The State Academic Northern Russian Folk Choir is the only highly professional artistic group in North-West Russia, whose long-term educational activities are winning new fans and lovers of traditional northern culture.
The choir started as an amateur folk group led by Antonina Kolotilova, a rural teacher from Velikiy Ustyug (Vologda region). Followed by the folk song lovers, she and the singers of the Northern Choir would gather and transcribe folklore, study folk traditions and customs of the residents of the Russian North. An enormous input to the choir development was put by its 1961 - 2008 leader Nina Konstantinovna Meshko.
The choir is actively touring in Russia and abroad. Especially focusing on educational component of their performances, the choir has a lot of the performances on its programme that are designed for younger audiences – children, youth and students. Over its 85-year-long history, the group has won many awards and titles.
The Northern Choir, featuring professionalism in folk singing and unique identity, consistently preserves traditions and priority of high spirituality in their performance. Northern dances notably render sense of dignity, their movements beautifully floating and revealing the restrained strength. The originality of repertoire, the focus on the region's vivid folk traditions, the modernity and high level of performance are the assets that ensure well-deserved success!
The agreement on cooperation with State Academic Northern Russian Folk Choir was one of the first agreements signed by the newly established NArFU. And there is a reason. Both the choir and the university are the symbols of the region that personify its spirit, culture and intellectual might. The choir is contracted to performs at the ceremonial meetings at NArFU. The university, in turn, has undertaken to supports the celebrated group is many ways. Svetlana Ignatyeva – the choir's leader and honored Russian artist and professor at the Russian Musical Academy named after Gnesinykh – is a member of NArFU Board of Trustees and participates in conferences together with the representatives of reputable companies, governmental agencies not only in Arkhangelsk region, but all over Russia.