When Choirs Meet – Celebration at Rákóczi Institute

An International Meeting of Choirs was hosted by Ferenc Rákóczi II Transcarpathian Hungarian Institute in Beregszasz on March 28th. The event was organized within the framework of the Rákóczi days series of cultural events.

Following the recital of the Institute anthem, participants of the IXth International Choir Meeting of Higher Education Institutions were welcomed by the Institute’s Rector Ildikó Orosz. In her speech she recalled the distant 2004 when the Institute was faced with so many hardships. During the eventful year of the “Orange Revolution” the countryside’s only Hungarian-language higher education establishment was exposed to so many attacks. One of the slogans of the mighty Prince kept me going in the struggle: “Deus non derelinquet Iustam causa” –i.e. God can not abandon the true cause. In 2005 –in gratitude to the Almighty for overcoming numerous hindrances – a choir meeting was held for the first time, with only Transcarpathian participants attending. In the year to come it has grown into an international cultural event. Hereof the meeting of choirs of higher education institutions was convened every two years, with the ninth annual meeting taking place in 2017. “This is not a competition, it is common rejoicing” – concluded Ildikó Orosz.

The participants sang the student anthem Gaudeamus igitur led by the Ferenc Liszt Prize-winning conductor Sándor Berkesi, followed by individual presentations. Performances were given by the Choir of FRII THI, the Chamber Choir of the University of Nyíregyháza, the Choir and Men’s Ensemble of Mukachevo State University, the Choir and Folk Choir of Uzhorod Arts and Cultural College, the Credo Chamber Choir, the Mihály Guttman Teachers’ Choir, the Bojana male chorus of Uzhorod National University, Dezső Zádor Music High School of Uzhhorod, the Choir of Sárospatak Reformed College and the Kántus of Debrecen.

Finally, all those present congratulated Sándor Berkesi, who has been working in the music field for fifty years. In recognition of decades-long outstanding professional activity the Ferenc Liszt Prize-winning conductor was elected honorary chairman of the Hungarian Choirs, Bands and Ensembles Folk Music Association (KÓTA).

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