Umpqua Singers Invade Ukraine

The Umpqua Singers will be traveling to the Ukraine on March 19. They plan to perform an assortment of tunes and melodies in English, Ukrainian, and also in Latin including the Ukrainian national anthem. They will take their voices to new heights to the cities of Kiev, Uzhgorod and Kremenchug.

The trip to the Ukraine was possible due to funding received from donations and student contributions according to UCC faculty member Jason Heald, who will conduct the singers on the 11 day adventure.

Although visiting a new country means attaining a new culture and new for most people, a few of the vocal artists taking this journey had different opinions of what is the most valuable part of this trip.

“I think it would just be fun to at least attempt to communicate with others. I am an open book and I really don’t know what to expect,” said singer James Pennington.

Singer Brandon Westmorland expressed a completely different view, “Getting out of the country for the first time is one of the most exciting parts of the trip.”

Performing Ukrainian songs like Ksenia and Chrvona Ruta in the land’s native languages, will give the group a chance to showcase their talent on an international level. The group took old George Gershwin melodies such as Beautiful love and Soon and turned them into more modern Jazz compilations. With these new formats the group will take an American atmosphere to a distant land, allowing a taste of American jazz music for those who might otherwise have not had the chance to learn from our culture.

In tune and on key, the singers look to advance their education and their experience with the modern styling created by Heald.

Accompanying the singers will be Brandon Edwards on drums, Ariele Chasteen on piano, and Taylor Luzier on bass guitar.

The Mainstream is a student publication of Umpqua Community College.