Ukrainian Orthodox Cathedral of St. Volodymyr


The Parish of St. Volodymyr Cathedral in New York — 90 years

Nadiya Burmaka

Zakordonna Gazette Ukrainian American Bi-Weekly Newspaper, December 15-30, 2016

November 27, 2016 the community of St. Volodymyr Cathedral, found at 160 West 82 Street, New York, celebrated 90 years since its establishment. The holiday was a great success. The thoughtful script, festively decorated hall, comfortable seating arrangement, the rich, diverse and home-made spread was provided by the sisterhood and the church board. Everyone helped out, but certain individual members I would like to highlight by name.

Sikora Bohdan, who holds the Cantor position for the Cathedral since 1996, a graduate of Lviv State Conservatory, versed in both Opera and Chamber singing. HIs lyrically rich, dramatic tenor adds a special insight to the reading of the Holy Apostle. From 2004, Bohdan Sikora was invited as a soloist of the Bronx Opera in New York. He is dedicated to community affairs. For the celebration of the Parish’s 90th anniversary, he gathered 1,500 dollars in advertisements, which covered half of the costs of releasing a memorial book.

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The Ukrainian Orthodox Cathedral of St. Volodymyr celebrated its 90th anniversary.

Valentyn Labunskiy, Kateryna Kindras

Nova Gazeta, December 1, 2016

The celebration of 90th anniversary of the Cathedral began with the Episcopal Serviсе of God, conducted by the Head of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church in the United States His Eminence Metropolitan Antony and Archbishop Daniel іn collaboration with the current rector of the church Fr. Volodymyr Muzychka and other priests.

The choir of St. Volodymyr’s Cathedral under the direction of Regent Mykhailo Lev accompanied the Divine Liturgy with truly angelic voices, аnd, as always, the Cantor of the Cathedral Bohdan Sikora, who celebrated the 20th anniversary of his ministry in this church on October 1, 2016, read the Apostle with insight.

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Glory to Jesus Christ!

Excerpt from “The 90th Anniversary of the Parish of Saint Volodymyr Cathedral in New York” St. Volodymyr Orthodox Cathedral Editorial Board.

On the occasion of the 90-th Anniversary of the founding of the Ukrainian Orthodox parish in New York — We sincerely congratulate His Eminence Metropolitan Antony, Pastor of the Cathedral of the Mitrophor Archpriest — Father Volodymyr Muzychka, the Board and its Chairman — Mr. Vsevolod Salenko, Parishioners, the Brotherhood, the Sisterhood, the Cathedral Choir lead by Regent — Mr. Mykhailo Lev. God willing we shall celebrate the 100-th Anniversary devoted to serving our native church and the Ukrainian People.


Cantor Bohdan Sikora, Wife Stefania Starovetska, and Daughter Yuliya Sikora.

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Thanksgiving Day — like an Annual Confession

Valentyn Labunskiy, Kateryna Kindras. New York

Nova Gazeta, November 30, 2017

Parishioners and their guests organized a heartfelt thank you to the Cantor Bohdan Sikora, who that blessed Sunday service, read the apostles so elatedly.

Mitrophor Archpriest Father Volodymyr Muzychka blessed the Permanent Mission of Ukraine at the United Nations. 

New York

Ukrainian National Tribune, August 5, 2012

Thursday, April 5th, this year, the blessing ritual of the building and premises of the Permanent Mission of Ukraine to the United Nations was carried out. Invited to implement this important ritual were Mitrophor Archpriest Father Volodymyr Muzychka and Cantor Bohdan Sikora.

Overseeing the blessing were Representative of Ukraine to the United Nations Yuriy A. Sergeyev, and mission workers, many of whom are parishioners of the Church of St. Volodymyr . They were amazed by this majestic rite. 

After the conclusion of the blessing, there was a warm get-together, at which Mitrophor Archpriest Father Volodymyr Muzychka gifted a blessed icon on behalf of himself and the church. 

We remind you, in 1992 the Foundation in Support of Diplomatic Missions of Ukraine Inc, founded in the USA right after the proclamation of Ukraine’s independence (Co-founders Dr. Stephan Vorokh and engineer Damian Korduba), on account of the generous donations of American Ukrainians, in its own right, helped there then financially weak Ukrainian nation purchase the premises of the Permanent Mission of Ukraine to the United Nations at 220 E 51 Street in New York.

From the ritual. Using the opportunity, we congratulate the Cantor of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of St. Volodymyr, soloist of the Bronx opera, Bohdan Sikora, with a glorious 50th birthday!

Let your voice continue to please opera listeners and praise the Almighty. Happy Birthday!

Pictured left to right: Cantor Bohdan Sikora, Representative of Ukraine to the United Nations Yuriy A. Sergeyev and Pastor of the Cathedral of the Mitrophor Archpriest Father Volodymyr Muzychka.

