2018 Harris

Share |

our last Summer concert!

 SaturDAY, August 25 - 7:00 - 8:00 PM

Workhouse Arts Center

2018 - 2019 Performance Calendar

Share |

All 2018 and 2019 Performances

Opportunities with the WBS

Share |

JOIN THE WBS AS A MUSICIAN     WBS Has Openings for Musicians and Vocalists

         The WBS Orchestra currently has openings for stringed, wind and percussion instrument players, as well as vocalists. Musicians with some experience (though not necessarily with Russian instruments) and the ability to read music are encouraged to contact Music Director This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it." target="_top" title="mailto:This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.">Maxwell McCullough to discuss WBS orchestra activities. A limited number of 'loaner' instruments are available, and lessons are offered on balalaika, domra and bayan.


         We are a community-based, volunteer orchestra composed of musicians ranging from self-taught amateurs to conservatory graduates.  We have members from pre-teens to eighty-plus of age.  Some of us have Russian or Ukrainian heritage, but many do not -- we play because we love the music, enjoy each other and appreciate the unique opportunity we have to work with a true professional such as Svetlana Nikonova to create music which delights us in the making as much as it does our audiences in the listening.


          More than half of us did not know how to play a balalaika, domra, gusli or bayan before joining the WBS.  Some had played mandolin, guitar, piano, ukulele, banjo, dulcimer, woodwinds or horns in their earlier musical lives and took pleasure in learning something new from our talented teachers.  All of us work hard at perfecting our art, and we believe that shows in the quality of our performances.  


         We'd be happy to have you learn more about us.




          While our orchestra members are volunteers, our conductor is a paid professional and the orchestra incurs additional expenses in concert production, community education and outreach, costume and instrument acquisition, CD production, rehearsal space rental and the presentation of world-class guest artists to our audiences.  Our financial supporters, recognized by membership in The Balalaika Guild, provide the solid fiscal base necessary to achieve these and other objectives.  Membership in the Guild starts with a contribution of $50 and levels of annual and sustained participation range upwards to $10,000.  Guild members receive a quarterly Newsletter, enjoy special performances during the year and have priority seating at WBS performances.  More importantly, they enjoy the satisfaction of supporting a local arts ourganization with an international reputation for excellence.  We value their friendship and their generous support.  


PARTICIPATE WITH THE WBS AS A VOLUNTEER~ A little time or a lot ... all help is welcome


          An organization such as ours with over 60 musicians, an ambitious performance schedule and year-around rehearsals needs plenty of help, and we very much appreciate the volunteers who work with us in concert logistics, as stagehands, in publicity and outreach, in ticket mnagement, on our finance committee, as audio, video and sound technicians, on CD production and many other areas.  We're looking for people who can enjoy distributing posters for upcoming concerts, acting as ushers or selling tickets, working the sound booth, helping with Website design, securing performance venues, managing our costume, music and instrument inventory, doing outreach with other community organizations, legal reviews, fundraising and social event planning.



Updated: 01/12/12

Home (2)

Share |


Welcome to the Web home of the Washington Balalaika Society.  Here you will find information about the WBS Orchestra, our Ensembles, our performance schedule and lots more.  If you're a musician yourself and live in the Washington area you may be interested in when and where we rehearse, how to join the Society or instruction on the domra, balalaika or bayan.  If you're  a lover of fine music, you'll want to know where we'll be appearing this season, who will be performing with us and how you can get tickets to our concerts.

Within these pages you'll also find interesting  background on the origins and history of the Russian folk orchestra, descriptions of all of  the instruments we play, how to be a member of our Balalaika Guild, how to buy our CDs and a great deal more.

The WBS is a community-based orchestra of more than 50 musicians with a mixture of amateur and professional training.   We work hard to earn and maintain our reputation as one of the finest of our genre.

We are also a community of  friends. Members thoroughly enjoy the warmth and hospitality of the group and we encourage others of all ages to join in the fun -- after all, as the saying goes, "We don't stop playing because we grow old -- we grow old because we stop playing."

Our conductor and artistic director, Svetlana Nikonova, is a graduate of the Rimsky-Korsakov Conservatory in St. Petersburg, Russia, and previously worked with the world-renowned Andreyev Balalaika Orchestra there.  She is a talented arranger and domra professional as well as an experienced conductor, and we look forward to many more outstanding  concert seasons under her leadership.

Whatever your reason for visiting, we're glad you did and hope to have the opportunity to meet you in person. We're always happy to hear from you, and we encourage you to stop by often.

Jan Bohm, President



The orchestra performed at Millennium Stage at the

John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts.

Click below to see and hear that performance.


Click here: The Washington Balaliaka Society Orchestra at the Kennedy Center's Millennium Stage.