Wednesday marks exactly 100 days until the XIII Youth Song and Dance Festival "Holy is the Land" begins in Tallinn, and all over the country, preparations for the three-day festival are in full swing.
More than half of tickets to all three peformances of the Dance Festival have already been sold, as have many tickets to the assigned seating sectors of the Song Festival Grounds, according to a press release.
A quick poll of the directors of various collectives preparing for this summer's Youth Song and Dance Festival indicated that they are happy to include the upcoming festival's repertoire in their own performances.
"These songs and dances can be heard and seen throughout Estonia," said Margus Toomla, director of the Song and Dance Festival Foundation. "This makes the program more familiar ahead of the big festival already, and motivates singers to reach [the stage] under the Song Festival arch as well."
Tiiu Schüts, a choir director from Järva County, remarked that if the performers like the song they're learning, then the musical difficulties are no obstacle.
She noted that learning the repertoire has been somewhat dogged by time constraints, as school today often takes kids out of the classroom. Nonetheless, she was also glad that the Song Festival is incredibly motivating for the youth, and that they're prepared to work for it.
According to teacher Kaja Oja, the biggest obstacles in learning the repertoire have been absences due to various illnesses. She highlighted in general, however, that effort and joy go hand in hand during the preparation process.
Rehearsals are underway across the country, and according to Pärt Uusberg, artistic director of this year's Youth Song Festival, the songs and instrumental pieces are taking on increasingly Song Festival-like dimensions.
"The hall-packing preliminary rehearsals are indeed just like little song festivals, where you can enjoy the sound of a big choir and being together," Uusberg acknowledged.
To date, a total of 330 of 485 planned preliminary rehearsals have already taken place.
Tickets for the XIII Youth Song and Dance Festival went on sale January 10. Since then, more than half of all Dance Festival tickets have already been sold, with the third and final performance proving the most in demand according to Piletilevi ticket sale figures.
At the Song Festival Grounds, the most popular tickets have been those for assigned seating sectors.
Statistics indicate that Tallinn residents have shown the greatest interest to date in tickets to this year's Youth Song and Dance Festival, having bought more than 20,000 of them already, followed by Tartu and Ida-Viru counties.
The XIII Youth Song and Dance Festival "Holy is the Land" ("Püha on maa") will take place in Tallinn from June 30 through July 2, under Youth Song Festival artistic director Pärt Uusberg, Youth Dance Festival chief choreographer Agne Kurrikoff-Herman and Folk Music Festival director Juhan Uppin.
Tickets to the XIII Youth Song and Dance Festival can be bought online at laulupidu.ee or via all Piletilevi sales channels.
XIII Youth Song and Dance Festival "Holy is the Land"
Friday, June 30
-7-9 p.m. Youth Dance Festival I performance, Kalev Stadium
Saturday, July 1
-12-3 p.m. Folk Music Festival, Freedom Square
-3-5 p.m. Youth Dance Festival II performance, Kalev Stadium
-7-9 p.m. Youth Dance Festival III performance, Kalev Stadium
Sunday, July 2
-9:30 a.m. Youth Song and Dance Festival Parade
-2-9 p.m. Youth Song Festival, Song Festival Grounds
Editor: Aili Vahtla