The Stanisław Moniuszko State Music School Complex in Łódź
Mixed Choir and Orchestra of the Stanisław Moniuszko Music School Complex in Łódź
The Mixed Choir of the Music School Complex in Łódź was established in the year 2000. It has been directed since the beginning by Dawid Ber. As of 2015 the second conductor is Maria Hubluk-Kaszuba.
The ensemble performs a capella repertoire, the great oratorio works, as well as pieces from musicals and gospel music.
The Choir performs in concert together with the Symphony Orchestra of the Łódź Philharmonic and with the Symphony Orchestra of the S. Moniuszko Music School Complex in concerts at the A. Rubinstein Philharmonic in Łódź, including “Młodzi w Łodzi” [The Young in Łódź] cycle, as well as in sacred interiors and other concert halls in Łódź. The Choir’s concerts have been recorded and released on CD by the School.
The Choir has been conducted by Krzysztof Penderecki, Marek Pijarowski, Tadeusz Wojciechowski, Barbara Sobolczyk, Andrzej Straszyński Tadeusz Wicherek, Grzegorz Wierus, Dawid Ber, Patryk Kobylarczyk, Mariusz Lewy and Maria Hubluk-Kaszuba.
The Choir has performed in the 2004 and 2005 editions of the Eurotreff Musik festival in Wehr and Biberach in Germany and in May 2009 in the Italian city of Reggio Emilia with the city orchestra.
In 2004 the Choir recorded a CD with its current repertoire.
The Choir won many prizes, including 1st prize in the 7th “Cantio Lodziensis” National Choral Festival (2004), 1st prize in the 1st Regional Auditions of Music School Choirs of the Łódź Region in Skierniewice (2005), 1st prize in the 3rd National Festival of Music School Choirs in Ostrów Wielkopolski (2006), 2nd prize in the 9th “Cantio Lodziensis” National Choral Festival (2006), 1st prize in the 2nd Regional Auditions of Music School Choirs of the Łódź Region in Skierniewice (2007), 1st prize in the 4th “Bel Canto” National Festival of Music School Choirs in in Ostrów Wielkopolski (2008), Grand Prix in the 12th “Cantate Deo” International Choral Festival in Rzeszów (2008), 1st place in the 11th “Cantio Lodziensis” National Choral Festival (2008), Grand Prix in the 3rd Regional Auditions of Music School Choirs of the Łódź Region in Skierniewice (2009), 1st place in the 15th “Cantio Lodziensis” National Choral Festival (2012), Grand Prix in the 5th Regional Auditions of Music School Choirs of the Łódź Region in Skierniewice (2013), 2nd place in the 17th “Cantio Lodziensis” National Choral Festival (2014), 1st place in the 21st “Cantate Deo” International Choral Festival in Rzeszów (2017), Silver Ribbon in the 9th National Choir Tournament for the Crystal Heart of Chełm Autumn (2017), 1st place in the 20th “Cantio Lodziensis” National Choral Festival (2017) and 1st place in the Centre for Artistic Education Regional Auditions of Secondary Music School Choirs (2018).
In February 2005 the Choir sang in the concert inaugurating the 90th anniversary year of the Łódź Philharmonic.
In 2010 and 2011 it worked together with the choir and orchestra of the Academy of Music in Łódź in performances of sacred music by A. Bruckner and F. Nowowiejski. In September 2012 and 2014 the Choir took part in the La Folle Journée Festival – “Russia” (2012) and “America” (2014) held in the National Opera in Warsaw.
In February 2013 it was involved in the production of Roman Czubaty’s musical “The Blue Castle” based on a novel by Lucy Maud Montgomery. The event also involved singers from the Vocal Department, the Symphony Orchestra of the Stanisław Moniuszko Music School Complex in Łódź, as well as dancers from the Feliks Parnell General Ballet School in Łódź.
In July 2013 and 2014 the Choir took part in the “Sommerphilharmonie” in Chemnitz, Chomutov, Dresden and Łódź and in 2015 in the EuroTreff International Youth Choir Festival.
2016 was the year of the School’s 70th anniversary and the Anniversary Gala in which the Choir performed.
In January 2018 the Choir took part in the Old Movies carnival concert, where together with the Orchestra and soloists of the School and students of the Feliks Parnell General Ballet School in Łódź they performed favourite film score works and hits.
Dawid Ber choirmaster
Dawid Ber is a conductor, choirmaster and music theorist. He graduated in music theory in the class of Professor Franciszek Wesołowski and completed the Vocal and Vocal & Instrumental Ensemble Direction Course at the Academy of Music in Łódź (1998). In 2000 he completed with honours a post-graduate choirmaster course at the Feliks Nowowiejski Academy of Music in Bydgoszcz. In 2005 he obtained a doctor of arts degree in conducting from the Fryderyk Chopin Acedemy of Music in Warsaw. In 2017 he obtained the title of doctor habilitatus at the Academy of Music in Cracow.
