Saturday, June 6, 2009

Those Were the Days

For its fifth and final concert of the 2008-09 season, The Metropolitan Chorus (TMC) joined the Washington Balalaika Society (WBS) Orchestra for a evening of Russian folk music. The evening marks the orchestra's 20th anniversary season.

TMC provided the choral backdrop during the first half of the concert, opening with the powerful Hymn to the Great City from the ballet Medny Vsadnik (The Bronze Horseman) by Ukrainian composer Reinhold Glière. Next was an arrangement of Evening Bells, enhanced by the talent of Steve Nixon. The first half then concluded with Polovetsian Dances from the opera Prince Igor by Russian composer Alexander Borodin.

Founded in 1988, WBS promotes the study and performance of folk music from Russia, Ukraine, and eastern Europe using traditional instruments: balalaika, domra, bayan, and related wind and percussion instruments. WBS Orchestra has grown from an initial membership of 8 to more than 50 and is now the largest of its kind in America, with musicians of all levels and ages.

The concert was presented on Saturday June 6 at 7:30 pm at the Rachel M Schlesinger Concert Hall and Arts Center in Alexandria, Virginia.