On the 30th of May 2010 after Sunday mass Ukrainians in Brisbane gathered together at the Ukrainian Community Centre in South Brisbane to pay respect to those who gave their lives for Ukraine.
At midday Mr Ostap Kurlak (in above picture), secretary of the Ukrainian Community of Queensland Inc (UCQ) welcomed members and guests to the Ukrainian Community Centre and explained that the commemoration would be divided into two parts. The first part being the commemorative luncheon and the second part the concert program.
Father Jarko Pasok was invited together with Father Danylo Novak to bless the meal. The Very Reverend Mykola Sediuk was not at the concert as he was interstate.
A beautiful lunch was prepared by a very dedicated group of ladies, led by Mrs Marie Cuda, Mrs Mary Hughes and Mrs Daria Piskor.
ABOVE: The concert began with an opening address by the president of Ukrainian Community of Queensland Inc (UCQ) – Mr Stephan Chomyn, standing in front of the UCQ Choir.
The president spoke of why we always gather together in the later part of May to pay our respect to those who gave their lives in the struggle for a free and independent Ukraine. For it was at this time that two Ukrainian leaders were killed. Symon Petlyura on 25 May 1926 and Evhen Konovalets on 23 May 1938. It has become a tradition in our community to remember all of those who died in WWI and WWII and in the struggle for a free and independent Ukraine. Stephan reminded the audience that this year was the 60th anniversary of the death of Roman Shukhevych.
At the end of his address, Stephan asked the audience to stand and to observe one-minute silence to remember those who made the ultimate sacrifice for their country.
The president then declared the concert program officially open and the choir performed three songs ”Zasvystaly Kozachenky”, “Dity Plashut” and “Cherez Richky Cherez Haj’. The community choir performed under the direction of choirmaster Tomas Miljenovic.
ABOVE: Members of the ‘Kalyna” children’s dance group performing in the dance called ‘Zhuravel”.
Mrs Katrusia Sawczyn-Smith has taken on the role of teaching the children Ukrainian dancing. Katrusia from a young age learnt Ukrainian dancing in our community and is now passing on her love of dance to the next generation.
Mr Ostap Kurlak then read a copy of the letter sent to the president of Ukraine from the Australian-Ukrainian Community.
The song ‘Vyrostech Ty Synu” was then performed by Lyudmila Kelloway (Mezzo-Soprano) and George Sawczak (Bass-Profundo) with Stephan Chomyn on piano accordion.
Then the audience was treated to a performance by the newly formed folkloric ensemble. They performed two songs, the first “Chom, Chom Chom Zemle Moja” and then “Oj Chyj to
Alexander Zukiwsky read a poem called “Prosrivaj Ukraijino”.
The next item on the program was a very pleasant surprise for many in the audience. It was the first time that classical singer Likarissa Dmitriyeva-Brooker (Lyric Soprano) performed in our community and her first time since coming to Australia. We are very glad to see that more and more people that have immigrated to Australia from Ukraine want to be involved. We are very thankful that her husband Chris is so supportive and contacted the Ukrainian community. Likarissa recently remarried moved to Brisbane from Kharkiw with her son Anton and daughter Olga. We welcome this new family to our community and hope to see more of them.
Likarissa sang ‘Hlyboka Kyrnitsja’ with accompaniment on piano accordion by Stephan Chomyn. The audience absolutely loved her performance.
Classical singer Lyudmila Kelloway (Mezzo-Soprano) joined Likarissa on stage to sing “Misjats Na Nebi” together. The combination of these two voices was amazing, both in power and pitch. No microphones were required for these singers! In fact when these singers hit their high note together it sent shivers through the audience. Our community is blessed to have such wonderful talented singers amongst us in Brisbane.
Mrs Olya French read a story about other
UCQ community choir returned to the stage to perform three more songs. The first was sung by only the women and it was a beautiful rendition of the song ‘Oj Misjastju, Misjachenku”. The whole choir then sang ‘Zhertva” a song arranged by Tomas Miljenovic, and then an old favorite song ‘Pyjmo Druzi’. These songs showcased the vocal range of our choir.
At the conclusion of the concert the president thanked all those who helped with all the preparations for the luncheon and the concert.
He particularly thanked the priests for blessing the meal, Alex Zukiwsky and Olya French for their recitals, the young dancers of our community, the choir director Tomas Miljenovic for his efforts, and all the choir members who make the effort to come to rehearsals and to perform, the UCQ folkloric essemble for their performance, Lakarissa and Lyudmila for their splendid singing.
He thanked Likarissa for taking part for the first time in our community centre and presented her with flowers, and that we look forward to many more performances in our community centre.
ABOVE: Folkloric Essemble singers and classical singers (from left to right). Stephan Chomyn, George Sawczak, Marusia Maccormick, Olga Lutsenka, Likarissa Dmitriyeva-Brooker and Lyudmila Kelloway.
ABOVE: Young children of our community enjoying themselves in preparation for the concert.
The future is looking good for the Ukrainian community in Brisbane, there are many events being planned to involve people of all ages and to promote our unique culture.
We are hosting a Ukrainian Borsch, Beer and Horilka evening on 18 June 2010 and contemporary Ukrainian singer Yuliya Raj will be performing along with our new folkloric ensemble. Yuliya Rai is from Ukraine and currently lives on the Gold Coast.
Likrassa and Lyudmila and Ukrainian concert pianist Irena Panchenko will be performingand representing the Ukrainian community at 4MBS radio concert performing a Ukrainian bracket “Introduction to Ukrainian classical vocal and piano music” in July.
After the president thanked everyone for their attendance and support, he asked that everyone stand to sing the Ukrainian national anthem “Sche Ne Vmerla Ukrajina’ to honour and remember our heroes.