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News

The Jubilee of “Zarnitsa”

01.12.2011

In December it will have been a quarter of a century of the creative work of the folk group “Zarnitsa”, a song reserve cherishing old Cossack songs including those “sung” on the pages of the novel “And Quiet Flows the Don”.

The folk group was founded on the initiative of the first director of the Museum N.A. Bulavin and joined people of different professions, passionate lovers of the Don Cossack song.

Nikolay Alexandrovich said: “Sholokhov was infinitely fond of his country, Cossacks, their songs and traditions. And the main purpose of the group is to preserve all that was dear to the writer in his life-time, as well as the old Cossack song. The song helps the people coming to the great writer’s tomb to get to know and love our country, Sholokhov and the personages of his books”.

The first leader of the folk group “Zarnitsa” was Serghey Streltsov. In 1997 he was changed by Valentina Koshkina, who is still the leader of the group.

Working over the group repertoire a special attention was paid to the mode and performance accuracy especially of the drawn out songs. After all, in the times past the song was heard, sung and known, but today the Cossack song is seldom performed.

Preserving the performance mode of Vyoshenskaya, popularizing the Cossack song and preserving Cossack traditions are the main creative aspects of the “Zarnitsa”, which the performers have been successfully realizing for 25 years.

The folk group “Zarnitsa” have done a lot: numerous performances in the Don region, about Russia, abroad. The performers were applauded in Rostov, Voronezh, Volgograd, Moscow, Ryazan, Penza regions, in the cities of Velikiy Novgorod, Uliyanovsk, in the Chuvashian Republic and the Altai Region. As well, the group performed in many theatres and concert halls of Moscow.

The performances of “Zarnitsa” suggest a special air of steppe, of freemen… Imbibing a beauty of the people’s word, a melody of the tune forgotten, a wisdom of the old rite, “Zarnitsa” fill the viewers’ hearts with a feeling of pride for the Don country, a true love for it and attract new admirers of the Don Cossack song.

For the great work in preserving and popularizing the song heritage of the Upper Don Cossacks the group “Zarnitsa” was many times awarded Honorary Diplomas, Thanksgiving Letters, Certificates, presents and souvenirs. All these awards occupy an honorary place in the Museum holding to prove the great contribution of the group “Zarnitsa” in preserving the Sholokhov heritage.

In 1999 the folk group “Zarnitsa” was awarded the title of “The People’s Amateur Group”.

The group “Zarnitsa” (the leader is V. Koshkina) is a permanent member of the All-Russian literary folk festival “Sholokhov Spring”, the laureate of the All-Russian contest “Traditions” (Velikiy Novgorod, 2004), of the festival “Visiting Shukshin” (Srostki, the Altai Region, 2005), of the VII All-Russian festival “Rus of Songs”, “Rus of Artisans” (Voronezh, 2006).

The art director Valentina Koshkina was awarded the Honorary Diploma “For the work of long standing in the field of preserving the folk heritage of the Quiet Don”, the medal “100th Anniversary of the Great Russian Writer, the Nobel Prize Winner Sholokhov”. On December, 14, 2009, in the Moscow Chaikovskiy concert hall V.I. Koshkina was awarded the prize of the Russian Federation Government “The Soul of Russia” in the nomination of “Traditional People’s Culture” for the contribution in the development of the people’s art.

The famous song group of the State M.A. Sholokhov Museum-Reserve is full of energy and creative prospects.

In full swing are the rehearsals of the holiday party “To “Zarnitsa” for the Jubilee Shcherba”, which is to be held on December, 10. The audience will enjoy a holiday of songs, sparkling Cossack dances and subtle Don humour.

Tatiyana Galitsina