On 20 February 2014, Vilnius Taikos Progymnasium hosted a competition “Songs Open the World” where the 6th-7th formers from various schools of Vilnius staged and sang songs in English, French, Russian and German. The originator of the idea was the English language teacher Kristina Greičienė, who involved in the organization of the event the administrative staff, the teachers of music and other foreign languages as well as students from Taikos Progymnasium in order to make the competition a most joyful fest for the children, their teachers and guests. The participants of the competition included 22 groups from 16 different schools of Vilnius. All the groups gave most spectacular performances and demonstrated great musical talents, English skills and a good sense of style in their choice of outfit.
The Jury consisted of as many as 8 members: Gunnery Sergeant Michael Brown, Sergeant Craig Pursell, Melanie Brown from the US Embassy in Vilnius; Ulf Hallan, Honorary Consul of Lithuania in Norway and the Chairman of the European Leadership Institute; LAKMA representative Giedrė Balčytytė-Kurtinienė from the Lithuanian University of Educational Sciences; Erika Kišūnienė, a French teacher at Mykolas Biržiška Gymnasium; Dalia Nakutytė, a school art club organizer; and Vaida Abramonienė, Taikos Progymnasium Deputy Headmistress. They had a most difficult task to decide on the winners as all the participants seemed to be worth the top prizes. After the heated discussions, the following winners were announced:
- 1st prize – Sofija Kovalevskaja Secondary School with their song “Impossible” performed by a band “Bravo” (teachers Galina Bogdanova and Jelena Zykina);
- 2nd prize – “Saulės” Private Gymnasium with their song “Wish you were here” performed by the group called “Rojaus bulvės” (Potatoes of Paradise) (teachers Ieva Vyčienė and Tautvydas Meldaikis);
- 3rd prize – Jonas Basanavičius Progymnasium with their song “Un peu de ton amour” performed by Augustė Raguotytė and her progymnasium rock band (teachers Danutė Stankaitienė, Vitalis Vošterys).
Special prizes were awarded to: Karina German (Sofija Kovalevskaja Secondary School); Liucija Vaicenavičiūtė (Jesuit Gymnasium); “Do x Do” (Mikalojus Daukša Secondary School).
Many thanks to all the talented children who participated in the event and filled our hearts with warmth. Still, the most praise and thanks go to their language and music teachers who put a lot of enthusiasm, passion and patience into their work and who are able to combine the learning of languages and music into an unforgettable experience for their pupils. Music seems to be the most universal language!
With best wishes for a lot of success in the future,
Giedrė Balčytytė-Kurtinienė (LUES)