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Lyrical Village Songs from Ukraine with Maria Sonevytsky, Ph.D.
All Saints Ukrainian Orthodox Church
New York, NY
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Lyrical Village Songs from Ukraine with Maria Sonevytsky, Ph.D.
In this dynamic educational workshop, participants will learn the basics of singing in the strident and rich timbral style of central-northern Ukraine. We will learn to sing a cappella lyrical songs from the Ukrainian regions of Poltava and Polissia, with attention to melodic variation, group harmonization, and pronunciation in dialect.

These songs, which describe stories of heartbreak, sorrow, or ritual mystery, are evocative and plaintive, and a thrill to sing. Lyrical songs, sometimes thought to be centuries old, are often sung in mixed groups of men and women in two and three interlocking parts. In typical village settings, these might be sung at the table or on the street.

No prior experience in Eastern European singing is needed! Songs will be taught by ear.

The workshop will be led by Maria Sonevytsky, who received her Ph.D. in ethnomusicology from Columbia University in 2012. Her dissertation, "Wild Music: Ideologies of Exoticism in Two Ukrainian Borderlands," is based primarily on archival materials and fieldwork conducted in Western Ukraine and Crimea in 2008-2009. In 2011, she spearheaded the "Chornobyl Songs Project" in New York, bringing the master singer and ethnomusicologist Dr. Yevhen Yefremov from Kyiv to train a group of singers (Ensemble Hilka) in the ritual repertoires of Kyivan Polissia.

In addition to Professor Yefremov, Maria has sung and/or studied village singing traditions with Mariana Sadovska, Natalka Polovynka, Natalia Serbina, and Olya Kolomyets. She has taught Ukrainian village songs at the Puget Sound Guitar Workshop, the California Coast Music Camp, and the Augusta Heritage Vocal Week in Elkins, WV. She performs locally and internationally with the existential cabaret-pop trio The Debutante Hour, the Ukrainian vocal trio Zozulka, and the new music provocateurs Anti-Social Music. In 2012, she played shows throughout the US, Europe, Ukraine, Russia, Mongolia, and China with her husband, the musician Franz Nicolay.

*Tickets may also be purchased at the door on the day of the event (by suggested donation) for $25 General Admission/$20 Senior & Student

For more information, contact



All Saints Ukrainian Orthodox Church (View)
206 East 11th Street
New York, NY 10003
United States

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Education > Workshops
Music > All Ages
Music > Choral
Music > Folk
Music > World

Minimum Age: 13
Kid Friendly: Yes!
Dog Friendly: No
Non-Smoking: Yes!


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