Russian Army Choir to Perform for Papal Anniversary

VATICAN CITY, OCT. 7, 2004 ( When Karol Wojtyla was elected Pope, he likely would not have imagined the Russian army’s famous choir performing in his honor on the 26th anniversary of his pontificate.

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Yet, a concert to be held in the Vatican will include the choir, accompanied by an orchestra and ballet corps, which will perform pieces of traditional Russian folklore, the Vatican Information Services reported today.

The Russian Army Choir will pay homage to the Holy Father on Oct. 15, the eve of the anniversary of his 1978 election to the papacy.

The concert, featuring 150 musicians, singers and dancers, will take place in Paul VI Hall starting at 6 p.m.

Formed in 1928, the Russian Army Orchestra, also known as the Red Army Choir and Orchestra, is led by maestro Viaceslav Korobko. It will accompany the dancers in the first part of the 90-minute program. The choir will then perform a selection of Russian songs.

John Paul II is scheduled to speak at the end of the performance, which will be transmitted live on Italian state television.

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