As Ukrainians defend themselves and their country’s distinct history, many American and Canadian choral organizations continue efforts to raise awareness of the war by featuring Ukrainian music in their performances.
Thoughtfulness, respect, and accuracy are critical in the efforts to uplift a culture other than one’s own. As choirs, choruses, and singing ensembles stand in solidarity with the Ukrainian people, we share resources to assist the introduction of music from Ukraine into choral programs.
Identifying Ukrainian Repertoire
Ukrainian Live Classic is working with Ukrainian musicians, composers, and cultural managers to share scores by Ukrainian composers as part of their Ukrainian Scores project. In addition to accessing the pieces freely, musicians and project managers assist the music selection process and advise on performance specifics.
Musica Russica, the second-largest publisher of Russian choral music outside of Russia, also offers recordings, sheet music, and research publications on Ukrainian choral music. The publisher also makes available consulting, diction coaching, and other support services to assist in the introduction of choral music from the European country into your programming.
Kitka, an American women’s vocal ensemble that utilizes Eastern European and Eurasian songs and musical techniques, has available transcribed pieces in their Wintersongs and Cradle Songs songbooks that are available for purchase.
The Ukrainian Chorus Dumka of New York, for 65 years, has shared and preserved the musical heritage of Ukraine throughout America and Europe. The choir, which recently performed “Prayer for Ukraine” on Saturday Night Live has compiled resources to find vocal, orchestral, and opera scores from Ukrainian composers.
Organizations Educating on Ukrainian Performance Practice
Village Harmony is a Vermont-based nonprofit organization dedicated to the study, performance, and celebration of diverse styles of traditional choral music. The organization offers an online teaching resource library for choir directors looking to collaborate with expert teachers across the globe, including musician experts focused on Ukrainian traditions.
Ukraine’s choral music and its national instrument, the bandura, hold immense importance in Ukraine’s history. Through performance, education, recordings, and more, the Ukrainian Bandurist Chorus of North America shares the musical style of the people of Ukraine to preserve and fortify Ukrainian culture and history.
Ukrainian Village Voices, based in New York City is a collective of Ukrainian and non-Ukrainian singers working to preserve and share the polyphonic singing style of Ukraine’s villages. The organization puts together virtual and in-person workshops led by singers, musicians, and scholars with incredible knowledge of the traditions of Ukraine.
Voices in Ukraine
Listening to those affected by tragedy is crucial to understanding a movement. Kurbasy Ensemble, DakhaBrakha, Bozhychi, and Drevo Ensemble are ensembles from Lviv and Kyiv in Ukraine that are sharing their traditions and music even through troubling times.
We give thanks to our colleagues Shira Cion and Nadia Tarnawsky for guiding our research of the above information and vetted resources.
If you know of more resources not listed here, please feel encouraged to share them by emailing [email protected] We will continue to pay close attention to the latest developments in Ukraine and explore ways to amplify more resources.