Canadian Bandurist Capella

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The Canadian Bandurist Capella 2003

The Canadian Bandurist Capella A vocal-instrumental ensemble that combines the sounds of male choral singing with the orchestral accompaniment of the multi-stringed Ukrainian bandura.

The Canadian Bandurist Capella was established in 1991 initially as a male vocal ensemble that accompanied itself on the bandura by Victor Mishalow. It had its premier performance on January 8, 1992 at a concert dedicated to Ukrainian Christmas traditions held at St Anne's Anglican church in Toronto. In 1993 it changed its name to the Toronto Bandurist Capella and became began to include female performers as a mixed gender ensemble. In 2001 it once again became an exclusively male ensemble. In 2002 it became incorporated and officially changed its name back to the Canadian Bandurist Capella.

The ensemble has grown to become a significant artistic force within the Ukrainian Community in Toronto and in Canada. It unites the talents of some 50 singers and up to 21 instrumentalists-bandurists.

The repertoire of the ensemble has grown and become more sophisticated to encompass not only arrangements of epic historic songs and traditional folk songs, but also sacred music and modern compositions.

The Capella has performed with concerts throughout Upper Canada initially in Toronto and its environs: Oakvile, Hamilton, St Catherines, Oshawa and has continued to branch out to London, Windsor, and Ottawa and into Quebec performing in Montreal is now continuing to expand its activities to Manitoba (Winnipeg, Dauphin), In the USA te ensemble has given concerts in Chicago, Cleveland, Rochester, New York, Stanford, Yonkers, Soyuzivka and Philadelphia.

The ensemble has completed 2 CD recordings.

The ensemble is includes within its ranks such vocal soloists as Victor Sheweli, and Bohdan Temniuk, and also virtuoso bandurists Borys Ostapienko. It has collaborated with artists such as snger Pavlo Hunka.


Recently it recorded its second CD with renown Bass-baritone Pavlo Hunka.

Canadian Bandurist Capella Recordings:
1. Debut CD "Canadian Bandurist Capella" (2005) 14 tracks
2. CD "Hraj Kobzarju!" (Гpaй Кoбзapю!) (2008) 12 tracks

Many of the Canadian Capellas concert performances are available on YouTube.

Current direction[edit]

The artistic director of the Canadian Bandurist Capella is Merited Artist of Ukraine - Victor Mishalow. Yurij Petlura is the (Concert Master). Previous assistant conductors include Natalia Babycka and Andrii Dmytrovych

The ensemble is striving toward reviving the traditions of the itinerant Ukrainian minstrels knownas the kobzars in an ensemble setting as set by the Poltava Bandurist Capella that developed under the direction of Hnat Khotkevych in the late 1920s and early 1930s. To meet this goal it has ordered specially made Kharkiv style banduras from bandura maker William Vetzal and is training its bandurists to meet the challenges of this style of bandura music.


  • 1991 - established as a male vocal instrumental ensemble.
  • 1992 - changed to a mixed vocal instrumental ensemble
  • 2001 - re-establisгed аs a male vocal instrumental ensemble.
  • 2003 - incorporated
  • 2005 - CD1 "Canadian Bandurist Capella"
  • 2008 - CD2 "Hraj Kobzarju!" (Гpaй Кoбзapю!) - (Ottawa, Montreal, Windsor, London, Winnipeg, Dauphin).
  • 2010 - Word of Taras concert tour. (Toronto, St Catherines, Oshawa)
  • 2010 - Kozak Glory concert to mark the anniversary of Pylyp Orlyk's constitution. (Toronto, Chicago, Yonkers, Stanford, Soyuzivka)
  • 2011 - Word of Taras concert tour to mark the 150th anniversary of Taras Shevchenko - (Toronto, Chicago, Cleveland, Rochester.) Concert to mark the 120th anniversary of Ukrainian settlement in Canada.
  • 2012 - Word of Taras concert tour. (March). Mississuaga, New York, Philadelphia.


  • Mishalow, V. A Short History of the Bandura // East European Meetings in Ethnomusicology 1999, Romanian Society for Ethnomusicology, Volume 6, - С.69-86
  • Мішалов, В. “Кобзарська спадщина Гната Хоткевича у діаспорі” // Традиції і сучасне в українській культурі /Тези доповідей Міжнародної науково-практичної конференції, присвяченої 125-річчю Гната Хоткевича/ X.: 2002. - С.97-98
  • Мішалов, В. – Бандура в еміграційних центрах у міжвоєнний період (с.95-103) – Karpacki Collage Artystyczny – Biuletyn – Przemysl, 2005

External links[edit]

Video - Canadian Bandurist Capella: Live in Chicago (2009)