In 1995-1999 David Ber was a full-time employee of the Choir of the Łódź Philharmonic.
Beginning with the 2011/2012 season he took over the position of first conductor and head of the Choir of the Łódź Philharmonic.
In 1996-1998 he taught and conducted in the Henryk Wieniawski General Primary & Secondary Music School in Łódź, continuing this since 1998 in the Stanisław Moniuszko Music School Complex in Łódź im. Stanisława Moniuszki w Łodzi (subjects taught: music theory – harmony, ear training, mixed choir). He was also a teacher in High School No. 6 in Łódź, in the State Primary & Secondary Music School in Piotrków Trybunalski, in the Secondary non-profit private Music School at the Polish Music Institute and at the Baptist Theological College in Warsaw.
In 2004-2009 and 2010-2011 Ber was the vice principal responsible for artistic activities in the Stanisław Moniuszko Music School Complex in Łódź, where in 2014 he took over the position of head of the Music Theory Section.
In 2008 he was employed in the Faculty of Music Education in the Grażyna & Kiejstut Bacewicz Academy of Music in Łódź, where he teaches conducting, currently holding the position of assistant lecturer. In 2016 he took over the position of Head of the Faculty of Music Education.
David Ber has led the mixed choir of the Baptist Christian Church since 1992. In 1996 he founded, then led for 8 years the Alla Camera vocal ensemble. Also in 1996 he became the artistic director and conductor of the Lutnia Singers’ Association in Zgierz. He led the ensemble for 15 years, until 2011. In 2002–2005 he led the Teachers’ Choir in Łódź and he is the conductor of the “Vivid Singers” Chamber Choir since 2005. In 2014 he took over the position of conductor of the Choir of the Academy of Music in Łódź. Together with his choirs Ber received a number of awards and distinctions at numerous festivals and competitions in Poland and abroad.
He conducted many concerts in Poland, Germany, the Netherlands, Austria, Belgium, Denmark, the Czech Republic, Italy and Lithuania.
David Ber is a jury member and lectures music theory and choral techniques at festivals, competitions, workshops and seminars.
Maria Hubluk-Kaszuba choirmaster
Maria Hubluk-Kaszuba is a conductor and choirmaster. She graduated from the Grażyna & Kiejstut Bacewicz Academy of Music in Łódź in the class of dr Barbara Sobolczyk.
In 2012 she completed with honours a post-graduate choirmaster course in the Feliks Nowowiejski Academy of Music in Bydgoszcz.
She is currently studying solo singing in the Academy of Music in Łódź in the class of Professor Urszula Kryger and dr Patrycja Krzeszowska-Kubit.
She works in the choir of the Artur Rubinstein Philharmonic in Łódź.
She also sings in the Vivid Singers chamber choir, directed by dr Dawid Ber.
Maria Hubluk-Kaszuba was a long-term director of the Łódź Teachers’ Choir. In 2013 she formed the Rebelove women’s chamber choir. She is the conductor of the mixed choir in the Stanisław Moniuszko State Music School Complex in Łódź and the assistant choirmaster in the Łódź Philharmonic and in the Choir of the Acedemy of Music in Łódź.
Maria Hubluk-Kaszuba and her choirs win prizes and distinctions in choral copetitions all over Poland. She has won several awards for best conductor of the festival.
Orchestra of the Stanisław Moniuszko State Music School Complex in Łódź
The history and activities of the Symphony Orchestra of the Stanisław Moniuszko State Music School Complex in Łódź are inextricably tied to the history of the School, established by a Regulation of the Minister of Culture and Art on 1 February 1946.
The first phase of the school’s activity was a time of strong ties with the Higher School of Music in Łódź. Both institutions occupied the same antique palace at 32 Gdańska Street, also sharing, to a large extent, the same teaching staff and ensembles, such as the choir and orchestra.
The years 1950-55 were a time of shaping the school’s organisational structure and developing its programme. It was then, under the direction of Władysław Raczkowski, that the school successfully staged, among others, fragments of Puccini’s Madame Butterfly Offenbach’s The Tales of Hoffmann, Moniuszko’s The Haunted Manor and such renowned works as Mozart’s Requiem and Szymanowski’s Stabat Mater.
