Male Folklore Ensemble "Muroma"

About the folk group
Male Folklore Ensemble "Muroma"

The male folk ensemble "Muroma" (the artistic director is A.E. Chernikov, Honored Worker of Culture of the Russian Federation) for more than thirty years has preserved the traditions of folk male singing, playing Russian folk instruments, and the original musical culture of the Vladimir region. Today, "Muroma" is the base team of the Murom District Folk Art Center.

The ensemble "Muroma" was founded by Alexander Chernikov in 1987 on the basis of the Palace of Culture and Technology named after the 1100th anniversary of the city of Murom. Initially, it was a male quartet (and it was called "Murom Guys" then) that chose the collection, study and performance of the song folklore of the Murom region as its creative field. Hence appeared the gradually matured name – "Muroma", named after once living in these places, above the Oka River, the Finno-Ugric tribe of Muroma, meaning "living on a hill near the water", "mountain-heghts dwellers", and in another interpretation - "singing".  

The collective devoted a lot of time to folklore expeditions, collecting grains of old songs which had almost disappeared and giving them a second life. Over time, the ensemble's repertoire has been replenished with traditional folk songs of other regions of Russia, in particular, lyric, front, dance songs of the Cossacks of the Don and the Kuban.

"Muroma" began to create instrumental compositions and tunes using old Russian instruments. In particular, to the accompaniment of the gusli, Russian epics about Ilya Muromets were performed. The team achieved high artistic skill, mastering the Vladimir’s horns. In addition, the musical accompaniment of the songs involved the zhaleyka, flute, balalaika, button accordion, tambourine, as well as folk percussion instruments - scythe, saw, hatchet.

One of the "Muroma" ensemble’s activity fields was the study and performance of Russian ancient spiritual chants of the 17th-19th centuries with the use of bells cast at the beginning of the 19th century. An experienced choreographer is engaged in the ensemble for introducing dance elements into the concert programs. This has noticeably refreshed the performances of the team, strengthened their audience appeal and emotionality. Nowadays the ensemble's repertoire includes more than 200 folk songs and instrumental plays. Each piece has its own sound and color, its own soul.

The ensemble "Muroma" was the initiator of the Interregional Festival of Folklore and Crafts "Bogatyr Mountain" in Murom which subsequently turned into the festival of folk music and crafts "On the Murom Path". The team is an active participant in city and regional holidays and events.

The ensemble bears the title of "People's Collective". Today it is a laureate and winner of the highest awards of many international and all-Russian competitions and festivals of folk music. "Muroma" is known not only in Russia, but also abroad. Concerts of the male folklore group masterfully performing five-six-voice polyphonic compositions with original musical accompaniment are in demand everywhere and are a great success with the audience.

Over decades of creative activity the team has reached the heights of performing skills and popularity. But, most importantly, it continues to carry out the cultural mission of reviving and popularizing Russian folk traditions.

Author: V. Korolkova