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Advent Singers

The history of “Advent Singers” goes back to early 1980s. Three original members of the group Leszek Czernicki, Grazyna Dabrowska and Miroslaw Karauda started a quartet that they named then “Voice of Hope”.

The name was related to the Christian radio station of the same name that the group was recording for at that time. Besides Grazyna and Miroslaw the other two members of the band were Lidia Pieszka and Pawel Kot. In 1982 “Voice of Hope” recorded its first cassette, which almost completely sold out in a record time. In 1984 Lidia and Pawel left the group. Same year they were replaced with Beata Gorska and me.

We were very close to record another tape in 1985, however after Grazyna’s husband was transferred with his job to London she had no other option but to quit her cooperation with “Voice of Hope”. We were facing a great dilemma. Grazyna’s beautiful and unique soprano was almost irreplaceable. We could not find another female to take her place and a difficult decision became inevitable to transform “Voice of Hope” into a male quartet. We had no other option but to let Beata go, too. This was a very sad time because we not only were loosing the original member of the group, Grazyna but also another talented singer Beata who was singing with us as alto. Considering how much fun we all had during rehearsals, tours and performances there were lots of hurt feelings left among all the members. Leszek and Miroslaw had to pick up the pieces and start interviewing new, this time male candidates for countertenor and baritone. A perfect prospect just became available – Robert Lawaty – who then just ended his cooperation with the group “Sound of Advent” as well as another male quartet, and accepted our invitation to join “Voice of Hope”. At the same time, Beata’s brother – Dariusz Gorski – also agreed to sing with us as baritone. Of course we had to change our profile and repertoire. Before, however, we were able to do it we rearranged some of the songs from the old repertoire and asked Piotr Pilch to join us to play base guitar who soon after that ended up singing as second tenor with us, and Janusz Lyko to play keyboard. Leszek Czernicki was still playing the piano but he put his main focus more on writing new repertoire. Our profile was dramatically changed becoming almost exclusively an “A cappella” quintet for at least another two years. We started rehearsing very intensively. Our rehearsal times were split with occasional tours in random cities of Poland. Then we brought our new repertoire to Czechoslovakia, Soviet Union (Belarus and Ukraine) and East Germany. In 1987, since we were no longer officially associated with the “Voice of Hope” Radio Station we changed the name of the group from “Voice of Hope” into “Advent Singers”. Same year Pawel Ciecwierz joined us to double Dariusz Gorski, who left the group soon after. In the fall of 1987 we recorded our first a cappella cassette in English as male quintet that consisted mostly of “Negro Spirituals”, and also we started building our own studio.

That was a very busy year for us including preparations for the extensive tours of 1988 since we received invitation to participate in a Christian Youth Congress in Arhus, Denmark. Our agent – Przemek Lozowski – had hands full of work not only tutoring us in English but also arranging the tour not only in Arhus but also in Copenhagen and after Denmark in West Germany as well. Our tour in West Germany earned us nice sum of money, which were utilized to buy KORG sampling keyboard and other pieces of equipment for our new studio that was finally finished and opened in 1989, where we recorded our second Gospel cassette in Polish. 1989 was also the year my daughter was born and I decided to quit my cooperation with “Advent Singers” to have more time for my family. At that time Mariusz Gebel was invited to join “Advent Singers” as my replacement. Unfortunately “Advent Singers” did not last long after I left the group. Not even two years passed after I quit the band and “Advent Singers” ceased to exist. “Advent Singers” sang in churches of different denominations, theatres, and public halls, at government functions bringing not only comfort but also unforgettable aesthetic and spiritual memories to many, many listeners. Even though the band does not exist anymore its songs are still serving people to find peace and spiritual comfort.

- Alex Kolacz


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