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Immigrant from Ukraine performing first Bandura concert this Saturday

Iryna Levchenko will take the stage at Zion United Church this Saturday, May 18 at 6 pm

A local Ukrainian musician is planning her first concert since moving to Moose Jaw. Iryna Levchenko is a Bandura player who was displaced from her home in Ukraine due to the ongoing war.

This event will take place on Saturday, May 18, at Zion Church, with admission based on donations. The concert will begin at 6:00 pm and continue until the performance concludes at 7:00 pm.

Iryna is a very talented musician with a deep love and passion for the bandura. She started playing the instrument at a very young age and continued practicing it for twenty years. She was an artist of the National Orchestra of Folk Instruments and also taught the bandura at a music school.

"I started playing the bandura when I was nine, and for 20 years in Ukraine, I was an artist of the National Orchestra of Folk Instruments of Ukraine, and I was a bandura teacher... For me, music has been and remains a huge part of my life," Iryna Levchenko explained.

The bandura is a symbol of Ukraine to Iryna, and she is very excited to share the joy of this instrument with Moose Jaw for the first time.The bandura is akin to a guitar mixed with a harp and traditionally made exclusively in Lviv, Ukraine. It produces a sound that is emphatic and gentle, resembling the sound of a harp but with a larger range of tonal control. It is an instrument that can have more than 60 strings.

Iryna and her daughter fled Ukraine in 2022. With the help of a group called ‘Ukraine Help and Exchange in Moose Jaw,’ Iryna, her daughter Zlata, her sister, and her sister's son were able to settle in Moose Jaw.

Unfortunately, when Iryna and her family left Ukraine, she was only able to take one bag with her. This caused her to leave behind her treasured bandura. Thankfully, a bandura was located in Edmonton, and thanks to the generosity of a private donor, it was restored and brought to Moose Jaw. This restoration took months to complete and cost the private donor $3,500, only being finished in February.

Iryna is full of joy and excitement at the thought of performing again. She hopes that the community of Moose Jaw buys into and enjoys a piece of Ukrainian history.

If you want to learn more about this event, you can visit the Zion Church Website events page at

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