History of folclore group Hořeňák

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History of folclore group Horenak

The folclore group HOŘEŇÁK was founded in 1949 by prof. Vratislav Vycpálek. He gathered together several young people and delivered love for folclore tranditions, dances, songs and music to them. An important assistant of prof. V. Vycpálek was Antonín Ódl. He helped him to expand the musical and dancing activities. These young people used to meet regularly, performed their dances and songs occasionally and revived the old folclore traditions.

As soon as 1957, the group took part in festival "U nás na Náchodsku". By that time Jindřich Rychtera became the leader of the dancers. The music was performed only by an accordion and a clarinet. Later Mr. Josef Stejskal - a teacher of music - gathered nine non-professional musicians and during the winter of 1957 the first music group of Horenak was formed. Their first national costumes were desinged by Mrs. Matouskova from Hradec Kralove.

In 1963 A. Jarušek and B. Brůna became leaders of the group, the music was directed by L. Švitorka and the dancing part by Jindrich Rychtera. Prof. Frantisek Bonus and prof. Karel Krejci started to cooperate with the group. With their help the group could take part in the festival "U nás na Náchodsku" again. The members had to think about the name of the group (before 1963 the group did not have any name), and so in the festival appears a group called Horenak.

The group grew into a "compact" colective where everybody knows everybody, helps each other, understands each other. They do not mind even the various age of members. The group become well-known all around the Eastern Bohemia and with their performaces gain hearts of their audience.

In 1966 R. Čistecký took the lead of the group and F. Ódl had already been the leader of the music for some time. The group attended the National folclore festival in Straznice for the first time, and already for the fifth time took part in the festival "U nás na Náchodsku". In 1967 E. Jarušková became the leader of the group and Horenak took place in a festival of Czech folclore groups in Prague. Participation in this festival handled the group to their first tour abroad. They went to Macedonia and participated in a big folclore festival in Skopje.

In 1971 J. Rychterová and J. Rychtera became leaders of the group. The rehearsals of the group take place in the gym where the heating and toilets are missing. New costumes and shoes are needed, however there is nobody to buy that. In spite of all difficulties the group has a lot of performances, and on 14th October 1972 Horenak accomplish its 500th performace since his creation.

When Horenak celebrated 25 years since its founding new posters and propagation materials were printed, the group recorded a television programme for the Czech Television for the first time. With help of the Ethnographic Museum in Prague the new costumes are made. The costumes are embroider by hand, everything is arranged with lots of effort of many people. By that time the group had already gone to several abroad tours. The children's group was founded and called Hořeňáček.

In 1975 Horenak began to cooperate with the Czech Radio Station. Eight compositions from repertoire of Horenak were recorded. Second International folclore festival Slavnosti pod Zvičinou were organized by the group. Horenak took part in folclore festival in Detva (Slovakia), in Ceske Budejovice and travelled to Finlandia.

The chronicle of Horenak won second place at regional exhibition of chronicles in Hradec Kralove. The group prepared new program called "Bread and songs" which became very famous among their public. Horenak was invited to perform in Prague on the Old Town Square, in Straznice, Ceske Budejovice and in many other towns and cities of Czechoslovakia.

In 1976 the group achieved a significant success when invited to the National competition of folclore groups in Trinec. Only the 15 best groups of Bohemia and Moravia were allowed to take part in this competition. The group obtained the first place there. Horenak confirmed its qualities by scoring the first place again in the National competition of folclore groups in Kosice in 1977.

The children's group got new costumes and began to perform on their own. However, there was only one musical band for both groups, Horenak and Horenacek. It was very demanding to play with both groups in all performances of the musicians.

On the 1st May 1978 the group received a governmental decoration for "Excellent work". In 1979 the children got to Regional Competition in Chrudim and Horenak prepared a new programme. New costumes and a lot of performances.

Horenicek - a new children's collective (very young children) was added to the children's group. Horenicek was led by former members of Horenak H. Smotlachová and J. Suchardová. E. Sucha took the lead of the musicians. The whole group (including the children) recorded a movie called "Kolik faldu na suknici".

The building where the rehearsals of the group were taking place was reconstructed.

In 1983 the group took part in the XV. international folclore festival in Zakopane in Poland. Horenak scored the second place there, with their programme "Rok pod horami" (Year under mountains); the first place was not awarded at all - so Horenak was the winner. In the same year the group successfully took part in the Festival in Straznice as well.

