a leader at present. Their former leader, Beth de Lange, is now based in MORECAMBE, Lancashire, and is hoping to set up a choir in that area. If anyone is interested in either choir or wants to be added to her mailing list, please contact Beth : tel. 07837 671988, email beth[at]bethdelange.co.uk for further information.

HEBDEN BRIDGE, Yorkshire. 'ZAREBI' (www.zarebi.com) are a women's Georgian folk singing ensemble, based in Hebden Bridge and specialising in Georgian regional songs from ancient to new. In 2008 Georgian polyphonic singing became inscribed as part of UNESCO on the representative list of the 'Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity'. Zarebi, which means 'bells- like the striking of a bell, have been singing together since September 2016. Zarebi has at its core, a singing bond from which friendship has grown through a love of these beautiful songs. As a group we endeavour to sing with authentic ways as sung and taught by Georgian song-masters, and although the group is now a closed group, none of the singers have been auditioned, which lends itself to a folk like quality. Zarebi are directed by professional musician Helen Curtis-Streich. Helen is a multi-instrumentalist who has a degree on Piano and Percussion. She is half Swiss and sings Swiss folk music with her sister as part of duo Satteli sisters - you can check out their website on www.satteli.com
and see what else Helen gets up to on www.bigearsmusic.com
To book Zarebi or Helen for performances/workshops or any enquiries, please contact: helencurtismusic[at]gmail.com or phone 07903 074674.

DAVID BURBIDGE runs singing events in the LAKE DISTRICT area including walks and cycle rides through the mountains with concerts in fellside chapels, caves and inns. Email : davidburbidge[at]hotmail.com
Address : David Burbidge, Lakeland Voice, Smithy Cottage, Farfield, Sedbergh, Cumbria LA10 5LW.
Tel. : 015396 21166 Website : www.lakelandvoice.co.uk


EDINBURGH GEORGIAN SINGING SATURDAY GROUP. Open drop-in (Leith Walk) on the first Saturday of the month (afternoon), plus occasional special workshops. All welcome. Contact Fran Priest: francescpriest[at]gmail.com for more details and email updates.

EDINBURGH COMMUNITY CHOIRS : "Harmonise", and "Singers and Seekers", both about 45 strong sing some Georgian songs as part of their wide repertoire of world music, and have happily hosted Georgian guest singing groups. Details are:-

HARMONISE meets on Monday evenings and is occasionally open to new members,
For more information please contact Jane Schonveld : jane[at]schonveld.freeserve.co.uk

SINGERS AND SEEKERS meets on Thursday evenings and is open to new members
now. For more information please contact Alison Ambler : alison[at]amblerp.freeserve.co.uk

MONIAIVE, Dumfriesshire : Cairn Chorus meets each Thursday at the Glencairn Memorial Institute in Moniaive, South West Scotland, led by Kate Howard. We sing music from all around the world especially Georgian songs. We also host Georgian singers and workshop leaders.
See our website : www.cairnchorus.co.uk


HARALO is an Austrian-Georgian singing group based in Vienna (Austria) since 2012. The group meets every second Sunday evening, is occasionally open to new members and is well connected to Georgian singing groups in Seattle ("Onefourfive") and Dublin ("Zurmukhti"). For more information, please contact Silvia Franke: silvia.franke[at]aon.at (0043-6645952077).
Silvia organizes Frank Kane's workshops in Vienna and took part in Carl Linich's "Georgian Songmasters Tour 2011", learning songs from the Turmanidze family (Ajara), Polikarpe Khubulava (Samegrelo) and Islam Pilpani (Svaneti).


KATYA LYSANDER helps run Ensemble Alioni in Chicago, a Georgian choir founded in 2007 and directed by Dr. Clayton Parr. We're a 12-member group that rehearses every Saturday morning and performs throughout Chicago, with regular Spring and Winter concerts every year. We also hold semi-regular "megobrebi" ("friends" in Georgian) potluck gatherings at which we teach Georgian songs by ear to interested members of the community. Our website is http://www.alioni.org and inquiries can be directed to alionichorus[at]gmail.com.

