Vilnius choir singing school „Liepaitės“ today
Vilnius choir singing school „Liepaitės“ firmly took root in cultural life of Lithuania. „Liepaitės“ performs in biggest concert halls, choir’s voices are conducted by the most celebrated conductors of Lithuania J. Domarkas, S..Sondeckis, G. Rinkevičius, R. Šervenikas, M. Pitrėnas, M. Staškus, M. Barkauskas. Choirs have broad repertoire – from Lithuanian folklore songs to large-scale works with an orchestra. Concert tour routes are widely spread throughout all the Europe.
School has 40 highly qualified teachers and concertmasters: 5 expert teachers, 1 expert accompanist, 12 supervisor teachers, 2 supervisor accompanists, 9 supreme teachers and 3 supreme accompanists. We are glad, that today in the school work first „Liepaitės“ singers and schoolgirls, who later became choir teacher, and now – known choirmasters: teacher-expert H. Šečkuvienė, A. Steponavičiūtė Zupkauskienė, N. Timofejeva, from the younger generation – supervisor teacher I. Miškinienė.
Every year the school has about four hundred students divided in groups according to different musical education programs: primary (grades 1-3), secondary (grades 4-7), long-term purposeful (grades 8-11) or professional development (grades 9-12). Also, there are Early music education group and several methodical groups of: choirs (chairperson J. Dirgėlaitė), instrument playing (chairperson J. Staškienė), piano and accompanists (chairperson S. Dūdėnienė) and voice development (chairperson pirmininkė J. Staškienė), fortepijono ir koncertmeisterių (pirmininkė S. Dūdėnienė), balso lavinimo (pirmininkė G. Skerytė).
In the school all the creative life is turning around choirs. Choir is the main thing for all of the students. Choirs are regular participants of Lithuanian Song Celebrations, various concert programs and projects. Students are divided in six choirs according to the age: first, second, third grade choirs (choirmasters: expert teacher N. Timofejeva, supervisors teachers J. Dirgėlaitė and D. Mickevičiūtė), junior choir (grades 4-5, choirmaster supervisor teacher E. Jaraminienė), junior choir (grades 6-7, teacher-expert A. Steponavičiūtė Zupkauskienė) and girls` choir (grades 8-12, teacher-expert J. Vaitkevičienė). During seven years of study, students receive basic music education and by completing it successfully, passes to the artistic group – girls` choir. The most talented school girls from the ninth grade can seek professional career in music. In 2010 special programs for solo singing, choir conducting, musicology have been launched. Students from these specialties participate and win in many national and international competitions and festivals.
In the first grade students start learning to play instruments they choose – piano, flute, violin or guitar. Talented and willing to learn students start higher instrumental studies from the third grade. While learning to play an instrument, students also develop their self expression, thus revealing their individuality and artistic qualities. Differentiated teaching of an instrument allows the most talented students to master it perfectly and participate in city’s, national or international competitions and festivals, and achieve excellent results.
Ensemble music is also popular in the school. There are four instrumental ensembles: violins (teacher E. Vadoklienė), side-blown flutes (teachers J. Staškienė and V. Žičkus), end-blown flutes (teacher L. Liaudanskaitė) and piano duet (teachers J. Klovaitė and S. Dūdėnienė).
In the choir singing school voice is the main „instrument“. Starting at the sixth grade girls participate, as soloists or ensembles, in the events of the school, win prizes in festivals and competitions of the city, country or abroad. Students learn secrets of singing from teachers supervisors G. Skerytė, J. Vizbaraitė and I. Miškinienė, and principal teacher V. Taurinskaitė-Rukšienė.
Since „Liepaitės“ girls` choir foundation has passed more than fifty years. This half-century can be divided into two periods. The first one – year of 1964-1992 – girls` choir studio of Republican Trade Union Palace of Culture, which certainly had an important role in the children’s choir Lithuanian cultural context, and the second – from 1993, when choir singing school „Liepaitės“ was founded, and the collective took a second breath. Vilnius choir singing school „Liepaitės“ celebrated its 20th anniversary in 2013.