The participants

The first nationwide song festival in Estonia took place in 1869 and today, the song festival tradition has lasted for more than 150 years. During this time, Estonia became a free state, lost its freedom for half a century during the whirlwind of World War II, and regained its independence in 1991. However, the song and dance festivals have basically remained unchanged and, along with the music and dance, have maintained the faith in the continuation of Estonia and the love for the Estonian language and mindset.

Traditionally, in Estonia, the national song festivals take place four times each decade – with the general song festivals and youth song festivals alternating. Each time, almost 25,000 performers and tens of thousands of spectators gather in Tallinn at the beginning of July. Not everyone can perform at a song festival – for this, you must learn the repertoire of the specific type of song festival based on the category one belongs to. The notable events of the song festival are the procession of the performers from the centre of Tallinn to the Song Festival Grounds (approx. 5 km), the opening and closing ceremonies and a concert lasting about 6 hours. All this is preceded by large rehearsals at the Song Festival Grounds. This means that participating in a song festival requires a great deal of mental and physical effort from each performer, which is repaid 1,000 times as the festival offers participants a unique experience that will never be forgotten.

The years of pandemic broke the pattern of our celebrations. Thus, the last nationwide celebration took place in 2019 when we celebrated the 150th anniversary of the birth of our song festivals. Now, we are on our way to the next nationwide celebration – the XXVIII Song Celebration and XXI Dance Celebration.

Participant information:

Song celebration categories, membership conditions and repertoire

NUMBER OF MEMBERS:
Choir categories and symphony orchestras comprise of at least 12 members excluding the leader of the group. Wind orchestras comprise of at least 8 members excluding the leader of the group.

CATEGORIES
Traditionally, the song celebration includes two concerts. The concert on the first day begins with the opening Joint Choir followed by a concert of select choirs with more demanding repertoire. The second day includes the traditional concert of the song celebration. Select choirs sing the repertoire of both days.

Young Children’s Select Choir (VMUK)
is a 2-voice young children’s choir including children from the 1st to 4th form (including children of the 5th form in exceptional cases). Here, the term ‘select’ does not mean participation in the 1st concert but the fact that the Young Children’s Choir must be of a higher or medium level.

Repertoire for Young Children’s Select Choir:
Mari Amor / Artur Adson / Võru dialect Esä taivan (arranged for the song celebration)
Mart Saar / Tartu dialect, Rõngu Kui mina laulan (arranged for the song celebration)

Tõnis Kõrvits / Priit Aimla Ajatee on konarlik (new arrangement)
Kaarel Kuusk / dialect of the Islands, Kihelkonna, Koimla Village Vargamäng (arranged for the song celebration)
Piret Rips-Laul / Leelo Tungal Siin ta on, see minu kodu (new arrangement)

Children’s Choir (LAK) / Children’s Select Choir (VLAK)
The category of Children’s Choirs / Children’s Select Choirs comprises of singers from the 5th to 9th forms. Singers from the 9th form may sing in such choirs in exceptional cases if it is not possible for them to sing in any choir category for older children. It is permissible for younger children to participate with a Children’s Choir. Children’s Choirs are 3-voice choirs.

Children’s Choir sings with the opening Joint Choir and the songs of their own category (7 pieces in total). Children’s Choir can also participate in the final Joint Choir (3 pieces).

Mandatory repertoire for Children’s Choir:
Opening Joint Choir
Mihkel Lüdig / Friedrich Kuhlbars Koit
Johann Voldemar Jannsen / Lydia Koidula Mu isamaa, mu õnn ja rõõm
Mart Saar / folk poem Mis need ohjad meida hoidvad

Children’s Choir

Veljo Tormis, instrumental accompaniment by Tauno Aints Modaalsed etüüdid Kevad. Udu. Lumi. Kevad.
Estonian folk song, Heino Kaljuste Ringmängulaul
Liisi Koikson, arranged by Rasmus Puur Sind vaid kiidan
Aare Külama / Haldi Välimäe, Aare Külama Oma mõtete mets (new piece) 

Additional option:
Final Joint Choir
Olav Ehala / Leelo Tungal Sa oled ainus (new arrangement)
Peep Sarapik / Juhan Liiv Ta lendab mesipuu poole
Gustav Ernesaks / Lydia Koidula Mu isamaa on minu arm

Children’s Select Choir (VLAK)
Children’s Select Choir sings the repertoire of the opening Joint Choir and Children’s Select Choir at the 1st concert (8 pieces), and the category pieces of the Children’s Choir at the 2nd concert (4 pieces). Children’s Select Choir can also participate in the final Joint Choir (3 pieces).

