Singing in the Old Town Square

Old Town Square

Prague's overcast, grey skies mark the beginning of winter. People in the city's ancient Old Town Square are well wrapped up, their breath making little clouds in the crisp wintry air. But with December's chill comes the start of preparations for Christmas. People gather in squares and in front of churches, waiting patiently for Christmas carols to fill the air. Radio Prague's Nicole Klement braved the weather and joined them...

Old Town Square
The Old Town Square serves as a venue for many of Prague's Christmas events, and last week it played host to the International Festival of Advent and Christmas Music. Choirs form Europe and South Africa came together to sing new and old Advent songs. The festival's organiser, Dr. Jaroslava Modrochova, told me a little more about the event and who was taking part.

"Two choirs came from South Africa, others came from France, Belgium, Sweden, Norway, Poland and Latvia. It is music from Christmas and Advent. From 18th, 19th, 20th century- so contemporary music, very different." That was South Africa's Rand South Afrikaans University choir, filling the old town square with music.

The festival also doubles as an international competition, which last year was won by a Czech choir.

"It was a children's choir, Ondrasek, from North Moravia. An excellent Czech choir with a very good conductor."

But this year the Rand South Afrikaans University choir won the main prize- the Petr Eben award.

Author: Nicole Klement
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