The Music and Mission of the KSOC
The Kyiv Symphony Orchestra and Chorus (KSOC) is in the midst of preparations for a tour of the U.S. midwestern states September 7-October 21, 2018. In this post, three members of the KSOC share what brought them to the group, how it combines music and mission, and what they're looking forward to about the tour.
I can't imagine my life without music. When I was a student, my mother came to visit me in Kyiv and we attended a joint concert featuring the KSOC and the National Folk Choir named after Veryovka. They performed "Requiem" by Mozart and I was pleasantly impressed by their professional performance and expressive singing. The atmosphere was amazing.
When an audition for the KSOC was scheduled, I decided to take part and was blessed to become a part of the choir. My goal is to enrich my listeners spiritually, stir their creative spirit, and make them feel inspired in every area of their lives—in the same fashion as other people have inspired me.
My mother is a musician and I began to study music during my childhood, singing in a children's choir. Later, I attended the Chernihiv Music College. After two years of schooling, I began to work with the professional D. Bortnyanskiy chamber choir. I also worked as a vocal teacher at the Chernihiv Art School. Then, I entered P. Tchaikovskiy National Music Academy in Kyiv. While I was a student there, I sang in different amateur choirs and then began to work in the professional G. Veryovka National Folk Choir.
My friends invited me to a KSOC concert, where they performed Mozart's "Requiem." I was extremely impressed. By coincidence I heard there would be an audition for the KSOC and I'm now very fortunate to sing in this great choir.
I like that the mission helps many people and I am privileged to be a little musical part of it. I like to travel and communicate with people from different countries, and am excited to visit America on the KSOC tour this fall. I want to tell people about my country and the situation in Ukraine. I would also like to know something about the culture and life of the people in America. I'm grateful to God for this wonderful opportunity!
Music has been an obsession for me since I was a little girl. I entered music school when I was five years old. There I learned to play piano and sing, but my dream was to be a conductor.
When I was 17, I took my first steps toward that dream at Glier's College in Kyiv. Later, I entered the University of Culture for further training. During that time I began my first conducting job with a university choir. From then on I enjoyed choral conducting.
In the fall of 1993, one of my friends told me about Roger McMurrin, an American conductor, and his choir. I was able to audition and got in!
My first concert with Roger was at the National Organ and Chamber Music Hall of Ukraine, where we performed Handel's "Messiah." I wanted to know everything about this new music Roger introduced to us. I became a librarian for the choir and would go to the McMurrin's apartment once a week to organize the music for rehearsals. I didn't speak a word of English and he didn't speak Ukrainian, but somehow we communicated.
In 1996, the KSOC prepared for their first American tour. During a rehearsal, Roger told the choir he wanted an ensemble to present some Ukrainian folk music and he needed a conductor for this music. He looked at the singers before him, pointed to me, and said, "You! You come and conduct his Ukrainian song." My hands trembled as I came forward. But Roger recognized my conducting aspiration and gave me a chance. My dream of conducting a choir and orchestra came true!
Roger has given me so many exciting and creative experiences. He saw something in me I did not see. Like a father, he talked to me about the Lord. He made me want to enter into a relationship with God. And the music he taught me contributed to that too. Finally, I gave my life to Christ. I have a calm center and a certainty that God protects my path. I have no need to fear. He is my Heavenly Father.
Will you join us in praying for the KSOC and their upcoming tour?
- Please pray that churches and other venues in the midwest would be willing to host a KSOC concert, as we have many openings in our schedule.
- Please pray for our staff in Orlando and Kyiv as they work diligently on all the details involved in coordinating this six-week tour.
- Please pray that our musicians can obtain their visas from U.S. Immigration Services without any problems or delays.
- Discover how the KSOC shares the gospel through music
- Listen to samples of their music
- Read the story of how God has used the gifts of one KSOC musician to serve others