Kremenchuk Mykhailo Ostrohradskyi National University (KrNU) maintains extensive cooperation with many diverse scientific, educational, industrial establishments in different countries. In 2009, for the first time, one of the higher educational establishments of U.S.A. joined to our partner universities` list - Umpqua Community College (UCC, Roseburg, Oregon).
From 20 to 24 March 2012, in the framework of cooperation between UCC and KrNU, the first delegation of U.S. College visited Ukraine and our town. The delegation included: Pete Bober (director of Small Business Development Center of UCC), Jason Heald (director of jazz vocal ensemble "Umpqua Singers") and eleven students-participants of the "Umpqua Singers".
Their journey around Ukraine started from the capital, the beautiful Kyiv city. Guests were able to see the cultural center of the capital - Khreshchatyk, Independence Square, Bankova Street, where the Administration of President of Ukraine is located, the National Reserve "Sophia": St. Sofia Cathedral, the Refectory and Metropolit`s House.
USS delegation, together with the Head of International Relations Department of KrNU, Andrii Markevych, was invited to visit the U.S. Embassy in Ukraine. At the Embassy they got to know some facts of Ukraine history, its political, economic and cultural life. Jazz vocal ensemble "Umpqua Singers" presented to the Embassy workers a small concert: they sang songs in both English and Ukrainian.
The next day, musicians were welcomed by hospitable Kremenchuk. The first place of visit was the College of Kremenchuk Mykhailo Ostrohradskyi National University, where the delegation was warmly welcomed by Director of the College, Paulina Bilyk and all staff and students of the College. Guests were introduced to the life of Ukrainian students, teaching process and material resources of the College. The guests also took part in sports competitions and small joint concert.
The same day, our American guests met the Rector of KrNU, Mykhaylo Zagirnyak. They handed him the Letter of Congratulations from the Director of UCC, Joe Olson and, traditionally, sang some of their great songs.
The visit of "Umpqua Singers" was a pleasant surprise for the newly established Faculty of Economics and Management, which, on March 22, was celebrated its Birthday. Dean of the faculty, Andriy Pochtovyuk, invited them to the celebration. Our guests, in their turn, impressed the audience by skillful vocal and accompanied singing.
On March 23, the UCC delegation visited the Kremenchuk teachers` training school, named after famous Ukrainian teacher, A. Makarenko. There they were cordially welcomed by the Director, Ivan Galchenko, and its entire staff. Improvised discussion "Peculiarities of Ukrainian and USA Education" was very interesting for American visitors and for Ukrainian students. Participants discussed and highlighted some common and divergent features of the Ukrainian and American educational systems. The final chord of the visit was a joint concert of "Umpqua Singers" and young musicians of the Kremenchuk teachers` training school.
After the visit to the Kremenchuk teachers` training school, team of UCC students was gladly welcomed by the Translation Department of KrNU. Pete Bober also was able to talk to the seven graduates of the "Open World" program and discuss future plans for the fruitful cooperation.
Next was the visit to the Kremenchuk City Council, where guests had an opportunity to speak with the representative of local authorities - the First Deputy Mayor, Andrei Pogribnyi. Our guests were very surprised when they found out that the world famous composer Dmitri Tiomkin was born in Kremenchuk. Umpqua Singers have some of his compositions in their repertoire. One of them, "Town without pity", they sang for the audience with great pleasure.
The last day of the visit to Kremenchuk was marked by an excursion around the town. During this excursion they visited historical and cultural sights of our town and purchased some souvenirs for a long memory about the time, spent in Kremenchuk.
We were very pleased to welcome American delegation in Ukraine and, in particular, in Kremenchuk. The CD, created specially for the Ukrainian audience, was an expression of great respect to us and our country. Most warm emotions were aroused by anthem of Ukraine, the songs "Chervona Ruta" and "Gutsulka Ksenia", performed by Umpqua Singers in Ukrainian. We all are very grateful for these pleasant memories, which will stay with us for a long time.
We hope that cooperation will continue and we will hear the charming voices of "Umpqua Singers" once more and get the opportunity to welcome the other members of the Umpqua Community College in the Kremenchuk Mykhailo Ostrohradskyi National University.
International Relations Department