Repertoire for Children’s Select Choir:
Opening Joint Choir
Mihkel Lüdig / Friedrich Kuhlbars Koit
Johann Voldemar Jannsen / Lydia Koidula Mu isamaa, mu õnn ja rõõm
Mart Saar / folk poem Mis need ohjad meida hoidvad

Concert of select choirs
Children’s Choir | Miina Härma / Tartu dialect, Tartu Lauliku lapsepõli

Children’s Choir | Veljo Tormis Middle Estonian dialect, Kolga-Jaani Kust tunnen kodu

Children’s Choir | Midrid Lillevalss (new arrangement)

Joint Choir, Children’s Choir | Rein Rannap / Hando Runnel Ilus maa (updated version)

Joint Choir, Children’s Choir | Veljo Tormis, Tõnu Kõrvits Kui mina hakkan laulemaie

Children’s Choir
Veljo Tormis, instrumental accompaniment by Tauno Aints Modaalsed etüüdid Kevad. Udu. Lumi. Kevad.
Estonian folk song, Heino Kaljuste Ringmängulaul
Liisi Koikson, arranged by Rasmus Puur Sind vaid kiidan
Aare Külama / Haldi Välimäe, Aare Külama Oma mõtete mets (new piece) 

Additional option:
Final Joint Choir
Olav Ehala / Leelo Tungal Sa oled ainus (new arrangement)
Peep Sarapik / Juhan Liiv Ta lendab mesipuu poole
Gustav Ernesaks / Lydia Koidula Mu isamaa on minu arm

Boys’ Choir (POK)

Boys’ Choir comprises of boys starting from the 1st form until their voices change. Boys’ Choirs are 2-voice choirs.

Boys’ Choir sings the songs of their category and the songs of Mixed Boys’ Choirs (5 pieces in total).

Boys’ Choir does not participate in the final Joint Choir. Opening Joint Choir is optional for Boys’ Choirs (3 pieces).

Mandatory repertoire for Boys’ Choir
Boys’ Choir / boys of Mixed Boys’ Choirs
Riho Päts / Gustav Suits Ühte laulu tahaks laulda
Piret Rips-Laul / Contra Rannitsakandija
Piret Laikre / Marek Sadam Mu kodu nii lihtsalt (arranged for the song celebration)

Boys’ Choir / Mixed Boys’ Choir / Male choir
Andres Valkonen / Leelo Tungal, arranged by Riivo Jõgi Leib jahtub (new arrangement)
Andres Lemba Üles, üles hellad vennad (arranged for the song celebration)

Additional option:
Opening Joint Choir
Mihkel Lüdig / Friedrich Kuhlbars Koit
Johann Voldemar Jannsen / Lydia Koidula Mu isamaa, mu õnn ja rõõm
Mart Saar / folk poem Mis need ohjad meida hoidvad

Mixed Boys’ Choir (POSK)
Mixed Boys’ Choir is a 4-voice choir. In exceptional cases Mixed Boys’ Choirs may include older singers who should in most part should be under 25 years old.

The repertoire of Mixed Boys’ Choirs includes the songs of the category of boys’ choirs and the opening set of the Joint Choir (8 pieces in total). Final Joint Choir is optional (3 pieces).

