There is something about Ukrainian folk music that stirs my soul. I love singing it, listening to it and teaching it.
Whether it’s introducing a new song to an adult choir or a middle school classroom, I am energized by the music.
I grew up with my Tato always singing. He and my uncle often got together and sang folk songs . From koliady to patriotic songs and of course love songs, hours flew by quickly!
I have been blessed to visit Ukraine several times in the past few years. I have found such pleasure and comfort in the music that I heard and also sang.
In Chernivtsi I have made several friends and connected with the theatre group “Holos”. Their passion for song is evident in their performances .
They tug at your heart and emotions when you watch them. For me, THAT is music . It’s that connection you make with your audience. Ukrainian folk songs to me are tools to communicate with people.
So many songs have stories! Even those who do not understand Ukrainian can feel an emotional tug to a Ukrainian folk song – if it is performed with the honest passion the words emit. Themes of love, comedy, war, family- these are popular in folk music. Seasonal songs about spring, fall/harvest, summer solstice and of course Christmas and the New Year- why there is so much richness within our Ukrainian folk music! I have only a scratched the surface!
Don’t get me wrong – there are beautiful lyrics from poets that have been set to music and I do enjoy many of them . My heart and passion rests with the people and their folk music and this is why I continue the sing and teach these songs. Simply put – I love to hear and tell stories of the people through the songs written by the people.
– Lesia Pohoreski