June 2016

Issue 20/2016

The Southern Highlands - Mittagong

Our first Concert there since June 2003

Playhouse Theatre in the heart of Mittagong

On Saturday March 12th, the Sydney Balalaika Orchestra gave a successful concert in the Mittagong Playhouse Theatre. It has been many years since the SBO has played in the Southern Highlands, the last occasion being in 2003, an event that was actually covered by a visiting Russian Television crew.
Our March concert was well attended, considering the gap. Some members of the audience came all the way from Sydney, but a pleasing number were locals.

‘I am amazed at the professional sound you people make’ said Ian Hardy, a local resident, who heard the orchestra for the first time. ‘The standard of playing was extremely high’ said his wife Stephanie. ‘We’ve both been to Russia & we often heard Russian folk musicians singing & playing in tourist venues, but nothing like the standard weheard tonight’, she said.
‘It was pleasing to see such a large audience in Mittagong’ said SBO president Bruce Barker. ‘We want to re-establish our profile in some of the rural areas around Sydney’

Tanya Jephtha, prima domra and Lucy Voronov, cimbalom

‘I was delighted with the performance’ said musical director Victor Serghie. ‘The whole orchestra played very well, including the new members who have recently joined the SBO. As for our virtuoso cimbalom player Lucy Voronov; tonight she was ‘on fire’ and the audience were terrific’.

Both singers Sophia Markovtzev & Vladimir Shvedov, were a hit with the audience, singing a number of encores. ‘We normally add about five encores to every concert line up & we usually use one or two of them. Tonight we used the lot’. Many members of the audience came up & remarked on our Russian costumes.
‘From where did you get them?’ one of them asked. ‘ All made in Australia’, was Victor’s reply.

Russian Club Concert

The Sydney Balalaika Orchestra’s annual concert at the Russian Club will be held at 2.30 pm on Sunday, July 31st.

Lucy Voronov on cimbalom

A family affair
Setting up the stage for a concert like this is always a challenge. Acoustics, the science of sound, is an ‘inexact science’ and it just so happens that our Musical Director, Victor Serghie’s son, Misha Teterin is a brilliant sound engineer as well as an outstanding musician. There’s a lot to be arranged before the curtain comes up. Every venue has its own unique acoustics and the Russian Club presents special challenges to the mix in order to achieve a balanced sound for the audience and the musicians. Misha says ‘Having lived with this sort of music for most of my life, I suppose it comes naturally to me. But in so many other ways concert management and tasks are a family affair.

There are many examples of Mums & Dads of orchestra members, all assisting to sell raffle tickets, programs and CDs and usher guests to their seats. Mother of our accordion player Danilo Garovic, Milojka, having done the job before has taken on the task of Stage Manager with the SBO and is now one of our production team members.

GEOFF BRAIN on flute

In this role she works closely with the sound engineer, Misha and Musical Director, Victor Serghie to assist in ensuring everything is completed in time for the start of the orchestra’s sound check.

YURI HALAY playing the gaida

The funds raised at this concert will go towards the heavy expenses of future SBO tours. Another major expenses we must consider will be new costumes for all our members.
Post script: We are currently negotiating a possible tour to Siberia and Far East Russia in September this year. If we are successful, it will be a great honour for SBO. This will require significant funding, lots of practice and of course, very smart costumes for all the Orchestra members.... stay tuned !


Russian Club Concert
Sunday, 31 July 2016, 2:30 pm start

Cnr Raw Square & Albert St, Strathfield NSW
Enquiries (02) 8850 3623
Tickets are available at door subject to availability.