Fresno Master Chorale and Sierra Foothill Musicians offer special Sunday concerts

For classical music fans, there are two stellar events this weekend not to miss:

A rare opportunity

You’d have to be a musical sleuth to track performances of the Ukrainian composer Kyrylo Stetsenko’s haunting “Panakhyda” (Requiem) outside his native country. The choral piece has been performed in Ukraine, of course, but beyond that, it was harder to document.


Victoria Malko, a Fresno State professor and coordinator of the Holodomor Education Program, approached Anna Hamre of the Fresno Community Chorus Master Chorale a few months ago about performing the piece to commemorate the 85th anniversary of the Holodomor, a deliberate famine in Soviet Ukraine in 1932 and 1933 that killed millions of Ukrainians. Hamre started searching for an edition but couldn’t find one. So Malko created one.

For a while, the chorus thought it would be presenting the premiere of the work outside Ukraine.


Later, Malko discovered that this work in another edition was shared in a Ukrainian worship service in California 10 years ago. “The church documents were in Ukrainian, but Victoria is fluent enough to translate the archives,” Hamre says. “So, this work has found its way out of the Ukraine, but it is still quite rare.”

It will be performed at 2 and 4 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 26, in the Chapel of the Holy Innocents at St. James Episcopal Cathedral, 4147 E. Dakota Ave., Fresno.

To accommodate the small venue, the Master Chorale created a 30-voice choir (Coro Stetsenko) for the event. Soloists are tenor Gregory Zubacz, alto Glady Ruiz and soprano Datevig Yaralian.

Tickets are free, but they are only available at Proceeds will go to the Holodomor Committee of California.

The foothills in Fresno

After the Sierra Foothill Musicians performed a June concert in Oakhurst, an audience member from Fresno liked the performance so much that she arranged for the musicians to repeat the concert in Clovis. The chamber music ensemble will perform 3 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 26, at the Memorial United Methodist Church, 1726 Pollasky Ave., Clovis. Admission is free. Donations will be accepted to cover costs.

The Sierra Foothill Composers’ Co-Operative and Vision Academy of the Arts are jointly sponsoring this program, which features the music of Scarlatti, Dvorak, Fauré, Schubert, Pierné, Kuri-Aldana, Elgar, and Barbara Ulman.

Musicians are Clyde Lansing, clarinet; Sandy Schaefer, flute; Barbara Ulman and Phil Youngholm, piano; Kelvin Diaz Inoa, cello; and Tiffanie Trujillo, soprano.

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Covering the arts online in the central San Joaquin Valley and beyond. Lover of theater, classical music, visual arts, the literary arts and all creative endeavors. Former Fresno Bee arts critic and columnist. Graduate of Columbia University and Cal Poly San Luis Obispo. Excited to be exploring the new world of arts journalism.

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