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The Saint Nicholas Orchestra came into existence in 1988. Since then we have focused our activities on everything associated with folklore, especially whatever has been condemned to be forgotten, and yet can inspire and enrich contemporary culture. The Orchestra gathers together people who would like to experience an adventure in folklore.

St. Nicholas Orchestra was the first group who became inspired by Slavonic music, starting a whole style of playing called "post - Orchestral". The group also introduced to Polish folk music a number of interesting instruments (such as dulcimer or a folk wooden flute) and a technique of singing in a so-called "white voice."

The beginnings of the Orchestra were connected with hiking in the Polish mountains which fifty years ago were still inhabited by Lemko and Boyko Ruthenians (eastern Polish Carpathians). At first, our repertoire embraced mainly Ruthenian songs but now it comprises also music from the Hutsul region (Ukrainian Carpathians) and Poland - at the moment our main inspiration.

The instruments we play are: the violin, dulcimer, mandolin, mandola, duble bass, dutar, flutes, bass drum, congas, percussion instruments, guitars, uod, saz, koboz and many others.

The most important events of group:

The Orchestra has played over 1000 concerts and took part in many TV programmes. In 1994 we played at the Festival of European Broadcasting Union in Rudolstadt as the representatives of the Polish Radio. We played also at "Sfinks Festival" in Belgium in 1999, at Expo 2000 in Hanover, during Polish Days in Spain (2001), in Gewandhaus in Leipzig (2002), in Moldova (2003), at Chanson Folklore Festival in Burg Waldeck in Gemany (2004), in Nuernberg and Duesseldorf (2004), during Sheshory Festival 2004 in Ukraine, in Kaunas in Lithuania (2004), in Utrecht in Netherlands (2004) and in Prague (2004).

One of our albums was chosen the Polish "Folk Phonogramme of 1998".

Stylistically, we depart from traditional patterns by applying foreign or non-traditional instruments such as dutar or guitars. The arrangements are "unplugged" and they incorporate stylistic elements from many musical cultures. The words and melodies are authentic and collected from written and aural archival records. In Poland our music is recognised by the audience as a strongly transformed folk music inspired by very authentic and original folk sources. Foreign listeners, however, sometimes understand our music as a quite genuine continuation of living folk tradition because we play acoustic and try to preserve the folk vitality and liveliness of the original in our arrangements and performance.

Currently we perform a number of programmes within our repertoire:

1. "From the Far-off Times" - containing our most interesting songs from the years 1988 - 2003
2. "Music from Jawornik" - based on Lemko folklore, from Bieszczady Mountains in south - eastern Poland
3. "About Love at Hay Raking" - recorded on our latest CD. It consists mainly of poems by Wanda Czubernatowa (a contemporary folk poet from the Tatra Mountains) accompanied by traditional music from the Carpathians
4. "Hutsul Music" - the most recent programme prepared together with a Hutsul group of Roman Kumłyk from Werchowyna (Ukraine), inspired by the Hutsul musical folklore.


"Hutsul Music" - (2006, CD)
"About Love at Hay raking" - (2004, CD)
"Live - (2002, CD); mainly Polish folk music
"From the Far-off Times" -(2000, MC and CD); Polish folk music
"The Land of the Boyns" - (1998, MC and CD); Lemko, Boyko and Slovak folk songs
"It's Time to Head Home" - (1997, MC and CD); Polish folk music
"From the Hill Fields" - (1994, MC); Hutsul, Boyko and Polish songs
"The Music of the Mountains" - (1992, MC); Hutsul, Lemko and Polish songs from the Carpathians
Our songs were included in
"A musical Journey to Poland" - CD published by WeltWunder Records in Germany (1999),
"Pofolkuj sobie" CD (2000) published by Polish Radio,
"Potańcuj sobie" CD published by KOCH International (2000) "Bardentreffen 2004" - CD published by Heartmoon rec.

The Saint Nicholas Orchestra is not only a musical group. In 1991 the Orchestra was established as an official student organisation and since then it has been centred at "Chatka Żaka", the Academic Centre of Culture at Marie Curie-Skłodowska University in Lublin. St. Nicholas Orchestra has considerably contributed to the development of folk music in Poland and to defining notions associated with folk, through a variety of cultural enterprises that have popularised and stimulated the development of this kind of music. One of the most important of these enterprises is the International Festival of Folk Music "Mikołajki Folkowe," organised annually since 1991. The main objective of the Festival is presentation of new and interesting phenomena in music based on folklore, not only from Poland, but also from abroad. A very important element of the Festival is the "Open Stage" competition for debuting artists who play music inspired by folklore of various nations. Moreover, every year in July, since 1995, the Orchestra organizes also "The Meetings of the Mountain People" in Bieszczady Mountains consisting of film presentations, concerts and artistic workshops. St. Nicholas Orchestra has also created the only folk music magazine in Poland "Gadki z Chatki", published since 1996, thus establishing a forum for information, communication and documentation of folk movement. One of the latest projects of the magazine is the internet site you are visiting.

www.mikolaje.lublin.pl MP3 CLIP


Warsaw Village Band
The Saint Nicholas Orchestra
Trebunie Tutki Group
Jorgi Quartet
Broda Group
Ensemble Polonais

prof.Jan Adamowski
Maria Baliszewska
prof. Jerzy Bartmiński
Małgorzata Jędruch
Tomasz Janas
Wojciech Ossowski

Folk Groups and Singers Festival in Kazimierz
Folk Music Festival of The Polish Radio "Nowa Tradycja"
International Folk Music Festival "Mikołajki Folkowe"
Folk Meeting "Z wiejskiego podwórza"

"The first and second existence of folklore" - prof. Anna Czekanowska
"Folk is longitudinal" - Marcin Skrzypek
"Music revival" - Magdalena Sobczak
"Names of folk" - Ewa Wróbel

more soon...


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