ChoralFest: Volunge & Vesnivka
DateNovember 24 @ 2:00 pm - 3:30 pm
VenueSt. Mark’s Church
Tickets Starting At$20.00 + HST
Volunge & Vesnivka
November 24th, 2019, 2pm
St. Mark’s Church, NOTL
Tickets $20 general admission + applicable taxes & fees
2 for 1 pricing available
Two wonderful choirs in one great performance! Volunge, named after Lithuania’s beautiful “Golden Oriole”, is an award-winning Lithuanian choir led by conductor Dalia Viskontas with assistance by vocal coach and accompanist Danguole Radtke. Volunge will start off the afternoon with an eclectic Lithuanian program of secular and sacred songs and major works.
Following this is critically acclaimed Vesnivka, led by founding conductor and director Halyna Kyitka Kondracki. They are renowned for their musical excellence, quality of repertoire and high professional standards. Vesnivka will present a program sung entirely in Ukrainian: The program will consist of works by Oleksander Koshyts (who first brought the famous “Carol of the Bells” to North America), Ukrainian folk songs and works by Ukrainian-Canadian composers. They will finish the program on a lighter note with tangos and waltzes by Bohdan Vesolowsky.
VOLUNGE CHOIR: is in its 44th year of singing. The choir begun as a women’s octet and has since blossomed into a mixed chorus of over 40 singers who share a Lithuanian heritage and a passion for singing. Volunge has performed in major Lithuanian communities in North America and abroad. Its eclectic repertoire contains secular, sacred songs and major works. Named after Lithuania’s beautiful “golden oriole”, Volunge continues to be an ambassador of its cultural heritage and reaches out to all people who have music in their hearts. The chorus has always enjoyed music making with other choirs and participating in choral festivals. Presently, it is led by Dalia Viskontas, conductor, Ilona Beres, accompanist and Danguole Radtke, assistant and vocal coach.
VESNIVKA CHOIR: was established in 1965 by founding conductor/director Halyna Kvitka Kondracki and is renowned for its musical excellence, quality of repertoire and high professional standards. During its 54-year history, this ensemble has earned much critical acclaim both internationally and in Canada, including First Prize in the Folk Competition at the prestigious International Eisteddfod in Llangollen, North Wales, several First-Place honours in the cultural category of the CBC National Choral Competition and a silver medal in the “Folklore a cappella” category at the Choir Olympics 2000 held in Linz, Austria. Vesnivka Choir has performed on concert stages around the world, including: New York’s Carnegie Hall, Royal Albert Hall in London, England, and St. Peter’s Basilica and the Papal Auditorium in the Vatican City, as well as various venues in North and South America, England, Wales and throughout Europe, including Germany, Italy, Spain, The Netherlands, Poland, Portugal and Ukraine. Over five decades of choral singing, Vesnivka has commissioned numerous works, both original and new arrangements by Canadian and Ukrainian composers. Its choral legacy is preserved in a variety of recordings and in the newly launched Vesnivka e-Library of Ukrainian Choral Music, created in celebration of Vesnivka’s 50th anniversary, for future generations to enjoy.
HALYNA KVITKA KONDRACKI is founding director/conductor of Toronto’s award-winning Vesnivka Choir as well as conductor of the Toronto Ukrainian Male Chamber Choir. A graduate of University of Toronto’s Faculty of Music, this accomplished musician and talented conductor has helped create a vibrant choral tradition in Canada and abroad. Kondracki strongly supports Ukrainian-Canadian musicians and composers, many of whom call Ontario their home, by commissioning works and by promoting their performances and music. Her professional affiliations include memberships in Association of Canadian Choral Conductors and the American Choral Directors Association. Kondracki spearheaded the formation of the Ukrainian Canadian National Arts Council under the auspices of the Ukrainian Canadian Congress. In 2012 she was an adjudicator for Choirs Ontario’s “Leslie Bell Prize for Choral Conducting”.
Her tireless contributions to the Canadian choral scene and Canada’s cultural mosaic have earned her many accolades, including an honorary award from the Ukrainian Canadian Congress for recognition of her work in Toronto’s Ukrainian choral community, an award from the Canadian Choral Conductor’s Association, the Shevchenko Medal from the Canadian Ukrainian Congress in 2007 for her work in promoting Ukrainian choral music to Canadians. In October 2015, Kondracki was recognized by the Ukrainian World Congress (UWC) with a Medal for Outstanding Contribution during the 2014 “Year of Shevchenko”.