The last summer months will remain in the minds of hundreds of Belarusian and Russian teenagers, thanks to events organised and financially supported by the Standing Committee

Loud summer accords

Moscow has hosted a true creative marathon in the Union State to Young Talents of the 21st Century master classes, while Anapa has hosted the Artistry of Youth Union State Festival, and Orlyonok Camp has been training cadets. Each has brought not only unforgettable experiences, but new friends.

Meanwhile, young artists and musicians from special educational institutions gathered at the Sergey Andriyaka Aca­demy of Watercolors and Fine Arts for master classes, as well as at the Central Musical School of the Tchaikovsky Moscow State Conservatory. Over the past decade, around a thousand young talents have trained via this mini-course. This year, in mid-August, the winners of various artistic contests, from nearly two-dozen Belarusian and Russian regions, came to Moscow, pro­menading Kremlin Square and Arbat Street. They spent several hours daily on studies, with the best teachers from the Moscow Conservatory and Andriyaka Academy, creating works now on show within the Central Musical School’s concert hall lobby. 

The best young musicians performed on its stage, with pia­nist Genrikh Korol opening the concert. Speaking of his master classes with Professor Arkady Sevidov, of Lida Musical College (Grodno Region), he tells us, “I learned a lot. It’s important that classes were held at the school where the greatest musicians studied in the past. In honesty, the level of teaching is supreme here and the competition with musicians from other regions is serious. However, we made good friends, despite our rivalry.”

The concert impressed the State Secretary of the Union State, Grigory Rapota, who proudly said, “Many young people who attend our workshops later become well-known musicians and artists and we’re pleased to offer this social lift.” 

Anapa’s Zhemchuzhina Rossii (Pearl of Russia) sanatorium attracted Union State teenagers to participate in the Artistry of Youth Festival. Last year, the jury selected seventy brilliant artists, aged 10-15, from Russia, alongside sixty from Belarus for a chance not only to compete on stage but to holiday at the seaside, free of charge. 

Mr. Rapota congratulated the participants, stressing that the best representatives of the Union State’s talented younger generation have visited hospitable Anapa for the eleventh time. “We’d like your performances to be bright and emotional and for the Festival to become a significant and exciting event in your artistic biography. The Union State will continue rendering support to initiatives aimed at the development of children`s creativity, as well as their aesthetic and patriotic education,” he said.

This time, the selection round focused on folk creativity, with folk traditions from across Belarus and Russia presented on stage. Yakutia’s Duoray ensemble amazed audiences with their ancient khomus, which resemble small catapaults and were invented five thousand years ago. It takes full concentration to control your brea­thing rhythm with the musical instrument. Soloist Andrey Fedorov travelled 6,600km to take part. He comments, “We first travelled by car from the village of Suntar to Yakutsk, then flew to Moscow to fly to Krasnodar, before taking a bus to Anapa. The sea here is so warm and the sun is bright!”

This year, participants included past ‘stars’ of the Voice: Children programme, inclu­ding Belarus’ Sasha Nekhay. She amazed Dima Bilan, Pelageya and Leonid Agutin with her rendition of Victor Tsoi’s Cuckoo, while her video attracted 40,000 hits in a single day: a record among young musicians. She won the Slavonic Bazaar’s bronze in 2011 and follows in the footsteps of her great-grandmother, who sang in the choir for Nicholas II’s coronation, at the age of 8.

The highlight was a joint Belarusian-Russian performance during the closing concert, with choirs accompanying dance teams. Meanwhile, acrobats and jugglers from the Belarusian Circus (named after Valery Abel) performed alongside Vladimir’s Musical Frigate. The Day of the Russian Flag was also heartily celebrated in Anapa, with all children gathering at Teatralnaya Square to sing the national anthem of the Festival: Boat of Friendship Floating.

 Perhaps the most memorable day of the State Flag of Russia was held in Orlyonok, with its impressive military and patriotic change of 382 Belarusian and Russian cadets. They lined up on the square and the ten metre Russian ‘tricolor’ was passed overhead, each person reaching to touch the flag. This year, the Union State allocated 25mln Russian Roubles for the event, gathering cadets from 14 Belarusian and Russian educational establishments. ­Eduard Senkevich, a member of the Union State’s Parliamentary Assembly on Security, is convinced that the Union State’s future relies on such communication. With this in mind, the Day of the Union State was warmly celebrated, with cadets laying a themed avenue of fourteen maples. Each delegation brought a bag of soil from their homeland. By the time these trees gain strength, the cadets may be officers. The Festival ended with songs around the campfire, performed standing in a circle.  

Traditionally, the military and patriotic change takes place in Anapa’s Vita Camp. Since 2007, 654 boys and girls from Belarus have joined 1,084 Russian teenagers in holidaying there. However, this year, young people gathered in Orlyonok, known for its glorious history. Among camp members have been Sergey Shoigu and Vladislav Tretyak, and cosmonauts Alexander Serebrov and Sergey Volkov. Its infrastructure is impressive, including a climbing wall, a stadium and the House of Aviation and Astronautics, while the sea is just 200 steps away. As well as trips to places of military glory, ascending the summits of Indyuk, Semashkho and Dva Brata (where the 1942 defensive operation took place) cadets visited the graves of Soviet soldiers. A Cadet Ball ended the event, with youngsters showing off their Viennese waltz, padegras, gallop, quadrille and, even, the Russian end-around...
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