It is 63 years since the Songs and Dance Band ‘Śląsk’ has been making us aware of the unusual treasure which is Polish national culture. Every concert is listened to with ovation, audience always stand up and ask for encores – this is so in Poland, Japan, USA and Australia

Such bravo is our joy and the most beautiful award for artists who do their best during every performance – says Zbigniew Cierniak, the director of ‘Śląsk’, who sang and danced in the Band for 17 years before.

‘Śląsk’ is a colourful and dynamic show, as well as the highest artistic level. Fervent fans, who have watched the main programs of the Band many times: ‘And this is just Poland’, ‘Kilar, Hadyna – two hearts, one Śląsk’, ‘In Europe with <<Śląsk>>, say that they always listen to the known songs with the same sentiment and emotions, and they look for breath-taking evolutions of dancers.

A richer repertoire

The newly-begin artistic season, which was solemnly inaugurated in the castle in Koszęcin, will also bring a lot of interesting ventures. – In the beginning of October we are going to Lithuania, in order to present two beautiful concerts in Vilnus – says the director Cierniak. – We are getting prepared for the journey to the United States at the turn of March and April next year, we are working on the French and German markets. We have also been invited to participate in the jubilee of the 500th anniversary of reformation. Because the founder of the Band prof. Stanisław Hadyna was an evangelist and we have a lot of evangelical songs in our repertoire, we decided that we would take an artistic part in enriching the jubilee ceremonies.

The director emphasizes that although in the repertoire of the Band there are hundreds of dances and songs and for the nearest 100 years we could work on the repertoire, which it has got in its portfolio, it is going to prepare new offers every year. A particular occasion is the forthcoming 100th anniversary of getting independence by Poland and anniversaries of Moniuszko which give a chance to discover less known compositions of the father of the national opera.

Soon there will begin a new project called: ‘Helokanie from the south’ – a series of common workshops with the bands: Sluk from Slovakia, Lado from Croatia, and with the House of Tradition and the Band of National Songs and Dance from Budapest. The final of the mutual learning of the repertoire will be a series of concerts in autumn 2017 in the south of Europe – in Bratislava, Budapest and Zagrzebie.

Education and fun

It can be said jokingly that ‘Śląsk’ – like New York - never falls asleep. Even when the artistic band goes on longer concert tours, in Koszęcin a lot happens as ‘Śląsk’ is developing educational and animators’ activity, organizing events of various character.

We are planning various educational ventures and year by year we enrich this program – director Cierniak emphasizes. – A big group of children participate in an important project which is the Artistic Vocal-Ballet School. Its students develop their artistic talents and learn about Polish music, songs and dances. This is our contribution in educating the youth.

There are more such contributions, because a special department of the Band which is the Silesian Centre of Regional Education, organizes, among the others: Regional Review of Songs named prof. Adolf Dygacz ‘Silesian Singing’, a Summer Artistic School, Festival of Polish National Dances for Student of Secondary Ballet Schools, European Competition ‘Singing Śląsk – Kilar-Hadyna’.

‘Śląsk’ uses excellent values of its headquarter: a beautiful, newly-renovated monumental castle and park complex and the nearby area. Only this year was it an organizer of events going out to various needs and interests. Besides the three-day picnic ‘Day of ,,Śląsk””, taking place every year, there were, among the others, Senior’s Day, Night Cup Nordic Walking, spectacular Second Contest of Horse-riding for the Trophy of ‘Śląsk’, the First Edition of the International Folk Festival ‘Silesia’, National reading with the President of Polish Republic. There are a lot of ideas for enriching this offer.

From ‘Śląsk’ to the world

People, both artists and those engaged in work out of the stage decide about successes, popularity and the rank of ‘Śląsk’. For many of them ‘Śląsk’ is the first and the only place of work. But there are cases that skills gained in the Band become a pass to the international career. For example – Paulo Szot, born in Brazil as son of Polish emigrants, who studied in Cracow and sang in ‘Śląsk’ for 6 years as baritone. After his first opera performance in Sao Paulo, he became an international star. At present we can hear him in the Metropolitan Opera in New York, in operas and music theatres in Paris, Rome, Milan, Boston and on other known stages. An excellent example is also Daniel Badura - a solo singer of Opera in Berlin, and in the past Izabela Nawe who began her career as a solo singer in ‘Śląsk’.

Among artists working in the Band at present, there are also a lot of prominent individuals. We can see it. The headquarter of the Band of Songs and Dance ‘Śląsk’ named Stanisław Hadyna in Koszęcin is opened for everybody. During a year there are also a dozen interesting events here, and current information about them can be found on the website:www.zespolslask.pl


„Niedziela” 40/2016

Editor: Tygodnik Katolicki "Niedziela", ul. 3 Maja 12, 42-200 Czestochowa, Polska
Editor-in-chief: Fr Jaroslaw Grabowski • E-mail: redakcja@niedziela.pl