VOLNY CHOR
SING FOR VICTORY!
Volny Chor is a unique civil and cultural movement that emerged in the times of protests in Belarus and has become a symbol of the Revolution for millions of people
About us
On August 25, 2020 Volny Chor arranged its first public singing act in the shopping mall Stolytsa (Minsk). From the very first days of its existence it became an active part of the protest movement and a powerful source of inspiration for Belarusians
357 people

Sang with Volny Chor throughout its existence
6 music videos

Were shot by Volny Chor in 2 years
103 performances

Of Volny Chor have taken place since 2020
58 songs and hymns

Are in the choir’s repertory
“Volny Chor” is one of the symbols of the Belarusian protests. It made the songs of resistance sound in all corners of Minsk and the whole Belarus, and Belarusians now know by heart the lyrics of the famous songs such as “Pahonia” (the Pursuit) and “Mahutny Bozha” (Gog Almighty)”
Euroradio
How it all began
Volny Chor emerged from the rallies arranged by the musicians of the Belarusian State Philharmonic in August 2020. Almost instantly they were joined by the members of other Minsk collectives: conductors, vocalists, choir singers, musicians, chanters, bards, folk musicians, and common people that just wanted to sing.
Both professionals and amateurs were united by one common desire: to stop the violence and return to justice.

Our work in Belarus 
Volny Chor arranged flash mobs at the largest shopping malls, took part in the yard concerts in different neighborhoods of Minsk, formed a singing column and sang during the peaceful street rallies from August to November 2020, sang songs in support of the fired actors of the Kupalovsky Theatre and the workers of the Minsk Tractor Plant, took part in the rallies at the Bolshoi Opera and Ballet Theatre, in the metro, at the railway station and the largest food market “Komarovka”. 
During these months the choir recorded two albums “The Worthful Songs”, arranged three online concerts, participated in a number of music TV projects and shot 6 music videos.

Arrests
Dozens of the choir members got arrested, did jail terms from 10 to 30 days and had to pay enormous fines (some of them repeatedly) for taking part in the singing rallies. Some members faced criminal charges threatening jail terms from 8 to 20 years.

Emigration
Many of the Volny Chor singers had to leave Belarus because of persecution and the threat of arrests. Since the end of June 2021 the choir has been based in Poland where we arrange numerous concerts and tours to talk about our historical past, our horrific present and the hope for the bright future of the New Free Belarus.

The Warsaw period
During the time of forced emigration in Warsaw Volny Chor has grown into a more notable organization, Fundacja Volny Chor, which unites around it the prominent cultural workers of Belarus with a mission to preserve the Belarusian culture in exile, as well as promote its development in the territory of Belarus and spread it around the world. To accomplish this, Volny Chor continues its touring activity, records music videos and albums, includes into its repertory the works composed by Belarusians that were repressed in different times of history, develops the educational line of its activities to spread the knowledge of Belarusian historical and cultural heritage. 
Despite all the difficulties, persecution and pressure, the Choir lives and keeps on singing! Volny Chor has become a symbol of the Belarusian protest and carries the Belarusian song like a flag!

Repertory
The repertory of Volny Chor is compiled of the works by Belarusian composers that reflect the love and respect for their homeland. These are the works that empower and awaken the patriotic feelings. One of our key missions is to revive the forgotten music pieces, search for the ones that were lost and bring them back into the contemporary musical space. That is why most of the songs in our repertory are the ones composed in the 30-40s of the XX century, among which are: “A khto tam idzie?” (“Who’s marching there?”) based on the poem by Yanka Kupala, “O, Belarus, maya shypshyna” (O, Belarus, my rose bush), by U. Dubouka, “Za Sluchchynu” (For Sluchchyna) by N. Arsenieva, a number of works by such composers as Mikola Ravensky, Mikola Schaglou-Kulikovich, Uladzimir Terauski. The authors of the songs we sing had difficult fates. Some of them were executed by the Soviet authorities or forced to leave the country. Many works were released abroad by underground publishing houses, many were lost for good and those that survived were either forgotten or remained prohibited to this day. By doing our work we contribute to the cause of revival of the Belarusian musical heritage. 
Apart from that our repertory includes the compositions and reworks by contemporary composers some of which were specifically made for Volny Chor. Thus we build bridges between the past and the present, promoting the topicality of these works and their consonance with the current times. 
Our wish is to spread the Belarusian song so that it sounds in all parts of our home country and in the whole world. We believe that these songs have the power to unite the Belarusian people. We hope that the songs from our repertory will become the grounds for creation of the true Song Fest in Belarus.
Albums
Video
Concerts
Music videos
Rallies
Audio
Us on media
Belarusian media
Foreign media
Our contact details:
"VOLNY CHOR" Foundation
ul. Działdowska 6, 01-184 Warszawa,
NIP 527-29-81-598, REGON 520718077
e-mail: volnychoir@gmail.com
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