Zhena Folk Chorus

The mission of Zhena Folk Chorus is to perpetuate the tradition of choral music and culture of Eastern Europe and beyond, to heighten awareness of this beautiful and vigorous heritage, and to signify the primary role of women in preserving these important genres of world music.  Based in San Pedro, Zhena Folk Chorus most often appears throughout greater Los Angeles.

The chorus is known for its varied and carefully researched songs of musical and ethnographic interest.  Zhena performs in full, authentic, often museum quality costumes and offers a narrative that engages audiences of all ages by emphasizing interesting bits of village lore and relating the music and lives of villagers to people of today.  The current repertoire includes songs from Bosnia, Bulgaria, Croatia, Georgia, Macedonia, Romania, Russia, Turkey, and Ukraine.

In 2012, Zhena Folk Chorus’ participation in ACTA’s Development Program supported a series of repertoire-building workshops with New York City-based mentor Shelley Thomas.  The chorus leared a collection of endangered songs from Chornobyl, Polissia that were collected by Shelley’s teacher and director, noted Ukrainian ethnomusicologist Yevhen Yefremov.