On Sunday, October 3, 2010, as one walked into the Ukrainian Cultural Center on the Metropolia grounds of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of USA, one was greeted with the aromas of varenyky swimming in onions, holubsi, kapusta and kovbasa and serenaded by the sounds of Ukrainian music, and the sight of beautiful pysanky and embroideries, and exotic liqueur-filled crystal sabers, bears and horses to be raffled.
The Ukrainian American Talent Show/ Fall Festival organized by the United Orthodox Sisterhoods was a huge success. The festival was opened by V. Rev. Taras Chubenko, and Natalia Honcharenko acted as mistress of ceremonies. Leo Kitsmarishvili of the Georgian State Orchestra of Tbilisi performed the American and Ukrainian anthems on the trumpet. The Barvinok Dance Ensemble, based in S. Bound Brook, and under the artistic direction of Hryts Momot, welcomed the festival audience with the traditional Pryvit, with bread and salt. The St. Andrew School of Ukrainian Heritage Studies in Somerset, NJ and the Ukrainian School from the parish of St. George in Yardville, NJ presented musical programs performed by very talented youngsters.
Vocalists Melania Moststrovsky and Anastasia Kaspruk sang several selections, and young pianists Alexandra and Stephanie Chubenko played several pieces. Five year old Elizabeth Cairns dazzled the audience with her gymnastics routine. Ivan Verneha of the Fralinger string band, long time performers and award winners at the Philadelphia Mummers Parade, played two banjo solos. The Fralinger string band will be honoring Ukraine at the New Year’s Day 2011 annual Mummer’s Parade. The program’s grand finale was a high flying Hopak that evoked cheers and loud applause for the performers. The show’s organizers were fortunate to have Cheremosh, a Ukrainian dance band, from Lakewood, NJ, perform during intermission and after the show. All performers donated their time and talent, and all proceeds from the show and festival benefit the Museum Building Fund of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of USA.
The United Orthodox Sisterhoods and Tamara Parubchenko, President, thank all the local Sisterhoods who prepared the delicious food and donated items for the raffle, and all the performers who shared their talents and gifts with the audience.