Hoosli Ukrainian Male Chorus Celebrates 50th Anniversary

December 20, 2019
JJD

I had the pleasure and honour of being the concert audio producer for the 50th Anniversary concert of Winnipeg’s Hoosli Ukrainian Male Chorus on December 6. I was thrilled to be asked to produce the concert audio for their show, as I was a member of the group in the 70’s and for a brief time in the mid 80’s. Tadeusz Biernacki, the choir’s conductor, asked that I be involved, as we had worked together on the Juno award winning recording “Going Home Star” for the Royal Winnipeg Ballet. Tadeusz is also the musical director and conductor for the RWB.


Hoosli – from a 1979 group photo. That’s me holding the guitar in the second row.
Working through the concert repertoire

The choir meets year round for weekly rehearsals, but 2019 meant that, apart from more typical concert appearances, they would be staging a concert marking 50 years since the group’s inception. And it was a large undertaking. They decided that this show needed to be grand in vision and scope, so the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra was engaged to provide symphonic underpinning for this vision. Biernacki wrote over 800 pages of music for the the symphony to play for this show, a heroic feat on its own.

Hoosli’s first rehearsal with the WSO

The choir also wanted to harken to their decades of Ukrainian folk repertoire. Master accordionist, Myron Kurjewicz, composed a medley of some of these pieces and provided the accompaniment and long time Hoosli conductor, William Solomon, was asked to direct them.

Myron Kurjewicz and Hoosli. Long serving Hoosli conductor, Bill Solomon, directing.

Providing extra dynamism to the concert, Rusalka Ukrainian Dance Ensemble, Winnipeg’s premiere Ukrainian folk dance company, added even more fire to the show.

Rusalka Ukrainian Dance Ensemble fine tuning their choreography.

Featured performer and rising international opera star, Adriana Chuchman, brought passion and charm as she sang “Song to the Moon” by A. Dvorak and then, supported by Hoosli, “The Steppe Wind”, “Ruler of Heaven and Earth”, and “Maryltsia’s Aria”

Andriana Chuchman

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