Ukraine choir comes to Croydon to sing for peace

A top men’s choir from Ukraine is coming to Croydon and will be singing at St John’s Church, Shirley, on Monday September 29.

Many of the Boyan Choir have lost their livelihoods in Ukriane because of the international tensions with Russia

Many of the Boyan Choir have lost their livelihoods in Ukraine because of the international tensions

The Boyan Ensemble is from Kiev, its members drawn from Ukraine’s leading professional singers. Most are relieved to be escaping the conflict with Russia that threatens to engulf the country. Many choir members have already lost income from teaching or singing as a result of Ukraine’s dire financial situation. When in Croydon, they are being hosted by the Croydon Male Voice Choir.

The Boyan Ensemble’s repertoire ranges from traditional folk songs to sacred music from Ukraine, Russia, Georgia and other Slavonic sources. It includes the renowned chants of the Kiev Monastery of the Caves, dating back to the 11th century. Renowned for their spine-tingling choral techniques, the choir has broadcast on Classic FM and BBC Radio 3. This will be its 22nd UK tour.

It stages its performance in a dramatic setting, coming on stage by candlelight. Three songs feature the work of the poet Taras Shevchenko, a national hero whose bicentenary is being celebrated this year.

The choir’s appearance in Croydon opens a 22-date tour at venues from Truro Cathedral in Cornwall to Elgin and Dumfries in Scotland. It has traditionally been supported by local enthusiasts in each location.

The Croydon Male Voice Choir stepped in this year when the previous Croydon backers withdrew. Croydon choir members who saw the Boyan perform last year were moved by its delicate pianissimos, its breath-taking fortes and its profound bass resonances.

“We are delighted to support this fine choir,” Kimball Ormond, the CMVC chair, said, “particular when things are so difficult for them at home.”

The choir travels from Ukraine by bus and will be leaving for the UK a few days ahead of the Croydon performance. “All of us are working hard on the tour programme,” said Boyan singer Misha Babych. “We are impatient to perform for our friends and fans in the UK.”

The Shirley concert on September 29 starts at 7.30pm. Tickets cost £18 for adults, £9 for children. You can book in advance by sending a cheque plus SAE to the CMVC’s Dick Jones, 111 Chaldon Way, Coulsdon CR5 1DN. For more information: 01737 554 556 or

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