On 11 November last year, musical director Victor Serghie
and his wife Millie Serghie found themselves in Moscow
attending an international film festival, ‘Russia Abroad’.
Festival director Sergei Zaitsev had organised the event to
commemorate a number of hundred-year anniversaries,
including the end of WWI, the birth of Alexander
Solzhenitsyn and a hundred years since the execution of the
Russian imperial family, the Romanovs.
Singin' in the Rain! Ulladulla - 17 March 2019
It rained. It poured. It deluged. But the
sound of the rain thundering on the roof
of the Ulladulla Civic Centre never
dampened the audience’s enthusiasm for
the Sydney Balalaika Orchestra’s first
concert for 2019 on 17 March.
It was the second time the SBO had played in Ulladulla, 230 kms south of Sydney.
While the rain certainly kept the audience numbers down,
it was a reminder that distance does not diminish the enjoyment of our audiences.
The SBO’s players often form small
groups where there is a need for fewer
musicians or ‘pop up’ mood music.
On Sunday, 4 November, a group of six
SBO musicians played a few numbers at
the Pioneer Theatre in Castle Hill. SBO
members donated their time to the
event, as the Hills Harmony Choir had
arranged it as a fundraiser for Lifeline.
‘We were feeling a bit thin on the ground
with only a fifth of the usual orchestra on
stage, so we invited the Harmony Choir to
join us for our last number,’
In spring, we performed in the Southern Highlands village of Robertson, famous for its fogs, potatoes and cheese. The last time the SBO performed here was in 2007, eleven years ago. We arrived at the School of Arts Hall, a charming building that was improved in the thirties, but dates back to the late nineteenth century.
Every year the Sydney Balalaika Orchestra plays at the retirement home in Cabramatta named after the famous Russian
Orthodox Saint Sergius of Radonezh, and this year was no
different. The orchestra plays free for the residents who are
amongst our most appreciative of audiences.
‘For many years at St Sergius, I have introduced the orchestra
using the Russian language,’ says musical director Victor
Serghie. ‘But more and more I now find I am using English,’ he
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.