Mandatory repertoire for Mixed Boys’ Choirs:
Opening joint choir
Mihkel Lüdig / Friedrich Kuhlbars Koit
Johann Voldemar Jannsen / Lydia Koidula Mu isamaa, mu õnn ja rõõm
Mart Saar / folk poem Mis need ohjad meida hoidvad

Boys’ choir / boys of Mixed Boys’ Choir

Riho Päts / Gustav Suits Ühte laulu tahaks laulda
Piret Rips-Laul / Contra Rannitsakandija
Piret Laikre / Marek Sadam Mu kodu nii lihtsalt (arranged for the song celebration)

Boys’ Choir / Mixed Boys’ Choir / Male choir
Andres Valkonen / Leelo Tungal, arranged by Riivo Jõgi Leib jahtub (new arrangement)
Andres Lemba Üles, üles hellad vennad (arranged for the song celebration)

Additional option:
Final Joint Choir
Olav Ehala / Leelo Tungal Sa oled ainus (new arrangement)
Peep Sarapik / Juhan Liiv Ta lendab mesipuu poole
Gustav Ernesaks / Lydia Koidula Mu isamaa on minu arm

Male Choir (MEK)
The repertoire of Male Choirs includes the songs of the category of Male Choirs, the opening and final Joint Choir (11 pieces). Optionally, also the joint repertoire of Boys’ and Male Choirs (2 pieces).

Mandatory repertoire of the Male Choir
Opening Joint Choir
Mihkel Lüdig / Friedrich Kuhlbars Koit
Johann Voldemar Jannsen / Lydia Koidula Mu isamaa, mu õnn ja rõõm
Mart Saar / folk poem Mis need ohjad meida hoidvad

Male Choir

Karl August Hermann / Juhan Kunder, arranged by Tuudur Vettik  Munamäel
Veljo Tormis / Kristjan Jaak Peterson Laulja
Valter Soosalu / Juhan Viiding Me peame looma sillad (new piece)

Final Joint Choir
Miina Härma / Ferdinand Karlson Tuljak
Ardo Ran Varres / Hasso Krull Allikas metsa sees (new piece)
Olav Ehala / Leelo Tungal Sa oled ainus (new arrangement)
Peep Sarapik / Juhan Liiv Ta lendab mesipuu poole
Gustav Ernesaks / Lydia Koidula Mu isamaa on minu arm

Additional option:
Boys’ choir / Mixed Boys’ Choir / Male Choir

Andres Valkonen / Leelo Tungal, arranged by Riivo Jõgi Leib jahtub (new arrangement)
Andres Lemba Üles, üles hellad vennad (arranged for the song celebration)

Select Male Choir (VMEK)
Select Male Choir sings the repertoire of the Opening Joint Choir, Select Male Choir and Select Joint Choir at the 1st concert (10 pieces), the repertoire of the Male Choir, the joint repertoire of the Boys’ Choir and the Male Choir and the Final Joint Choir at the 2nd concert (10 pieces)


Repertoire of Select Male Choir
Opening Joint Choir
Mihkel Lüdig / Friedrich Kuhlbars Koit
Johann Voldemar Jannsen / Lydia Koidula Mu isamaa, mu õnn ja rõõm
Mart Saar / folk poem Mis need ohjad meida hoidvad

Concert of Select Choirs

Male Choir | Eduard Tubin / dialect of the northeastern coast of Estonia, Haljala Sõmeralt sõrmikule
Male Choir | Mart Saar Meie elu
Male Choir | Veljo Tormis / Võru dialect, Karula Sõttaminek
Joint Choir | Pärt Uusberg / dialect of the Islands, Reigi Et kiitke Jumalat, kes on nii helde
Male Choir| seade Ülo Krigul Setu laul (new arrangement)
Joint Choir, Children’s Choir | Rein Rannap / Hando Runnel Ilus maa (updated version)
Joint Choir, Children’s Choir | Veljo Tormis, Tõnu Kõrvits Kui mina hakkan laulemaie

Boys’ Choir / Mixed Boys’ Choir / Male Choir

Andres Valkonen / Leelo Tungal, arranged by Riivo Jõgi Leib jahtub (new arrangement)
Andres Lemba Üles, üles hellad vennad (arranged for the song celebration)

Male Choir
Karl August Hermann / Juhan Kunder, arranged by Tuudur Vettik  Munamäel
Veljo Tormis / Kristjan Jaak Peterson Laulja
Valter Soosalu / Juhan Viiding Me peame looma sillad (new piece)

Final Joint Choir
Miina Härma / Ferdinand Karlson Tuljak
Ardo Ran Varres / Hasso Krull Allikas metsa sees (new piece)
Olav Ehala / Leelo Tungal Sa oled ainus (new arrangement)
Peep Sarapik / Juhan Liiv Ta lendab mesipuu poole
Gustav Ernesaks / Lydia Koidula Mu isamaa on minu arm

Female Choir (NAK)
The repertoire of Female Choirs includes the songs of the category of Female Choirs and the Joint Choir (12 pieces).


