Greek Singing

Ruth Hunter

Ruth is teaching Greek singing! This class will coordinate repertoire with Christos Govetas’ Greek ensemble.

Ruth began her musical career singing and playing Bulgarian folk music, but immersed herself in Greek music and culture after marrying Christos Govetas in 1995. She sings and plays accordion, tambura and kanun, and plays with Drómeno and The Fetatones. Ruth has been actively performing Greek and Balkan music since 1985 as a founding member of the iconic girl-group, Medna Usta, and playing with many other groups, including The Balkan Noyz Boyz and the Bay Area Balkan Ensemble.  Ruth and Christos are also the recipients of the Ethnic Heritage Council’s Gordon Ekvall Tracie award of 2017.

Bulgarian Singing

Donka Koleva

Donka returns to Balkanalia to teach Bulgarian singing!

Donka Koleva is a vocalist prized for her rich, clear and melodic voice. A graduate of the Folklore High School in Shiroka Luka, she worked as a soloist with the Sliven Ensemble for three years. She then directed the chorus of the Sopot Ensemble, and soloed with the wedding band Rozova Dolina.

In 1994, Donka started recording with the National Radio and Television in Bulgaria. In 1997, her recording of “Javore” was song of the year. Since she moved to U.S. in 1995, she has taught and performed traditional and arranged songs from Bulgarian Thrace and the Rhodopes at Balkan camps on both coasts. She has taught many workshops and private lessons across the U.S. and Canada to well-known singing groups such as Kitka, Planina, Chubritza, Mila, and others.

Balkan Singing

Michele Simon

Michele’s class will be Southern Balkan Harmony: to celebrate what may be, for many of us, our first time singing together in person, we’ll explore unison, diaphonics with a drone, and some sweet thirds. Emphasis on ease and participation.

Michele has been involved with Balkan folk music for most of her life as a dancer, singer, drummer and teacher. She has performed with many groups over the years, including KITKA Women’s Vocal Ensemble, and the Balkan bands Anoush, Brass Menazeri, Helladelics, Zabava! Izvorno, and Orkestar Unbound.

Michele has been singing Balkan music since 1989. She studied with numerous native-born singers, and has appeared on recordings and stages across America and in Bulgaria, as well as on Bulgarian National TV. Michele teaches private students and workshops throughout the West, as well as around the world on Zoom, including the popular “Balkan Vocal Technique” class at Mendocino Balkan Camp workshop. As a singing teacher, Michele’s specialty is integrating Balkan vocal styles with American voices, focusing on placement, ornaments, and pronunciation using innovative imagery and exercises.

Download Michele’s class materials