Slavyanka Russian Chorus

Slavyanka Russian Chorus, Inc. is a qualified 501 (c)(3) public benefit charitable corporation.
Tax ID (EIN) 94-2886637

Добро пожаловать Dobro pozhalovat' Welcome

Why We Sing

Art and culture are the treasure houses of our deepest and best dreams - not the fleeting and illusory dreams of power and empire, which can never satisfy what is best in us, but our deep soul-dreams, from which generation after generation has drawn healing, strength and renewed determination to change our world for the better.

For more than forty years, our Slavyanka Chorus here in San Francisco has performed music from the varied choral traditions of Russia and Eastern Europe to help Americans better understand and appreciate the cultural history behind these traditions. We’re proud to have contributed in a small way to intercultural understanding between East and West through the special language of choral music.

Once again, there's a wall between Russia and America. Like other Americans, we are horrified by the war in Ukraine, call urgently for its end, and have raised money to offer help for its victims. But just saying what we're against isn't enough. Beyond raising money to help, what are we called to do now?

When our governments are at odds, ordinary people like us have an even greater responsibility to keep alive the threads of human connection between the people of our different countries. History shows us all too clearly what happens when people begin to treat the “other” as no longer worthy of empathy or respect - and what darkness people are capable of once that line is crossed.

We are a small musical organization. But size is not the important thing. What matters is that we act through our musical efforts with the same degree of compassion, creativity, courage and commitment that we ask and expect of our leaders. The music we sing gives us an important way to do so.

More than most Americans, we’ve been privileged to catch a glimpse of Russian soul-dreams – dreams that through the poetry and music of Russia’s great artists bring the unreachable within reach for all of us. Through such art, for a moment we are again in the presence of the truly universal truths of human life – beauty, nature, suffering, loss, grief, divine love, joy, human love - all the deep realities that we share as human beings, and the truest source of our hope and renewed determination to create a brighter and better future for both of our countries.

We don't sing this music because it's Russian. We sing it because in singing, we bring our audiences with us once again into the presence of those primal mysteries, made richer by their uniquely Russian expression. Those mysteries also call us to remember that even in agonizing times like these with all our real differences - in good times and equally in the hard times - we are to keep alive the bonds of human connection with people halfway around the world.

That’s our mission as an organization, the dream we share - and why we continue to sing.

2023 Slavyanka Plans

Slavyanka 2022-2023 Plans
Published On 9/16/2022; Updated 1/27/2023
Dear Slavyanka Friends,
A big welcome back in advance!
The Slavyanka rehearsal schedule for 2022-23 and for our Shvedoff concerts is available.

Go Here >> 2023 Plans to download a copy, save to you computer, open, read and or print).

That’s right – the next 8 months of rehearsals laid out in complete detail. Irina has done a sensational and amazing job of giving us a complete road map for the upcoming concert year, and for preparing this extraordinary and uniquely spiritual piece of music for its American premiere next spring.

On the first weekend of June, Slavyanka Chorus performed A Prayer for Peace – a concert of Russian and Ukrainian choral music. Performances were at:
• · 5PM on Saturday, June 4th at St. Archangel Michael Serbian Orthodox Church, 18870 Allendale Avenue in Saratoga, and 
• · 4PM on Sunday, June 5th at Star of the Sea Church, 4420 Geary Boulevard (at 8th Avenue) in San Francisco.
The one hour program included both sacred and folk pieces from Russia and Ukraine.

Concert Program
Mixed Choir
1. Pilgrim Song
2. Pomyshl’aju D’en’ strashnyj
3. Cherubim Song
4. No v’echnym snom
5. L’ubov’ Sv’ataja
6. Bogoroditsa, Solo - Sergey Khalikulov
7. Ja pokinul rodimyj dom, Duet - Rene Minneboo and Sergey Khalikulov

Men’s Choir
8. Sov’et Pr’ev’echnyj
9. Otche nash
10. Nyn’e otpuschaeshi

Mixed Choir
11. Bogoroditse Devo
12. Ang’el vopijashe
13. Reve ta sogne
14. Vniz po matushke, po Volg’e

CLICK Here >>June 5, 2022 Concert Recording at Star of the Sea Catholic Church, San Francisco CA

Instead of a charge for admission, audience members were invited (not required) to contribute to one of the many relief organizations that are providing for the needs of civilians displaced and wounded by the war in Ukraine.

