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BRAMA, March 13, 2002, 10 am ET

Press Release

The Bandurist Chorus announces auditions in Chicago
by Oleh Mahlay

The Ukrainian Bandurist Chorus (UBC), recipients of the prestigious Taras Shevchenko Prize for Artistic Achievement awarded by Ukraine's Cabinet of Ministers, announces an audition session for male vocalists or bandura players interested in becoming members of the Chorus for the 2002-2003 concert season. This upcoming season will coincide with Chorus' preparation for a concert tour of Western Europe in 2003. The UBC last toured the greatest cities of Western Europe almost a half century ago.

Over the course of the many years since the group's inception in 1918, members of this ensemble have performed in front of tens of thousands of adoring fans, presenting bandura and male choral music of the highest quality. The UBC has crossed paths with American and Ukrainian presidents, had adventures throughout the Canadian Rockies, Australia, Europe, Ukraine, left their imprint on unique recordings, and shared the stage with various talented artists such as Paul Plishka, Jack Palance, and bandurist Roman Hrynkiv.

The 2001-2002 concert season featured a series of sacred music concerts in the metropolitan areas of Detroit, Cleveland, and Toronto. The repertoire featured sacred music by masters like Bortniansky, Berezovsky, Dyletskiy, and Stetsenko. Furthermore, the UBC finished learning a Ukrainian Divine Liturgy and has completed a recording that is due out in September of this year. The UBC also represented the United States in Kyiv during Ukraine's 10th Anniversary of Independence Celebration is August of 2001. The Chorus also participated in the Selfreliance Ukrainian Federal Credit Union - Chicago 50th Anniversary concert in October of last year, and finished the season with the memorial concert in Philadelphia for Metropolitan Andrei Sheptytsky.

On the horizon is the planned tour of Western Europe. The UBC last toured Europe in 1958, traversing through England, France, Portugal, Spain, Germany, Switzerland, and the Netherlands. What awaits the chorus beyond that may be up to the new members joining the group today.

In order to achieve even higher goals and greater artistic excellence, we are looking for qualified and dedicated musicians to join the ensemble as we write the new chapters in the rich history of the bandurist brethren. The UBC is also looking for singers and bandurists who have the potential and dedication to be part of this unique ensemble that is more than just a singing group. We are committed to the development of young people who have an interest in improving their musical skills while working with the Ukrainian Bandurist Chorus once they pass the audition process.

This audition session will be for both musicians that are ready to perform immediately and other singers that lack experience, but have potential and desire. Those interested in auditioning should be prepared to sing or play a song of their choosing, inform us of their musical background, and have adequate music reading skills. Knowledge of the Ukrainian language is preferred, but not necessarily a requirement.

The audition will be held in Chicago, IL - Saturday April, 13, 2002, 3:00pm - 5:00pm at the Ukrainian Cultural center at St. Volodymyr's and Olha Ukrainian Catholic Church. To schedule an audition time, please contact Victor Wojtychiw at 773.775.0263 or

If you are interested, please get in touch with us. If someone you know is ready for the challenge, let them know about this opportunity. Taking part in the ensemble's artistic challenges, becoming a part of the rich history of the UBC, performing on the greatest stages of the world, and working with talented individuals from around the continent is a great opportunity. We can only continue and build upon the artistic successes of the group by bringing talented and dedicated people on board.

I look forward to meeting you and hearing your voice, bandura, or both.

(For more information on the UBC, visit us at

Oleh Mahlay is the artistic director of the Ukrainian Bandurist Chorus

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