1st International Competition of Bell-Ringers To Be Held

Blessed by the Orthodox Church, the 1st international competition of church bell-ringers, the Bell-ringer of the World, is to be held in Moldova in a picturesque place called "A Moldavian Settlement" (Satul Moldovenesc) not far from Chisenau on the 7th and 8th of June, 2003

A summer theater is being built. It is placed on the bank of one of 3 nearby lakes and includes an amphitheater, a stage and a unique concert belfry with a set of 11 bells that were specially cast at one of the best temporary bell-making factories - Perfect Casting, in Minsk.

The main and the only financial supporter of this event is well-known Moldavian businessman Valery Loghin, a pioneer in agricultural tourism in Moldova. The idea of holding the competition was approved by the President, the Parliament and the Government of the Republic of Moldova. The invitation letters have been sent to 30 of the best bell-ringers in many countries: the USA, Serbia, Romania, Russia, Belarus, Georgia, Latvia, Greece, Cyprus and others.

According to Valery Loghin's plan - he is the main organizer of the competition - this tournament should both become a unique event in the cultural and spiritual life of people and gain public and practical importance.

"The bell is the subject of both material and spiritual life of many nations," says Andrei Djachkov, the leader of an Arkhangelsk bell-ringing school. "Though we are far from each other and we speak different languages, we have something important that unites us - the Orthodox religion. The chimes will become a uniting point for our peoples".

This competition will be of great practical importance. Based in Satul Moldovenesk, the first international school of bell-ringing will start work at the concert belfry there. There, the belfries of hundreds of Orthodox churches will acquire their voices.

The  competition program will be developed by a creative group headed by director Lyddiya Panfil. A famous Moldavian ensemble, Millennium, will also take part. The jury will be made up both of clerics and specialists in music and art. One of the main judges is the founder and, one may say, a patriarch ofcontemporary bell-ringing, Valery V. Lokhansky. Alongside the official jury the 11-membered one will be formed from the audience. Their opinion will be taken into consideration by the professional jury.

The competition will have several categories: the bell-ringer of the world, the best woman bell-ringer, a children’s winner, a separate prize from the mass media and TV, a prize from the Metropolitan See of Moldova, a special present from Valery Loghin and others.

The Arkhangelsk center of bell-ringing under the leadership of Andrei Djachkov will be especially represented at this competition. This school is where the resurrection of the lost and forgotten art of bell-ringing started as long ago as 1975.

Author`s name Michael Simpson