September 26, 2014
Howell, NJ: Russian Concert held in "Rodina"

On Friday, September 19, a concert of Russian folk and modern music and dance was held in Russian House "Rodina" in Howell, NJ, as part of the traditional autumn Russian festivities organized here. Several artistic and musical collectives from Russia took part in the concert.

The organizers of the children’s and youth collectives – Philadelphia’s Martha Zhefarskiy (Russian-American United Arts Council) and Larisa Narita (Program Director, "Project Hope") – invited 55 young musicians and dancers to the USA from Russia and the Greater Moscow Region. The Russian Folk Instrumental Orchestra "Radost’" performed first, to audience applause and under the direction of conductor Dmitry Bazanov. As the concert’s organizers noted, the orchestra had as its goal the revival of Russian music traditions, as well as the familiarization of children with classical music.

Members of the Vocal & Instrumental Collective "Vmeste" performed modern songs and dances. The show group, which hails from the town of Pushkino outside of Moscow, is noteworthy in its lack of competition selection of its young members. With their sonorous voices and enthusiasm, the young singers and dancers created a joyous atmosphere in the hall, and those who only recently emigrated to the USA from Russia were able to recall the songs and dances of their youth.

With their remarkable fairytale costumes, graceful movements, and performances based on motifs from Russian folk tales, members of the Dance Theater "Golubka" delighted the audience. The collective works in the genre of classical, folk, and modern variety dance.

In attendance at the concern were the clergy from St. Alexander Nevsky Diocesan Cathedral and residents of Howell and nearby towns. Eastern American Diocesan secretary and cathedral dean Archpriest Serge Lukianov thanked the young artists, expressing his hope that they would all meet again next year as part of the Russian Festival in Howell.

Irina Kurnitskaya, Moscow’s General Director for Education & Culture, expressed her joy and gratitude to the audience for their attendance at the concert, for their love and care for Russian art, even far from their homeland.

Alexander Bondarev, director of Russian House "Rodina," thanked all of the concert’s participants for preserving and advancing their cultural heritage, and for passing it along to future generations. Bondarev presented certificates of thanks from the Russian House to the artistic director of the Russian Folk Instrumental Orchestra "Radost’" and to its conductor, Dmitry Bazanov, as well as to the directors of Variety Vocal Group "Vmeste" and Dance Theater "Golubka" – Ludmila Tikhomirova and Oxana Kuchinskaya, respectively.

Upon completion of the concert, the guests from Russia visited St. Alexander Nevsky Cathedral, where Fr. Serge spoke about the church’s history and about its holy relics, and presented them with small gifts and souvenirs. Overjoyed and inspired, the Moscow artists left the cathedral that evening to the peal of bells, departing in the hope of returning here once more next year as part of the Slavic Festival, which may truly become international in its scope.

Media Office of the Eastern American Diocese