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William Solomon - Conductor
Board of Directors
The following members make up the Hoosli
Ukrainian Male Chorus.
|On leave – Wally Skakun
1985 – 2002, 2005 – present
William Solomon, himself blessed with a rich baritone voice, was born in Fork River, Manitoba. Upon being exposed to the music and culture of his Ukrainian heritage while growing up in the Gilbert Plains and Dauphin areas, he began his music career as a boy soprano in the Manitoba Music Festival.
In 1947, he moved to Winnipeg and attended St. Andrews College where he participated in ethnic and religious choral music and also demonstrated his talent in the Ukrainian dance art form, serving as lead dancer and instructor. His primary interest has always been in choral music, however, and in 1949, he became a member of the Ukrainian Male Chorus conducted by Walter Bohonos, with whom he furthered his vocal training.
In developing his career in music, Bill also performed with numerous other Winnipeg-based choirs, including the Holy Trinity Cathedral Choir, a sextet known and the "Continentals" and the Canadian Ukrainian Youth Association choir and dance ensemble which he organized and conducted. He was invited to join the Kerr Wilson Male Voice Choir, expanded his vocal training under the tutorship of Kerr Wilson, and became a member of the renowned O. Koshetz Mixed Choir under the direction of Walter Klymkiw. He later assumed the position of conductor of that choir's male contingent and in 1981, became conductor of the Holy Trinity Cathedral Youth Choir while also leading the Cathedral Ladies Chorus.
In 1985, Bill accepted an invitation to conduct the Hoosli Hoosli
Ukrainian Male Chorus.
William Solomon nurtured his extensive musical talent by training under the maestri mentioned earlier, as well as A. Avdievsky from Ukraine. By virtue of that good fortune and his love for the choral aspect of his cultural heritage, he is committed to excellence in presenting the art form to the public.
In 2002, Bill took a break from the maddening task of babysitting 35 grown men on Wednesday nights, but has recently returned on the condition that we act our ages.
Christopher Sklepowich (Chair)
Gerry May (Vice Chair)
MaryAnn Labay (Secretary)
Julian Burdeniuk (Treasurer)
Tom Dudych (Member Rep)
Mr. Justice Donald Bryk
Over the past 40 years, Hoosli
Ukrainian Male Chorus has been graced with four skilled conductors and over 100 alumni members, contributing to song, music and dance.
Inspired by the talent and dedication of Dr. Paul Macenko, his choir director at St. Vladimir's College, Walter Zulak, with a handful of graduates, formed the St. Vladimir's College Alumni Choir.
As a student of St. Vladimir's, Walter acquired a great love of Ukrainian music by singing in the College choir. He was also very fortunate to be selected by Dr. Macenko to attend private lessons to learn the art of directing a choir. Dr. Macenko not only taught him many intricate techniques, but also spoke of the music and history of the many composers.
Walter directed Hoosli from 1969 to 1980, when he left with his family, to live in Grande Prairie, Alberta. Although distance separated him from the boys he loved, he kept in touch and would attend their performances whenever possible.
After graduating from St. Vladimir's College in the summer of 1973, Michael Zakaluzny joined Hoosli as a member of the baritone section. Because of Michael's musical background, Walter Zulak approached him to assume responsibilities as choir director, when Walter moved from Winnipeg in 1980. Michael's task was enormous in that he had to maintain repertoire and membership while "learning the ropes" through on-the-job training.
Michael obtained assistance and expertise from individuals such as Tom Sobkow and Brian Cherwick, and, with them, instigated the team concept of direction for Hoosli. The team efforts revitalized Hoosli and achieved numerous successes throughout Michael's tenure as choir director. With the introduction of William Solomon as choral director in 1985, Michael assumed the role as assistant choral director, and, as such, maintained his role as an artistic team member.
Michael Ryczak began his musical training with accordion lessons at the age of five, and enjoyed a childhood enriched by many gifted Ukrainian music and dance teachers in Winnipeg, including his godfather, a fine baritone and violinist. By the age of fourteen, Michael had become an accomplished accordionist, and had taught himself to play the piano, organ, violin, viola and guitar. He played and acted in many school productions. He was a member of the 'Homyn' youth orchestra and toured North America with the Chai Folk Ensemble.
While in junior high school, Michael began to play the organ, as well as cantor for church weddings. Weekends were spent playing a variety of other instruments and singing in several popular dance bands. After university, in 1979, he formed the 'New Life Singers', a folk group which sang many liturgical services in Manitoba and Saskatchewan. In 1981, he was appointed Musical Director of St. Vladimir's College in Roblin, Manitoba, where he conducted and managed concert tours to many parts of Western Canada.
In 1987, Michael was invited to join Hoosli as a singer, and soon became the choir's musical accompanist. In 1991, Michael became the Associate Conductor of the Hoosli Ukrainian Folk Ensemble, and was appointed the full time Conductor and Artistic Director in 2002. Michael also conducts the St. Joseph's Ukrainian Catholic Church Choir in Winnipeg, Manitoba.
Fr. Jaroslaw Buciora
| Steve Gembarsky
| Peter Krasny
| Tim Osachuk
Fr. John Sianchuk
| Jerome Thoms