The Festive Choir of St Elisabeth Convent has long been popular with the lovers of church music. The parishioners of Ss Peter and Paul Cathedral in Minsk enjoyed its singing for a decade. However, Irina Denisova, the precentor of this choir, decided to pledge herself to the Lord in November 2007, so she became a novice, and then a nun, in St Elisabeth Convent. Soon the singers of this choir who did not want to bid farewell to their leader followed her in order to participate in worship in St Elisabeth Convent on Sundays and feasts.
All members of this choir are musicians: choir directors, musicologists, composers, performers. Among them, there are candidates of art studies, laureates and award winners of international competitions, directors and soloists of choirs in the capital city.
The repertoire of the choir has undergone significant changes during its monastery period. These changes included reduced use of author music and an emphasis on new harmonisations of znamenny and Byzantine chants. The major part of this new repertoire is represented by chants harmonised by Nun Juliania (Denisova), the precentor of the Festive Choir. The main aim of the choir has always been to make church worship beautiful and awe-inspiring.
St Elisabeth Convent released several discs with this choir, as well as The Nun – a documentary about Nun Juliania (Denisova), its precentor.
Maria Bakhvalova is a new director of the Convent’s Monastic Choir and has worked with many choirs, participated in international competitions and won prestigious awards.