Repertoire of Female Choir
Opening Joint Choir
Mihkel Lüdig / Friedrich Kuhlbars Koit
Johann Voldemar Jannsen / Lydia Koidula Mu isamaa, mu õnn ja rõõm
Mart Saar / folk poem Mis need ohjad meida hoidvad

Female Choir

Urmas Sisask Heliseb väljadel
Riivo Jõgi / Võru dialect, Räpina Näio hääl (arranged for the song celebration)
Karin Tuul / Veiko Tubin Vaata ja sa näed (arranged for the song celebration)
Kadri Voorand / Kristiina Ehin Sina oled kullatera (new piece)

Final Joint Choir
Miina Härma / Ferdinand Karlson Tuljak
Ardo Ran Varres / Hasso Krull Allikas metsa sees (new piece)
Olav Ehala / Leelo Tungal Sa oled ainus (new arrangement)
Peep Sarapik / Juhan Liiv Ta lendab mesipuu poole
Gustav Ernesaks / Lydia Koidula Mu isamaa on minu arm

Select Female Choir (VNAK)

Select Female Choir sings the repertoire of the Opening Joint Choir, Select Female Choir and Select Joint Choir at the 1st concert (10 pieces), the category pieces of the Female Choir and the Final Joint Choir at the 2nd concert.

Repertoire of Select Female Choir
Opening Joint Choir
Mihkel Lüdig / Friedrich Kuhlbars Koit
Johann Voldemar Jannsen / Lydia Koidula Mu isamaa, mu õnn ja rõõm
Mart Saar / folk poem Mis need ohjad meida hoidvad

Concert of Select Choirs

Female Choir | Mart Saar / Vana Kannel, Tartu dialect Laulu eestvõtja
Female Choir | Ester Mägi dialect of the Islands, Muhu Äiu-püiu
Female Choir | Arvo Pärt / dialect of the northeastern coast of Estonia, Jõhvi Eesti hällilaul
Joint Choir | Pärt Uusberg / dialect of the Islands, Reigi Et kiitke Jumalat, kes on nii helde
Female Choir | Rasmus Puur / Siberian Estonian Oleks minu olemine
Joint Choir, Children’s Choir | Rein Rannap / Hando Runnel Ilus maa (updated version)
Joint Choir, Children’s Choir | Veljo Tormis, Tõnu Kõrvits Kui mina hakkan laulemaie

Female Choir
Urmas Sisask Heliseb väljadel
Riivo Jõgi / Võru dialect, Räpina Näio hääl (arranged for the song celebration)
Karin Tuul / Veiko Tubin Vaata ja sa näed (arranged for the song celebration)
Kadri Voorand / Kristiina Ehin Sina oled kullatera (new piece)

Final Joint Choir

Miina Härma / Ferdinand Karlson Tuljak
Ardo Ran Varres / Hasso Krull Allikas metsa sees (new piece)
Olav Ehala / Leelo Tungal Sa oled ainus (new arrangement)
Peep Sarapik / Juhan Liiv Ta lendab mesipuu poole
Gustav Ernesaks / Lydia Koidula Mu isamaa on minu arm

Mixed Choir (SEK)
The repertoire of Mixed Choirs includes the songs of the category of Mixed Choirs and the Joint Choir (12 pieces).

Repertoire of Mixed Choir
Opening Joint Choir

Mihkel Lüdig / Friedrich Kuhlbars Koit
Johann Voldemar Jannsen / Lydia Koidula Mu isamaa, mu õnn ja rõõm
Mart Saar / folk poem Mis need ohjad meida hoidvad

Mixed Choir
Mart Saar Laulik
Veljo Tormis Meelespea
Margo Kõlar / Tartu dialect, Otepää Oh Aadam, sinu essitus (new arrangement)
Mari Kalkun, arranged by Rasmus Puur Elukoor (new arrangement)

Final Joint Choir
Miina Härma / Ferdinand Karlson Tuljak
Ardo Ran Varres / Hasso Krull Allikas metsa sees (new piece)
Olav Ehala / Leelo Tungal Sa oled ainus (new arrangement)
Peep Sarapik / Juhan Liiv Ta lendab mesipuu poole
Gustav Ernesaks / Lydia Koidula Mu isamaa on minu arm

Select Mixed Choir (VSEK)

Select Mixed Choir sings the repertoire of the Opening Joint Choir, Select Mixed Choir and Select Joint Choir at the 1st concert (10 pieces), the pieces of the category of Mixed Choir and the Final Joint Choir at the 2nd concert (9 pieces).