M. Rychtera took the lead of the children's group and in 1985 the children took part in National competition of children's folclore groups in Kyjov. They travelled abroad for the first time and new costumes were made for them. E. Sucha founded children's musical band. Horenacek was invited to the festival "U nas na Nachodsku". Horenacek took part in festivals in Straznice and Sumperk. The children's musicians recorded tapes for Czech Radio Station with the help of K. Zakl.

The lead of Horenicek (the youngest children) was taken by L. Zívrová and J. Vrbová. They took part in individual performances and regional competitions. Horenak organized the first children's folclore festival. The lead of the musicians taken by Jaroslav Rychtera jr., lead violin still played by E. Sucha.

After 1989 the number of performances in the Czech republic has been reduced. However the group took part in festivals in Straznice, in Vesely Kopec amd others. The new postcards and propagational materials were printed. The group has begun to perform in Pec pod Snezkou in hotel "Horizont" every saturday; Horenak can still be seen there every week.

In 1990 the third (and last) children's festival took place; because of the lack of money it became part of folclore festival "Pod Zvicinou" in the coming years. In following years Horenacek took part in National competition in Podebrady, in the festival "U nas na Nachodsku" and others.

In 1995 Horenicek started to perform again, consisting of 3-6 years old children. The leader of this Horenicek was ing. Z Rychterova.

45th jubilee since the founding of Horenak celebrated by the group in Regional competition of folclore groups of North-eastern Bohemia. There the group scored the first place with a very nice programme called "Okolo Javori" ("Around Javori"). Horenak took part in national parade of folclore costumes in Prague, in the festivals in Dolni Lomna and around the National tree in Prague.

The lead of the musicians was taken by Ms. Ivana Mala (later Mrs. Havelková).

Because of financial problems the group Horenak became legal subject called Sdružení členů a přátel souboru Hořeňák (Association of members and friends of Horenak). So since that time the only money that the group can get is from performances - thank heavens there are enough performances to keep the group together. New posters are printed by hotel Horizont and new postcards by company Hoska TOUR. in 1997 is the first Rural ball organized by Horenak. Since then the Rural ball took place every year. Horenicek was joined to Horenacek and the leaders of this Horenacek has been Z. and M. Rychterovi. The children travel every year to many festival in our country and also abroad.

Horenak was awarded by Jivinsky Stefan for remarkable cultural action and long-time cultural activity. The group was invited to perform his songs and dances to Prague, Ústí nad Labem, Turnov, to Dlask's farm, to hotels in Giant Mountains and to many other places. New propagation material and postcards devoted to festival "Pod Zvicinou" were printed.

In 2000 in german Altenburg the group took part in an action intended for enlistment to Guiness World Records - 3 700 dancers from various countries should dance togheter certain choreography for 20 minutes. The record was accomplished. In the same year Polka Ralley was added to the festival "Pod Zvicinou". Polka Ralley is a race in polka for 200 m in three categories - with national costumes, without national costumes and children. In 2003 the emblem was assign to the town of Lazne Belohrad and the flag of the town was dedicated and Horenak took part in the celebration.

It is not possible to name all performances of the group, all diplomas and awards that the group received. The group experienced worse years as well as very good time. However thanks to the hard work of the members everything could be done and managed.

According to the chonicle the group Horenak has performed for 2 277 times, has cooperated with the Czech Television and the Czech Radio Station. The International folclore festival "Slavnosti Pod Zvičinou" has been organized every year since 1974 by the group. Horenak has been taking part in many festivals and competitions, for 19 times has taken part in festival "U nas na Nachodsku". The group Horenak recorded its own movie and received many diplomas and awards, for example The Award of Czech musical Association or Honorary Diploma for represantation in 13th World festival in Canada from CIOFF and IOF. Two books, CD's and audio cassettes, two movies, music recordings for the Czech Radio Station, ten television programmes, a videocassette - all of these has been made by the group during more than 55 years since its founding!

The group has travelled all around Europe, in Asia visited Turkey, travelled to Brasil, USA(Idaho, Utah) and Canada. Since its founding Horenak has travelled abroad for 65 times amd allways represented its our country very well.

The leaders of the group Horenak would like to thank to all former and constituent members for their activity. We thank also to all our friends and people who help us in any way, and of course to present members of the group. It is merit of all you that in 2005 the group Horenak has celebrated 55 years since its founding and that achieved much succes in the region, our country and even abroad.

To develop the traditions of its people, to celebrate the beauty of life through dance and music and give pleasure to people through folk tales, this is the main mission of the HOŘEŇÁK.

Jana and Jindřich Rychtera

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