JAMAICA PLAIN, Mass. – On Saturday evening, January 14, more than 50 invited guests gathered in Christ the King’s Ukrainian Catholic Parish Center for a special reception and thank-you concert for a piano that had been purchased with funds they’d contributed.
Although the parish owns two other upright pianos, they have given service for many years, and it has been harder and costlier to maintain them. Since the pianos play a major supportive role in many parish events throughout the years, as well as in quite a number of wider community events that are staged on the parish grounds, Galyna Kryvanych, the parish pianist, who has degrees from the Ternopil, Odesa, and Kyiv music schools and conservatories, and was rated one of the top five pianists in Ukraine, recommended that something needed to be done. Within a short time, the Piano Project Committee was formed under the chairmanship of Miroslav Vintoniv. In a little over three months it raised over $10,000.
The committee then conducted an intensive search of the various manufacturers, dealerships, studios and salons in the greater Boston area before selecting a 40-year-old Yamaha G3 Grand Piano in mint condition which was built in Japan. The piano originally sold for $40,000. The piano will now be used for all parish functions, community events and children’s lessons.
Oksana Syneyko, who often organizes many parish functions, particularly those involving the children of the parish, emceed the concert. The concert included 16 pieces and lasted just over two hours; it was remarkable for its professionalism.
During the concert Mrs. Kryvanych took a few moments between pieces to address everyone. “The fact that we were able to reach our goal and purchase such a magnificent instrument in such a short period of time speaks to your understanding of our need to foster and continue to develop our beautiful Ukrainian heritage here in the United States and to help our children and young people carry on their traditions,” she said.
The Rev. Dr. Yaroslav Nalysnyk, pastor of Christ the King Ukrainian Catholic Church, added, “This piano and tonight’s performance speak volumes about the vitality of the cultural and intellectual life of the greater Boston Ukrainian American community and sets a standard for us to strive after and maintain.”
The first piece featured Mrs. Kryvanych on the piano; sopranos Olha Lisovska, executive director of the Commonwealth Lyric Theater, and Oksana Paduchak; and a children’s choir singing the traditional Ukrainian carol “Good Evening to You, Sir” (Dobriy Vechir Tobi, Pane Hospodariu). They were followed by 7-year-old Adrian Martsinkiv, who recited traditional New Year’s wishes (vinshuvannia). Twelve-year-old Sofiia Syneiko took over the piano next with a rendition of Mykola Leontovych’s “Shchedryk.”
Mrs. Kryvanych, piano, Sophia Therrien, violin, and Nathan Therrien, bass, played Bach’s Minuet in G, Musette, and Schumann’s “The Happy Farmer.”
Ms. Paduchak then performed the aria “Lascia ch’io pianga” from Handel’s opera “Rinaldo” accompanied by Mrs. Kryvanych on piano, and Mariia Gorkun on violin. Bach’s “Well-Tempered Clavier,” Prelude No. 1 in C-major and Prysovskyj’s “Ukrainian Dumka” No. 1, Opus 81 were played on piano by Mr. Vintoniv. Ihor Kowal, the parish choir director, and Mr. Vintoniv, on piano, then performed a duet of Lysenko’s “Romance and Elegy.”
The concert continued with more performances by Ms. Gorkun, Mrs. Kryvanych, Ms. Lisovska, Mr. Vintoniv and Ms. Paduchak.
At the conclusion of he concert, after Mrs. Kryvanych played a Christmas medley for piano solo arranged by Judi Shin, she was joined by violinists Ms. Gorkun and Ms. Therrien, bassist Mr. Therrien, and sopranos Ms. Lisovska, and Ms. Paduschak for the uplifting carol “Joy to the World.”