Back to Our Roots


by Stepan Sveshnikov

After a morning rehearsal we all headed to the Red Square. We wanted to recreate that famous photo in front of Saint Basil’s Cathedral and Emma Kazaryan, our videographer, wanted to film us singing in Red Square, and an echo and tribute to the old black and white footage of the Mickiewicz chorus gathering a public crowd.

The photo – as you can see – was a success. If we manage to produce an album from our four recordings, it will make a splendid cover.

The almuni:
Connor, Malcom, Anastasia, Alton, Agata, Father Bill, Brock, Ladislav, Hank, Reed, Ernie, Beau, Phil, Elvis, Lance, Stepan, Peter, Michael, Dave, Alaric, Kit, Brooks

We intended to sing on Red Square next, but because of a festival and a security drill we couldn’t get onto the square, so we sang off to the side, on the road that leads down to Saint Basil’s. A bit nervously at first, but with more confidence as a crowd gathered (half Chinese tourists half Russians) and the police showed no sign of intervening. Our spirituals received applause, as did Poidu li and Borodino. People in the crowd sang along, and one person even walked up to sing with us (nobody noticed but me).

After, people asked about our next performances.

Foreigners on Red Square are no longer noteworthy, like they might have been in 1958, but we were!

I left for an interview with the Orthodox TV channel Soyuz, which was much more enjoyable than I thought it would be. In the evening we grilled Shashlyk at the hotel, using two of my secret marinades, which I shall not reveal, but I will say that the lamb, which tasted of pomegranate, was especially well received.

A calm, simple day, but I do not think the significance of singing on Red Square was lost on anyone. Back to our roots – and forward to more musical diplomacy!

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