Sydney based choir Martenitsa was formed by Mara Kiek in late 1990 with the assistance of the Australia Council's Performing Arts Board. Modelled on the magnificent Bulgarian state choirs. In 1988 Mara travelled to Bulgaria for six months to study folk music, choral music and conducting. On her return she recruited around 40 singers and formed Martinetsa. Martenitsa has become one of the most highly regarded and innovative choirs in Australia.