KARTULI ENSEMBLE (Mixed choir based in NEW YORK)

TRIO KAVKASIA (Alan Gasser from Canada, Stuart Gelzer & Carl Linich from USA)  http://www.kavkasia.com/
For these 2 choirs email Carl Linich at : kavkasia[at]gmail.com

IVERIA (Men's choir based in BOSTON area, Massachusetts)

ADILOI (Mixed voice Student Choir at Choate School in CONNECTICUT)

PATTY CUYLER and LARRY GORDON  5748 Hollister Hill Road, Marshfield, VT 05658
Tel. (in USA) : (802) 426-3210 fax: (802) 426-3491
Email : vharmony[at]sover.net
Websites : www.northernharmony.pair.com & www.villageharmony.org

Larry and Patty run choirs that include Georgian songs/are open to new members:-

--Village Harmony Yeargroup: school-year for high school students in New England, participants come from throughout Vermont, upstate New York, New Hampshire, Connecticut and Massachusetts. Meets monthly for a Saturday-Sunday rehearsal, rehearsing 6 hours each day, and goes on a 2-week long tour in the springtime.

--Village Harmony Camps. Summer/autumn traveling and residential music performance camps. Unauditioned. Many of the workshops--those with Patty, Larry and other Georgian music specialists (Carl Linich, Frank Kane, Nato Zumbadze, Ketevan Mindorashvili, Teah Pirtskhelani) teaching -- include Georgian folk music  (see website www.villageharmony.org)

Patty has a huge collection of transcriptions and recordings of folk songs. People looking for specific pieces for their choirs please email her : vharmony[at]sover.net

DANCING CRANE GEORGIAN MUSIC ENSEMBLE are active in NEW YORK STATE with a Georgian Men's Choir and Women's Choir,
although they often perform with both men and women together. They also have an active Georgian Dance Ensemble. Their musicians and singers are professionals from Georgia now living in the United States.

Website: www.dancingcrane.org
Location: Warwick, New York, USA
Email: info[at]dancingcrane.org

Brief Description:

Dancing Crane, Inc. is a professional not-for-profit research and performance organization specializing in the culture and traditions of
Georgia, the former Soviet republic. It produces and performs theatrical presentations that are open to the general public, performed primarily by
the Dancing Crane dance and music ensembles. Members also perform at weddings, birthdays, restaurants and special events of all kinds. General
and Artistic director: Victor Sirelson. Choreographer: Vladimer Goderidze. Music Directors: Ivan Goderdzishvili and Zaira Chokheli. Our repertoire
includes traditional songs, city songs, church songs, romances and estrada.Our musicians are proficient with Panduri, Chonguri, Duduk, Doli, Garmoni,
Salamuri, Guitar and Keyboards. Contact Victor Sirelson, Cell (Mobile in USA): 914-522-3888
email: vsirelson[at]gmail.com


MACHARI (meaning young wine) is an eleven-member mixed ensemble based in TORONTO. The group has been singing Georgian folk and liturgical music since 2004, with founding members tracing their involvement back to 1995, under Alan Gasser's guidance. They play chongur, chunir, doli, folk and chromatic pandur, guitar and accordion. In keeping with the Georgian tradition much of their repertoire is learnt by ear.
Contact : Bie Engelen, co-leader Machari. Email : machari.toronto[at]gmail.com


A contribution from Andrea Kuzmich :-

I sing with both the trio ZARI : http://www.geocities.com/triozari
and the choir DARBAZI : http://www.darbazi.com/

I highly encourage you to check out these sites. We are a little
more remote than USA, but there is some very heavy Georgian music making in
these two ensembles. (There is also another group, HERETI, 5 singers who are
refugees/immigrants from Rustavi, the city. They are excellent singers. Back around 1999
Darbazi and Hereti did many performances together. You can read a
lot more about Hereti through the Darbazi web site. There is also a new group VOISA in Montreal.

Currently we have two Georgians in Darbazi, my husband and another man. Both
groups, Darbazi and Zari, are trying to sing the material as authentically
as possible - an issue of academic concern to myself. Often there is only
one singer allocated to each of the top two voices and we can boast that
some of the songs are our own versions (having studied enough versions from
other choirs).

I should also note, that now I have graduated also to a scholar. I am doing
my Masters in Ethnomusicology at York University in Toronto, and have
totally engrossed myself in Georgian polyphony, history, musical theory, and
ethnographic work.

I also teach regular 10 week workshops of Georgian folk songs
http://www.worldsofmusic.ca/ for almost three years
and for four years used to lead a children's choir that sang choral music
from around the globe : http://www.geocities.com/tcwmc with a significant component
of Georgian material.

Anyway, I was hoping to draw your attention to the activities here just
north of the USA border. We too are doing our best to publicize and transmit
this wonderful oral heritage.

Andrea Kuzmich



RUSTAVI Choir. See their new English website: