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the St. Nicholas Balalaika Orchestra

History & Highlights

The St. Nicholas Balalaika Orchestra is now in its 38th year. It is the only balalaika orchestra in the State of Ohio, and the only surviving church-based orchestra in the United States.

The orchestra is an all-volunteer group of dedicated amateur musicians who are drawn to Slavic folk music and consider this their hobby. The musicians are from all walks of life and range from age 15 to 83. Their love of music and the pleasure they receive from sharing it with audiences everywhere has created a special bond that ties all generations together.

Director Mary Jane Malackany, born in Pennsylvania, studied under Father Dimitri Ermakov in McKeesport and performed with the Balalaika Strings of Western Pennsylvania. She is an active member of the < a href="">Balalaika and Domra Association of America, an energetic church and community volunteer, a wife, and a mother of four children.

Since its inception, The St. Nicholas Balalaika Orchestra has had dozens of challenging opportunities and memorial events, including:

  • Hosting the 2006 BDAA Convention
  • Performances with the Firelands Symphony Orchestra in Sandusky, Ohio
  • Performances with the Tuscarawas Philharmonic Orchestra in New Philadelphia, Ohio
  • Participation in the gala opening of the “Faberge in America” tour at the Cleveland Museum of Art
  • Performance at The Youngstown Symphony Guild “Russian Rhapsody Ball,” held at the historic Edward G. Powers Auditorium in Youngstown, Ohio
  • Featured performances at 22nd International Convention of The Balalaika and Domra Association (Pittsburgh, Pa.) and the 25th Anniversary Convention (Washington, D.C.)
  • Serving as exclusive musical entertainment at the Russian Brotherhood Organization Supreme Conventions in both Scranton and Pittsburgh, Pa.
  • Numerous prestigious concerts, festivals, and cultural events.

  •       The St. Nicholas Balalaika Orchestra       
    5507 Severn Circle NW      Canton, Ohio 44708