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Piano Teacher, Choral Conductor

(Artistic Director of Edmonton’s 'Dnipro' Choir 1976-2011)

Date and Place of Birth: January 7, 1932 in Chortkiv, Ukraine

Date of Interview: July 11, 2016

Place of Interview: Toronto, Ontario

Interviewer: Jurij Darewych

Length of Interview: 01:32:50 (raw)


MD: And then there were many conductors who came to Ancaster and Toronto. There were a lot of applicants from Edmonton, Calgary, from the West, and we thought "why do we have to come to the East, to Toronto? We will organize our own courses and invite everyone to us!" And this is how we started these conductor courses – which could be called my 'baby.' I was the head of the music company at the time, and I was carried away by it all. It was a huge amount of work. We even published an almanac of our 15 years. They came to us, I mean young conductors and even more professional ones from Argentina, from Australia, from Ukraine, and I don't even have to mention America and Canada. We ran these courses for 20 years.

Interviewer: But all this time you were also conducting the choir...

MD: Yes, yes. The courses took place for only 2 weeks in the summer. We had very good…Maestro Kolesnik became responsible for the education, for the repertoire, and became the head instructor. We even had Zenon Lawryshyn for many years. From Detroit we hosted, Kushnir, there was this Bogdan Kushnir. We had the famous Pavlo Macenko with us. We even had Ivan Hamkala from Ukraine, the conductor of the Kyiv... and many others. Then he taught us and we were able to teach ourselves...


  1. Maria's sister, Roxolana Roslak was interviewed by Sophia Isajiw on June 23, 2017 for the Oral History of Ukrainian Canada (OHUC) project. UCRDC File #446 (Video)

  1. Maria Dytyniak, 1998 Hetman Award recipient, the Ukrainian Canadian Congress-Alberta Provincial Council for “significant volunteer achievements of outstanding Ukrainian Albertans."

  1. Dytyniak, Maria. "Ukrainski Kompozytory (Ukrainian Composer): Bio-Bibliographic Guide." Edmonton, Alberta: Canadian Institute of Ukrainian Studies Press, 1986. Print.

  1. Hamkalo, I.D. "Dytyniak, Maria." Encyclopedia of Modern Ukraine ["Дитиняк, Марія.” Енциклопедія Сучасної України]. 2007. Web.

  1. Dytyniak, Maria. "A Concert of Ukrainian Music by Young Talents." [“Відбувся концерт української музики юних талантів.”] New Pathway [Новий Шлях.] May 26, 2016. Web. 26 травня, 2016.

  1. Maria Dytyniak biography, Artistic Director, 'Dnipro' choir of Edmonton (1976-2011. Choir website

  1. "Maria Dytyniak, Conductor of the 'Dnipro' Choir, passes on the baton" ["Марія Дитиняк, диригент хору "Дніпро", передає батуту"] Infoukes website

excerpt from the Interview with MARIA DYTYNIAK

The interviews can be accessed at the UCRDC. Please contact us at: office@ucrdc.org