Soltykewych, Roman

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Soltykewych, Roman

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Dates of existence

1909-1976

History

Roman Soltykewych was born on February 4, 1909 in the Village of Ulucz in the Lemko region of Western Ukraine (at that time in Austro-Hungary). His parents were Rev. Orest and Leontyna (née Min'kevych) Soltykewych. (The village was known for having been the location of the founding in 1860 of a choir by Rev. Mykhailo Verbyts'kyi, the author of the music to the Ukrainian national anthem.)

Roman Soltykewych completed gymnasium (high school) in Peremyshl', and went on to study music and conducting at the Lysenko Musical Institute in L'viv, and continued his musical studies in Krakow, where he conducted the students' choir.

Roman Soltykewych returned to his native Lemko lands where he conducted folk and church choirs. And because of his activities as a Ukrainian community activist, he spent time in Polish prisons. And during the Second World War, he also experienced persecution under the Nazi regime.

In 1944, when many were fleeing the Soviet occupation of Ukrainian lands, Roman Soltykewych spent time in Austria and eventually ended up in France, where the founded yet another choir.

in 1951, Roman Soltykewych arrived in Edmonton, and began conducting the choir at St Josaphat's Ukrainian Catholic Cathedral. And in 1953, he formed the Dnipro Male Chorus, which began with a small number of singers and eventually grew to be one of the finest Ukrainian choirs in Western Canada.

In 1955, Roman Soltykewych married Stephanie Derech, and they had three children - son Orest, and twin daughters Nadia and Vera.

For several years, Roman Soltykewych conducted the choir at St George's Ukrainian Catholic Parish, and from 1965 until his death he conducted the St. John's Ukrainian Orthodox Cathedral Choir. During those years, he also founded and conducted the Ukrainian Youth Association of Canada (CYMK) Choir.

In 1971, the Dnipro Male Chorus brought female singers into its fold, and became the Dnipro Choir, which had many performances with the Cheremosh Dancers, including a week of performances at Expo '74 in Spokane, Washington. Eventually, the Dnipro Choir became the 120-member Dnipro Ensemble, with orchestra and dancers.

In 1973, Roman Soltykewych was the recipient of the Alberta Achievement Award.

On November 17, 1976 Roman Soltykewych passed away at the age of 67.

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Soltykevych, Orest

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Soltykevych, Orest is the child of Soltykewych, Roman

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