Welcome to Barduche Choir!

We are a mixed Acapella choir formation focusing on Bulgarian Traditional Folklore but also Slavonic Orthodox singing by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky &
Modest Mussorgsky, also Western European church music by Schubert, Cesar Franck, Giulio Caccini, J. S. Bach, Johannes Brahms, George Frideric Handel etc, located in Oxford, United Kingdom.

What does "Barduche" mean?

The "barduche" is a very small ceramic jug made with an opening for whistling and hand painted in a traditional Bulgarian Folklore style which makes a very distinctive sound when filled with liquid. This is a unique Bulgarian whistle so the best way to showcase it is for me to offer you an opportunity to hear it in action - see the YouTube video by Rammon.

Who Can Sing With Barduche?

We welcome all adults with the following vocal ranges: Bass, Baritone, Tenor, Alto, Mezzo-Soprano and Soprano. Come and learn how to sing traditional Bulgarian folk music. No previous singing experience or musical education is required, however a good musical ear is a must! There are no restrictions of any kind, come and have some fun.

How Can I Join?

At present there are no admissions fees. You don't have to notify us in advance to attend for a tester session but if you would like to become a member please complete the registration form so that you are granted access to all of the Choir resources.

What Are The Benefits of Joining The Barduche Choir?

  • Singing helps release endorphins which will give the singer an overall "lifted" feeling
  • Signing is to blame for stress reduction
  • Singing gets more oxygen into the blood which betters circulation which tends to promote a good mood
  • Singing builds confidence which has long-lasting effects on well-being
  • Research shows that singing also strengthens the immune system, helps you sleep and improves posture and mental alertness
Once you become a member of the choir you will be given access to all of the music sheets, lyrics, recordings and translations of the arrangements you will be singing.
You will learn how to sustain your breath through long phrases, enhance the flow of the melody and achieve a blended choral sound and also master some of the traditional Bulgarian vocal riffs and licks.
You will get to learn some of the best authentic Bulgarian folk songs and enjoy singing complex harmonies with a friendly bunch of people.
If you are not Bulgarian, you will get to learn about the Bulgarian culture and traditions, but also learn a word or two in Bulgarian. However if you are Bulgarian, you will get the opportunity to socialise with fellow country men and women.

Who Is Conducting Barduche?

Our conductor is Mariyana Pavlova a global award winner with a very long and successful career with quartet 'Slavey'. She has worked along-side some of the best Bulgarian composers and world famous folk singer Nadka Karadjova on original arrangements and authentic Bulgarian folk music and Slavonic chants.


Mariana Pavlova was born in the town of Smolyan, Bulgaria.

In 1981, she graduated from Shiroka Luka School of Music majoring in folklore singing.

During the same year she began her professional career as a soloist at the “Rhodope” Ensemble for Folk Music and Dance in Smolyan.

From 1989 until present day she has been one of the soloists of trio “Rhodopeia” - the only known contra-alti trio in Bulgaria which was created by her mother, the famous Rhodope singer Hristina Lyutova.

In 1990 Mariyana became a soloist for the "Great Bulgarian Voices" choir with conductor Zdravko Mihailov, in whose repertoire an important place is occupied by Orthodox music and Russian folklore. The choir was involved in the recording of the soundtrack of Largo Winch.

In 1996 Mariyana became a soloist in the “Cosmic Voices of Bulgaria” choir with conductor Vanya Moneva who has collaborated in projects together with Kurt Howenstein of the famous band Super Max.

In 2000 Mariyana started working with the renowned female choir Bulgarian Voices Angelite, under the leadership of Assistant Professor Georgi Petkov, who collaborated in music projects with Bobby McFerrin, Nigel Kennedy, Adriano Celentano, Enrique Morent, Donna Rosa, Phil Collins and Eddie Jobson.

From 2004-2014 Mariyana has been one of the soloists of the Slavey Quartet, created by Nadka Karadzhova, see more here www.quartetslavey.weebly.com

Due to her uniquely low counter-viola voice, special arrangements were made by famous Bulgarian composers such as Prof. Nikolai Kaufman, Prof. Stefan Dragostinov, Assoc. Prof. Georgi Petkov and others.

Her concert business spans more than 4,000 concerts across Europe, as well as India, Japan, New Caledonia, Guadeloupe, Algeria.

In 2014 Mariyana moved to live in London, UK. Ever since she has been teaching singing and Solfeggio privately.

In 2019 Mariyana entered the Guinness World Records with the category “the lowest female voice on the planet”, and the record she set was with the tone of B2 (flat in a counter octave).

Where Do We Rehearse?

Following the Corona-virus outbreak, and the introduced restrictions on 16/03/2020,  we moved to virtual method of delivering the Choir rehearsals which diminished greatly the enjoyment of the practice experience. With the loss of the venue location and reduced numbers of interested choristers for virtual meetings, we have discontinued the rehearsals till will be build up the numbers again.

You can still take advantage of the online resources on the website, such as learning the vocal part of the songs from our repertoire, use the warm-ups, take a lesson with the choir conductor etc. However if you live in Oxfordshire and would like to take part in a in-person rehearsal, please get in touch so that we can organise it.

Get in touch!

Our Hours

TUE 18:30 – 19:30

Contact Us