City’s amateur art collectives
Romance group Ašalia
Director Rita Kipšaitė-Balčiūnienė
The group has been active since 2002, the official year of the group's establishment. Ašalia debuted alongside the folklore ensemble Kupars, however, later on, the group started to rehearse, and perform separately. The repertoire of the collective includes romances, folk songs, and their modern interpretation, also their self-written songs. The musicians play various types of instruments such as guitar, cello, violin, piano, accordion, lumzdeliu (Lithuanian wind instrument), and drum. Members of the band come together for rehearsals with a desire to sing, to make music, furthermore that impacts people's creativity, the joy of communication. Celebrating the band's 10th anniversary, Ašalia released a CD, From the Fountain, Bring Me That Moon (orig., Iš versmės man atnešk tą mėnulį) which covered twenty of their most beloved ballads. The group up until nowadays actively performs at regional and national events, like the LRT show Duokim garo. To listen and sing-along, Ašalia invites the audiences each year to special evenings that have become a tradition.
Children and youth theater Bendraamžiai
Director Arvydas Butkus and assistant director Rasa Ripskienė
Bendraamžiai is a frequent participant moreover, a winner of many Republican theater-related celebrations. Theater performances have been repeatedly displayed by the Republican television.
The troupe successfully toured in Estonia, Germany, Switzerland, Denmark, Latvia, Poland also Sweden.
The theater director, actors and the entire creative team became the recipients of the highest award of the Golden Bird Award of the Lithuanian Folk Culture Center and the World Lithuanian Song Festival Fund. The group got recognized as the best children’s theater, Arvydas Butkus, acknowledged as the best theater director in 2007.
The theater itself hosts both national and international children as well as youth theater festivals, creative camps. The theater usually practices several plays and works with a preparatory group throughout the year. Since 1990, the theater has been operating a studio on artistic perception where classes are held.
In 1994, the Society of Joniškis Theater Bendraamžiai was formed.
It is a theater for the next generation, therefore the principal theme uniting all plays is the encounter of young people with the surrounding world. The foremost objective of this theater, as an educational institution, is to sustain creativity and love among young people and to shape the need for cultural and spiritual life.
ETC Singing studio
Leaders Dovilė Juknienė and Jurinta Mickaitė
Singing studio of Joniškis Culture Center ETC has been operating since 2010. Singing studio soloists and musicians have participated in numerous national song competitions and festivals, plus repeatedly were selected as laureates. Held concerts at Joniškis city day, birthday celebrations of Tytuvėnai city, Neringa city, participate in events organized by Šiauliai city, and more. Singers of the ETC studio became the finalists of the Lithuanian television singing contest Dainų dainelė. Singers have won many awards in international and national wide: Algimantas Raudonikis' Song Contest and Lithuanian Historical Song Festival, Šiauliai Regional Festival Rudens Mozaika, Garsyn Festival, Myliu tėvynę ir tave, and others. At the Žagarė Cherry Festival 2018, studio girls with a retro song concert opened the festival’s grand stage.
The repertoire of the ETC singing studio includes works of modern classics, popular youth hits, retro music, singing poetry, jazz, and rock ballads, including self-composed songs. Exceptional consideration is paid to songs about Lithuania. The singing studio consists of a group of children (7 - 13 years), two youth groups (13 - 20 years), and an adult group (from 20 years).
ETC youth culture club
Directors Dovilė Juknienė and Jurinta Mickaitė
It is an independent association working in Joniškis Cultural Center since 2010, officially registered in 2012.
The club members have an opportunity to take part in the event that is organized by Joniškis KC. I.e. to become hosts of the event, readers of artistic texts, implementers of social also cultural campaigns, authors of technical solutions of events, creators of advertising posters, as well as singers, and actors. The diversity of activities is considerably extensive, allowing younger people to examine themselves wholly.
A female choir group Harmonija
Director Jurinta Mickaitė
Joniškis Cultural Center female choir group Harmonija was formed in 2012. The collective consists of 10 members. The choir group actively participates not only in Joniškis district events but also progresses across Lithuania and abroad, performing in occasional celebrations. The repertoire of the band incorporates popular choral songs, also sacral and contemporary music sounds.
An elderly folk dance ensemble Jievaras
Directors Vitoldas Krajinas, Alfreda Gavorkienė, Edita Rudienė
In 1978, choreographer Danguolė Žalakienė brought together couples from their thirties and forties into the folk dance group. Up until 1996, it was a folk dance club for seniors called Senjorai. Later on, instrumental and vocal groups joined the dancers, and in the spring of 1997, the ensemble became the senior folk dance ensemble called Jievaras. As the years progressed and members reached a more mature age, in 2009, the ensemble shifted to yet another age group - the elderly.