Repertoire of Select Mixed Choir
Opening Joint Choir
Mihkel Lüdig / Friedrich Kuhlbars Koit
Johann Voldemar Jannsen / Lydia Koidula Mu isamaa, mu õnn ja rõõm
Mart Saar / folk poem Mis need ohjad meida hoidvad

Concert of Select Choirs

Mixed Choir | Peeter Süda / Mulgi dialect, Halliste Linakatkuja
Mixed Choir | Cyrillus Kreek / dialect of the Islands, Reigi Oh, kui õndsad on need pühad taevas
Mixed Choir | Tõnu Kõrvits / Tartu dialect, Otepää Lenda üles kurbtusest
Joint Choir | Pärt Uusberg / dialect of the Islands, Reigi Et kiitke Jumalat, kes on nii helde
Mixed Choir | Mart Saar / Võru dialect Noore veljo veeritäge
Joint Choir, Children’s Choir | Rein Rannap / Hando Runnel Ilus maa (updated version)
Joint Choir, Children’s Choir | Veljo Tormis, Tõnu Kõrvits Kui mina hakkan laulemaie

Mixed Choir
Mart Saar Laulik
Veljo Tormis Meelespea
Margo Kõlar / Tartu dialect, Otepää Oh Aadam, sinu essitus (new arrangement)
Mari Kalkun, arranged by Rasmus Puur Elukoor (new arrangement)

Final Joint Choir
Miina Härma / Ferdinand Karlson Tuljak
Ardo Ran Varres / Hasso Krull Allikas metsa sees (new piece)
Olav Ehala / Leelo Tungal Sa oled ainus (new arrangement)
Peep Sarapik / Juhan Liiv Ta lendab mesipuu poole
Gustav Ernesaks / Lydia Koidula Mu isamaa on minu arm

Wind Orchestra (PP)

Repertoire of Wind Orchestra
Tauno Aints new piece
Riho Esko Maimets Kõrge taeva all (new piece)
Rein Rannap, arranged by Peeter Saan Ülev Eesti (new arrangement)
Tõnis Kõrvits new piece
Eduard Tamm Eesti rapsoodia folk tune Kui mina olin väikene, arranged by Riivo Jõgi (new arrangement)

Symphony Orchestra (SO)

Repertoire of Symphony Orchestra
Eduard Tubin Setu tants
Mart Saar, arranged by Rasmus Puur Mis need ohjad meida hoidvad
Lepo Sumera, arranged by Ott Kask Kevadine kärbes (new arrangement)
Madis Järvi new piece
Curly Strings, arranged by Riivo Jõgi Maailm heliseb üle ilma (new arrangement)

