From picturesque song village Bolshoye Podlesye, which is situated at Brest region, this life-giving spring of voiced clear polyphonies began to strike.

The State Folk Chorus was founded in 1952 on the basis of a small Podleskiy chorus; it was guided by Tzitovich. The most vociferous girls and youths were chosen for the chorus from Mogilevshchina, Polecye, Gomelshchina and other Byelorussian regions.

The dancing group consisted of graduating students of Minsk Choreographic College, the best participants of Minsk amateur talent activities; the orchestra group included graduating students of Byelorussian State Conservatory. Gennadiy Ivanovich Tzitovich, a soul and organizer of the collective, is a chorus conductor, a student of folklore, an ethnographer and a connoisseur of national music. Perhaps, there isn't such a corner in Belarus where he wasn't in search of new records, new talents.

Many of his recorded and worked up songs are included in the chorus repertory as in the other professional and amateur groups till now. This professional collective became a curator of the old folk music, an original plenipotentiary af the national musical culture from its first performances. Musical community, Byelorussian composers, critique recognized highly artistic manner of the folk chorus rendering, so that the start in life to it was signed by that. At the begining of 1955 the newspaper „Pravda" didn't spare inspired words to the State Chorus performance recall: „. . . How much popular wisdom is in the rendering of simple, inteligible songs of Byelorussian people! When listening to wonderful, drawl, lyrical, facetious songs rended by women's chorus, one can occassionally forget that it's a concert, it seems that girls are singing in the fields; one can imagine blossoming Belarus, its beauty, spiritual richness of its people..." (Pravda, February 25, 1955).

In 1975 Folk Chorus was headed by Drinevskiy Mikhail Pavloyich, an artistic manager and the main conductor, now BSSR People's Artist, BSSR State Prize Winner, a professor.

He, a gifted musician, a highly qualified chorus conductor, a connoiseur of folk music, continues the chorus traditions laid by G. I. Tzitovich. М. Drinevskiy puts his own soul, experience, ability, love to songs into his work with the collective.

The main character of the chorus activity is a continuous popularization of song art which is capable to inspire a man, to make him better and purer. The song is pouring freely and loosely from the scene. Look closely at the singers' faces: they are not only working „according to the plan", they are taking part into the art birth. One can see here a high rendering skill and qualified singing culture (with pure intonation, distinctive clear diction, fusion of voices) and impeceable scene conduct. The artists reflect Byelorussian character, Byelorus¬sian soul, deep feelings, inner thoughts and joy of their people and that is a secret of vital force of their songs.

The organic link between the folk creative activities and professional art permits every concert to become a performance. The outstanding singers' vocal qualities, the choice of orchestra members, high choreographic training and delicate art taste in designing costums creates original and national nature of the chorus, reflects the Byelorussuan art character of different republican regions. Lyric, spring, reaping, singing and dancing in a ring, wedding, drawling, joking, soldiers', ballades are the real encyclopaedia of Byelorussian folk song, which composes the main part of the concert program. ...

"Oh, the Byelorussian folk song! How many original themes, contrasts and moods are in it. Here is a sorrow lirics and impetuous gaiety, tender love and wrathful social protest, innocent joke and sharp satire, light pictures of native nature..." (G. I. Tzitovich)

The folk song allows the chorus artists to aspire in their art to the life truth and natural feelings. The chorus activities are the following: - expressing the folk song in its natural form, primordial purity; - choir rendering of chorus arrangement of folk and comprehensive musical compositions; - and at last, demonstration of folk art in synthetic form of chorus instrumental music and dancing on the scene; there are wonderful playing actions, miniatures, songs and dances in a ring, small genre-scences as vocal and choreographic compositions too.