Why this concert and this theme?
For over forty years, Slavyanka Chorus has worked to create deeper understanding and appreciation between Americans and the peoples of Russia and Eastern Europe. Especially for those of us with friends and relatives there, it’s intensely painful to see that part of the world torn apart in war.
Whatever else we do in response, we can do these three things:
• · We can pray for peace, in whatever form and language is real in our own life;
• · We can offer material help to those whose lives have been shattered by violence; and
• · We can re-commit ourselves to keeping the deep threads of human connection unbroken - especially at times like now when those threads come under great stress.
Music is the way we in Slavyanka work to keep those threads unbroken. Eighty to one hundred joined us to add their own prayers and support.
Paul Andrews
President, Slavyanka Chorus

CONTACT US here at anytime. Financial support, at this time, is especially appreciated. Donations can be considered and made here DONATE. Members can pay dues here MEMBER DUES.

All can access Slavyanka Chorus Recordings here ARCHIVE

Russian Diaspora

The Russian diaspora is the global community of ethnic Russians. The Russian-speaking (Russophone) diaspora are the people for whom Russian language is the native language, regardless of whether they are ethnic Russians or, for example, Belarusians, Tatars, or Jews.
A large Russian diaspora (sometimes including Russian-speaking non-Russians), estimated at over 20–30 million people, has developed all over the world, with notable numbers in the United States, Germany, Brazil, and Canada.
Relatively unknown is the understanding and momentousness of the 1000-year-old Russian sacred choral music tradition.

Our Slavyanka Chorus Mission is to:
• Perform music from the varied choral traditions of Russia, Eastern Europe and America.
• Understand and share the cultural history behind these traditions, and
• Contribute to international and intercultural understanding between East and West through the special language of a cappella choral music.

The Sacred Music and Spiritual Legacy of the Russian Emigration

Supporting our mission, on Thursday, September 23rd at 6:30 PM Pacific Time, Slavyanka Chorus hosted an evening with one of the world’s most respected musicologists and publisher of Russian liturgical music, Dr. Vladimir Morosan.
This is a unique opportunity to learn more about a fascinating and relatively unknown part of the 1000-year-old Russian sacred choral music tradition. This tradition suffered tremendous setbacks after the Russian revolution of 1917. But against all odds, due to the courage and perseverance of Russian composers who continued to compose in the emigration (including some in San Francisco), the legacy survived and has continued to bear new fruit. Dr. Morosan will explore with us this sacred music of the Russian emigration, much of which has only recently drawn the attention of performers and audiences.
In addition to his writing, Dr. Morosan is also Founder and President of Musica Russica, a publishing company specializing in the publication and dissemination of Orthodox choral music throughout the Western world. He is also the Director of the "Orthodox Sacred Music Reference Library” Project, the largest scholarly online library of Orthodox music.
If you missed the presentation on September 23rd a recording of this
very special evening presentation is available.

CLICK HERE to begin the recording.

After hearing Dr. Morosan's presentation and examples of historical sacred music recordings we hope you may make a donation to provide continuing support of our mission and help us make these evenings possible  Our suggested donation is $10.

We were so honored to perform at the wedding of Raj and Alexandra June 12, 2021 at St. George Serbian Orthodox Church in San Diego. Многая лета / Mnogaya leta / Many, many years to the new, happy couple! Thank you so much for letting us provide the music for your beautiful wedding. — in San Diego, California.

Reflecting the name given by early Russian settlers to what is now called the Russian River in California, the Slavyanka Russian Chorus was formed in 1979 by several former members of the Yale Russian Chorus. The repertoire comprises music principally from Russian and other Slavic sources -- from Tchaikovsky and Mussorgsky to many less-well-known composers, and folk music.

We are a community of singers, alumni singers, supporters, and listeners – people like you who come because they love and are moved by what they hear.

For 34 years, the Chorus was a men's chorus that was joined on occasion by female soloists and women's ensembles.

In 2013,, the Chorus officially expanded to include women. Our repertoire now includes music for mixed ensemble and women's voices, as well as distinctive men's choral pieces. 

The Chorus performs extensively in the Bay Area (around 12 concerts annually), and was privileged to be invited to tour and perform in the former Soviet Union and Russia in 1986, 1989, 1999, and 2016.

The Chorus has released eight albums, has appeared on Bay Area television segments, contributed to the PBS documentary Spirit of a People, A New Portrait of Russia, and has recorded music for several movies: Tell Me a Riddle (1980), Little Odessa (1994), and What Dreams May Come (1998). 

The Chorus' Artistic Director is Irina Shachneva (2012-present). Former directors include Paul Andrews (1979-1991; interim 2012), Alexei Shipovalnikov (1991-1997), and Gregory Smirnov (1997-2011).

A Board of Directors, Managers and volunteers manage the Chorus