Ihor Kowal - Choir Director and Cantor of Christ the King Ukrainian Catholic Church, Boston.
Ihor was born in Coventry, England into a large musical family. His father was a clarinetist in a Polish army band, and directed the village wind and brass band together with the village choir in Biskovichi. After coming to England his father organized and directed the Ukrainian choir in Coventry. From the age of seven Ihor took piano and singing lessons. At age ten he won first prize in singing in the Coventry Music Festival. His father paid particular attention to singing in the family and Ihor with his two sisters sang duets and trios at many Ukrainian functions all over England. Unfortunately, his father died when Ihor was sixteen, leaving behind eight children (four boys and four girls) of which Ihor was the oldest. Ihor started to play the clarinet in his late teens and organized a family instrumental quartet which was invited to play at many functions. At the age of eighteen he started a Ukrainian youth choir in Coventry which sang the Liturgy as well as secular music.
Ihor emigrated to Boston in 1975 and married Irena Salecka in Hartford. In 1980 he organized a new choir at Christ the King in Boston. The average age of choir members was thirty years old. One year later Oles Kuzma took over this new choir. In 1989 Ihor again became director of Christ the King choir. In 1990 Ihor was sent by his employer to Wiesbaden Germany, to start up operations for Computervision in Central and Eastern Europe. From Germany, Ihor and his family moved to London where he joined ICI in 1992 which later became Astra Zeneca and subsequently Syngenta. In 1993, Ihor was sent to Kyiv, to manage the ICI operation in Ukraine. Ihor was General Director in Ukraine 1993 -1999, and 2001-2005.
During his time in Ukraine he sang with the Vidubychi Church Choir, learned to play the bandura and made many friends in the Ukrainian musical world. Through his wife Irena who had 2 books published in Ukraine as well as having her two plays play in repertory at the National and Molody Theatres in Kyiv, Ihor also made many interesting friends in the Ukrainian theatrical world.
Ihor took early retirement in 2005 and returned to Concord and resumed as choir director at Christ the King. Ihor and Irena have two children, Sonia who lives with her husband James in Boston and Adrian who has his own business in London. Ihor would dearly like to replenish the church choir with younger people, particularly those who have come recently from Ukraine. It is somewhat sad to say that the nucleus of the choir is virtually the same as when it was first organized in 1980. Our sacred music is very rich and needs new members to continue the liturgical tradition.
If you are interested in joining the choir, then please call Ihor at 978 254 5070. Thank you.