October 2018 Newsletter

Date published: 2018-10-17



October 2018

Issue 27/2018

AATA Gala Concert

In June the Australian Accordion Teachers Association met for its annual festival in the Marconi Club at Bossley Park. This year the SBO was invited to put in a guest appearance. The Orchestra is well served by accordionists and bayan (Russian button accordion) players, so this was a natural fit for the SBO.

This was also the first time the Orchestra’s quartet played in public. The Quartet consists of Richard She (accordion) Adrian Lee (contra bass balalaika), Oliver Rathje (prima domra) and Matthew Morgan (guitar).

SBO Quartet playing Night Express at the AATA Gala Concert

Another feature of the concert was a special performance by cymbalist Lucy Voronov freshly returned from her triumphant concert tour of Belarus on the cimbalom (see previous Novosti).

Russian Club Concert

On 29th July, the Orchestra gave its annual concert at the Russian Club in Strathfield. In attendance were delegates from the Russian Consulate General. This is one of the main fixtures of the year and it was pleasing to see that the numbers attending were still strong.

Manning Entertainment Centre – Taree

After a 13 year break SBO returned to the Manning Entertainment Centre on 25th of August, and it was to be a long day. The Orchestra of 26 members boarded a coach to drive to Taree on NSW’s North Coast. In centres far from the “Big Smoke” audiences seem particularly appreciative of Russian folk music, and this was to be no different.

St. Ives “Medieval Faire”

What do court jesters, buxom wenches and jousting knights have in common with Russian folk music? More than you might think!

On 23rd September the SBO played at the St Ives “Medieval Faire”, which has been going for 4 years and is already attracting thousands of visitors. While the “Faire” is notionally set in the middle ages, it is an excuse for performers and visitors alike to dress up in any sort of colourful costumes. So in that sense the SBO players added more colour to an already colourful event.

Pointing the sword

Traditional Russian folk costumes are largely inspired by middle ages Russian clothing so in a visual sense, we fitted the scene perfectly.

So with background atmospherics of lances crashing on armour, swords clattering on shields and muskets being discharged, the SBO started with a rousing rendition of In Full Swing, a medley of Russian folk songs, many going back hundreds of years to the middle ages

Our accordion soloist Richard She also gave a spirited performance of Russian Sailor’s Dance while the SBO’s newly formed Quartet received handsome applause for its rendition of Night Express.

Russian Waltz dancers

One of the highlights of the concert was the Russian Waltz. So inspired were two members of the audience that they got up and waltzed in front of the crowd. “We felt so motivated to hear this beautiful waltz,” said one of them, “that we couldn’t help it. We just had to dance”. The better they danced, the better the Orchestra played; a case of pure synergy. And yes of course, they were dancing instructors!

A special thank you to our virtuoso cimbalom player Lucy Voronov who had a suspected broken rib from a nasty fall that morning. As we pleaded with her to go to the hospital she insisted on playing while still in considerable pain. As they say: “The show must go on”. Lucy, you are indeed a real ‘trooper’!

Jousting Show



Sunday 21 October, 2018
Concert starts at 1:00 pm
Admission free
1 Gilbert St Cabramatta
Enquiries 8850 3623


Sunday 28 October, 2018
Concert starts at 1.30 pm
Hoddle Street, Robertson NSW
Tickets available at the door or to buy your tickets online
Enquiries 8850 3623


The SBO is always seeking to perform at new venues and maybe you know somewhere that we can visit and introduce a new audience to our beautiful Russian folk music. We also need additional musicians so if you come up with any ideas please contact our Musical Director, Victor Serghie on 0409 058 895 or our Secretary, Oliver Rathje on 0417 603 356.

Patrick O'Neil
Novosti Sydney Balalaika Orchestra, October 2018 Newsletter
St Ives Medieval Fair, Australian Accordians Convention, Manning Theatre Taree, Russian Club Strathfield Sydney