Tallinn University of Technology

Various troupes from TalTech are going to participate in this year’s Youth Song and Dance Celebration ‘Holy is the Land’. The Kuljus folk dance group, brass band, and chamber choir have been eagerly preparing for the big celebration, with many people interested and work already underway since last autumn.

Rebeka Nipernado, Andreas Saluste and Emily Joy Krohn | Photos: private collection

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The 13th Youth Dance Celebration is entitled ‘Bridges’ and tells the coming of age story of young people. Kuljus started to prepare for the dance celebration in the autumn, when a group of freshmen formed a new troupe. The first audition in January was nerve-racking, but despite the slippery floor, it went very well. A month later, the second audition took place, which went well, except for a slight shock – a moment before the start, we were told that we were first in line and that the audience was sitting on the other side than we had expected. However, we adapted quickly!

We were extremely excited when we were selected as one of the ten best groups in the whole republic, and we were also offered the opportunity to participate in the opening ceremony of the Dance Celebration. This is a great honour! In addition to the Dance Celebration, we are also excited about the procession, which will be led by the Rectorate of TalTech, headed by Rector Tiit Land. Together, let’s keep the university flag flying high!

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Flute players at band practice

For the brass band of TalTech, learning the repertoire for the Song Celebration and the preliminary rehearsals were not particularly stressful, as the songs are quite simple compared to our usual repertoire. In addition, the TalTech brass band has an advantage – the principal conductor of the band, Tarmo Kivisilla, will also conduct a song at the Song Celebration.

The joint rehearsals of the Tallinn orchestras took place in the TalTech auditorium which was packed with musicians. Our musicians take a kind of pride in this – few orchestras can say they have auditioned on their home turf.

The members of the band look eagerly forward to the celebration in the summer, as it is always a fun experience. What the musicians are most excited about is the procession of the Song and Dance Celebration, as this is the moment when all the troupes of TalTech march to the sound of their instruments.

For the chamber choir, the Song Celebration was in the works a year ago, when it had to predict how many members would be joining the choir for the new season so they could order songbooks. The Song Celebration became even more tangible when we saw the number of people at the auditions of the choir – new singers came from among upper secondary school pupils, university freshmen, and other singing enthusiasts.

TalTech chamber choir participated in two auditions in Tallinn. From the very first chord, it was possible to feel the energy of youth, the choirs are well prepared, and the song Celebration is going to be spectacular. The performance of the choir earned them the rating ‘Excellent’ and they were named a category I choir.

To reinforce what they had learned during the year and to give those interested a first taste of the Song Celebration, the chamber choir organised a Song Celebration-themed concert for technical schools ‘In the rhythm of the Song Festival’ on 6 May. The chamber choirs of TalTech and TTK University of Applied Sciences, dance group Kuljus, and folk group Savijalakesed of TalTech performed at the concert. This allowed the singers to see beautiful dancing that is not normally seen at the song festival grounds, and the dancers to hear beautiful sounds that are not usually heard at Kalev Stadium.

See you at the Song and Dance Celebration!