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Host and Hostess of the Show: Olga Sumska,
theatre and movie actress,
and Vasyl Hashchuk, National TV announcer.

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Mykola Mozhovy, Head of the jury,
People's Artist of Ukraine,
handing in the awards.

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       Second Prize - Luidmila Moscal (Chervonohrad).

There are not too many people who, having attained fame during their lives, can go on inspiring new generations after their death.

Volodymyr Ivasyuk, considered to be one of the founders of the Ukrainian pop music, happens to be one of those who continue to be a source of inspiration even after his death. It will probably be safe to say that people of Ukrainian descent all over the world know his songs Chervona Ruta and Vodohrai. They were hits even in the Soviet times  when Ukrainian songs had a very little chance of making it to  the top of the charts. Ivasyuk's star started shining brightly in the seventies and its light continues to set off new stars. Several years ago a music festival named after him was launched and it became a permanent annual feature of music life in this country.
This year Bukovyna, his native land, played host to the International Ivasyuk Pop Song Festival for the third time.

It is Bukovyna that such Ukrainian pop stars as Sofia Rotaru, Vasyl Zinkevych and Nazariy Yaremchuk come from, and the popularity of these singers was so great that it would be right to say that they constitute an important epoch in the history of Ukrainian pop music.

Mykola Mozgovy, a much-admired singer and composer, hails from the land of Bukovyna too where singing is much loved. It is thanks to his efforts that the Festival was organised on a wide scale and went off without a hitch. And this despite all the financial problems that this country is facing. In the past three months Mozgovy had two such large-scale events organised.

The town of Chernivtsi was the venue of the Festival which was, in a sense, a contest as well. The golden autumn was brightly lit by stage lights and new pop stars. Maryna Odolska, a young singer from Kyiv who has already gained a measure of popularity, won the Grand Prix of the contest but in all fairness it should be said that both the public and the journalists favoured Hanna Zotieva from Kamyanets-Podilsky more. She compensated for what she might have lacked in singing skills and self-assuredness with a high expressivity of emotion and by giving herself totally to the image and mood of her songs. These qualities brought her the first prize.

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Grand Prix - Maryna Odolska (Kyiv).
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      First Prize - Hanna Zotieva (Kamianets-Podilsky)
The second prize went to Lyudmyla Moskal from the town of Chervonohrad. Ms Moskal seems to have all the potential needed to make it really big. She lives in a small town and does not have enough experience of performing on a big stage in front of capacity audiences but there is nothing provincial in her. All she needs for making it to the top is some support and more experience. The third prize was shared by Lina Skachko from Kyiv and Pavlo Mrezhuk from Zhytomyr. Opinions, expressed concerning their performance, differed sharply but time will show their true worth. Special prizes were given to Tetyana Porchyk from Khmelnytsky, Angelika Shcherbakova from Lviv and Lyubov Tymchuk from Chernivtsi which is often called "a most musical town in Ukraine."

The performers did their best, the audience evidently enjoyed the performance, and this makes it possible to conclude that a new generation of pop singers has come to the fore. And it has also become clear that Bukovyna's fame as a land turning out excellent singers will continue into the future. The festival was, by the way, held at the time when the town of Chernivtsi, a cultural centre of Bukovyna, was celebrating its 550th anniversary which made the pop stars on the stage and the stars of the fireworks shine even brighter.

Vasyl Ilashchuk
Photos by Olexandr Burkovsky

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