We are raising money to send thirty talented singers and musicians based in the North-East of Scotland to perform at the ‘Nakielsis Cantat’ festival in Poland (15–17 September).
This visit is thanks to a kind reciprocal invitation by Nadzieja Choir from Nakło nad Notecią, Poland, whose members were invited to Aberdeen in January to participate in the city’s ‘Polish-Scottish Commemoration and Celebration’ events. Nadzieja Choir were so overwhelmed by the positive reception to their visit that they decided to invite the Polish Scottish Song and Story Group, the Melting Pot Collective, as well as singers and musicians Iona Fyfe, Kristin Borgehed, and Nathan Bissette to perform at the autumn festival ‘Nakielsis Cantat’ in Nakło nad Notecią on the 15th, 16th, and 17th of September.
Bringing Scottish and Polish Music Abroad
This visit to Poland is a vital step in promoting Aberdeen, its music, and the diversity of its talented residents. The visiting singers and musicians will perform over three days for a public of over 700 people, and these events will be covered by Polish national television, as well as TVP3 in Bydgoszcz, and Radio Nakło.
From the perspective of Polish Association Aberdeen, it is great to be able to help and give something back to the music community in Aberdeen, which welcomes so many our Polish-Scottish events. For local musicians there will be a number of benefits: a cross-cultural collaboration with musicians from Poland; workshops for the participants; learning new music and songs; and the chance to learn about Poland through visiting the cities of Bydgoszcz and Torun. This is a fantastic and unique way to promote the great city of Aberdeen and the immense talent it contains.
The Beginning of Our Musical Partnership
The ‘Polish-Scottish Commemoration and Celebration’ events in January, which were at the origin of this visit to Poland, were organised by Polish Association Aberdeen (with the cooperation of the University of Aberdeen’s Elphinstone Institute and Queen’s Cross Church). They included a Polish-Scottish celebration night (a Polish-Scottish version of ‘Burns Supper’) with Danse McCabre playing traditional ceilidh dances, krakowiak, and polonez from both countries (https://www.facebook.com/events/1917656221791380/). The Polish Scottish Song and Story Group and our Polish guests from Nadzieja Choir, performed traditional songs from both countries with a great finale of ‘Auld Lang Syne’, which was performed by everyone in five different languages (English, Polish, Japanese, Russian and German). It was a great and memorable event which was very well received by Poles and Aberdonians – including the Vice-Consul of the Polish Consulate and the Lord Provost of Aberdeen – and also local musicians. The event also featured traditional foods from Poland and Scotland, such as bigos, pierogi, sledziki, and haggis, neeps, and tatties.
For members of Nadzieja it was a memorable experience. In addition to the above event, they met with members of the Melting Pot Collective at Tea Zone, where Nadzieja performed ‘Remedium’, a Polish classic by Maryla Rodowicz. This meeting began a strong friendship between the musicians. Though Nadzieja Choir have won many Grand Prix choir competitions, for some of them it was the first time they had ever flown on a plane.
Members of Nadzieja and their award-winning conductor, Michał Gacka, love Scottish traditional music, and greatly enjoyed the music from around the world which they heard performed by the Melting Pot Collective. They were so pleased by how well they were received in Aberdeen, that they decided to invite all of the musicians and singers above to perform at the autumn festival ‘Nakielsis Cantat’ in Naklo nad Notecia.
Renewed Interest in Polish and Scottish Folk Music in Aberdeen
Since January’s events, there has been a huge surge in interest in Polish and Scottish traditional folk music, and many of the musicians who are members of the Melting Pot Collective have joined the Polish-Scottish Song and Story Group. There are more collaborations planned, for example between The Drift, a Polish rock band, and the Melting Pot Collective. There are also plans for more Polish-Scottish Celebration events, with guests from the University of Silesia’s Institute of Music, as well as Jakim Cudem, Formacja, and local groups the Melting Pot Collective and the Polish-Scottish Song and Story Group. There are also plans for a collaboration with Simon Gall and his ‘Other Music Festival’ next year and a performance of Kapela Hanki Wojciak in Aberdeen.
With your support, we can help make this visit to Poland possible, and continue to promote Aberdeen’s exciting talent, both here and abroad.