That first phase established the school’s artistic direction for many years to come, oriented towards concert performances of great symphonic, vocal and scenic works. Among works performed were A. Malawski’s Wierchy, D. Shostakovich’s The Song of the Forests, A. Borodin’s Polovtsian Dances, H. Purcell’s Dido and Eneas, Moniuszko’s Milda and Crimean Sonnets, Vivaldi’s Magnificat, Gloria and Stabat Mater, M. Zwierzchowski’s Requiem, W. A. Mozart’s Coronation Mass, H. M. Górecki’s Ad Matrem, W. Kilar’s Krzesany, Siwa Mgła and Exodus, concertos with solo instruments by J. S. Bach, W. A. Mozart, C. Saint-Saëns, K. Kurpiński, A. Piazzolla and many others.
In their belief that the experience of playing in ensembles has a significant impact on young musicians’ technical skills, the orchestra’s conductors: Zygmunt Gzella, Zdzisław Sołtyszewski, Barbara Sobolczyk, Marta Kosielska and Grzegorz Wierus have combined teaching with the process of introducing young artists into the world of professional concert life. The School Orchestra plays concerts at least three times in each school year, (including the concert featuring graduating students at the end of each school year). The Symphony Orchestra of the Stanisław Moniuszko Music School Complex in Łódź has played on the stages of the Łódź Opera, Teatr Muzyczny and Teatr Nowy in Łódź. The ensemble also appears regularly on the stage of the Artur Rubinstein Philharmonic concert hall.
The orchestra has also played on foreign concert tours in Germany (1999 , Stuttgart) and in 2005 (the Eurotreff festival). It has also played first performances of works by contemporary Łódź composers: Bronisław Kazimierz Przybylski, Krzysztof Grzeszczak and Artur Zagajewski.
The Orchestra’s most recent success was a joint performance with soloists (singers), choir, ballet and a big band of Roman Czubaty’s musical The Blue Castle (the Kazimierz Dejmek Nowy Theatre in Łódź in the 2012/2013 season). The performances were a success for actors playing the main roles, and for the vocal and dance ensembles, with an enormous amount of work contributed by the Symphony Orchestra of the Stanisław Moniuszko Music School Complex in Łódź under the direction of Grzegorz Wierus.
Grzegorz Wierus conductor
Grzegorz Wierus graduated with honours from the Academy of Music in Cracow in the conducting class of Professor Tomasz Bugaj and from the Cracow University of Technology (degree in architecture). He refined his skills in the class of Wojciech Rajski (Hochschule für Musik und Darstellende Kunst in Frankfurt am Main) and in master classes led by, among others, Gabriel Chmura, Howard Williams, Lucas Vis and Helmuth Rilling.
Since 2012 Grzegorz Wierus has been connected with the Stanisław Moniuszko Grand Theatre in Poznań, conducting performances of Verdi’s Falstaff, Mozart’s The Magic Flute, Moniuszko’s Halka, Mussorgsky’s Boris Godunov, Ravel’s L’enfant et les sortilèges, Stravinsky’s Rite of Spring, Oedipus Rex and The Nightingale, Tchaikovsky’s Swan Lake and Coli’s The Angel of the Odd. Starting in 2010 he started collaboration with the Artur Rubinstein Symphony Orchestra in Łódź (as assistant conductor in 2010-2012, directing, among others a cycle of concerts for families titled Philharmonic – what’s all the noise about? He also conducted the Cracow Philharmonic Orchestra, the Symphony and Chamber Orchestra and Choir of the Academy ofMusic in Cracow, the Szeged Symphony Orchestra, the Orchestra of the Beethoven Academy, Polish Chamber Philharmonic in Sopot, the Sudecka Philharmonic Orchestra in Wałbrzych and Ensemble Nostri Temporis in Kiev. Wierus also conducts the Orchestra of the Stanisław Moniuszko State Music School Complex in Łódź. He devotes significant time to projects connected with contemporary and alternative music, and also to activities combining music and theatre. These include K. Nepelski’s Solaris Electronic Opera (Malta Festival, Poznań 2007), the Haendel/Nepelski – Giulio Cesare opera project with Grupa InAntis (Iubilaei Cantus Festival, Nowy Sącz 2009), Oratorium Dance Project together with Teatr Chorea in Łódź (the performance received the Teatralne Złote Maski 2011/2012 and Energia kultury 2011 awards) and J. F. Wojciechowski’s Ofelia (10th Metaphors of Reality, Poznań, 2017). Wierus is also a keen social activist, involving himself in projects linking professional and amateur music (Mgłowce [Foggers] and Zziajani Porywacze Makowców [Breathless Kidnappers of Poppy Pies] projects, run together with poet & amateur musician Łukasz Jarosz). He also runs numerous workshops and concerts intended to popularise music, working together with the ABC XXI Foundation (Everyone in Poland Reads to Their Children), the Little Warsaw Autumn Festival and the Adam Mickiewicz Institute.