…and an appeal for your help!
I recently discovered another hymn singing tradition that originates in Russia and is being kept alive by immigrant descendants in Canada. This group of people is known as the Doukhobors, and they have as part of their religious heritage a (mostly) a cappella singing tradition.
The Doukhobors were religious dissenters in Russia, a large portion of whom left their homeland for the New World with the partial support of the Canadian government around 1900:
They brought with them a style of singing that sounds much more like “modern” hymn singing than Sacred Harp singing, but I think that their vocal heritage is worth preserving.
An internet site that preserves a great number of Doukhobor choir recordings from earlier decades is making an appeal for funds to keep the site in operation:
They offer all of the recordings free online for those interested in listening, and you can also purchase CDs remastered from the original vinyl recordings. Unfortunately, they are not supported by any government or cultural institution, and need donations to keep the site up and running after March 1, 2017.
Please visit the site via the link above, take some time to read about the history of this type of hymn singing, and consider donating (Paypal makes it easy!) to keep the site and its free offerings available to the wider world. I have found some of the hymns to be very beautiful, even though I do not understand the Russian dialect.
DISCLAIMER: I have no stake in the continued operation of the Doukhobor music site. I just stumbled upon it a few months ago and recently ordered a CD and think that, just as Sacred Harp singing has been revived and preserved, so should this Doukobhor choir singing also be preserved for future generations.
Thanks for reading, and stay tuned for my next post regarding the all-day singing in Cologne, Germany in April.