Ukranian choir makes special Oregon visit

The Music Mission Kiev Symphony Orchestra and Chorus will be performing classical masterpieces at Rolling Hills Community Church, 3550 SW Borland Rd, Tualatin, on September 16 at 7:00 p.m.  This is the only Oregon stop for these160 professional musicians from Kiev, Ukraine.  Tickets are on sale now for $10 for students, and $12 for adults at Hearthstone at Murrayhill, 503.520.0911. More information is available at

Classical music that was once banned, or even re-written by Communist leadership in the former Soviet Republic is now the specialty of this orchestra and choir.  In 1992, after the collapse of the Soviet government, conductor Roger McMurrin traveled to Kiev at the invitation of an Episcopalian priest. He hired 35 Ukrainian singers and a local orchestra to perform Handel’s “Messiah.”  It was the first time the piece had been performed in Kiev in 70 years.

The reception of the performance so moved the McMurrins that they were inspired to move from Florida to Kiev in 1993 to start the professional music program  and to begin humanitarian support programs for widows, orphans and others.  This small beginning has grown to include 160 professional musicians, a youth choir and orchestra, a church of over 600 members, an orphan rescue ministry, a food ministry that weekly furnishes food to more than 400 widows and pensioners, and an auxiliary nurses aid group.

This year the Orchestra and Choir are traveling for two months on a tour of the United States, bringing a unique blend of music, from Ukrainian Classics, to beautiful African-American spirituals and European Masterpieces.  Proceeds raised during the tour help support the humanitarian programs in Ukraine and provides support for the musicians.

The unique culture of Ukraine is little known in the United States.  The Kiev Symphony Orchestra and Chorus perform a number of songs in authentic national costumes and use unique national instruments to share their culture.

“Classical music is sometimes seen as stuffy or elitist,” McMurrin said.  “But the greatest musicians wrote music that is for everybody.  I don’t care what style of music you like, this music is for you.  It will appeal to anyone who has ears.”

For tickets call Hearthstone at Murrayhill, 503.520.0911.

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