Song Festival Briefs: Torch Update, 'N. America's Ernesaks' Arrives ({{commentsTotal}})

Roman Toi, a legendary Canada-based choir leader and organist, arrived in Tallinn last night. In a wheelchair but agile, Toi, who just turned 98, traded quips with reporters and well-wishers at an airport event, flanked by Song Festival director Hirvo Surva. 

Toi, who has been called an emigre version of Gustav Ernesaks, the heart and soul of the song festival for many years in the 20th century, is the guest of honor of this year's event.


The Estonian Theater and Music Museum is celebrating the 145-year-old festival tradition by opening a virtual version of its collections. Over 5,000 items are in the collection on the museum information system.


With all of the decorum of an Olympic procession, the song festival torch continues winding its way down Estonia's back roads. Having made an S-shaped swing through the drumlin country nortth of Tartu, today, on Day 5, the torch crossed into Ida-Viru County in the northeast. It will be in the county for the next four to five days, making stops on village greens, manor parks and natural areas where it is passed on. The journey is being followed by ERR video blogger Jüri Muttika on a bicycle for its entire 1,000 kilometer course. Muttika has been rained, hailed and snowed on over the last days, but the torch burns bright.  

Here's an interactive map of the torch's route:  

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