July 23, 2021

Two homegrown stars

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Two exciting diaspora singers especially wowed Festival audiences: Christina Yavdoshnyak and Anna Kosachevich. It was indeed gratifying to witness such mature performances by both polished vocalists who are still in their teens.

Hailing from Yonkers, N.Y., Ms. Yavdoshnyak has a clear voice that can boom like a cannon, yet she can modulate styles from pop and folk to Broadway and opera. At only 19, she is already an experienced veteran performer and has won first prizes at vocal competitions in Yonkers Junior Idol, The International Rondo Van Guard Competition in opera, and the Grand Prize in Kyiv. Three years ago, she toured Ukraine from Kyiv to Kolomyia. At the Festival, she delivered a notably poignant and sensitive rendition of “Malvy” by Volo­dymyr Ivasiuk, among other songs. Ms. Yavdoshnyak is minoring in music at Binghamton University while pursuing a major in pre-med. She looks forward to a career in integrative neuroscience.

Ms. Kosachevich showcased her versatility in humorous pitter-patter Ukrainian folk songs, torch songs and jazzy quasi-improvisations, like the sultry “Paint the Night for Me” (Namaliuj Meni Nich). Hailing from New Jersey, Ms. Kosachevich, with her vibrant bell-like voice, is comfortable with the demands of opera as well as with folk, jazz, ballads and musical theater. She was a winner in the Sanremo Junior international singing competition held in Sanremo, Italy. Ms. Kosachevich is currently majoring in classical vocal performance.