Collection 0086 - Verkhovyna Vocal Ensemble collection

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Verkhovyna Vocal Ensemble collection

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15 cm of textual records and photographs

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The Verkhovyna vocal ensemble was formed in 1952 under the directorship of Olena Hlibowych. It performed both classical and contemporary repertoire. In 1954, Verkhovyna was the first Ukrainian Canadian vocal group ever in Canada and the United States to give full concert programmes touring the larger cities of Canada and the United States. After that they performed at many important events other than their performances for the Ukrainian communities, such as World Congress of Professional Women in Toronto, Canadian Club (1955), Stratford Festival (1956), CFRB's Anniversary Celebrations, CTV, etc.

In 1967 Verkhovyna released its first long playing record that was played on CBC and all Ukrainian radio programmes in Canada and the United States. In 1968, they went on a concert tour of Western Canada. After the tour, they were asked to appear as the official representatives for Ontario at Manitoba's Centennial Celebrations. They also performed at Canadian universities (Toronto, York, Windsor, Ottawa, Buffalo), for the Ontario Ethnic Press and many political personalities (Ontario Premiers, Prime Ministers, Governor General of Canada, etc.).

In 1979, the Year of the Child, Verkhovyna paid tribute to Ukrainian children by releasing a long playing record of children's songs and stories "Kurochka Ru Ru Ru" (A Chick Peep Peep).

Verkhovyna celebrated its 30th anniversary in 1982 with another tour of Western Canada winding up with a grand Anniversary Concert in Toronto where many of its past singers attended and once again participated. In honour of this anniversary, the Government of Ontario presented Verkhovyna with a special citation commending its dedicated artistic and community achievements.

1984 brought Verkhovyna to England where they performed in ten cities. The same year - Ontario's Bicentennial - Verkhovyna premiered the song "Ontario, Ontario" (in Ukrainian and English) at Ontario Place and later released a single of this song which was aired on CBC coast to coast.

The colour cover of the record "Verkhovyna Sings" released in 1985 was used as the promotional background on the poster for the Australian tour, to which they were invited after their appearance at the World Congress of Free Ukrainians.

Verkhovyna is known not only for its repertoire (religious, classical, folk, and popular songs in Ukrainian, English and French), but also though its many colourful original and stylized costumes.

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The collection consists of organizational documents of the Verkhovyna ensemble, correspondence, photographs, concert programs, brochures, and press clippings.

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Gift of Maria Duncan, daughter of Olena Hlibowych.


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  • English
  • Ukrainian

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