Saturday, June 15, 2013

Yonkers Ukrainian Heritage Festival

The Annual Ukrainian Heritage Festival - now in its 28th year - showcases the Ukraine and its people.

The festival features rides, vendors and an array of performers. There will also be vendors offering Ukrainian musical CDs and videos, gifts and clothing. There will also be plenty of authentic Ukranian cuisine, including varenyky, holubtsi and Chicken Kyiv-meals.

The festival began Friday with the Vox Ethnika/Band from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m.   It continues today Saturday June 15 from 1-10 pm and Sunday June 16 from 1-7 pm

 The festival is held on the grounds of St. Michael's Ukranian Catholic Church, at North Broadway and Shonnard Place.

More info:

And here's a bio of some of the performers from their website:

Oksana Tomaszewsky
A long-time member of the Ukrainian American Youth Association's Yonkers branch, this year's MC is Oksana Tomaszewsky. This will be Oksana's 2nd year as an MC although she has performed on this stage numerous times as a member of the Chaika Ukrainian Dance Ensemble.
Oksana was born in Yonkers and has been active in the Ukrainian community since childhood. Oksana began taking Ukrainian dance classes at the age of 5 at the Ukrainian Youth Center, directed by her father, a local dance instructor. Ukrainian dancing quickly became a favorite pastime and she enjoyed performing and touring with the Chaika Ukrainian Dance Ensemble throughout the East Coast and Canada for over 15 years. After Oksana hung up her dancing boots, she taught Ukrainian dancing to children and directed groups in Southport, CT and Yonkers, NY. Oksana also served as dance instructor for a Ukrainian Cultural camp in Ellenville, NY for several summers.
Oksana has always been very proud of her heritage and loves everything about the Ukrainian culture. She collects vintage Ukrainian costumes and embroidery, and enjoys crafting Ukrainian vinoks. In her spare time, Oksana enjoys shopping, travelling, spending time with her family, and hunting down tag sales. Oksana currently resides in Cortlandt Manor, NY with her husband Michael and her sons, Mateyko & Lukian.
Nataliya Kukil
Ukrainian native, who came over to United States in 2000 along with her family, this year’s MC is Nataliya Kukil. Nataliya was born in Ivano-Frankivsk, Ukraine and after her move she immediately became an active and devoted member of Ukrainian Youth Association’s Yonkers Branch. Nataliya often carried out the role of a MC for many of CYM’s and School of Ukrainian Studies’ Events. This is, however, Nataliya’s first time as an MC on the Yonkers Festival’s stage. After graduating from High school and moving onto the druzhynnyk role Nataliya volunteered as a vyhovnyk for numerous royi over the last ten years. She had also taught as a substitute teacher in St. Michael’s School of Ukrainian Studies in Yonkers for two years, after which she was invited to join the permanent teacher staff as a Ukrainian History instructor.
Beloved by her students Nataliya had taught for three years while working on her own studies as a future Physical Therapist. During her student life Nataliya had also worked with a Ukrainian Yonkers based travel agency- Dunwoodie Travel, where she found her passion for adventure and discovery. After graduating and achieving her Doctoral Degree Nataliya took up a more active role in UAYA’s administrative offices and has served as a secretary of the Yonkers Branch for the past year. Currently Nataliya is working as a visiting Physical Therapist in Manhattan and is putting her love for helping people to great use.
Since 1976, Ukrainian Dancers from allover the United States, Canada, and abroad have flocked to the secluded Soyuzivka Center in New York, hoping to work with master teacher and choreographer Roma Pryma Bohachevsky. While celebrated for her choreographies, and renowned for her classes, her summer workshops would provide the only exposure to world-class Ukrainian Folk Dancing for many in this country. In 1978, Mrs. Bohachevsky answered the dream of many, and founded Syzokryli Ukrainian Dance Ensemble, fulfilling the need for a premiere Ukrainian Dance Ensemble in the United States.
Under the direction of current artistic director Orlando Pagan and assistant artistic director Larisa Pagan, the ensemble has continued Roma Prymas legacy, taking Syzokryli to new heights with performances in Boston, Montreal, the Washington Cathedral in D.C., and even Puerto Rico. The ensemble has also performed with Ukrainian pop star Ruslana, and some of the male members were recently featured in a photo spread with top model Mirte Maas in the first ever issue of Ukrainian Vogue.
