updated: 2/16/2015 5:37 AM
Children watch the Chicago Cossacks perform during the sixth annual Russian Winter Festival Sunday at the Holy Virgin Protection Russian Orthodox Cathedral in Des Plaines. The festival featured old-country traditions, folk music and traditional Russian foods and vodka.
Gilbert R. Boucher II | Staff Photographer
Photo gallery at the Lake Zurich Courier regarding Chicago Cossacks participation in the World dance, music festival: http://lakezurich.suntimes.com/photos/galleries/index.html?story=10987222
The name of the Russian music duo Chicago Cossacks encompasses what they are all about. Coming to the United States from Russia, the band members combine their heritage with American culture in their name and their musical performance.
The Russian and Ukrainian folk music and dance ensemble was created in 1993 and since then has been entertaining people of the Greater Chicago area and beyond.
Historically Cossacks were members of multinational communities living in the Ukraine and southern Russia. Often these communities were named after a river they lived near by (such as Dnieper, Kuban, Don etc). They chose the name "Chicago Cossacks" because they live along the Chicago River and play multinational music.
The band plays traditional Russian musical instruments such as the domra (mandolin), balalaika and bayan (button accordion). All musicians received formal music degrees in the former Soviet Union. The group performs at festivals, cultural centers, libraries, private parties and other such venues.
Current members of the group include:
Natasha Bodansky is a vocalist from Kharkov, Ukraine. She holds a Bachelor Music Degree in Choral Conducting from Kharkov State Institue of Arts. She received her Master of Music in Vocal Performance Degree from the University of Illinois in Urbana-Champaign, where she studied voice with Frances Crawford. While in Urbana-Champaign, Natasha performed with the UIUC Russian Folk Orchestra. She currently teaches voice and piano at Elkin School of Music in Highland Park and performs extensively in the Chicago area. Her repertory includes a variety of music from opera and operatta to international music. Natasha is a member of the Music Academy International Community Chorus of Northwestern University.
Alexander Kaminsky plays double bass. He graduated from Kharkov (Ukraine) Institute of Arts with a major in double-bass. Alexander played in different music ensembles and orchestra including the Kiev Philharmonic Chamber Orchestra. He plays in different styles of classical, jazz and folk music.
Arkady Pevchik plays the bayan (russian button accordion). He received his BA in Music at Kiev (Ukraine) Music College. He worked at the Kiev Concert Association as a accomponist/Russian accordion player. Arkady performed solo and also in many different orchestras and bands in the Ukraine and Chicago area including the Kiev Military Ensemble.
Gennady Sergienko plays the domra, balalaika and mandolin. He received his BA in Music at Kiev (Ukraine) Institute of Performing Arts. He is also a member of the Balalaika & Domra Association of America. Gennady performed in the following orchestras and bands: Russian Folk Orchestra at October Palace of Culture in Kiev, Souvenir, Tum-balalaika, The Internationals, The Russian Folk Orchestra of the University of Illinois and many more too numerous to mention.
Galina Shogan is a dancer and has danced in the Modern Dance Ensemble, "Festival'ny" at Sumy State University of Sumy, Ukraine for 5 years. She has been involved in Ballroom and Folk Dance School at Mazurdance, ballroom dances at Masterica School with choreographer Gintaras Grinkevichus. She is currently a member of the dance group at Atrium Theater. She is currently taking lessons at the McNulty Irish Dance School.
Natalya Vernovsky is a dancer and has danced in the Children Folk Dance Ensemble "Rovesnik" in Minsk, Belarus for 6 years. She has been involved with the Mazurdance Folk Dance School and takes ballroom dance lessons at Masterica School with choreographer Gintaras Grinkevichus.
If you are interested in engaging the Chicago Cossacks for one of your functions, please call their musical director, Gennady Sergienko at (847) 971-3941 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org