More About Bandura

(Berrien Springs, Michigan) Bandar Ensemble Char-Zillya, under the direction of Guest Conductor Andrew Koehler (center), performed Ukranian Christmas Carols at the Howard Performing Arts Center at Andrew University on December 3. They were part of "A Traditional Christmas" program provided by the Andrews University Symphony Orchestra and University Singers. It was an amazing evening of world-class Christmas music. Sorry you couldn't join us.

(Berrien Springs, Michigan) Bandar Ensemble Char-Zillya, under the direction of Guest Conductor Andrew Koehler (center), performed Ukranian Christmas Carols at the Howard Performing Arts Center at Andrew University on December 3. They were part of “A Traditional Christmas” program provided by the Andrews University Symphony Orchestra and University Singers. It was an amazing evening of world-class Christmas music. Sorry you couldn’t join us.

(Berrien Springs, Michigan) I was remiss a few posts back in not explaining that the bandura(s) played by Bandura Ensemble Char-Zillia at Andrews University on December 3, 2016 is Ukraine’s national instrument.  According to the excellent program notes written by Guest Conductor Andrew Koehler, himself a Ukrainian-American, the bandura is unique to the culture of Ukraine, and so its history is closely tied to the turbulent history of the Ukrainian people. Historically, the bandura was used to accompany singing or dancing and was played primarily by blind folk singers known as kobzari.  Over the past century, structural and artistic advances have made the bandura a concert instrument.  Indeed, the Bandura Ensemble Char-Zillia performed with the Andrews University Symphony Orchestra and the University Singers.  It was a first for the Chicago-based ensemble, but they acquitted themselves marvelously on the modern bandura, which has 55 to 65 strings, is tuned chromatically like a piano, and combines the musical characteristics of both the lute and the harp. Those of us who listened in on December 3, were thinking it compared favorably to the hammer dulcimer.  Bandura Ensemble Char-Zillia was founded in 2000 and consisted on December 3 of: Motia Caudill, Veronika Chaplii, Khrysytyna Musiy, Lesya Klimchenko, and Oksana Rodak.  The group’s name translates as “magic potion,” and they are a potent mix of diaspora-born and Ukraine-born performers.

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About charleymckelvy

Charles McKelvy lives and writes in southwest Michigan with his wife and fellow writer, Natalie McKelvy. They established the Dunery Press in 1988 in order to publish their own fiction. They continue to do so to this day. Charles McKelvy is an Eagle Scout.
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