** boys choir : individual Polish choirs

Individual Polish Boy Choirs

There are several boy choirs in Poland. The best known is the Polish Nightengales, but that choir no longer exists. Poznan has an especially impotant tradition of boy choirs. We have found the names of several of these choirs. Some are not very well known. There may be more. Unfortunatley I have been able to find very little information on Polish boys choirs. Here our lack of Polish language capability has complicated our ablity to collect information. Some Polish choirs do not have internet sites and the nes that do have not posted much historical information on their sites. And we habve found some refrences to choirs, but have been unable to confirm tha they were actually active choirs. Hopefully our Polish readers will provide us some information about the different Polish choirs.

Figure 1.--This photograph shows the Bochnia Boys Choir wearing their distinctive blue jackets.

Bochnia Boys Choir

The traditional Gregorian and Polyphonic repertoire of the choir reflects it's liturgical profile. Apart from the music of the well - known classics, such as G. P. da Palestrina, A.Bruckner, J. Haydna, W.A. Mozart, S. Rachmaniov, D. Bortnianski, S. Moniuszko, the choir has perfomed the contemporary Polish music written by J. Wider, T. Paciorkiewicz, A. Koszewski and T. Szeligowski. The choir has also given numerous concerts of the enchanting Polish Christmas carols and authentic folk pastorales. The Boy Singers from Bochnia dressed in the white shirts and navy blue jackets, with their clear, pure voices they brighten up many a mass at the Parish Church of the Holy Virgin. Apart from their regular church singing, the choir has participated in numerous Pueri Cantores national and international congresses (Rome 1993, Lecco 1994). The choir was warmly received by concert audiences in Austria, Holand, Italy and Slovakia. In June 1996 the choir toured in Czech, Austria and France. The boy singers took part in radio and television programs, as well as they made tape recordings --Polish Christmas carols and pastorales (1993) and Musica Sacra (1995). For all that Pueri Cantores S. Nicolai have won recognition of top experts for their superb quality of performance and interpretation of both early and contemporary choral music. In 1995 the Boys' Choir participated in the National Competition of the Polish Choirs in Budgoszcz and won a first prize. In May 1996 the choir succeeded in the National Competition Legnica Cantat 27 and won a first prize in the category of children and youth choirs. It is the intention of the artistic director and conductor of the choir, Rev. St. Adamczyk, not only to promote beautiful church music among young singers, but also to create them the possibilities of personal formation and artistic education. Young choristers learn the disciplines of attention to detail, dependability, cooperation with equals, self confidence balanced by self criticism, quickness of response to direction. But above all they learn the joy of creating beauty in the service of God and to the delight of man.


I'm not sure about this one, perhaps a mixture of Bulgarian and Polish boys.

Polish choirs
Figure 2.--The Cantus Choir was from Stalowa Wola. This is a little town with huge steel mill in southeastern Poland. The choristers wore wear blue outfits with short pants or knickers and a blouse with a large fancy lace collar.


The Cantus Choir was from Stalowa Wola. This is a little town with huge steel mill in southeastern Poland. It appears to be a church choir. We do not have information on the music they sung, but assume it was largely church music. The choristers wore wear blue outfits with short pants or knickers and a blouse with a large fancy lace collar. The choir has since changed their name and costume. The older singers wore black suits.


Krakow is in historic importance second only to Warsaw in Poland. The city is located on the Vistula River in the Lesser Poland region of southern Poland. It is close to the Czech and Slovakian borders. Krakow is one of the oldest cities in Ploland (7th century). Kraków isone of the leading and most prestigious centers of Polish academic, artistic, and cultural life. We notice a children's choir singing on the occasion of the dedication of a new altar at a church in Krakow (2008). It is presumably the churcg choir, bur we are not entirely sure. The chilsdren wear white shirts with a very floppy dark green nows and black trousers or skirts. There are a few girls singing, but the choir is mostly boys. It must have been televised and probably broadcast on the radio as well. Notice all the electronic equipment.

Polish Nightingales/Polskie Slowiki

The best known Polish boy choir is the Polish Nightingales or Polskie Slowiki. They are one of three boys' choirs in Poznan. Usually a city is lucky to have one boy choir, I'm unsure why there are three in Poznan. They are often referred to as the Polish Nightingales. They are currently led by led by Jacek Sykulski. The Choir was founded in 1945 in the aftermath of World War II by Jerzy Kurczewski. There are 150 children participating in the choir. The choirs repertoire includes 700 pieces from over 200 composers. The members of the choir learn harmony, history of music, composition, and of course, singing. They also learn at least one musical instrument. Discipline, concentration, and perfection are the hallmarks of the training the boys receive. The choir is one of the most acclaimed in Europe with a rich artistic background. They perform constantly, averaging about 120-150 concerts each season. The choir has performed over 500 classic works written by 200 composers from the Gregorian Chorus to modern compositions) and several hundred orchestral concerts (works by J. S. Bach, G. F. Handel, W. A. Mozart, G. B. Pergolesy, J. Haydn). The Choir has performed in more than 35 different countries around the World. The concerts have been given in some of the most famous stages, including New York’s Carnegie Hall, Berlin’s Philharmonic, Vienna’s Musicverein and Amsterdam’s Royal Theatre ”Carre”, the philharmonic halls of Warsaw, St. Petersburg and Taipei, the Boliviara Center in Caracas and the Victoria Hall in Singapore. It's concerts have been attended by major world leaders, including Pope John Paul II, U.S. President, Richard Nixon, Belgian Queen Fabiola and Prince Boudouin and of course Polish presidents (Aleksander Kwasniewski and Lech Walesa).