Conditions for participation

  • Registration of foreign Estonian groups and visiting groups for the XXVIII Song Celebration will take place between1 November 2023 and 31 January 2024 on the website of the Song and Dance Celebration www.laulupidu.ee . To register, the electronic registration form must be filled out.
  • In accordance with the type chosen by the collective, the collective submits to the Artistic Committee its initial threshold video recording and the list of details of its members and conductors by 1 November 2024 as follows:
    • Young Children’s Select Choir:
      Mari Amor / Artur Adson / Võru dialect Esä taivan (arranged for the song celebration)
      Mart Saar / Tartu dialect, Rõngu Kui mina laulan (arranged for the song celebration)
      Children’s Choir: 
      Estonian folk song, Heino Kaljuste Ringmängulaul
      Mihkel Lüdig / Friedrich Kuhlbars KoitBoys’ Choir:
      Riho Päts / Gustav Suits Ühte laulu tahaks lauldaMixed Boys’ Choir:
      Andres Lemba Üles, üles hellad vennad (arranged for the song celebration)
      Mihkel Lüdig / Friedrich Kuhlbars KoitMale Choir:
      Karl August Hermann / Juhan Kunder, arranged by Tuudur Vettik  Munamäel
      Gustav Ernesaks / Lydia Koidula Mu isamaa on minu arm
    • Female Choir:
      Karin Tuul / Veiko Tubin Vaata ja sa näed (arranged for the song celebration)
      Gustav Ernesaks / Lydia Koidula Mu isamaa on minu arm
  • Mixed Choir:
    Mart Saar Laulik
    Gustav Ernesaks / Lydia Koidula Mu isamaa on minu arm
    • Wind Orchestra:
      Eduard Tamm Eesti rapsoodia folk tune Kui mina olin väikene, arranged by Riivo Jõgi
    • Symphony Orchestra:
      Eduard Tubin Setu tants
  • Registration for the celebration does not guarantee participation in the celebration. A decision on participation of the group in the celebration is made by the Artistic Committee latest in January 2025.
  • The final number of group members including additional information (name, date of birth, voice group / instrument) shall be sent after a positive decision has been made regarding participation in the celebration by February 2025.
  • If the group is selected, a recording of the presentation of the entire repertoire of the category must be sent by
    1 April 2025.

Study materials

A prerequisite of participation is that the choir buys a scorebook for each singer and conductor, and optionally the set of piano accompaniments and phonograms with piano accompaniment for the pieces of the 2nd concert. Select choirs have an additional scorebook including the repertoire of select choirs.
Orchestras shall buy sets of study materials, scores, and e-scores.
The prices of study materials will be available in January 2024. Ordering of study materials takes place in February 2024 and is facilitated by a curator of visiting groups.

The cost of study materials including shipping costs is not refundable. Payment shall be made based on invoices issued byEesti Laulu- ja Tantsupeo SA.

Helpful resources

Presentation concert for choir categories will take place on Sunday, 5 May at the Estonia Concert Hall.
The following materials will be available on the website of the Song Celebration as of autumn 2024:
– voice parts of the repertoire of the 2nd concert;
– video recordings of the repertoire of the 2nd concert;

– videos teaching movement for songs with movement;
– worksheets in Estonian with the remarks of the conductor conducting the piece for each piece from the repertoire of the 2nd concert.

Participation in the Celebration

The decision of the Artistic Committee is a prerequisite of participation in the Celebration.

The organiser of the Celebration will provide the group with lunches in outdoor canteens during the Celebration week (i.e., one lunch soup per day, including a vegetarian soup).
The organiser of the Celebration will provide the group with wristbands for access to the Celebration.
The organiser of the Celebration will determine the number of adults required to accompany children’s and youth groups based on the size of the groups.
Children’s and youth groups may have accredited people accompanying them (i.e., people who have wristbands and can have lunch in outdoor canteens). The number of persons who can accompany children is limited by the organiser.

The group shall organise and finance their own expenses related to travelling to Estonia, accommodation, and food (except for lunches in outdoor canteens) as well as take care of any other arrangements and cover any other costs related to their participation in the Celebration.

Estimated schedule of the Celebration week

Thu, 3 July     Rehearsals for the categories of select choirs, wind orchestras, symphony orchestras
Fri, 4 July        Rehearsals for the 2nd concert
Sat, 5 July      full rehearsal of the 1st concert of the Song Celebration / procession and the 1st concert of the Song Celebration
Sun, 6 July     2nd concert of the Song Celebration

Important information

The organisation of the XXVIII Song Celebration and XXI Dance Celebration is subject to the regulations, requirements and potential restrictions of the Government of the Republic of Estonia, the Health Board, and other authorities of the state or local governments valid at any given time.

Upon registration for the celebration, the contact person of the group shall inform the members of the group and the parents of the minor members of the group of the terms for participation in the XXVIII Song Celebration and XXI Dance Celebration.

Eesti Laulu- ja Tantsupeo Sihtasutus reserves a right to change and make additions to the organisation of the process, the time schedule and the terms and conditions of the Celebration.

An inseparable part of the present Conditions for participation and registration for Estonian groups abroad and visiting foreign groups is the application document.

Additional information:
Eneli Vaasna
Curator for foreign groups
email: visitors@laulupidu.ee

www.laulupidu.ee