The gold fund of the repertory consists of song-masterpieces: „Sky-larkies, fly to" (arranged by Tzitovich), „Set down, bright sunny" (arranged by Poplavskiy), „Cuckoo, a cuckoo" (arranged by N. Sirota), „Oh, you, my pear-tree", „Nights, my nights" (arranged by M. Drinevskiy, soloist S. Mironova), „there is a fog near the forest" (soloist the BSSR Honoured Art Worker V. Krylovich, N. Romanovskaya). M. Drinevskiy gave birth to men's drawling song. He enriched the manner of rendering of men's chorus group thanks to fresh, new sounding, aged national rites and men's folklore. Especially brilliant there was the rendering of songs „Oh, spring wheat", „The wind is blowing under the mountains", where the chorus manager can be distinguished by his vocal talent. How wonderful his admission in free men's songs is! And how much humour is in the song „Chuchera", a comic dialogue-quarrel between girls and youths! Women's voices of chorus group sound gently, softly and sincerely in the folk song „Quite evening" (soloist N. Romanskaya) „Small river" (worked up by Tzitovich).

How carefully and skilfully different genre nuances are shown. How much feelings are in tender girls' songs. Being a passionate amatour and connoisseur of folk song,

Drinevskiy has a big experience in working with the professional chorus of academic trend. One of the chorus merits is an intonational purity of choir singing. Here one can see a manager's experience, who is able to improve the rendering of the most difficult polyphonic compositions. The tragical echo of the war evil is heard in the A. Pakhmutova's composition for mixed chorus worked up by M. Drinevskiy „The veterans are sitting in an embrace" (the verses by M. Lvov). „Mother's ballade" is sounded dramatically in rende¬ring by choir singing of women's group of the chorus, the song is devoted to Mother-Hero A. F. Kupriyanova (the music by Kuznetzov, the verses by V. Shimuk). Intensive concert activities, high level of rendering stimulates the creation of new compositions done especially for this collective. Tzitovich's chorus has become the first performer and interpreter of many Byelorussian songs of V. Olovnikov, I. Kuznetzov, Yu. Semenyako, S. Polonskiy, I. Luchenok and other Byelorussian composers. The long-living songs are passed on from one generation to another like a precious art heritage. The chorus has mastered the old compositions „How my own mother sees me,off", „Here, far off the river", „On the seas, on the waves", „Little fire", the named songs are welcomed with grace by listeners and spectators. Sometimes the songs make the soul weep. All the chorus efforts are for this soul weeping, which purifies and ennobles people. People's Artist, I. Moiseev, took part in the making of the chorus dancing group. He gave creative potential to the group with staging the folk dance „Yurochka" and vocal-choreographic scene „How that Zocya reduced to".

The compositions of the main choreographer, BSSR Honoured Art Worker, V. Voronovich, are characterized by the skill to create new art masterpieces taking into account their national basis. His continuous art searches make it possible to enrich and improve the Byelorussian choreography. Dances performed by him are the beautiful pieces of creative attitude to folklore. The chorus rendering of the folk song has become an organic fusion of dance, song and music. The song is accompanied by movements, the dance is born from the song, really staged rites have finished the actions. Every performance percieves not as a concert but as a spectacle. One of the fundamental compositions for the chorus, orchestra and dancing group is the vocal-choreographic composition „Belarus is my native song" (the musical arrangement by N. Sirota, the producers -I. Serikov and V. Voronovich). Dance dynamics, clear singers' voices, harmonious accompaniment together with picturesque folk costumes create an atmosphere of fair gaiety. The songs „Greeting", „Gay side", „Evening party at the kolkhoz" are the syntesis of three kinds of art. Here everything is as at people's outdoor fete in the village. The chorus appears at the stage singing, dancing, changing vividly the structure of composition. Dancing group completes its colorful scene with fervour. The dance „Metelitza" puts us into the winter youth's holiday, it's the most favorite people's dance (the music by M. Shumilina, the performance by V. Voronovich). This dance is of a playful character, specified by rapid picture changes, full of infectious gaiety and life energy. In the vocal-choreographic composition „Russkaya Subboteya" there is everyting, which is peculiar to Russian man: force and tenderness, boldness and revelry. Well-known, impetuous, inflammatory „Lyavonikha", staged by P. Akulenok, is forever in the repertory. The choreographer tried to perserve all romanic beauty of „Lyavonikha", her natural Charm.

