Written by Yaro Bihun

WASHINGTON – The Kyiv Chamber Choir began its 2019 North American concert tour May 17 in Washington, at the National City Christian Church, in front of a large audience, including a large group of Ukrainian Americans.

It was the choir’s first performance on this year’s 10-day tour with concerts scheduled in Philadelphia, New York, Hartford, Boston, Rochester, Cleveland, Chicago, Detroit and concluding in Toronto on May 26.

Under the direction of its founder and conductor Mykola Hobdych, the 20 young professional singers per- formed for almost two hours, introducing the audience to a large collection of adaptations of traditional Ukrainian chants and folk songs by many Ukrainian composers, among them Artemy Vedel, Valentyn Sylvestrov, Mykola Lysenko and Mykola Leontovych, and concluding with Viktor Hrytsyshyn’s “A Red Guilder-Rose Berry in the Meadow,” which received a very long standing ovation.

Throughout the concert, the choir was also choreo- graphed – with the singers moving about, interacting, switching positions, exiting and returning. On occasion, the program also featured a bandura, a flute and some percus- sion instruments.

Maestro Hobdych founded the Kyiv Chamber Choir in 1991, and this was the third time he brought his choir to per- formed in Washington. The chamber choir was here for the first time in 2011 and then again three years ago in 2016.