The youth choir BALSIS (Voices) presents lots of concerts. One of their ventures, which started 5 years ago, is to spend 4 days on the Daugava River, each year sailing down a section of it, presenting concerts along the way. This year the journey and concerts began in Aizkraukle and finished in Ogre, included 10 concerts and I was able to travel with them recording this experience. An emphasis needs to be placed on the word “ youth”, the sheer concentration of energy that resounds in their singing and reflects the pace and intensity of the 4 days. The choir and its conductor are a reverberating ball of energy, bounding, floating, hiking through the countryside. The whole tour requires sustained physical and mental activity with its often spirited physical demands and equally intense spells of performance.
BALSIS will launch its 30th performance season with the concert series DAUGAVA’S BALSIS. From August 25 to 28, the choir will continue the tradition begun in 2011 of travelling along the Daugava River, sailing a different section each year, presenting concerts free of charge in churches, parks, castle ruins and novel venues on both sides of the river. Over the past 6 years the choir has performed 37 concerts as part of this project. This year over the 4 days, BALSIS, under the leadership of Ints Teterovskis, will perform 10 concerts between Aizkraukle and Ogre.
On July 25, the youth choir BALSIS set out on their second concert tour of the season, this time to China, to take part in the 13th International Choral Festival (CIFC) and the IFCM choral music conference in Beijing, as well as taking part in the 16th International Choral Festival (TICF16) in Taipei, Taiwan. On our last tour to China we had become somewhat familiar with Chinese culture and had all sorts of experiences, so we set off on this tour pleasurably excited but not really knowing what lay ahead and what to expect.