The action direction is defined by the orchestra group. The conduc¬tor of the orchestra is N. Sirota, an Honoured Art Master of Republic of Belarus. The formed collective of the like - minded musicians coped with the task brilliatly. Instruments (dulcimers, violins, a lyre, a fife, a zhaleyka, bayans, concertinas, a flute a clarnet, a balalaika, a contrabass, percussion instruments) are used in the orchestra. The new instruments introduced in the orchestra (noisy whistles, combs, a tambourine, rattles, a kolovrot) added it a new sounding and introduced the national colour in rendering musical compositions. Bright orchestra colours, sound contrasts, emotional rendering, unexpected rythmic and harmonic decisions, freshness and comprehensiveness of musical language - all that creates multi¬coloured, expressive orchestra sounding. N. Sirota's strong will and talent can be seen in the way the programe arranged and in rendering it. His worked up compositions for the orchestra group are done on the basis of decording the records of folk musicians. The wonderful harmony and ensemble culture of orchestra has been revealed in the compositions „Yas mowed down the clover", „Oh, geese flied from the ford", „Yelskiya dryndushki", „Blackmiths" and in the other songs. M.

Drinevskiy's and N. Sirota'a credoes are fulfilled in folk art arrangement and in embodying it in the form of the professional art. Their arrangements are rendering not only by their native chorus but by chorus collectives in different towns and villages of the republic. The chorus named after Tzitovich has a beneficial influence on the development of the musical culture of our republic and especially on amatour talent activities. The collective has gained a wide audience thanks to its concerts, radio and TV translations. Participants of amatour talent activities create their own style of rendering thanks to the chorus activities. The chorus has become a methodological centre of amatour talent activities. The students of Conservatory, musical colleges, managers of the amatour talent activities pass their practical work in the orchestra.

The folk chorus plays on tour too much. Its performances were perceived enthusiastically in Povolzhiye and the Ukraine, in Baltics and Moldavia, on the Caucasus and the Siberia and in the cities of central Russia, in Moscow and Leningrad. There are foreign paths on the map of the chorus tour: China, Czeckoslovakia, Yugoslavia, Poland, Canada, Bulgaria, Hungary, Rumania, France, Germany, Finland, Italy, Korea. . .

The foreign press has published many flattering recalls about the chorus. The collective of the chorus is 40 years old. But it is still young: talented youth changes the veterans, the repertore becomes „younger" too. Many artists are well-known far abroad Belarus. A. Adameyko, A. Avdeenko, V. Kovalchuk, V. Antonova, V. Moro-sova, V. Crulovich, E. Romaschcevich, S. Susedchic, P. Novosad, M. Lipchic, are among the famous artists. The BSSR Honoured Artist, K. Poplavskiy; the main choirmaster, A. Baltzevich; choirmaster is N. Korsak, the choreographers the Honoured Art Master of Belarus P. Akulenok and V. Gavrilov, the BSSR Honoured Artists V. Tyurin, a ballet-soloist is the BSSR Honoured Artist Y. Slepnev. The concert programes changed, new songs, dances and composi¬tions appeared. But the outstanding art of the collective didn't change, to be precise, it became more brilliant, grew, went to the new level of creativeness and perfectness. „The folk song is our spiritual culture, - says M. Drinevskiy. - If s our sacred thing. Folk songs are our roots. This miracle has come from lips to lips, from one's heart to another through many years. ..

Our aim is to gather together all the best of the Byelorus¬sian national musical treasury and to give birth to the new life to it. Nevetherless the musical art has the large force of influence. It brings happiness to people, awakes the sence of beauty. Love good sing, good music - it's our devoted friend! It makes the man kinder, purer, more just".