By Andrij Kosowsky
On May 23, 1999 the Mykola Pavlushkov (Chicago) branch of CYM staged a concert to commemorate
the 50th anniversary of its founding. The concert took place in the auditorium of Dominican
University in suburban River Forest. Reflecting the strong tradition of performing arts at
CYM-Chicago, the concert featured former members of the performing ensembles alongside current
members. The evening’s program included dancing, singing, music and theatre.
The dance groups were well represented at the concert. Performers included members of the dance group taught by the late Stefan Kosowsky, current and past members of the “Ukraina” dance ensemble, and the three groups of the School of Ukrainian National Ballet-“Mria”, “Vodohray”, and “Metelyky”. All dance numbers were choreographed by Mr. Evhen Litvinov, the current dance instructor at CYM-Chicago. Dancers from different groups performed together in the welcome dance (which featured mothers and daughters dancing together) and in the finale (which combined past and present members of “Ukraina”).
The current “Ukraina” also performed a dynamic, fast-paced Hutsul dance. “Mria”
performed the traditional “Hopak” and the intricate “Kolo” dance. “Vodohray”
entertained the audience with their version of the “Hopak”, and “Metelyky” (the youngest dancers) waddled around on stage in penguin costumes in a lighter number called “Penguins”.
Singing groups included the 50th Anniversary Choir, directed by Wolodymyr Popowycz. The Choir enchanted the audience with their flawless harmony, as they sang a medley featuring pieces from the repertoire of the late Prof. Wasyl Dzul and Oksana Ferenc, as well as camp songs originally taught by Mr. P. Hnatiw. Past members of the singing ensembles “Chervona Ruta” and “Malvy”, led by Ms. Marijka Hawryliuk-Gordon, charmed the assembled crowd with their vocal stylings.
The concert featured the music of the Concert Band directed by Mr. Paul Krutiak. The band presented several numbers in a powerful and technically excellent performance. The Symphony Orchestra impressed the audience with selections from Vivaldi’s “The Four Seasons” and “Entrance of the Queen of Sheba” by G.F.Handel.
Theatre was represented by the theatre groups “Tiazhko na Emihratsii” and “Spaleny Teatr”, who performed a montage of comedic skits called “Tradition”, with piano accompaniment by Mr. George Pawlyk. In addition, the audience was treated to a visit from “Professor Marmalyga”, a humorous character created and played by Mr. Myron Kulas. Professor Marmalyga had the audience in stitches with his witty commentary about the Ukrainian community and current events.
In between performances, slides/videos of numerous performers from the past were shown. These elicited a variety of emotions from the audience, and provided a smooth transition between the live performances. The assembled crowd appeared to enjoy the show tremendously. Senior members of the audience were treated to a nostalgic trip back in time, seeing their old friends and acquaintances both on stage and on the screen. Those of a younger vintage had the opportunity to see a well-organized group of motivated performers giving it their all, and got a sense of CYM-Chicago’s history within the Ukrainian American community. In summary, the concert was a huge success, with the audience and performers leaving the auditorium in high spirits.