LYRA pleases with Russian Orthodox hymns, earthy folk songs


LYRA, the choral music ensemble from St. Petersburg, gave another stirring performance — their third since 2015 — of religious hymns from the Russian Orthodox Church and folk songs from the culture’s rich oral tradition.

The four members of  LYRA performed for a mere 40 people in the Perry Performing Arts Center Wednesday evening as part of their 39-performance spring tour in the U.S. Midwest.

The a cappella chorus musical program included eight sacred hymns and seven folk songs, with witty English badinage provided between the songs by LYRA manager and baritone vocalist Sergey Tupitsyn.

Tupitsyn was joined by first tenor Tatiana Melnikova, tenor Denis Patsiuk and bass Alexandr Kudriashov, all postgraduate scholars of the St. Petersburg Conservatory or the Minsk Conservatory, both premier Russian musical academies on a par with the Julliard School in New York City.

LYRA formed in 1994, Tupitsyn said, and the full “musical community” is composed of some 20 members. The group’s overseas tours usually include four to six members. He said they have performed in the U.S. 34 times since the ensemble’s founding.

The members wore formal evening wear for the sacred selections and then donned traditional peasant costumes for the second part of their Wednesday night performance, singing jolly Russian folk songs.

Cathy Clark, director of the Perry Fine Arts programs, welcomed the small but appreciative audience, and Dr. Randy McCaulley introduced LYRA. The group is in the middle of a 40-day tour of the Midwest.

The next event in the Perry Fine Arts calendar is the 43rd annual Fourth of July Musical Extravaganza and Ice Cream Social at the First United Methodist Church in Perry. A variety show is planned, and interested performers should contact Clark at

Perry Fine Arts concerts are free and open to the public. In order to maintain the high quality of the Perry Fine Arts concerts, the non-profit organization depends on tax-deductible donations.


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