Poznan Boys' Choir /Poznański Chór Chłopięcy

The Polish Nightengales no longer exist. A Polish reader tlls us that the choir has changed its name. It is now the the Poznański Chór Chłopięcy (Poznan Boys Choir). The Choir has changed its uniform.

Figure 3.--The Poznan Nightengales wear a distinctive costume of red jackets, black short pants, and white knee socks.

Poznan Cathedral Choir

The Poznan Cathedral Choir is led by S. Daszkiewicz. We have been able to find little information about this choir.

Poznan Nightingales/Poznanskie Slowiki

The Poznan Boy Choir is known as the Poznan Nightingales, not to be confused with the Polish Nightengales. They are led by S. Stuligrosz. The Boys' and Men's Choir Poznañ State Philharmonic, known as the "Poznañ Nightingales", continues the centuries-old tradition of the city of Poznañ dating to the 15th century. Prof. Stefan Stuligrosz, born in Poznañ in 1920, for many years the source of the artistic success of the "Poznañ Nightingales" Boys' and Men's Choir. He started his work with the Choir in 1939. After the arrest of Father Wac³aw Gieburowski, the conductor of the Cathedral Choir, Stefan Stuligrosz with 24 persons originated a choir.

Pueri Consonantes

The Pueri Consonantes is located in Wrocław (Breslau before World War II). We do not yet know much about the Choir's history or the music they sing. They do not have an internet site that we know about. We have few details about the unifrm. The boys in 2004 wore cherry red blazers with white shirts and what looks like black cross ties. The older boys wear black long trousers. The younger boys wear black short pants and white knee socks.

Polish choirs
Figure 4.--The Szczecin Boys' Choir "Nightingales" is pictured here with their fancy performance costumes. I'm not sure when this album was mase, probably in the 1990s.

Szczecin Nightingales/Szczecin Slowiki

The Szczecin Boys' Choir "Nightingales" was founded in December 1960 by Marian Foska, Aleksander Mleczak and Jan Szyrocki. There was little much more that I could gather from its manager and conductor due to the language barrier, for surprisingly, this choir had decided to come on a month-long trip half-way around the world with little more than a photograph-poster. What I did find out was that back there in Poland, each boy is trained three times a week in group or in solo to achieve a very focussed sound - that which the conductor was apparently very proud of as she spoke in her native Polish. I repeatedly asked her what attempts were made to distinguish this choral sound from the many other boys' choirs in the world. She seemed not to understand me. I would have wanted to find out further how she handled the boy's breaking voice, how she disciplined each voice etc... but she was evidently tired and I was losing her interest fast. Indeed, the Polish Nightingales, as one observer prefers to call them, have a very focussed sound that is forward and cheerful. The trebles are balanced by a small continuous ensemble of late teens, creating a nice and effective but understated finesse. This was the reason one choir expert persisted in asking Ms Bozena Derwich, conductor and artistic director of the Polish Nightingales - for her philosophy behind the Nightingales' sound. Failing to get any--the I here offer his own version of it, with all due respect to Ms Derwich's artistry. This choir was not consistent in its greatness. The first songs started off rather shakily. I could see anxious faces and even that Ms Derwich herself was uncomfortable with the audience that had gathered here in CHIJMES tonight. This is understandable as they are not a professional choir in the sence of attending a boarding school and devoting substantial time to practice. Eerything got better after the interval, Ms Derwich started to smile and that put both the audience and the choir at ease. It was as if, I was more worried that our Polish guests were not having a great time singing for us. Throughout the first half, there was little communication with the audience though the songs were chanted with relative ease and accomplishment. After all, this is a choir that has won awards in major international festivals - 2nd Prize and a Silver Medal at the IV International Children's Choral Festival (USA) and the Golden Harp Award in the Grand Prix of the XV Competition of Polish Pupil's Groups of old music in the Polish Schola Cantorum '93. I like the programming nonetheless, sacred as it was. There were many rare works which turned out to be gems. Particularly, the works of Josef Swider and Marek Jasinski revealed many a choral device and texture that were, to say the least, interesting. The boys did a commendable job in the difficult and prolonged Hymn of Praise but it was marred by vocal tightness in the high range, especially in the word "joy" which was repeated throughout. One observer would have concluded that the Nightingales were not capable of a true forte (and at that - a wide enough dynamic range) if I had not left my conclusions to the second half. With a much lighter programme, and the atmosphere generally more relaxed after the intermission, the boys were smiling and I was beginning to enjoy myself. Tomasz Flasza's The Little Child was in particular very well done. Polonez, by Swider, again revealed his remarkable understanding of choral arrangement. Gradually, true choral greatness began to reveal itself in the late second half of the concert - the distinct sound that I was looking for emerged coyly against all odds. How shall I describe it? Dark warmth balanced by cheery brightness and a remarkably lustrous finesse? Before I could put a finger on it, the concert hall broke out in applause for these beautiful boys from faraway Poland. Nevertheless, the several emblems of a remarkable choir are all here tonight: clear clean articulation, tight intrinsic ensemble work, spot-on execution and consistently accurate intonation throughout. I would love to hear this choir again. A Polish reader in 2007 tells us that the Szczecin Nightingaels have changed their uniform.



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Created: November 2, 1998
Last updated: 9:49 PM 12/24/2010