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Tom Keener – Guest Contributor
Mar 17 @ 09:13
Belarus Band-Stary Olsa

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Allen Public Library
300 N. Allen
Allen, Texas 75013

Performing the medieval music of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania,  the Belarusian folk band Stary Olsa will be featured at the Allen Public Library 7:30 p.m. Friday, March 24. 

Founded in 1999 by Zmicier Sasnouski, the group is named for a brook in the west part of Mahilou Region or Belarus. The band's repertoire includes Belarusian folk balladry, martial songs, and national dances, works of Belarusian Renaissance composers, compositions from Belarusian aulic music collections, Belarusian canticles of the 16th - through early 17th centuries, as well as popular European melodies of the Middle and Renaissance Ages.

Utilizing period Belarusian costuming, technology and instruments handmade in painstaking detail, Stary Olsa’s shows include Belarusian instruments such as lyre, bagpipe, psaltery, pipe, jew’s harp, ocarina, trumpet, birch bark trumpet, rebec and drums. The purpose is to reconstruct completely the musical traditions of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania where Belarus was the basic cultural and geopolitic influence in the 13th-18th centuries, and where there was a unique synthesis of Belarusian folk and aulic music with the European musical achievements of that time.

Performing in Belarus and Europe, museums, research centers, Stary Olsa is a master of early instruments, bands of folk, aulic, sacred and city avital music, as well as offering solo performers using old instruments. The band's music makes it possible to restore the sounds of many forgotten instruments. Having produced 12 albums of historic music from the 13th-17th centuries, these include a wonderful cultural collection of ancient Belarusian tunes such as ballads about knights and victory and even a Romanian dance to ward off vampires! 

Sponsored by the Allen Public Library, the concert is free.  The library is located at 300 N. Allen Drive. Call 214-509-4911 for more information.