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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 732841
Email: rozwalker[at]naturalvoice.net

The CREDITON WORLD MUSIC CHOIR, CREDITON, Devon is directed by Alise Ojay. A friendly established community choir singing and performing songs from around the world. Many Georgian songs in our repertoire. Meets on Tuesday evenings from 8.00 - 9.30 during the school terms. 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

EASTERN VOICES runs concerts and singing workshops by Georgian, Bulgarian and other Eastern European choirs and teachers in BRISTOL and the surrounding area. The KVIRIA ACAPELLA TRIO performs Georgian polyphony at various events. To book contact Nina Chandler on 01367 240 858
or email : easternvoices[at]naturalvoice.net

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 : Tony Wilcox, 66 Ashley Down Rd, Bristol BS7 9JP.
By email please contact Henry Parry : henry[at]parry52.freeserve.co.uk

MASPINDZELI is a 10-year old Georgian choir based in central LONDON. It has about 50 members and gives 2-3 concerts a year plus other events. The Musical Directorship is held jointly by Mark Thomas and Tamta Turmanidze. Maspindzeli has visited Georgia four times to sing at the biennial International Symposia on Polyphony at Tbilisi Conservatory of Music in 2002, 2004, 2006 and 2008, and intends to do so again in October 2010. The choir normally meets from 2 to 6 pm. on the 2nd Saturday of the month at St. Paul's Church Centre, Rossmore Road, Marylebone, London NW1 6NJ and is open to new members.
For further details please see website : www.maspindzeli.org.uk
Contact the Secretary at : requestinfo[at]maspindzeli.org.uk or Michael at : info[at]georgianharmony.org.uk

HELEN CHADWICK runs SING FOR WATER, LONDON which often includes Georgian songs in its repertoire. See website www.helenchadwick.com. Helen is a member of the women's trio Bebia with Nino Tsitsishvili and Nana Kalandadze and last year performed Georgian songs with Nato Zumbadze and Nana Kalandadze in SONGS FROM THE BLACK SEA which was recorded as a live album (www.voixpolyphoniques.org). Helen taught Georgian songs for CAUCASIAN CHALK CIRCLE at the National Theatre and in workshops around the country. She has been on three field trips with Georgian ethnomusicologists to record and meet singers.
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

CHELA is a group of Georgian singing enthusiasts based in CAMBRIDGE, formed in 2000. Their repertoire includes songs learned at workshops by visiting Georgian musicians. They meet once a week on Sundays at the home of Miranda and Ashlyn Armour-Brown at 1.Lyndewode Road, Cambridge CB1 2HL, from 5-7pm in winter, 5.30 - 7.30 pm in summer.
Tel. and email (Hosts) 01223 353586 : miranda[at]armour-brown.co.uk & ashlyn37[at]armour-brown.co.uk
(Secretary) Mehryar: mehryar[at]ntlworld.com
(Leader) Derek Wilcox: derekjwilcox[at]hotmail.com
Performances include Ely Cathedral in 2005 and Trinity College Chapel in 2007 in combination with Maspindzeli, the London based Georgian choir, and Emmanuel Reformed Church, Cambridge in 2007 and regular candlelit Christmas performances at St Peter's, Kettles Yard, in aid of Georgian charities.

VOICES IN HARMONY is an a cappella community choir for anyone within reach of BRIDGNORTH, Shropshire. They always includes 2-4 Georgian songs in their current repertoire. They meet on 2 Wednesday evenings a month and occasional Sundays.
For details contact Jane Read on 01584 891656, email : jane[at]songshops.co.uk    New members are always welcome.

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

GEORGIAN CHOIR IN DERBY at The VoiceBox, Derby, DE1 1JQ. £10/£8 per session.
This is a new choir open to anyone who is interested in singing songs from the ancient polyphonic tradition of the nation of Georgia.
We will meet around six times per year, and although the main emphasis will be on enjoying singing wonderful songs, we will also aim
to perform them. Members will be able to buy a songbook and/or cd to practice songs in between sessions.
The choir will be led by Beth de Lange. Beth leads two community choirs in Derbyshire, and has had an interest in Georgian song ever
since she first learnt the song Elesa Hey at a Unicorn Natural Voice Camp in 1999. She has attended workshops and summer schools with
Georgian singers since then, and is looking forward to sharing her love of this music with this new group.
Contact Beth de Lange 01332 345 508 - beth[at]kaleidoscope-music.org.uk to tell us you'd like to come, or for further information.

GEORGIAN CHOIR "SAMZEO" in LEEDS was first formed by Zaka Aman in February 2007 as a humble trio and under the name of 'the Nikoladze Family'. It has gradually evolved into an 7 piece choir made up of 2 charming men and 5 lovely ladies. The members of Samzeo are all based in West Yorkshire and are professional musicians who share a passion for singing Georgian Eastern European vocal music. The repertoire includes celebratory (birthday, weddings and seasonal songs), laments and ancient ritual songs. They say: "In October 2009 we were extremely honoured to be invited to Georgia to sing in the Tbilisi Music Festival, which brings together artists from around the globe who share a passion for Georgian art and culture. It was amazing experience to be surrounded by other Georgian choirs, as well as fabulous Georgian dance troops. The experience has fueled our enthusiasm even more to learn and spread the love of this fascinating music. Back in the UK we have performed at many local events and folk festivals and we also offer workshops. Please get in touch if you're interested in booking us. We hope you love listening to this unique sound as much as we love singing it!"
See their website : www.myspace.com/Samzeo - Contact: Sarah Cobham on 01924 276250 or email: sarahcobham[at]hotmail.com

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 CHOIR "TOROLA" : This choir, meaning "Skylark" is led by David Tugwell. The meeting place is every other Wednesday from 7 to 9pm at 18 (3F3) Sciennes Road, Leith, Edinburgh. For further details please contact David Tugwell on 07972 896737, email : georgiansong[at]gmail.com

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


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 ("Zurmukthi"). For more information, please contact Silvia Franke: silvia.franke[at]aon.at
She 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).


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. The next camp in Georgia will be from MAY 14th to 28th 2005  (see website www.villageharmony.org)

They will be organizing a northeastern America tour for the Anchiskhati Choir from Georgia in 2005.

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: