First Latvian Song Festival in AmericaChicago, 1953

Latvians who had fled to the West to escape the re-invading Soviets were only just starting over their lives in the diaspora. The first Latvian song festival in America was a natural outgrowth and continuation of the "Song Days" (Dziesmu Dienas) Latvians held in the Displaced Persons (DP) camps in Europe after WWII, carrying on a tradition which started with the first song festival in Latvia in 1873, during the National Awakening. The festival was held May 30th, 1953. Twenty-two choirs and 650 singers participated, with an audience of about 5,000. It was the first such festival held outside Latvia—starting a tradition which lasted throughout the Soviet era and which continues today, bringing together those of Latvian heritage, their family and friends from all over the world.

Reproduced from the participants' choir music for the First Latvian Song Festival in America. For personal use only, all rights remain with the original rights holder(s). Under Latvian copyright law, choir music may be reproduced without remuneration to the original author if, generally, a work is used for educational and research purposes, and for musical works, if the work is used during official or religious ceremonies to the extent appropriate, as well as in teaching institutions as part of the face-to-face teaching process.

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