The Singing Revolution: Presentation on the Documentary Film by James and Maureen Tusty


  • Mimi S. Daitz Independent Scholar


I was torn between interjecting comments, as we view the film together, and remaining silent, so that you could experience the film by itself. I will follow the second of these procedures. Hopefully, after my comments and the question and answer (Q&A) period to follow, you will see the film again, if not several times, in its entirety. [Entire film shown, 1 hour 37 minutes]. My talk today will not be a formal paper. Rather, I’d like to explain or enlarge upon explanations already available about various elements of this film. My focus will be on Estonian culture and choral music. Rock, as a style which has challenged the status quo, was a vital part of the actual “Singing Revolution” and of this film, but will not be discussed here.

Author Biography

Mimi S. Daitz, Independent Scholar

MIMI S. DAITZ is a choral conductor and musicologist. She was a member of the Music Department of The City College/ City University of New York for many years. Mimi directed both their chorus and vocal ensemble and taught undergraduate and graduate courses in theory, ear training, and music history. She retired from teaching when she was appointed Music Director of the Riverdale Choral Society. With them she traveled to Cuba and Estonia to participate in local festivals. As a musicologist Mimi has written about French vocal music of the late 19th and early 20th centuries and Estonian choral music. Her most important work on French music has been “in press” for countless years. Together with Jean-Michel Nectoux she prepared the complete scholarly edition of the songs of Gabriel Fauré, in five volumes – being published by Leduc in Paris. Since 1990 she has researched and written about Estonian culture. Her book Ancient Song Recovered: The Life and Music of Veljo Tormis was published in 2004 by Pendragon Press. Her last sabbatical leave, 1993-94, was spent in Estonia and she has been present singing or in the audience of three of the famous Estonian United Song Festivals, which have occurred about every five years since 1869. She has been a consultant to Maureen and James Tusty, the writers, directors, and producers of the documentary film The Singing Revolution, which we will see the first day of the Symposium.