Pictured left to right: Mitrophor Archpriest Father Volodymyr Muzychka, Cantor Bohdan SIkora, Representative of Ukraine to the United Nations Yuriy A. Sergeyev and Permanent Mission of Ukraine employees.

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A Chapel Came to Life in a Ukrainian Village

Levko Khmelkovskiy. Somerset, New Jersey

Svoboda, July 31, 2020

After a long break, a prayer service was held in the Chapel of the Ukrainian Orthodox Cathedral of St. Volodymyr in New York. Prayer to the Blessed Virgin Mary was served by the Rector of the Cathedral — Mitrophor Archpriest Volodymyr Muzychka. He was assisted by singing subdeacon Ihor Protskak, Student Pavlo Vysotskiy from the Ukrainian Orthodox Seminary of St. Sofia, Cantor Bohdan Sikora, Choir Regent Natalia Vashchenko and others. Father V. Muzychka’s sermon concluded by thanking Cantor Bohdan Sikora and all those who contribute to the preservation and renewal of the historic chapel, after which G. Fedoriv spoke about its glorious past.

Image 1: “Subdeacon Ihor Protsak and Student Pavlo Vysotskiy,.”

Image 2: “Guests from New York in ‘Ukrainian VIlalge’.”

Image 3: “Mitrophor Archpriest Volodymyr Muzychka”

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They Prayed for the Fallen Soldiers

Levko Khmelkovskiy. Somerset, New Jersey

Svoboda, September 25, 2020

On the occasion of the Day of Defenders of Ukraine Rector of the Cathedral — Mitrophor Archpriest Volodymyr Muzychka held a prayer service in the Chapel of the Ukrainian Orthodox Cathedral of St. Volodymyr in New York in memory of the fallen soldiers. A prayer service to the Blessed Virgin Mary was also held as well as the consecration of flowers. The service was assisted by Bronx Opera Soloist Bohdan Sikora.

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Bohdan Sikora – Knight of Ukrainian singing

Levko Khmelkovskiy. Somerset, New Jersey

Svoboda, July 1-8, 2022

This is not the first time opera soloist Bohdan Sikora, graduate of the republican competition of opera singers in the name of M. Lysenko, sang in the chapel of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of St. Volodymyr (New York) at the «Ukrainian village» in Somerset, New Jersey. (June 25th, 2022)

The liturgy was served in the name of victory in the war with Russia by the Mitrophorian Archpriest Volodymyr Muzychka. Bohdan’s singing became the decoration of the Divine Service. He has served in this church since 1996, when he came to the USA from Lviv, where he was born.

Photo: Diplomat of Republican Competition of opera singers named after Mykola Lysenko in Kyiv.

The life path often depends on the professional vocation of the family. Bohdan Sikora was no exception. His father, Volodymyr, sang in the « Boyan » choir, and his mother, Maria, naturally had a magical soprano voice.

His parents sent their little son to a music studio to learn to play the bayan. Тhen in Lviv he attended the music-pedagogical college named after Filaret Kolessa, conservatory named after Mykola Lysenko, and completed and internship at the Lviv opera.

As a young man he joined the song and dance ensemble of the Carpathian Army District as a chorister, and later as a soloist with the songs « If a Had a Gray Horse », « Native Land », and also with the song « When Girls Luck at us» by the artistic director of the ensemble V. Khalavchuk.

Bohdan Sikora was invited to the opera when he became a Diplomat of republican competition of opera singers named after Mykola Lysenko in Kyiv, where he skillfully performed three works by M. Lysenko and a song by I. Karabyts.

He appeared on the Lviv stage in the main parts of three operas one of which (« Kupalo » by Anatol Vakhnyanyn) was shown by Lviv television, and recorded in the Music Fund of Ukraine in the capital. All this took place during the years of the USSR, and we should pay tribute to Bohdan Sikora, who sang Ukrainian folk, rifle and rebel songs in those conditions.

The fame of the talented singer grew in creative groups and among music lovers. He was a soloist of the « Homin » and « Credo » choirs. Нe performed with the first choir in 1990 in the USA, with the second – in 1991 in Italy. Іt was there that a memorable event, a concert for Pope John Paul II, took place in his Castel Gandolfo residence. When the choir began the song « Verkhovyno, you are our world » The Pope joined the choir and sang in his native Polish. At that time, hymns were recorded for Vatican Radio and Zurich Radio in Switzerland.

It was already at the dawn of Ukraine’s independence, with the advent of which Bohdan Sikora began to sing as a soloist of the Ostap Stakhiv Folk Theater and performed in Poland, Russia and Canada.

In 1996, at the invitation of relatives Sofia and Joseph Gural to whom he is very grateful, he came to the USA and decided to go to the academic opera stage. Of course the Americans did not immediately notice the unusual newcomer. 

