Celebrating 40 years
This August, the bandura community celebrates the 40th Anniversary of Kobzarska Sich camp. Founded in 1979 by Hryhory Kytasty, our bandura camp has trained two generations of bandurysty and singers from across the globe. Kobzarska Sich (KS) alumni can be found all over the world: from Ohio, to Japan, to Kriachkivka in Ukraine, Sich’s students have shared the bandura with audiences all around the world.
To RSVP for the 40th Anniversary Gala Weekend, visit this page. Cabin and MCC beds are allocated based on the order in which RSVPs are received. Ticket prices increase on June 15. All proceeds go to cover costs of future Kobzarska Sich programs.
As Sich enters a new era, we’re improving and diversifying the program. We’re moving to a course-based structure. Every day, campers will have 2-3 periods of core (i.e., bandura or choral) instruction and 2-3 periods of elective courses. Before arriving, campers will pick the subjects they’ll be interested in learning. Have you wanted to learn how to play bandura Kharkiv-Style? To arrange music for voice and bandura? Or are you more interested in learning the basics of sound engineering? Perhaps conducting or composing is your thing. At KS 2019, these (and more) will be offered as week-long elective courses.
The typical day at KS 2019 is designed to be as engaging and instructional as possible. After breakfast, students and instructors participate in Dalcroze eurythmics and choral warm-ups. Until lunch, campers spend two periods rotating between their elective and their “core” (bandura or choral) group. Everyone has two hours of free time after lunch, for sports, swimming in the pool, or relaxing. Then we have another period of elective–core rotation and one period of general rehearsal with all campers. After dinner is a second period of general rehearsal and elective-core rotation.
The 40th Anniversary camp brings back two of Sich’s storied music directors: Julian Kytasty and Oleh Mahlay. Kytasty is the Artistic Director of the Canadian Bandurist Capella; Mahlay serves as the Artistic Director of the Ukrainian Bandurist Chorus of North America. We’re so excited to give students an opportunity to study with such incredible musicians.
Kytasty holds a Masters degree in music (Theory and Composition) from Concordia University in Montreal. His compositions and arrangements have entered the standard repertoire of bandurists around the world. He has also created avant-garde music for instrumental groups, choirs, and incidental music for dance and theatrical performances, notably for New York's Yara Arts Group.
Mahlay received a bachelor of arts in music history and literature from Case Western Reserve University. He studied voice and piano at the Cleveland Institute of Music. He served as the concertmaster of the University Circle Chamber Orchestra for four years. During his undergraduate studies, the university awarded him the Kennedy Prize for Creative Achievement in Music, and the Charles E. Clemens Prize for Talent and Accomplishment in Music.
In addition to our flagship two-week bandura course, Kobzarska Sich offers a one-week Choral Workshop from
August 11 to 18, 2019. Participants will have the opportunity for solo and ensemble singing (a capella and with bandura accompaniment). Participants can broaden their musical knowledge with music listening lectures and attend individual voice lessons as well.
After a pilot program last year, we’re also offering an Bandura Fellow Program. Solo bandurists or musicians from ensembles can spend the second week of camp “In Residence” at Kobzarska Sich, rehearsing repertoire with other artists from their ensemble or other groups. Artists in Residence will have regimented daily practice time with world-class bandurysty.
If you’re interested in learning more about any of the programs we’re offering this year, keep checking this website! We’ll be posting more information about the Anniversary Zabava as we get closer! Registration for campers for each of the programs opens on February 15, 2019. We welcome everyone to our final concert on August 17, 2019 at 2 pm.
To RSVP for the Anniversary Gala, please visit this form.
Finally, if you’re an experienced musician and are interested in teaching this August, we strongly encourage you to apply to be an instructor, regardless of whether or not you’ve been to KS before. We’re accepting applications for bandura, vocal, choral, and folk-instrument instructors through March 1, 2019. Application forms (both electronic and PDF versions) can be found here for musical staff and camp counselors.
Thank you for all of your support over the past 40 years. Kobzarska Sich wouldn’t be possible if it weren’t for the enormous sacrifices of so many people within our community, many of whom worked tirelessly and without recognition. In honor of their commitment, and in memory of those who loved Sich but are no longer with us, we invite everyone come together to celebrate what they cared about so much: passing on the Ukrainian musical tradition to the next generation.