1st Tenors

Myles Burdeniuk
Myron Burdeniuk
Scott Chabluk
Jim Dudych
Lawrence Grzenda
Markian McColl
Chris Rawluk
Mark Shawarsky
Harry Szkwarek

2nd Tenors

Ivas Chabluk
Bennie Gusnowsky
Gary Lukie
Ivan Maluzynsky
Myron Radawetz
Simeon Rusnak
Christopher Sklepowich

Baritones

Julian Burdeniuk
Don Cilinsky
Ihor Holovko
Mark Karpa
Ken Kuchma
Mike Labay
Brian Lukie

Basses

Bill Chabluk
Mikhas Chabluk
Tom Dudych
Alex Hryndzio
Vasyl’ Maluzynsky
Roman Szczerba
Mark Turman

Walter Skakun – Conductor

Walter Skakun, a self-taught choir conductor, grew up in a Ukrainian farming community in Central Saskatchewan. His father was the conductor of a Ukrainian Church choir, a Ukrainian community choir, and a lifelong promoter of Ukrainian culture and Ukrainian cultural events.  He was Walter’s first and greatest cultural influence.

Upon coming to Winnipeg, Walter became involved with various choral groups – church choirs, University of Manitoba Chorus, Manitoba Opera Chorus, Millennium Choir, Dumka Choir, and Hoosli Ukrainian Male Chorus.

In 1990, Walter was asked to assume the position of conductor of the Dumka Choir and served in this position for the next 18 years.  What was present in great abundance within that group was a profound love for the Ukrainian culture expressed through song.  It was this strong, unrelenting passion within the group which kept Walter motivated to continue as conductor through the 18 years.

In May of 1998, Walter accepted an invitation from the Washington Chamber Ensemble to perform with them as tenor soloist at Carnegie Hall in New York, and a second invitation in December 1998 to perform with the ensemble at The White House in Washington, DC.  When he received these invitations, his memory went back to a one-room country school, where, in about the fourth grade, Walter saw a picture of The White House in a social studies text book, and wondered what it would be like to actually see such a place.  This memory from his youth inspired him to select a Ukrainian piece of music to perform at both occasions – an arrangement of “Вислухаий Боже” by M. Федорів.

In January 2009, Walter accepted an invitation to join Hoosli Ukrainian Male Chorus as a choir member, and was soon appointed as the group’s Assistant Conductor.  In July 2016, after a brief break, Walter graciously accepted Hoosli’s invitation to return as the principal Conductor of Hoosli Ukrainian Male Chorus.

Board of Directors

Christopher Sklepowich (Chair)
Wally Lytwyn (Vice-Chair)
MaryAnn Labay (Secretary)
Julian Burdeniuk (Treasurer)
Bill Chabluk (Member Rep)
Myron Burdeniuk
Dan Chase
Bennie Gusnowsky
Yvonne Hawryliuk
Mike Labay
Gerry May
Michael Rawluk
Dobryan Tracz

Artistic Committee

Myles Burdeniuk
Tom Dudych
Yvonne Hawryliuk
Ken Kuchma
Walter Skakun
Christopher Sklepowich

Past Conductors

team member

William Solomon

1985 – 2002, 2005 – 2016

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.

team member

Michael Ryczak

2002-2005

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.

team member

Michael Zakaluzny

1980-1985

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 maintained his role as an artistic team member for several years.

team member

Walter Zulak

1969-1980

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.

Hoosli Alumni

Cory Anderson
Ken Bailey
Gregory Balak
Andrij Bereznycky
Victor Bodnarchuk
Dave Bodykevich
+Peter Bohdanowycz
+Nestor Bohonos
Hon. Don Bryk
Tom Bryk
Rev. Archpriest Dr. Jaroslaw Buciora
John Budyk
Ken Budyk
Nestor Budyk
Colin Burdeniuk
Gerard Bzdel
Edward Carriere
Brian Cherwick
Rev. Fr. Lt. Col. Terry Cherwick
Hon. Dave Chomiak
Joe Coffey
Orest Deneka
Russ Dorosh
Joe Dudych
+Joe Dudych
Walter Dudych
Andy Duplak
Stefan Duplak
Bill Roman Evanochko
Zenon Fedory
Andrew Galarnyk
Bohdan Gembarsky
Steve Gembarsky
Peter Gnutel
Dan Gusztak
Leo Gusztak
Clare Hadewich
Myron Halayda
Ray Hancharuk
Mark Harapiak
Colin Hardy
Hon. Ben Hewak
+Walter Hewak
Ihor Hluszok
Ihor Holinka
Ihor Holowczynsky
+Denis Jacques
Dave Jandrish
+Mel Kaban

Jim Keller
+Gary Kinaschuk
Mike Klym
Julian Klymkiw
+Mike Kohaykewych
Cory Kohut
Jim Kohut
Terry Kolomaya
Jay Korban
Tom Koroluk
Bob Kosc
Dave Kosc
Ken Kosc
Henry Kotyk
Peter Kowal
Ron Kozak
Peter Krasny
Dennis Krawec
Alex Kryschuk
Peter Kubish
Roman Kukura
Terry Kulyk
Walter Kulyk
Myron Kurjewicz
Mike Kuzyk
Myron Kuzyk
Patrick Kuzyk
Tim Kuzyk
Danny Lega
Leo Luch
Russ Luch
Paul Luchko
Mike Luczka
+Al Lukie
Chris Lukie
Ron Lukie
Tim Lukie
Walter Lytwyn
Andrew Maksymetz
Dennis Maksymetz
Nathan Mandziuk
John Mayba
Paul Mayba
Andrew Misiak
Joe Mushaluk
Greg Musick
Danylo Myhal
Tim Osachuk
Mark Patson

Ted Perich
Dave Phil
Merv Picklyk
Mark Procyshyn
Merv Prosak
Matthew Prychun
Michael Rawluk
Ken Romaniuk
Patrick Romano
Peter Rudiak
Michael Ryczak
Walter Saranchuk
Andrijko Semaniuk
Roman Semaniuk
+Cecil Semchyshyn
Wayne Senick
Andy Seniuk
Oleh Shawarsky
Fr. John Sianchuk
John Sirdar
Nick Sirdar
Wally Skakun
Donald Sobkow
Tom Sobkow
Greg Solomon
Terry Solomon
William Solomon
George Stolarskyj
Marc Storozuk
Terry Stychyshyn
Stephen Sumka
Tim Swynar
+Walter Szutiak
John Tanner
Jerome Thoms
Greg Udod
Dennis Wawrykow
Garrett Wazny
Ronald Wizniak
Gregory Yakimischak
Dan Yarko
Bohdan Zajcew
Mike Zakaluzny
+Bob Zaporozan
Taras Zaporozan
Very Rev. Dr. Greg Zubacz
Bill Zulak
Walter Zulak

Errors and omissions are unintentional. Please contact us to report any errors or help update our lists.