Silvia Kekenák et Andrea Ferencei
MSGA Children´s Choir, Kosice – Slovakia
The choirs established at the Sándor Márai Secondary and Elementary School with Hungarian as the Language of Instruction have been continually working since 1969. This is the year of the foundation of the MSGA Children´s Choir. Throughout the years there have been more than 800 members of our choirs (as counted at the 50th anniversary of establishing choral singing at our school in 2019)!
Our school – the only one gathering around 340 Hungarian children from 6 to 19 years living in Kosice and the nearby region – was named after the world-known Hungarian writer, Sándor Márai who was born in our city. Hence the English abbreviation of the name of the choir which we simply took from the Hungarian initials.
Members of the choir are 9-15 years old pupils of our primary school. The Children´s Choir have regular rehearsals every week but many of our singers sing parallelly in 2 choirs (the children´s and the girls’ choir) and thus we can reach the continuous revival of the choirs.
We have to mention there is no special music education at our school and many of our singers have never visited music schools. It is the passion for singing together what makes us continue in this beautiful tradition of choral singing. The choir has weekly afternoon rehearsals as an extra-curricular activity. Before competitions we have regular morning sessions and twice a year we organise a weekend rehearsal as well. Every September all our choir members take part in a 4-day choir camp where we start mastering the new season´s repertoire. We have a strong collaboration among our choirs: The Children´s, the Girls, and the Youth Choir.
We are proud to represent our town, our region and country but also our Hungarian national minority living in Slovakia. Our repertoire stretches from the renaissance up to the 21st century. We love singing a capella and accompanied pieces as well. We put a lot of emphasize on mastering unison singing via Hungarian folk songs and we also love their arrangements. We had many beautiful opportunities to sing along with folk bands, opera singers and a pop band as well. We mostly sing in Hungarian, Slovak, Latin, English and Italian.
We have also worked together with foreign conductors in workshops at our school before 2020.
The Children´s Choir ranks among the best artistic groups in Slovakia. Every 3 years we compete with children’s choirs of Hungarian minority living in Slovakia. Here are some of our successes reached in the past few years:
The conductors of the choir are Mrs Silvia Kekenák and Mrs Andrea Ferencei, both are former choir members and what´s more, Mrs Kekenak is the daughter of the founder of our choirs.
The conductors have been working together for more than 20 years at the same school and they have developed and shared a flourishing cooperation which is based on mutual respect, joy in teaching young people and love of choral singing.