Announcing a New Carpatho-Rusyn Video

Announcing - " A Treasury of Carpatho-Rusyn Songs. ". This 61 minute highlight video is from " The Second Song Tour Of Carpatho-Rus' " concert, a performance which was held in November of 1997, at the Recital Hall in the Duquesne University School of Music, Pittsburgh, Pa.

A group of talented European and American Rusyns who share deep feelings for their Rusyn musical traditions in the Eastern Central Europe homelands, performed the beautiful folk songs and liturgical chants which are a common bond of inspiration for some 1.2 million Carpatho-Rusyns who- live In Slovakia, Poland, Ukraine, Hungry, Romania, Serbia, Croatia, Canada, and the United States.

Feature Singer Beata Begeniova Salakova and accordion accompanist Michal Salak, both from Presov, joined forces with Music Arranger Jerry J. Jumba of Pittsburgh. Mr. Jumba conducts a choir of 24 voices including choir singers and cantors, and an 11-piece folk orchestra. Together, they present 39 Rusyn songs which span a lifetime of singing, from youth to golden age. Hear melodies that will perhaps bring back a sweet memory, and move your feet to dance, and lighten your spirit!

The happy result of this intercontinental Song Tour of Carpatho-Rus' collaboration makes real the beginnings of a beautiful renewal of artistic relationships between European Rusyns and American Rusyns. In order to work together, each had to ask what do American Rusyns and European Rusyn know about each other after four decades of separation? They had to look within themselves and compare the likeness of their living historical Rusyn cultural experience. Fortunately, the fascinating rediscovery of shared knowledge rapidly advanced into the formation of two Song Tour Of Carpatho-Rus' concerts. During the communist era from 1947 up to November of 1989, this kind of concert, could not happen because the "cold war" with the west Included travel restrictions which were a way of life behind the "iron curtain" in Eastern Europe. For some 42 years, the homeland root experience of Rusyn language, and music and dance life traditions were virtually non accessible at an organizational level. While many other American ethnocultural peoples are fortunate to have easy access to beneficial cultural relationships with their cultural homeland, there was no easy access for American Rusyns. There were no intercontinental cultural learning projects and publications, nor collaborative educational exchange programs in the performance arts. The so called "iron curtain" had a strong Impact of separation between American Rusyns and European Rusyns.

American Rusyns developed a great cultural hunger during four decades of waiting. They expressed wishes for a cultural renewal, and so, the hunger to interact and learn the Rusyn cultural roots is the motivation for the two "Song Tour of Carpatho-Rus' concerts in Western Pennsylvania. The heartfelt American Rusyn response to the very first Song Tour Of Carpatho-Rus' concert in August of 1996 at the University of Pittsburgh, revealed a continuous interest among American Rusyns in Rusyn song culture. Repertoire advancement continued in "The Second Song Tour of Carpatho-Rus' " concert which was held in November of 1997 at the Recital Hall in the Duquesne University School of Music, in Pittsburgh, Pa. The highlight video of "A Treasury of Carpatho-Rusyn Songs" gives a documentary witness to a long awaited fulfillment of joyful beginnings - to build a mutually satisfying European and American Rusyn cultural life.

Feature Songstress, Recording artist, and Associate Music Director Beata Begeniova Salakova, is a 1994 graduate of the Pavol J. Safarik University (now Presov University) with a Master -"Magister" degree of certification in Music Performance and Education, and a second degree in Ukrainian language in Slovakia. She speaks fluently in Carpatho-Rusyn, Slovak, Ukrainian, and English. The fine Accordion Accompanist who gives a sensitive musical accompaniment is Michal Salak. Beata and Michal are two experienced Rusyn folk artists in their late twenties who have performed for over two decades in various semi-professional and professional folk theater ensembles in Europe, such as: Karpatanin, Sarisan, and Dukla, also known as "PULS", to name a few. Beata's singing and Michal's accordion work is heard on a number of Rusyn and Slovak recordings published in Presov, and they have toured with folk theater ensembles throughout Slovakia, Ukraine, Poland, France, Italy, Greece, Spain, and in parts of the Far East including Korea, performing the Carpatho-Rusyn folk arts.

Concert Producer, Arranger, and Conductor, Mr. Jerry John Jumba of McKees Rocks, PA, is a graduate of the Duquesne University School of Music in Education, a Rusyn Chant Teacher, researcher, and publisher in the Byzantine Catholic Archdiocese of Pittsburgh from 1984 through 1992, a Cantor of Rusyn sacred chant in Byzantine Catholic and Orthodox churches, a Rusyn heritage teacher part time and full time in eight Byzantine Catholic schools for 18 years, a co-founder, director, and choreographer in seven Carpatho-Rusyn folk art ensembles including Slavjane and Kruzhok, a founding member and Vice President of the Carpatho-Rusyn Society, a pianist, accordionist, trumpet player and general music teacher in PA -grades K - 12, and a field collector of Rusyn folk art songs and dances. He has published 50 Rusyn songs in a book and double cassette album called "Zaspivajme" - Let's Sing", co-published a bilingual Marian Hymnal, and has designed two popular Rusyn T-shirts. He hosts a regular Carpatho-Rusyn Radio Program on Sundays at noon on WEDO 810 AM, "The Station of Nations", in Mckeesport, PA. It is the only Rusyn radio program in the United States. Mr. Jumba and Ms. Beata Begeniova Salakova have selected 39 Rusyn songs whose expression spans a lifetime of singing, from youth to golden age. Songs for children, teens, and adults celebrate life, flirt, love, and make humorous commentary. Two Rusyn dances are featured by choreographer Marika lvanova; a flirtation dance medley to "Oj do berda, tri nitky.., and Teljo ja mam teljo..", and a romantic engagement dance called "Tanec Zarucenja". This leads to the endearing and memorable wedding custom of capping the bride - the "Zacepinja" or "Cepcovanije", which leads to the traditional bridal dance, the "Rjadovyj Tanec".

In full harmony, there is the precious intercessory hymn to Saint Nicholas the Wonder Worker, and a perennial Christmas carol favorite -"Koly Jasna Zvizda" - "When The Brilliant Star Shone". There is a special soul felt Rusyn - Slavonic liturgical choir chant segment of "prostopinije" that recalls the days when congregations chanted divine liturgy in full harmony - the inheritance of spiritual victories from generations in musical prayer. The Rusyn - Slavonic liturgical choir chant segment features the congregational spiritual strength and beauty found in liturgical hymns such as "Voskliknite Hospodevi - Shout Joyfully to the Lord"," Vsi Tja Hory - Hosts of Angels On High", " Blazenny -Beatitudes" , "Dostojno Jest'- It is truly Proper", the "Amin" for consecration, and a medley of three radiant "Christos Voskrese -Christ Is Risen" melodies. The program closes with the famous cultural anthem which honors the Rusyn heritage - "Ja Rusyn Byl, Jesm i Budu" - I was, I am, and will be a Rusyn". A concert program booklet accompanies the video. A separate concert songbook with text, translation, and melody Is available. The special VHS video edit from the Michael Kisan Productions studio includes crisp images of a two camera view from quality 3/4 inch video tape, and reveals each song title on screen. Altogether - The Second Song Tour Of Carpatho-Rus' is a delightful, unique, and informative hour of sound, sight, and emotion. Along with our concert audience, we hope the viewer will share in the joy of this living tradition of " A Treasury of Carpatho-Rusyn Songs."

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