Shira Cion, Director
Few things evoke the magic of the winter holidays as the transcendent splendor of the human voice. Kitka has researched and discovered a treasure trove of seasonal music from a wide variety of Eastern European ethnic and spiritual traditions. Wintersongs showcases material ranging from rousing Slavic folk carols to lush, meditative Eastern Orthodox sacred choral works… from pre-Christian incantations for the longest nights of the year to Medieval Sephardic Chanukah songs to original new pieces inspired by the beauty and mystery of wintertime.
Kitka is an American women’s vocal arts ensemble inspired by traditional songs and vocal techniques from Eastern Europe and Eurasia. Founded in 1979 as an offshoot of the Westwind International Folk Ensemble, Kitka began as a grassroots group of amateur singers from diverse ethnic and musical backgrounds who shared a passion for the stunning dissonances, asymmetric rhythms, intricate ornamentation, and resonant strength of traditional Eastern European women’s vocal music. Since its informal beginnings, the group has evolved into an award-winning professional touring ensemble known for its artistry, versatility, and mastery of the demanding techniques of regional vocal styling, as well as for its innovative explorations in new music for female voices. A frequently occurring symbolic word in Balkan folk songs, “Kitka” means bouquet in Bulgarian and Macedonian.