The members of the ensemble value, protect and promote traditions of their country, dance folk dances, love Lithuanian songs, and its music. Since 1996, the group took on a new form of execution - creating choreographic performances that reflect the customs and traditions of the Joniškis region. There were six such performances, to be exact. They were shown not only in Joniškis city but also in other regions of the country: Žemę į saulę, žiemą į šešėlį (1996), Gale ulyčios... (1999), U-lia-lia, pabaigtuvės! (2001), Šalia kelio karčema (2003), Iš kur svečiai atvažiavo (2006). In 2011, Danguolė Žalakienė, the founder and artistic director of the ensemble began to compose the production of the play Smagums to gyvenima. After her death, the ensemble continued its activities - a year later, celebrating the birthday of the deceased, the performance became like a dedication - in memoriam to the leader.
Since 2012, the ensemble and the dancers are led by choreographer Vitoldo Krajino. Edita Rudienė teaches musicians of various intricacies, while Alfreda Gavorkienė is responsible for singers' vocal preparation. Currently, 14 pairs dance in the ensemble, assisted by a band of six musicians and ten singers.
Since 2006, the ensemble is the organizer of the Jievaro tiltas, a biannual festival for elderly folk dance assemblies.
The Jievaras ensemble has frequently received high scores in multiple national competitions. The ensemble is still delighted by the first-place prize in 2015 national junior folk dance ensemble competition Kadagys, for the Best Folk Dance Ensemble nomination; also quite significant the Golden Bird award.
A female vocal ensemble Jievarėlė
Director Alfreda Gavorkienė
The women's ensemble Jievarėlė has been in existence for over 20 years. It became a collective when the Jievaras folk dance ensemble needed an assisting vocal group. Back then, it was called the Jievaras vocal group. In the field of folk music, activities were limited, that is why the group started to sing repertoire for vocal ensembles. In 2008, the vocal ensemble was officially called Jievarėlė. Currently, nine women are singing in it; half of them are still active from the very beginning of its foundation. They have repeatedly won prizes in the Republican song festival-contest like Dainos sparnai, organized by KC, dedicated to the work of the native composer Algimantas Raudonikis. In 2015, at the national folk dance ensemble contest Kadagys, Jievarėlė won the award for the best vocal group. The ensemble is a regular participant in vocal ensemble contests, such as Kur aukštas klevas, Sidabriniai balsai, Pavasario melodijos (2017, the first place). In vocal ensemble competition (2017), organized by Joniškis KC, Laisvė - Lietuvos širdis it won 2nd place. The assembly has repeatedly been awarded the certificates of achievement from the Lithuanian National Culture Center and Šiauliai County Governor's Administration. Strive to continually participate in events organized by Joniškis KC and other art festivals in the district.
A folklore ensemble Kupars
Director Rita Kipšaitė-Balčiūnienė
The ensemble was founded in 1988, with the initiative of teacher Vilma Kumpikevičiūtė. The first directors - Žilvinas Meškuoti, Dalia Augutytė, since 1998 - Rita Kipsaite-Balčiūnienė. The main goals of the collective are to assemble ethnographic substances and to cultivate ethnic culture. Kupars performs the folklore of Joniškis and other Lithuanian ethnographic regions. Twenty-two different professional characters, joined in singing, dancing, maintaining the customs and dialect of their country, engaged in the activities of the ensemble. Kupars actively performs in cultural and educational institutions, organizes calendar festivals, participates in various regional and national projects of ethnic culture (World Lithuanian Song Festivals, Baltica, international folklore festivals, etc.). The musicians of the ensemble play classical Lithuanian instruments provided by the master Albertas Martinaitis: lumzdeliais (Lithuanian folk wind musical instrument), kanklėmis and basetle (both are stringed Lithuanian folk musical instruments), panpipes, horns, drums. When performing, the ensemble wear in the 19th-century - 20th-century, Lithuanian national costumes.
Live sound band Septem band
Director Modestas Jukna
In 1960, a band was formed in Joniškis Cultural Center (then - Joniškis District House of Culture) that was well known not only in the surrounding areas but also throughout Lithuania. Following the tradition of live play, the band was once reborn in 2013, under the new name Septem Band. The band consists of professional musicians: drummer - Virginijus Vaičiūnas, electric guitar - Žydris Žalakis, keyboards - Modestas Jukna, already known in Lithuania as a music composer; acoustic guitar and singing go to Gytis Skirmantas. Jurinta Mickaitė plays the bass guitar. Soloists: Dovilė Juknienė and Gerda Norušaitienė. Sound operator of the group is Valentas Drazdauskas.
The band Septem Band competently performs in main events in Joniškis district and all over Lithuania.
The repertoire of the band alters exceedingly from the period of Louis Armstrong to contemporary music. The band plays Lithuanian, English, French, and Italian stage music. Lately, the collection of the band has been enhanced by a stylized program of Lithuanian folk music.
Modern dance studio Stichija
Director Sigma Jonušienė
Stichija dance group is a studio for young people who wish to perceive the grace and freedom of dance. Here you will acquire knowledge about the culture and techniques of contemporary dance and its various styles.
In addition to enriching Joniškis city and region festivals and events with its presence, the collective also takes part in national, international festivals and competitions. The ensemble has a choreographic group attached to the wind orchestra. In 2007, 2009, 2014, 2018, choreographic group together with the brass band, participated in the Republican Song Festival.
