The Choir's Garden
The choral life is captured in a book by Tomáš Motýl which provides insight into "the choir's garden".
The Šumperk Children's Choir, today also known as Motýli Šumperk, has been active for over 50 years. Leaving out the reasons and circumstances of its establishment, I would like to focus on what it brings to kids who attend it. The choir founder, my father Alois Motýl, once mentioned that he perceives the choir as a gracious garden in the midst of the not so gracious world. The garden exists to help its little singers enjoy childhood filled with fine relations and satisfactory feeling of well-done tough work. This intention slowly came to fruition and one can say that in each period of the choir history all generations of singing kids deeply felt this effort. Having the opportunity to meet representatives of all choir generations, we repeatedly hear the opinion that to be a choir member was essential for their worldview, forming of moral and ethical tenets, and prerequisite for future profession.
Why does it happen? We have always objected to human malice, envy, tendency to harm others, inability to come along, pursuit of only personal profit, lack of respect. We strived to explain to our kids that they can come along together to feel comfortably in this fellowship. Working with a choir requires a certain level of patience, ability to stay focused, necessity to discover and express energy. Should the personal ambition adjust to the ambition of the entire choir, the ability of self-denial is indispensable. The kids were always able to find these qualities within themselves which brought an ever-increasing level of interpretation leading to accomplishments. These then brought a feeling of a job well-done and work that bears its fruits. Every consequent generation of choral kids succeeded in developing these skills a bit better and push the level higher.
The singing level of a choir cannot be measured scientifically. This choir is, however, considered one of the best children's choral ensembles in this country and its international reputation is significant. We treasure it and fully realize that this could have only been done because of over a half-century long everyday toil of hundreds of kids, goodwill and dedication of their parents and understanding of those who influenced the creation of conditions for choral work. There is, however, something we treasure even more. By gradually completing all three prep sections and becoming then members of the concert choir, the kids create a remarkable fellowship. Through its performance, creativity, social level and ability for an outstanding interpretative preparation, it arouses admiration and respect from the public. We feel extremely privileged and delighted that we can meet, work, travel, and perform concerts with such kids. We are also convinced that the years these children spend in this environment are a substantial contribution to their future lives, a contribution much greater than what an impression, if seen superficially, from "only" a choral singing might represent.
All what I write about was brought to the choir by its founder, my father, without naming these points and lacking skills to analyze them theoretically. It was simply his perception and deliberation. Hopefully, I succeeded to adapt this unwritten philosophy and carry it further.
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