Founded in 1962, the Prometheus Ukrainian Male Chorus of Philadelphia is one of the oldest Ukrainian male choirs in the world. The Chorus has a long and distinguished history which includes tours of Europe in 1980 and 1984, as well as a tour of Ukraine in 1995. In 1980, the tour included concert stops in England (London, Manchester and Bradford), France (Paris, Lyon, Nantes, Rennes and St. Lorient), Holland (Utrecht), Austria (Salzburg) and Germany (Munich, Stuttgart, Hamburg and Dusseldorf). In 1984, the Chorus visited Switzerland (Montreux Choral Festival, Bern, Luzerne, Zurich and Lausanne), France (Strasbourg) and Germany (Munich). Its first appearance in a free and independent Ukraine took place in 1995 with concert performances in Lviv, Ivano-Frankivsk, Strij, Drohobych, Ternopil, Truskavtsi and Chernivtsi. Over the years, Prometheus has performed at Carnegie Hall and Town Hall in New York City, NY, Lincoln Hall in Chicago, IL, John Kennedy Center for Performing Arts and DAR Constitution Hall in Washington D.C., Mont Royale in Montreal, QC, Roy Thomson Hall and Massey Hall in Toronto, ON, and the Academy of Music in Philadelphia, among many other prominent venues around the world.
In April of this year, Vika earned the distinction of having the first Ukrainian song played full length in a major Hollywood film. Vika’s song "Want You" was featured in the movie "Arthur Newman - a Golf Pro" staring Academy Award Winning Actor Colin Firth, Anne Heshe and Emily Blunt. In late 2012, Vika’s song "Magic" was featured in the action thriller "Chernobyl Diaries" .
Vika completed her Masters Degree at the Kiev University of Culture and Art before embarking on her full time music career. Vika’s formal education spanned the spectrum of drama, creative direction, acting, dance and choreography, but her heart will always belong to her music. Over the last 14 years she has written and recorded her own songs and performed as the headliner act in major music festivals throughout Ukraine, Canada and the US.
In 2010 Vika released her newest rock album "Guilty Dreams" in three languages (Ukrainian, English & Russian) with several tracks shooting to number one requested on Kyiv Radio Stations.
Vika recently graduated with honors from the prestigious Recording Arts Program at Full Sail University with the goal of managing her own music production.
Vika’s songs are available in major internet stores such as iTunes, AmazonMP3, Rhapsody, Napster, eMusic, Nokia, CDBaby and others.
Korinya ia a dynamic ensemble that promotes Ukrainian folk music. A Ukrainian-American family Shepko-Hamilton was surrounded by singing. The grandmother Galina - daughter of the artist-musician Thomas Shepko and grandmother Anna had no idea that someday there would be a fifth generation of Ukrainian children carrying on the tradition of Ukrainian folk music.
They have been invited to many events and various festivals in the U.S. and Canada. In 2010 they took part in the festival "Land of Dreams. They sang for orphans in a nursing home, as well as Ivan Gonchar Museum in Kiev.
In the summer of 2012 they were invited to participate in the "Fifth World Boykivska Commemorative Festival" in the city of Turka in the Lviv region of Ukraine. This is a folk competition where they won first place, earning the title of "Ukrainian Folk Artists".
Korinya consists of 5 children of the family Shepko-Hamilton who live on 23 acres in the vicinity of the Catskill Mountains, near Soyuzivka.
VoX EThNIKA’s unique compositional approach to music received a wide recognition and has been very successful. Our CD albums have been distributed in USA, Canada and Europe.
Vox Ethnika performs Eastern European Folk and Pop music set to diverse modern arrangements. The band was founded by siblings Juraj and Silvia Matolak in 1994 and has since collaborated with numerous accomplished musicians in the NYC area.
Roman J. Wasylyk
Born in Manhattan, New York, Roman is no stranger to the stage. He has been a Master of Ceremonies, Starosta (Wedding M.C.) or Announcer at more than 100 events. He has established himself as a comedian extraordinaire who for the over 30 years, has performed improvisational comedy and stand-up at various clubs, venues and festivals, including the Connecticut State Ukrainian Festival, the St. George Festival on 7th Street in N.Y.C. and our very own Ukrainian Heritage Festival here in Yonkers.
His vocal range and linguistic abilities has allowed him to imitate many voices and nationalities. His "gigs" include the "Who's on First" Comedy Club in New York City, the former Granit Hotel and the U.N.A. Resort - "Soyuzivka" (both in Kerhonkson, NY), as well as the Garden State Arts Festival in Holmdel, N.J. He was also an on-air personality for classical radio station WJFF-FM in Jeffersonville, NY and is a graduate of the Connecticut School of Broadcasting.

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