National University of «Kyiv-Mohyla Academy»
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Oleksandr Koshyts

Koshyts Oleksandr Antonovych (also spelled as Alexander / Olexandr Koshetz) (13 [25] .08.1875, Romashky village of the Kaniv district, Kyiv oblast, now Myronivskyi district, Kyiv oblast – September 21, 1944, Winnipeg, Canada) – graduate of Kyiv Theological Academy, conductor, regent, composer, ethnographer, educator, memoirist. Born in the priest’s family.

In 1884-1890s he studied at Bohuslav Spiritual School, where he was deeply engaged in church music. In the years of 1890-1896 during his studies at Kyiv Theological Seminary, he paid the utmost attention to music and singing.
In 1897-1901 he studied at Kyiv Theological Academy, and simultaneously attended Kyiv Music School. In 1898-1901 he was the regent of the choir of the academy, greatly enriched its repertoire and, in particular, introduced in it the works by Artemy Vedel, the graduate of Kyiv-Mohyla Academy.

The choir of the Academy was one of the most prominent choirs in Kyiv under the regency of Koshetz. He started the systematic acquisition and arrangement of the musical library of the academy.
While working in the educational institutions of Stavropol, he carried out several ethnographic expeditions which resulted in the collection of about 500 Cossack folk songs. After the return to Kyiv in 1904, he taught at Kyiv Theological Seminary, led the choirs of the University of St. Volodymyr and of the Higher Women’s Courses and worked as a kapellmeister, conductor, and choirmaster at Mykola Sadovsky Theater and at the Kyiv Opera House.
During the time of the Ukrainian Central Rada (Central Council of Ukraine) in 1917, he took an active part in organizing the musical and theatrical life of Kyiv. In 1919-1926 Koshyts headed the Ukrainian Republican Chapel which performed a triumphal tour in Western Europe, North and South America. In the 1930s, living in the United States, he continued to engage in concert activities.

In 1920-1930 Koshyts productively composed in the genre of spiritual music and performed the arrangements of Ukrainian folk songs. As a composer and music director, he participated in the creation of the feature film Marusia based on the play by Mykhailo Starytsky Oy, ne khody, Hrytsiu, ta i na vechornytsi [Oh, Hryts, do not go to the evening parties] (Ukrfilm Corporation, 1938). Olexandr Koshyts died in Winnipeg. He is buried at the Glen Eden Cemetery near Winnipeg.