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Successes and awards:

2003 – The 9th All-Poland Festival of Christmas Carols and Pastorales 
Having taken part in regional preliminaries in Lublin and final stage auditions in Będzin, we won the GRAND PRIX of Poland's largest festival of Christmas carols.

2000 – The Festival of Ecological Culture in Józefów Roztoczański 
We took first place.

2000 – The “New Tradition” Festival 
We took third place in the third edition of Polish Radio Folk Music Competition...

1998 – The Folk Music Festival "Mikołajki Folkowe" ("Folk St Nicholas Day") – Lublin 
Performing among a group of select contenders, we won an award...

1997 – The Student Song Festival "Japa" in ŁódŸ 
That was our first award...

 

 THE PRESS ABOUT US... 
... or, a selection of clippings big and small

Małgorzata Bochenek, Będzin 
/The complete text of the article: "Będziński festiwal kolędowy. Wielkie muzykowanie." ("The Będzin Festival of Christmas Carols. Great Music-Making.") Nasz Dziennik 15 Jan 2003, no. 12 (1508)/

  The finalists of the 9th edition of the All-Poland Festival of Christmas Carols and Pastorales competed for three days in Będzin. 107 performers ranging from soloists to regional bands – about 2,500 people in total – presented their skills in front of the jury. During the Saturday gala concert, which took place at the Shrine of the Golgotha of the East, the best participants were awarded. 
"e;Our goal is to popularize the singing of beautiful Polish Christmas carols and pastorales. In times when the tradition of carol singing is gradually vanishing, we want children and young people above all to cultivate the singing of Christmas songs," stresses Rev. Piotr Pilœniak, the originator and director of the festival. "What is enormously significant is the involvement of Będzin's local community in organizing the event. We are glad that young people want to help," he adds. 
   The festival's grand prix and 5,000 zlotys went to Kapela Drewutnia from Lublin, performing in the category of regional bands. “We are surprised, we did not expect such a success. We have taken part in various festivals, but it was here, in Będzin, that we were first awarded in this way,” says Piotr Zió?łek, the leader of Kapela Drewutnia, commenting on the verdict of the jury. The audience received the winners' performance with thunderous applause. “The kindness of the people and the atmosphere here are truly touching. This is very important to us,” says Piotr Ziółek, moved. 
  For five years, the band have been playing Slavic folk music as amateurs; they released an album with Christmas carols this year. Drewutnia sings in Polish, Lemko, and Ukrainian. It consists of eight members, five of whom are blind or visually impaired people aged between 25 and 30. They come from different corners of Poland and met in Lublin a few years ago. “We use a very diverse instrumentarium, e.g. a Hutsul drum, Russian balalaikas, an accordion, a flute, or a violin,” says Ewelina Graban, the band's vocalist. Their competition repertoire included three Christmas carols: one from the Lublin region, one to a Przemyœl region tune, and one Polish folk carol found in a hymnary. They were wearing mixed, stylized, Lublin region costumes with Ukrainian motifs. 
  (...) Divided into categories of soloists, vocal or vocal and instrumental bands, scholas, choirs, chamber choirs, and regional bands, the participants of the festival presented three Christmas carols or pastorales of their choice. “This year, we have observed an improvement in the artistic level of vocal groups,” says Rev. Piotr Pilœniak. 
  The festival is a unique phenomenon in Poland. During the first stage, 26 qualification centres functioned all over the country. 15 thousand people took part in the preliminaries. Only one in ten participants could qualify for the final. Groups from the Ukraine and the Czech Republic entered the competition as well. 
“We listened to the presentations with emotion, sometimes with melting hearts. All the participants of the festival were captivated by one idea: showing the beauty contained in our Polish Christmas carols,” says Rev. Andrzej Zajšc, the chairman of the jury. “Polish Christmas carols are connected with our culture and national identity in a special way,” he adds. 
  Many participants took part in this kind of event for the first time.

 

 

“Dla warszawiaków po łemkowsku” (“For Varsovians in Lemko”); GW Stołeczna, Monday,18 Mar 2002

  The 1st Warsaw Lemko Days took place last weekend. The Foundation for the Support of the Lemko Minority “Rutenika” prepared an exhibition of painting and photography, discussions, lectures, film screenings, and a concert of music. On Saturday, at the Academy of Music, old Lemko songs were sung by the folk band Drewutnia, (in the photo) and by the Slavic Vocal and Instrumental Group “Rusnaki.”

 

“Tęgo rżną w drewutni” (“Hearty Playing in the Woodshed”); GW Stołeczna, Wednesday, 12 Dec 2001

  They come from different corners of Poland, and so does the music they play: Lemko, Ukrainian, Belarusian, Silesian, as well as from Kashubia, the Lublin region, or Malopolska (Lesser Poland). On Thursday, Kapela Drewutnia [Eng. Woodshed Folk Band] will be performing in Warsaw... 
“Let's all go and hear the band playing heartily in the shed. All the village is rejoicing, so let none of us be sad” – reads the band's invitation on their website. Their music is not always so joyful, though. Apart from merry and often hilarious songs and ditties, it features plenty of moving stories of abandoned girls, Cossacks missing their sweetheart Hala, and complaints of a Lemko who does not want to go to war. All the songs carry an enormous charge of energy that infects the audience 
  In 1997, a group of traditional folk music enthusiasts met in Lublin, the capital of Polish folk. What particularly fascinated them was songs from areas where traditions met and merged. So, they set up Kapela Drewutnia and started playing what most appealed to them – in Lublin at first, and then all over the country. The reception was positive: they won prizes at festivals and reviews. They have also released two albums: “Hetaj, hetaj” and “Hojaja szuhaja.” During the performance at the M?ały Theatre they will be promoting the latest album, “i uod sie i do sie” (“out and in”). This will be another concert organized by the Polish Musical Youth Association “Jeunesses Musicales.”

 

/“Szlakiem kalasznikowa” (“On the Trail of the Kalashnikov”); GW, 25 Jan 2000/

  The folk boom is already under way, even if few people have noticed this yet... 
(...) the most interesting of Lublin's bands (excluding Budka Suflera, naturally) seems to be Kapela Drewutnia, a nine-person group performing eclectic Ukrainian music. They play traditional acoustic instruments, but they are attractive and go-getting, with a good measure of sense of humour. Drewutnia's album would be certain to rank among folk music gold records if only it could be bought. The band released it at their own expense in a mere 300 copies and sold them all at concerts.

  That is a pity, as I believe they are the group that stands the greatest chance of becoming “the major star of the East” in the Polish folk. Luckily, Drewutnia gives frequent concerts and plans to reissue its album. It will soon be available for purchase on the Internet as well.