United in song

Walter Mirosh blowing the trembita to welcome people to The Joy of Singing.

Last month, on a Sunday afternoon (Mar. 26, 2017) at the Ukrainian Labour Temple in Winnipeg, a trembita came to life in the balcony of the Hall.

The call of this alpine horn made of wood brought more than 60 people together to participate in “The Joy of Singing”, an event sponsored by the Festival Choir of the Association of United Ukrainian Canadians.

The afternoon started with a professional voice warm-up by choir director Lina Streltsov accompanied by Anna Khomenko on the piano.

Choir director Lina Streltsov warms up the singers.

The audience and the choir members had the music sheets and transliteration on their chairs so even if they couldn’t read Ukrainian or Russian they could sing, hum or just lah, lah lah to the music.

Other musical accompaniment was provided by Annis Kozub on violin, accordionist Nancy Grodzik, and Brent Stearns on guitar.

Conductor Lina Streltsov accompanied by Anna Khomenko on piano, start Sing Along.

The repertoire started with “Katusha” a Russian folk song, followed by a Ukrainian folk song “Misyats Na Nebi”(Moon In the Sky). Each song was rehearsed two or three times with half the group singing the alto and baritone parts and the other half singing soprano and tenor parts.

During the refreshment break provided by the choir there was a lot of reminiscing among old and new friends.

It didn’t take long for the singers to feel comfortable and warmed up.

Following the break, two English folk songs, “The Strangest Dream” and “Four Strong Winds”, were sung.

Catching up with friends at intermission.

The beautiful song “Dark Eyes” (Ochi Chornye ) was sung by soloist Walter Mirosh with the newly formed choir joining in the chorus.

Following this we were treated to a medley of favorite songs by Annis, Nancy, Brent and Anna.

Ilena Zaramba and Nancy Kardash harmonized beautifully to the song “Last Night I had the Strangest Dream”.

Ilena’s friend Kiva Simova sang and played the piano to an interesting method of singing called overtoning.

At the side of the hall was a display of musical instruments and artifacts of Ukrainian and Russian origin.

These included  a trembita, bandura, mandolin,  balalika, bayan, harmoshka, sopilka, buben, tambourine and loshkie.

Musical Instruments trembita, bandura, mandolin, bayan, balalika, sopilka, tamborine, bubin, spoons and two samovars.

The bayan, from 1920, belonged to Afanasy (Fred) Mirosh who played the instrument by ear. Also on display were two samovars in brilliant brass and silver.

To close the afternoon the Festival Choir sang a selection from their recently released CD one of their favorite songs “Susidko Cycідка” (Neighbour).

Emily Myers and Lydia Barr, great granddaughters of Afanasy (Fred) Mirosh, admiring his 1920 bayan.

As people were preparing to go home they were thrown Horachi Bublitschki as a bonus for a job well done.

Everyone left for home feeling great, as “The Joy Of Singing” was accomplished!

Choir members were thrown Horachi Bublitschki as a recognition for their terrific singing.

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