From then until now, he sings in the choir of Ukrainian Orthodox Cathedral of St. Volodymyr in New York, became a cantor of this Cathedral, for which he graduated from a special church school in Lviv. His wife Stefania and daughter Yuliya came to the USA. Besides the church Bohdan Sikora sang (and sings) at numerous public events with the « Dumka » choir, as a soloist of « Ukrainian Family » group in honor of Taras Shevchenko, in memory of the victims of the Holodomor at St. Patrick’s Cathedral, to help flood victims of Transcarpathia, and festivals and other Ukrainian holidays at « Soyuzivka », « Verkhovyna » and in National Homes. Now his creative activity is aimed at supporting Ukraine in the confrontation with the russian aggressor.

People’s artists of Ukraine sang with Bohdan Sikora in joints concerts, Stefan Pyatnychko, Olekssndr Hromysh, Vasyl Zinkevych, Nazariy Yaremchuk, Pavlo Dvorskiy, Taras Petrynenko, Oksana Bilozir.

Michael Spearman, the director and chief conductor of the Bronx Opera Theater, whose father was a native of Ukraine, invited Bohdan Sikora to the professional American stage. The soloist was entrusted with leading parts in operas by Giacomo Puccini, Giuseppe Verdi, and Wolfgang Mozart.

Bohdan Sikora’s talent and creative activity were appreciated in a number of television and radio programs, art publications. Ukrainian composer, musicologist, teacher, Honored Worker of Art of Ukraine Oksana Lykhovyd, wrote about Bohdan Sikora: Excellent vocal makings – timbre rich lyrical tenor, clear and expressive intonation, wide range repertoire – immediately evoked appreciation and recognition among audiences. Bohdan Sikora became a consistent participant of countless Ukrainian Festivals in New York State and beyond. This faith and dedication to the Ukrainian Folk Songs, romance, Ukrainian operatic arias, native culture, became the primary driving force behind the development of his artistic talent. To these words should be added the sincerity, sociability, and openness of Bohdan Sikora. He celebrates his 60th birthday on July 17.

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Wrapping up events

Helen Smindak

The Ukrainian Weekly No. 3, Sunday, January 21, 2001

…Artist JANE POLLACK of Norwalk, Conn., has transformed an artistic hobby into a profitable business that earns her $75,000 a year by decorating eggs with American quilt patterns. A former elementary school art teacher, she bases her art on the ancient wax-and-dye technique of Ukrainian egg decorating, which she learned from a colleague in the 1970s. Interviewed last August by Annika Pergament during a CBS news program, she described how she “revived and revitalized” the Ukrainian art, tuning plain eggs into intricately decorated eggs and eggshells into delicate earrings and brooches (one set of earrings and brooch features a Ukrainian pysanka design centered with a deer). Ms. Pollack has created specially decorated eggs for President and Mrs. Roland Reagan and for the Clintons, and has received national exposure in Country Living and other magazines, as well as in museum gift shops and on television. After studying marketing, she created a website ( and identified and added a customer base. Her book “Decorating Eggs: Exquisite Designs With Wax and Dye” (1996) is considered the definitive work on this new art form, and she has now added “motivational speaker” to her resumé. Depending on the intricacy of the pattern and other factors, quilt- decorated eggs and traditional Ukrainian pysanky are priced from $30 to $350 (complete with stand and glass dome) and jewelry from $39 to $89. Visitors to Ms Pollack’s website are referred to Surma: The Ukrainian Shop, for information about ordering Ukrainian Easter egg supplies.

DR. ELLEN REEDER, deputy director for art at the Brooklyn Museum of Art, is an engaging speaker with an infectious laugh who can put any audience at ease. But when she talks about her latest finished project — the Scythian artifacts exhibit from Ukraine currently touring several museums in North America — her voice and manner exude extra excitement and pleasure. She’s simply wild about Ukraine, its natural and man-made wonders and its archaeological treasures. Addressing a packed auditorium at the Ukrainian Institute of America in October while slides of Ukraine were being presented, Dr. Reeder spoke enthusiastically about her work as curator of the “Gold of the Nomads” exhibition. While preparing the exhibit, she took many trips to Ukraine to visit its museums and some of the 40,000 lavishly provisioned burial mounds (kurhany) left behind by the Scythians. She also visited historical sites like the Taras Shevchenko Museum in Kaniv, the Urals where Shevchenko was exiled, the golden-domed churches of Kyiv, the city of Pereiaslav — which she considers “great potential for tourism in Ukraine” and viewed some of the country’s 3,000 rivers and tributaries and “land that stretches out forever.”