The dance group Stichija regularly competes in self-expression events. For example, Aukštyn kojom, Republican Contemporary Dance Festival Mes galim, Republican Contemporary Dance Festival-Competition Ledo gėlės, International Contemporary Dance Festival Competition Pumpurėliai (2016 - 1st place, 2018 - 3rd place).
Mixed vocal ensemble Šarma
Director Alfreda Gavorkienė
The ensemble has been around for 30 years. Its founder is Birutė Žilinskienė, then the president of the Women's Society. On her leadership, six vocal women who were enamored of the song were gathered. They are sisters Onutė and Danutė Ulvydaitė, Pranutė and Elena Gedaminskaitė, Bronė Jurgaitienė and the coordinator herself. The energetic and creative musician Onutė Gendvilienė took the lead in being the head of the ensemble. The repertory featured popular lyrical songs that were popular with listeners at the time. The head of the group, Onutė, herself began to write songs, particularly when she became associated with the well-known poet Ona Mikalauskienė. At that time, the collection featured loud songs that everyone liked, Balta skarelė, Valsas kraštiečiams (which became a sort of an anthem of the ensemble). Later Šarma was joined by new singers: Vytautas Ulvydas, Vytautas Stabrauskas, Algimantas Adomaitis, Eduardas Vadakas, Povilas Mickevičius and Bronius Tumėnas. The ensemble converted to a mixed one. The most recent member is Gerimantas Žemėnas. For the time being, Aldona Tamošiūnienė conducted the ensemble. Subsequently, the leader's position and duties were taken over by Alfreda Gavorkienė. With the current leader in charge, Šarma has been singing for almost 20 years. The repertoire has also changed. Many of the songs of the ensemble are recorded on two CDs. Throughout its long history of singing, the group has entertained not just the people of their region but also those in the neighborhood. The ensemble was invited to sing in Vilnius, in a meeting with members of the Lithuanian community in Latvia, and Dobele.
Folk dance collective Ratilis
Director Vitoldas Krajinas
The senior folk dance group
Joniškis Culture Center senior folk dance group was established in 1987. Since 1993, the group's name Ratilis. The ensemble embraces Lithuanian folk traditions, presents folk outfits of the Northern Lithuania region - Aukštaitija, and dances traditional Lithuanian folk dances. The ensemble is a consistent participatory, and most importantly, a prize-winner of Lithuanian song festivals, national competitions Pora už poros, Klumpakojis, Iš aplinkui, as well as a regional competition Suk, suk ratelį. However, the most significant accomplishment and interest of the group is to bring collectively people who are fond of folk dance.
The dance group competes in national and international folk music and dance festivals. The members are also customary participants of festivals, concerts, organized in Joniškis town and region, regional song festivals, and other events in the Šiauliai region. Initiators and partakers of various city celebrations, performances, activities, projects. One of the most peculiar events organized by the group is the traditional Republican Folk Dance Festival Ant tėvužio dvaro. The team is youthful, so full of content members spend their time on social outings, and celebrate significant dates for the entire group. It is not for nothing that says: do not want to grow old, come to Ratilis.
The youth folk dance group
Director Vitoldas Krajinas
The youth folk dance group developed in 1996 and joined the Ratilis senior dance group for almost a decade with the hope that after graduation, young people would return to their home town. During its two decades of existence, the youth dance group Ratilis participated in various national and regional tournaments, where they became first-place prize winners.
Since 2001, the collective has been planning the traditional annual Republican Folk Dance Festival Šokim šokimėlį. The festival brings guests from the different regions of Lithuania or even our neighbors - Latvia. By organizing the festival, Ratilis invite the very best collectives, introducing the public with their traditions, representing their area, and its subtleties. During the festivals, friendships have formed, bridges have built for the younger generation of Ratilis: the collective has trustworthy associates and meets with one of the most exciting dancers' groups, Kauškutis. Together they travel to friends in Naujoji Akmenė, dancing with Panevėžys, Šiauliai, Biržai dancers. The youth dance group is a participant of the Republican student song festivals often can be seen in regional events.
An amateur theater Žiburys
Director Violeta Tuomaitė
The theater dates back to 1950.
In 2004, theater, directed by director Vida Šalkauskienė, was nominated by the Lithuanian Folk Culture Center for the Golden Bird Award (Best Adult Theater and Director).
Since 2007, the theater is led by Violeta Tuomaitė. There are currently twenty performers of all ages.
The theater engages in many national and international theater festivals. In 2017, took part in the Baltic Theater Festival Baltijos Rampa 2017 in Jurmala. Together with the Latvian director Inta Kalininia, based on the play by Zane Pamse, the act Balandėliai, was presented at this festival.
Every year the theater produces a premiere. The performances are staged not only by theater director Violeta Tuomaitė but also by the guest directors.
Theater coordinates an International Theater Festival Pažintis and Regional, between two nations, Lithuania and Latvia Festival Žiemgalos kaimynai.
Amateur theater group also partakes in the National Theater Festival-tour Atspindžiai. Actively perform in events organized by the Joniškis Cultural Center.