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Headlining our music this year is Samovar – A Russian folk music ensemble that plays an extensive repertoire of Russian and Ukrainian folk music.  Based in the Washington DC area, the group has played throughout the region as well as internationally.  Together since 1997, their colorful costumes and heartfelt traditional tunes have been a favorite at venues including the Kennedy Center, Smithsonian Museum, Russian Embassy, Hillwood Museum, and many more.  For more information about Samovar, please visit

Anna Balan – A 13 year old soprano soloist who sings Russian and Ukrainian Folk songs, as well as contemporary American songs. Anna began singing at the age of five and has won first place four times at the Golden Voices of America International Vocal Competition.  She has also performed at multiple venues along the east coast, including the German Cultural Center, Carnegie Hall, Russian Cultural Centre, and East-West Cultural Center.

Beltway Balalaikas - The Beltway Balalaikas were organized in 1997 as a small ensemble within the sixty piece orchestra of the Washington Balalaika Society (WBS), the capital area's original Russian folk orchestra. The ensemble includes Janet Bohm, Kathy Hulan, Dick Hulan, as well as the WBS orchestra conductor, Svetlana Nikonova, and her husband Vladimir Zakharevich. For more information about the Beltway Balalaikas, please visit

Ilya Tëmkin – Moscow-born Ilya Tëmkin is one of a handful of people in North America studying the performance and history of Russian traditional musical instruments, particularly the plucked gusli (a string instrument) that he reconstructed based on ethnographic museum specimens and medieval archaeological finds. Ilya has received grant from the New York State Council on the Arts and CEC ArtsLink program.  He was also presented with the W.E. Gribbon Award by the American Musical Instrument Society (2006) and the Certificate of Merit by the Centre of Musical Antiquities in Novgorod, Russia (2003).

Kalinka Jr. – A children’s Russian folk dance ensemble from Baltimore, led by Director Katya Denisova.  The group is made up of children from four to ten years old and has been performing in the Washington DC-Baltimore area since 2009.  They have performed at the Hillwood Museum and Slavic festivals.  For more information about Kalinka Jr., please visit

Lada – A children’s Russian folk singing group from Metaphor Russian Language School led by Music Director Galina Tarasova.  The group has been performing traditional Russian folk songs in the Washington DC area since 2006.  They have performed at Russian Embassy fundraising events, the Bangladesh and French embassies, and the Library of Congress. The group has also participated in Slavic festivals and in the Russian Language Theater Festival and regularly performs at community retirement homes.  For more information about LADA, please visit 



Slaveya–A vocal ensemble in the Washington D.C. metropolitan area specializing in East European a cappella folk music.  Slaveya is inspired by the vocal heritage of the Balkans and Caucasus Georgia.  In addition to folk songs, Slaveya interprets sacred vocal music from Orthodox traditions. Slaveya has been an active member of the folk music and dance community in the mid-Atlantic region for 25 years.  They have performed at the Strathmore Music Center, Kennedy Center, Washington Folk Festival.  For more information about Slaveya, please visit

Slavic Male Chorus of Washington D.C. – A male chorus led by Gregory V. Oleynik that has thrilled audiences with heartfelt interpretations of the folk songs and sacred hymns of Russia and many Slavic lands. The chorus has performed extensively in the Eastern U.S. in order to promote the continuation of a cappella music from many Slavic traditions. Recent venues include the Kennedy Center, Washington Folk Festival, Hillwood Museum, and Russian Embassy.  For more information about the Slavic Male Chorus of Washington D.C. please visit .

St. Nicholas Cathedral Choir - Comprised of talented parishioners led by professionally-trained Veronica Gorodetskaia, the Cathedral’s choir is well-versed in a broad repertoire of liturgical music, including ancient chant (e.g., Kievan, Znamenny), 18th and 19th Century compositions (e.g., Tchaikovsky, Bortn’yansky, Kedrov), and those of contemporary Orthodox composers living in America.  The choir’s CD of the Easter Liturgy is for sale at the Cathedral Gifts Corner.  For more information about the choir, visit

Zharava - A Bulgarian and Slavic folk-dance ensemble established in 2007. Within its first six months, the group gathered more than 20 enthusiastic members, including natives of Bulgaria, Russia, and the U.S.  The group has performed at more than twenty events, including Balktoberfest, the Annual Celebration of Cultures held by the World Bank Group, and events organized by the Embassy of Bulgaria. For more information about Zharava, please visit

Yuri and Anna Stenko  – A folk singing duo performing Russian, Belorussian, and American folk music.