Asya Arsnyan
(stabropol region)
Life of a choir regent
In Stavropol there is a clerical seminary, where only girls study. Their morning starts not with coffee, but with a prayer. They do not wear jeans and their skirts have to be long enough to cover their knees (at least). And not only do girls study here, they also live here all year round. They do not leave the seminary premises without permission.
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In the Alexandrovsky Park there is the Spaso-Preobrazhensky Church, in which the regency department of the clerical seminary is located. It prepares the leaders of church choirs for the parishes of the Russian Orthodox Church.
The school accepts females up to 35 years old. The tuition lasts for 3 years 10 months. All pupils of the school are on full church provision: free education, accommodation in a local dorm and four meals a day. Students also get scholarships.

Ten girls graduated this institution this year. To be accepted, it is not enough to pass the Unified State Exams and other examinations are needed: a test of reading skills in the Church Slavonic language, conscious knowledge of prayers, and some more.

It is desirable to have a musical education. Some students attend music school before admission since one has to be able to play the piano well for exams.

Alexandra Ryabova
16 years old
Alexandra is the youngest student of the regency department. As a child, she wanted to become either a journalist or a psychologist, but when she visited the church, she liked watching the regent run the church choir.
"The regency institution was a mysterious world for me. I was interested in the learning process in such a closed institution. After the ninth grade, I entered the music college in my hometown Cherkessk, but left it during my second year, and came here.
Teachers did not approve of my choice. But I do not regret about it, even now.
- Even my parents were shocked by my choice at first, but then they got used to it, they supported me. I believed in God since childhood; and despite the fact that Karachaevo-Cherkessia is a multi-ethnic region, my classmates respected me and the fact that I also study at Sunday school, go to church, and help the priest bless the Easter cakes during Easter.
"I never wanted to go to a nightclub, for example. We have a disco, but it's more like a ball. Easter, Christmas balls, where the boy seminarians are dressed in tuxedos, and the girl regents in ball gowns. We communicate, dance waltz, participate in contests."
"The most important things in my life are faith and family; it is important for me that my children and husband are believers. I would like to marry a seminarian in the future so that our interests are alike"
Nadezhda Dyachenko
20 years old
Nadezhda came from the Krasnodar region. Her mother sang in the local choir. After school Nadezhda entered one of the colleges there, but then left it ещ study in the regency department.
"They call you, you dress up and go to pray, whether you want or not. At first it's hard, and then bearable
Family for me is everything
- Modern girls have ambitions, first they devote themselves to studies, then build a career. They try to be independent, successful. For a regent girl, the family is very important. It is important to get married, raise kids, and only then do what you love. Family for me is everything. "When you ask a regent how she gets to know a guy, living all year round in a closed educational institution, the girl smiles and corrects me: "Not "a guy", but rather a future husband."
Nadezhda Dyachenko
"Life is a God's gift. When people are discouraged, they forget that life is given by God. You only live once, so you have to be happy."

Valeria Lamanova
22 years old
- Because of the tight studying schedule, there is so little free time left; you do not want to waste it. Previously, I actively used social networks. Now I go there very rarely. They take a lot of time. The very atmosphere of such a closed institution does not allow us to relax. When you live in a rush, you do not have time to think about much.
There are two choir groups in the regency school. They participate in the morning and evening service in the church every day.

Sunday is considered a day off, when students can go to the city for their personal needs. But only until 17:00, at this time they must be back.
Valeria dreams of receiving a regency education, and then remain in the department. Her distraction from a busy schedule is music.

"I like bardic songs, my favorite artists are Svetlana Kopylova, Julia Slavyanskaya, they have, of course, mostly church themed songs, but there are casual ones too. But in general I like clerical music".
For me, the main quality in music is that it touches the strings of the soul. It can be simple, but the most important is to have a word. A living word.
Text: Asya Arsnyan
Photo: Dmitry Stepanov

Text on the website of the project "Eto Kavkaz"

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