A Ukrainian Summer: where to go, what to do...

Learn to play bandura and continue the 25-year tradition of Kobzarska Sich


by Anatoli W. Murha

EMLENTON, Pa. - This August marks a momentous occasion in Ukrainian music and cultural history as almost 25 years ago Hryhory Kytasty, the long-standing conductor of the Ukrainian Bandurist Chorus and inspiration to generations of bandura enthusiasts, founded Kobzarska Sich.

This two-week intensive course in bandura and vocal music through the years has attracted participants and staff from all over the world. Featured instructors have included Hryhory Kytasty, Julian Kytasty, Kvitka Kondracki, Alexis Kochan and Oleh Mahlay.

With 25 years of rich tradition behind it, Kobzarska Sich is now looking to the future to ensure that this distinctive experience persists for future generations of aspiring singers and bandura players of all ages.

This particular year will offer unique opportunities for participants and for the musical world. Two of the most talented contemporary Ukrainian musicians in the world will be conducting the full two-week course: Julian Kystasty, the musical director of the New York School of Bandura, and Dr. Mahlay, the conductor and artistic director of the Ukrainian Bandurist Chorus.

The usual two-week bandura and vocal curriculum will be supplemented by new courses.

Last year, a one-week beginners' course for those age 9 to 11 was initiated. This was a resounding success, and it is being offered again this year.

During the second week, there will be a vocal workshop for male and female ensembles. This course concentrates solely on vocal music, but also gives participants the opportunity to perform with the large instrumental ensemble as well. Participants age 12 and older are welcome. Over the years, participants have ranged in age from 12 to 65.

All are invited to join us in August 1-15 in Emlenton, Pa., for the Kobzarska Sitch camp. Call Anatoli Murha, camp administrator, at (734) 658-6452 or send an e-mail to UBCbanduracamps@bandura.org. Visit www.bandura.org for more details.

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To mark this historic occasion and musical experience, the Kobzarska Sich 25th Anniversary Musical Festival will be held on August 6-8 featuring three days of cultural events and activities for all ages. All alumni are being invited to attend for a reunion and to bring friends, loved ones and children for an enriching and fun weekend at this picturesque location, and to experience Ukrainian folk music at its best. There will be an abundance of musical performances and cultural programs, as well as an opportunity to hear the Ukrainian Bandurist Chorus perform in concert, and sing the divine liturgy.


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Copyright © The Ukrainian Weekly, May 2, 2004, No. 18, Vol. LXXII


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