From quarantine to the live performance: Enjoy the UW Russian Folk Orchestra’s 2021 holiday concert

Flashback to December 2020, just before COVID-19 vaccinations became widespread: an encore presentation of the 2019 holiday concert of the UW Russian Folk Orchestra (RFO) was broadcast on social media channels in place of the traditional live show.

In May 2021, the RFO came out of quarantine to resume rehearsals physically distanced on the driveway of one of its musicians. And in August, after an 18-month hiatus, the orchestra restarted weekly rehearsals indoors on campus (following UW guidelines) and began to recruit new members.

Flash forward to December 2021: the orchestra performed its first concert since 2019 at Grace Episcopal Church with the Madison Flute Club (directed by Berlinda Lopez) and vocalist Mila Vinogradova.

Through the gallery of photographs below, courtesy of RFO director Victor Gorodinsky, take a moment to appreciate the orchestra’s journey from quarantine to showtime and then enjoy the 2021 concert in its entirety.

Gorodinsky reports that a 25th-anniversary celebration is in store for 2023 and that “a truly exciting large gala anniversary concert” is in the works. If you play a stringed instrument, read music, and are available Monday nights for rehearsals, please contact Victor Gorodinsky at to express interest in joining the ensemble.