Memorial gala concert

Tribute to Jaroslava Halamová, founder of the women’s choir Cantoria Praha

On the occasion of the missed eightieth birthday of Mgr. Jaroslavy Halamová’s choir Cantoria Praha is organizing a memorial gala concert, which will take place on 13 June 2023 from 19:00 in the Gong theater in Prague 9.

This May, it has been five years since the sudden death of the choirmaster, singer, high school professor of music education and Czech language and literature, and teacher of solo singing Mgr. Jaroslava Halamová. She came from Olomouc, where she studied music education and the Czech language at the Faculty of Philosophy of the Palacký University, and also graduated from the Brno Conservatory with a major in opera singing. Already during her studies, she gained experience in theaters in Olomouc, Brno and Bánská Bystrica.

She has already combined her career as an opera soloist of the Central Music of the Czechoslovak People’s Army with a teaching career. For more than twenty years, she worked at the People’s School of Arts in Prosek, where she taught solo and choral singing and led the Coloreton children’s choir and the Coloretta girls’ choir. She spent the next twenty years at the Botičská High School, where she taught music education and Czech language and literature. After her arrival at the gymnasium, she resurrected the moribund choir there, which she named Divertimento Chor, and built it into a powerful body with more than 100 members in its prime. In 2001, together with the then graduates of the gymnasium, she was at the birth of the mixed chamber choir Antifon, of which she was choirmaster for four years.

However, she spent the longest time with the women’s choir Cantoria Praha, which she founded at the instigation of her husband in November 1985. During the almost 33 years under her direction, the choir performed almost 300 compositions, performed at more than 130 concerts in the Czech Republic and abroad, and successfully participated in several competitions.

Professor Jaroslava Halamová was an element, full of vigor and energy that could be envied even by people several decades younger. Where Jaruška was, there was fun. She was not only the artistic leader of the choir, but she was also its heart and driving force. She was able to get everyone so excited and enthralled that everyone gave their absolute best during the performance. She was very persuasive. The question, “Don’t you want to go to church?” was only rhetorical, because she didn’t take NO for an answer. But no one regretted it, the atmosphere at rehearsals, training sessions and concerts was so attractive that very soon one could no longer imagine not going to the choir. No one doubted who was leading the choir. I will use the words from the Cantoria hymn: “Professor Halam, she holds the reins…”, but at the same time she has become a loyal friend to many of us and the choir is an integral part of our lives: “We are from Cantoria and no one can take that away from us!”

Professor Jaroslava Halamová has gone to musical heaven, but her legacy lives on. Her daughter Mgr. Nora Michálková and under her baton both choirs perform successfully in concerts and collect awards at competitions.

If you want to experience an evening full of music and singing and at the same time remember Professor Jaroslava Halamová, come to the gala concert at the Gong Theater on June 13.

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