In the spring of 1993, conductor Roger McMurrin and his wife, Diane, founded the Christian NGO “Music Mission Kyiv (MMK)” and the Kyiv Symphony Orchestra and Chorus (KSOC). Their aim was to introduce a Ukrainian audience to religious classical music, such as Handel’s Messiah and Brahms’ Requiem, that had been banned under 70 years of Soviet rule.

The KSOC soon developed an international following and made countless recordings. Under the patronage of the MMK, the orchestra made its first tour of the US in 1996, performing 27 concerts in churches and other religious establishments. This was expanded to 41 concerts in 1998 and over 90 performances in churches, schools, and major theaters during 2000. 

This year’s KSOC tour – the 13th overall – launched at the Northland Church in Longwood, Florida on Sept. 14. Titled “Hope for Ukraine,” it comprises 13 concerts all taking place in the the south east US. Venues will span the States of Kentucky, North Carolina, Alabama, Virginia and Ohio, concluding on Oct. 15 at the Moorings Presbyterian Church in Naples, Florida.


A notable difference between this series of concerts and those that have gone before, is that only female members will take part. Male performers were not permitted to travel outside Ukraine during wartime.

Under the leadership of Conductor Vika Konchakovskaya, the 30 women that make up the ensemble will perform a variety of music, not only including sacred classical pieces, but Ukrainian folk songs and contemporary jazz works, all while dressed in traditional costume.

Polish-Ukrainian Reconciliation – Bridging the Gap
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Polish-Ukrainian Reconciliation – Bridging the Gap

In the emotionally charged period of Polish-Ukrainian historical disputes, against the backdrop of Russia’s brutal war on Ukraine, events are taking place that build bridges between people.

The KSOC is sponsored by several corporate and individual donors and, while all concerts will be free, collections will be made with proceeds from each performance going to support humanitarian activities in Ukraine.

Greg Kannon, current MMK CEO, was quoted on the website of the University of South Florida (WUSF) as saying that this was “an opportunity [for the women of KSOC] to do their part to help the soldiers on the front line, to help those recovering, and this is how they can use their skills to bring attention to Ukraine and raise support.”

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