The festival will feature collegiate and semi-pro choirs and is cosponsored by the School of Music and Dance, Choral Arts area of San Jose State University.

Saturday, April 8, 2017,

Oakland Interstake Center

4780 Lincoln Ave. Oakland

1:00 pm.

Special highlights including a world premiere of a commissioned song  will commemorate the victims and survivors of Operation Priboi and other Soviet deportations from the Baltic states .

 FEATURING Piedmont East Bay Choir - Ensemble Robert Geary choraXperi Brigitte Doss-Johnson Musae Laney Armstrong Stanford Chamber Chorale Stephen Sano SJSU Choraliers Jeffrey Benson
FEATURED COMPOSERS Arvo Pärt Vytautas Miskinis Ugis Praulins Janis Lucens Andres Lemba Eriks Esenvalds Vaclovas Augustinas Peteris Plakidis Gustav Ernesaks Urmas Sisask Tella Turku Veljo Tormis Pekka Kostiainen Pärt Uusberg Jaako Mäntyjärvi
VIDEO PRESENTATIONS Greetings from Composers and Conductors from the Baltic Region Presentation from Vytautas Miskinis Documentary footage of the Soviet deportations in the Baltics More to come ...
The Grand Finale Sung by all the choirs

The Baltic Choral Music Foundation supports activities and encourages awareness of choral music from the Baltic Region.

Graceful People

by Vytautas Miskinis

Brigitte met Vytautas Miskinis in October 2015. In an indescribably charming manner, he showed her around his rehearsal facilities of Ažuoliukas and offered insight during a discussion of her dissertation idea pertaining to compositional freedoms through political periods. In February Brigitte had a spark and asked Miskinis if he would compose a song for the festival commemorating the deportation victims. Brigitte gave him the option of selecting or writing the text himself, but he turned the task over to Brigitte. Searching libraries and the internet for a poem in English about the deportations in the three Baltic countries proved unfruitful, so with a firm concept  of what the poem should address and years of reading memoirs, watching documentaries, and interviewing displaced citizens, Brigitte drafted a heartfelt poem. Two Estonian-Americans reviewed the words, offered suggestions, and gave a "go" on the final version. Thanks, Ruth Amos and Helve Kalmann. A few days later, Miskinis sent a two-minute track of the beginning. From February 2 - 26, Miskinis and Brigitte worked on text selection, duration, and edits. In three weeks of creative fervor, the song "Graceful People" was born. We can't wait to hear how it will sound at the festival with all the choirs performing it.

Graceful people

of Lithuania,




in all your suffering,

endured with silent strength,

you've had each other.

You still have each other.


In the reign of terror,

soldiers coming at night

taking grandmothers and infants,

trucks coming to schools

taking every child …


minds changed.

Trust changed.

Neighbor turned on neighbor.

Cousin turned on cousin.


The soul of the nation

cried through its people.

People are not numbers,

empty ink on a page.


The ground stores what happened,

cans and jars

buried with desperate notes,

dying to be heard.

You are understood,


in the monuments still standing,

in the mines you’ve dug,

in the railroads you’ve laid,

in the rivers you’ve trenched,

in the pipelines you’ve placed.


The sound of spilling blood

lands loud

on the giant drums

of heaven,

where time is not measured,

and where memories never fade.


The survivors

must become

the voice

of the sacrificed,

like the forests

that become


of the dead.


We must remember.

We must heal.

We must build a stronger humanity

where no one can lose their humanity,

where kindness is rule,

where the world can never again

give ground

to strip the worth of a soul.





“VOICE OF GOD (or angels)”


Mortal time

is but a small moment.


The innocent

will not go without



The wicked

will not go without



The meek are chosen for their strength

to stand as proof

to justify

the punishment of the aggressor.


Place faith

in eternity.





Nizhny Ingash, Novoaltaisk

Yemelyanov, Biriusinsk

Bogotol, Taiozhny, Tchunsk, Ilansk

Beriozovka, Pavlovsk


Ujar, Aban, Dzerzhinskoye

Nazarov, Partizanskoye

Maima, Suchobuzinskoye

Zaoziorny, Cholmogorskoye