Ukrainian soldiers to return to musical roots for Columbus concert Wednesday

Taras Stoliar, a private first-class in the Armed Forces of Ukraine, is also a top-rated bandura player and celebrated People's Artist of Ukraine. He and four other musical servicemembers are set to perform in concert Wednesday at Ohio Family Church in Columbus.
Taras Stoliar, a private first-class in the Armed Forces of Ukraine, is also a top-rated bandura player and celebrated People's Artist of Ukraine. He and four other musical servicemembers are set to perform in concert Wednesday at Ohio Family Church in Columbus.

Ukrainian military servicemembers who played music professionally before facing combat in the Russia-Ukraine war are visiting Columbus during a 40-day U.S. tour to show gratitude to Americans for their support.

Hosted by the Ukrainian Cultural Association of Ohio (UCAO) and Ohio Family Church, "From the Ukrainian Frontline with Thanks" showcases five musicians at 6 p.m. Wednesday at Ohio Family Church, 4303 Indianola Ave. Admission is free, with donations accepted.

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The quintet, which ranges from prize-winning musicians to a well-known Ukrainian television personality, is part of Cultural Forces, a group of Ukrainian soldiers with talents in music, theater and other arts. Cultural Forces musicians play on the front line, in military hospitals, units of rescuers and unoccupied Ukrainian cities to raise morale and build cultural bridges.

The performers include:

  • Taras Stoliar: A private first-class and reconnaissance operative with the 112th Separate Brigade, Territorial Defense Forces, Stoliar is a graduate of Chernivtsi Music School and National Music Academy, the first-prize bandura player of the First Hnat Khotkevych International Folk Instruments Competition and a soloist of the NAONI Orchestra. He is also a People's Artist of Ukraine, the highest honor awarded to artists with exceptional achievements in the performing arts, including circus, dance, film, music and theater.

  • Mykolai Sierga: This senior lieutenant with the 59th Separate Mechanized Brigade is a famous Ukrainian TV presenter, musician and producer, as well as the founder of Cultural Forces.

  • Olha Rukavishnikova: A private first-class, reconnaissance operative and grenade launcher operator with the 112th Separate Brigade, Territorial Defense Forces, Rukavishnikova is a violin player, conductor and symphonist, a graduate of the National Music Academy and a laureate of international music competitions.

  • Yurii Ivaskevych: A sergeant, infantryman and grenade launcher operator with the 110th Separate Brigade, Territorial Defense Forces, he is a vocalist and soloist for the Zaporozhtsi's Song and Dance Ensemble at Zaporizhzhia Philharmonic Orchestra.

  • Mykhailo Oliynyk: A private in the 59th Separate Mechanized Brigade, this composer and pianist is a Stanislav Lyudkevych Prize Laureate and a graduate of Glier Kyiv Municipal Music Academy and Lysenko Lviv National Music Academy.

A broad repertoire is lined up for the program, including Ukrainian and world classical pieces and covers of popular hits. There also is to be an opportunity for the audience to interact with the artists.

bpaschal@dispatch.com

This article originally appeared on The Columbus Dispatch: Ukrainian military musicians to give concert in Columbus on June 12

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