Tenor BOHDAN SIKORA, from the Lviv Opera, and soprano LYDIA BYCHKOVA, a principal soloist with the Kyiv Opera, led the impromptu singing of Ukrainian carols at a parish luncheon that followed the Christmas liturgy at St. Vladimir’s Ukrainian Orthodox Cathedral on January 7. Both are members of St. Vladimir’s Choir. Mr. Sikora, a graduate of both the Pedagogical College in Lviv and the Lviv Conservatory and a 1988 laureate of the Mykola Lysenko Contest for young opera singers, studied church conducting and cantoring in Lviv. He has appeared in principal tenor roles at the Lviv Opera Studio and has concertized and toured with several ensembles from Ukraine, including the Song and Dance Military Ensemble, the Homin Choir, the Lviv Choir of the Credo Polytechnic Institute and the Ostap Stakhiv Folklore Theater. Ms. Bychkova, who also sings in the Dumka Chorus of New York, is scheduled to give a recital at the Ukrainian Institute of America on February 11, sponsored by the Ukrainian Academy of Arts and Sciences.

The joint collaboration of the YARA ARTS GROUP, artists from Ukraine and the Gogol Bordello band headed by Eugene Hutz brought an unusual and highly entertaining work to the LaMama Experimental Theatre in December. Yara group’s 10th theater piece, “Song Tree,” featured traditional polyphonic Ukrainian female singing and the explosive Ukrainian ethno-avant-garde music of the Gogol Bordello band. Though the storyline was fairly simple, featuring characters from ancient “Malanka” and “Koza” rituals who descend on a woman buried in work and science, the overall effect of multilingual songs, dances, music, costumes and stage setting created a stunning original work that had the audience spellbound. Outstanding work was contributed by Ukrainian artists Maryana Sadovska and Yaryna Turianska, who were joined last summer by Yara director Virlana Tkacz and video director Andrea Odezynska in recording pre-Christmas carols and winter songs in the villages of Poltava and the Carpathians. The gypsy singer known only as Piroshka created a tumult of color and sound in her appearances with the band. The multilingual piece, repeated in matinees and evening performances during its three-day run, was directed by Ms. Tkacz, with music by Ms. Sadovska, Ms. Turianska and Mr. Hutz. Yara artists included Zabryna Guevara, Akiko Hiroshima, Jina Oh and Meredith Wright, while the band utilized the talents of Mr. Hutz, Sergey Ryabtsev and Alexander Kosachkoff.

Helen Smindak’s e-mail address is

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Recalling the holiday…

Helen Smindak

The Ukrainian Weekly, Sunday, February 8, 1998

Greeting everyone heartily, Mr. Plishka presents a sampling of the Christmas carols he recorded not long ago with the Marble Collegiate Church Choir, soprano Camellia Johnson and organist/conductor Richard Erickson (“Christmas with Paul Plishka” on the Naxos label). With pianist Earl Buys at the keyboard, he offers the beautiful “O, Holy Night,” then for a change of style and tempo, he launches into a famous comic aria he has repeated many times at the Met to great applause — “Madamino: il catologo,” Leporello’s listing of the Don’s conquest of women, from Mozart’s “Don Giovanni.” After a pause to autograph CDs, he invites the men in the audience to join him in singing the stirring “Adeste Fideles” (Oh Come, All Ye Faithful).

As Mr. Plishka’s robust voice fills Tower Records’ second-floor space with another CD selection, the Ukrainian carol “Nova Radist Stala,” you pull yourself away from the scene (with regret) and take the subway a few stops further uptown to West 82nd Street and St. Volodymyr Ukrainian Orthodox Church.

A community dinner is in progress in the church hall, and Bohdan Sikora, a former soloist of the Lviv Opera Studio, is entertaining the congregation with Ukrainian folk songs. His agreeable tenor voice, previously heard in the U.S. when he toured with the Homin Choir of Lviv and in Canada with the Ostap Stakhiv Folklore Theater, renders a sturdy “Nalyvaite, brattia,” arranged by Mykola Kolessa, and Anatoly Pashkevych’s arrangement of “Ishov Kozak Potaikom.” Tetiana Ohinska, a cellist by profession who loves to sing, joins Mr. Sikora in the lively folk song “Chorni Ochka Yak Teren,” prompting Lusia Petruchenko and Anna Bober to chime in on the final selection, Thor Bilozor’s arrangement of “Zelene Zhyto, Zelene.”

Later, over dessert, you talk with Mr. Sikora, a graduate of the Lviv Conservatory of Music who has also studied at the School of Church Conducting and Cantors in Lviv. He is directing St. Volodymyr’s choir for a few weeks during the absence of conductor and ballet dancer Stephanie Godino (on tour with the New York City Opera). Finally, after a pleasant conversation with Ludmila Petrash, a blonde airline pilot who flies domestic flights in Ukraine, you soar homeward on a jet stream of church music, Christmas carols, arias and folk songs.

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