Year of Russia Day

Balalaika FantasieWednesday, October 19, 2016
12:30 pm - 1:45 pm
Carmichael Student Center University Rooms
Kennesaw Campus

No cost to attend!

Featuring performances of classical Russian music and dance as well as examples of authentic Russian cuisine, the Year of Russia Day serves as an introduction to Russia's culture and to Kennesaw State University's Annual Country Study Program, which has promoted knowledge and understanding of the world's cultures for more than 30 years. 

The Year of Russia Day's festivities include

Balalaika Fantasie 

Balalaika Fantasie

Balalaika Fantasie will be performing a collection of Russian folk songs.

The six musicians of Balalaika Fantasie draw their inspiration from their life-long passion for Russian folk music and their diverse cultural backgrounds. Performing on authentic Russian folk instruments, the group’s repertoire includes Russian, Ukrainian, Gypsy and Jewish folk music.

Meet the Musicians

All musicians of Balalaika Fantasie are members of the Atlanta Balalaika Society Orchestra. Balalaika Fantasie will be joined by guest singer Zhanna Ivanovskay from Minsk. 

Angelina Galashenkova-Reed (domra) has toured the world as a soloist with the Andreyev Russian Folk Orchestra of St. Petersburg, Russia, performing with them at Carnegie Hall’s 100th anniversary. A virtuoso of the three-string domra, she is a winner of Russia’s prestigious “Cup of the North” competition, and holds the title of “Laureate of International Competitions of Professional Folk Artists.” Immigrating to the U.S. in 2001, she has had numerous solo appearances, most notably at Spivey Hall, and is the concertmaster and domra soloist of the Atlanta Balalaika Society Orchestra. Angelina performs in the domra-guitar duo, 9 String Theory.

David C. Cooper (balalaika, domra, vocals) has been recognized by Russian virtuosi for his artistry as a balalaika soloist. Pennsylvania-born, Mr. Cooper is an authority on Russian folk instruments (he plays them all), studied conducting and performance at the Glier Institute of Kiev, Ukraine, and is the artistic director and conductor of the Atlanta Balalaika Society Orchestra. Mr. Cooper’s diverse talents also make him in demand in jazz, Klezmer and steel drum ensembles.

Alla Melnik (bayan, vocals) is a Ukrainian-born bayan soloist who received her music degree from the Kiev University of Arts and Culture. She has performed and taught bayan, music theory and piano throughout Ukraine. Alla has a vast repertoire of folk, classical and popular music, frequently appearing in concerts and festivals. She frequently performs bayan solos with the Atlanta Balalaika Society.

Gregory Carageorge has been a professional contrabass balalaika and string bass player for over thirty years, performing in numerous ethnic music groups such as the Berkeley, CA based Klezmorim and Troika Balalaikas, The Massenkoff Russian Folk Festival, and several very popular touring Greek folk music bands. He was the leader of the house band at New York’s Russian Tea Room, and has appeared with numerous folk, bluegrass, and jazz ensembles.

Irene Perloff McCullough (alto domra) has performed in Russian folk music ensembles in Boston and Detroit and Atlanta, and balalaika-guitar duo, “Russian Romance.”

Kiril Chernoff (alto balalaika) grew up playing balalaika with the Atlanta Balalaika Society and plays prima balalaika in addition to alto balalaika. He is also a scholarship winner with the Balalaika and Domra Association of America.

The Songs

Balalaika Fantasie will be performing a variety of Russian folk songs and dances. The concert will feature many of the following performances (setlist is not finalized):

  • Tosca Po Rodine (Russian March)

  • Autumn Slumber (Waltz)

  • Selski Kadril (Folk Dance piece)

  • Moi Tsiganochki (Gypsy piece sung by Zhanna Ivanoskaya)

  • De Grine Kuzine (Klezmer piece sung by Greg Carageorge)

  • Russian Song (Evgueni Derbenko arrangement)

  • Bulgar Fralach (Jewish Wedding Dance piece)

  • Oy Chorna Ya Se Chorna (Ukrainian piece sung by Dave Cooper)

  • Czardas (Bayan solo by Alla Melnyk)
  • Sabre Dance

  • Lostochka/Derevnya (Russian Fold song medley sung by Zhanna Ivanovskaya)

  • Russian Intermezzo (Composition by Dimitriev)

  • Tum Balalaika (Yiddish piece sung by Greg Carageorge)

  • Ruski Napievi (Balalaika Solo by Dave Cooper)

  • Old Russian Merry-go-round

  • Gari Gari Lyubov Tsiganki (Russian Gypsy piece sung by Dave Cooper

  • Travushka Moravuska (Domra Solo by Angelina Galashenkova-Reed)

  • Svetit Myesats (Russian Folk Song)


'Taste of Russia'


Attendees of the Year of Russia Day will have the chance to sample a full menu of authentic Russian cuisine. Prepared by KSU Catering, the 'Taste of Russia' menu includes the following items:

  • Russian Blini with Caviar and Crème Fraiche
  • Shashlik (Beef on a stick)
  • Piroshki (Dumpling filled with cheese or potato)
  • Marinated Onion Salad
  • Variety of Pickled Vegetables


If you have any questions about attending the Year of Russia Day, please contact Dr. Dan Paracka at or 470-578-6732.