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No.: PR3412
TITLE: Ukrainian Dnipro Ensemble fonds
CREATOR: Ukrainian Dnipro Ensemble of Edmonton
DATE RANGE: 1953-2011
EXTENT: 2.17 m of textual records and other material
Also includes 885 photographs. – 169 negatives. – 1 slide. – 3 microfiches. – 6 transparencies. – 2 VHS cassettes. – 2 DVDs. – 16 CDs. – 4 audio cassettes.

Founded in 1953, the Dnipro Ensemble of Edmonton has dedicated itself to presenting Ukrainian musical culture in a variety of forms. Organized by Roman Soltykewych as the Dnipro Male Choir, Dnipro expanded in 1971 to become a mixed choir, and in 1974, with addition of an orchestra and dance corps, the Dnipro Ensemble.

During its history, the chorus performed extensively touring throughout Canada and internationally. Their most notable concerts include performance at the World Exposition in Spokane, Washington (1974) and the South Pacific Tour (Australia, Philippines, and Hawaii (1979). In 1976, Maria Dytyniak replaced Roman Soltykewych as conductor and artistic director of the Dnipro Ensemble.

From 1978 to his death in 1997, the choir has been cooperating with Wolodymyr Kolesnyk, past director of the Ukrainian State Opera and Ballet Theatre in Kiev. This cooperation resulted in production of two operas Kupalo (1981) and Zaporozhets Beyond the Danube (1983) and the cantata Conquerors of the Prairies. The oratorio The Neophytes (1988) commemorated the millennium of Christianity in Ukraine.

Dnipro-as-Ensemble was disbanded in 1985, while the chorus continued its work, with more emphasis on traditional genres – specifically liturgical music and folk songs. The 40th anniversary of the chorus was marked by the presentation of Sacred Dnipro, an oratorio which was commissioned for the occasion. In 2011, Irena Szmihelsky became the Artistic Director and Conductor.

Currently the Ensemble is led by the Artistic Director and Conductor, along with an Assistant Conductor, Accompanist and Collaborative Pianist, and a Rehearsal Accompanist.

The recordings include the following: LP: Dnipro Ukrainian Male Chorus (1968), Ukrainian Christmas Carols (1969), Dnipro Ensemble on Tour (1974), Dnipro Ensemble (1978). CDs: Dnipro Choir (1990), Sacred Dnipro, Oratorio with Lysenko Opera Chorus (1996), Sing to the Lord a New Song (2002), Dnipro Choir of Edmonton (2003) VHS: Neophytes (1990), Dnipro Choir Memoirs 50th Anniversary (2003)

CUSTODIAL HISTORY:Olesia Talpash donated material on behalf of the Ukrainian Dnipro Ensemble in 2007, 2009, and 2011.
SCOPE AND CONTENT: The fonds consists of organizational papers of the Ukrainian Dnipro Choir of Edmonton reflecting various activities such as concerts, tours, administrative work, and fundraising. The fonds includes materials on the history of the ensemble organized in a series of scrapbooks containing newspaper clippings and photographs. The audio-visual materials are various recordings released by the Ensemble – music albums, performances recorded on video, photographs, and a documentary. Administrative papers include correspondence, drafts, financial records, flyers, promotional materials, reports, membership lists, minutes, agendas, and sheet music.
LANGUAGE NOTE: The material is in Ukrainian and English.
ASSOCIATED MATERIAL: Also see the Peter and Olga Savaryn Family fonds (PR0671).
GENERAL NOTE: Information for the administrative history was sourced from the biographical materials found inside the fonds and (Accessed October 26, 1015).

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