A Koleda Concert of the Bulgarian Community in Seattle  

Each of our Koleda concerts contains the Bulgarian folkloric concept of ​​the birth of the young sun, of the felling, but replanting of the tree — “near the fireside, near the tables” (as per an old koledari carol). “Grow, Pine, Grow!” weaves the thread that connects our cultural past with the present, and the future. With “Rasti, Bore!” we wish ourselves and the world peace, love, light, and prosperity.

For the first time ever, all the way from Bansko, Bulgaria, our special guests are the renowned male folk group Banski Starcheta! The Bansko musicians and their performance have turned the unique two-voice Bansko song into a cultural phenomenon with national and international significance. The way their voices harmonize naturally, together with the strength and depth of their lyrics, is unparalleled.  Don’t miss the opportunity to enjoy them live on:

December 9th at 5:00 p.m. PST
Doors open at 4pm for social hour.


llsley Ball Nordstrom Recital Hall at Benaroya Hall
200 University St, Seattle, WA 98101


Note: The concert will consist of two parts – 75min and 60min-long, and a 45-minute intermission. Plan for a night full of music, dancing and laughter, and a variety of delicious treats available for purchase. Please bring cash for easier transactions.


The celebration will continue with a Koleda party with live music. Location: Restaurant Kostas Opa (1924 N 45th St., Seattle, WA 98103).


Concert Participants:  

Banski Starcheta, Male Vocal Folklore Group

The well-loved Band: Vasil Denev, kaval (Seattle), Petar Aleksiev-Usmivkata, gaida (Chicago), Angel Dobrev, gadulka (Chicago), Anton Kirilov, tupan (Seattle)

The fantastic Duo of father and son: Toromanovi

Radost Folk Ensemble

Dunava Vocal Ensemble

Hopa Trop Folk Ensemble (adults and kids)

Bulgarian Voices of Seattle Women’s Choir

Medena Pitka Children’s Folklore Group

Seattle’s Koledari

Seattle Cheta Performance Group (adults and juniors)

Graphics: Maria Apostolova


Exhibition and bidding for homemade pies, breads

Tasty things to snack on

Moments for a chat over a glass of wine

“Silent Auction” and various other pleasantries


Tickets link


Let’s celebrate together, friends!  We look forward to seeing you all! 



We are proud to announce that BCHCS was awarded 4Culture’s Arts Sustained Support. Thank you 4Culture for helping us make art and heritage a vital part of the lives of King County residents.




Current BCHCS Programs:



Bulgarian Voices of Seattle

Mondays, October to June
6:45-8:30 pm
Crossroads Mall Community Room
16000 NE 10th St, Bellevue, WA 98008
Link to Facebook page here.

The singing traditions of Bulgaria are as rich and varied as its history. Each Bulgarian region has its own particular vocal style and songs. Women sang to express emotion, lighten harvest and other work, mark life’s important moments like weddings and births, seasonal rituals and names days. The songs speak of love, separation, nature, heroic deeds and daily life through poetic imagery, humor and pathos. Whether a dissonant song in call-and-response or a lush choral arrangement, Bulgarian songs touch the heart of any listener…

To join or for more information, please contact Michael Lawson at: michaellawson6@gmail.com

Link to Facebook page here.



Bulgarian Folklore Program for children “Medena Pitka”

BulgariaCultureDance-0003 eEvery Saturday:

On September 30th at 11am
Address is: 6501 196th Street SW Lynnwood WA 98036;
On October 7th at 9:30am to 11am
North Bellevue Community Center-Craft room;
From October 14th to November 4th at 10:30 to 11:45am
Old Redmond Schoolhouse Room 124
Kids 3-8 years old
Link to Facebook page here.

MEDENA PITKA is a program that organically interweaves knowledge of traditional Bulgarian rituals and celebrations and practical knowledge of Bulgarian proverbial lyrics, rhythms, songs and dance. It introduces children to our traditional folklore in a way in which students learn by doing.



Folklorna Tantsova Rabotilnitsa – Weekly Bulgarian Folk Dance Workshop


Every Saturday:
On September 30th at 11am
Address is: 6501 196th Street SW Lynnwood WA 98036;
On October 7th at 11am to 12:30pm
North Bellevue Community Center-Craft room;
From October 14th to November 4th at 11:45am to 13pm
Old Redmond Schoolhouse Room 124

Adults, youth and kids older than 8

Link to Facebook page here.

The workshop is a joyful opportunity for the Bulgarian community to explore the richness of Bulgarian folk culture. It is directed toward people who have always been interested in learning more about Bulgarian music and dance but haven’t pursued it. The program also welcomes those who are newly attracted to the idea of exploring our folk heritage, including dance.



SEATTLE CHETA Performance Group – Bulgarian traditional music and dance

Every Friday:
Aria Ballroom
15300 NE 95th St, Redmond, WA 98052
8:00PM – 10:00PM
The performance group SEATTLE CHETA at the BCHCS was established in April, 2014 for participation in the Verea Bulgarian Folk Festival in Chicago. The name is a combination of “seattlecheta” – people from Seattle and “Seattle Cheta” – a band with connotation to the heroic Bulgarian Enlightenment. Group members are Bulgarians who initially attended the weekly adult folk dance workshop “Rabotilnitsata” — one of the BCHCS’ programs established in January 2014 that meets every Saturday. Later Seattle Cheta began rehearsing every Friday at Exit Space School of Dance.
We take joy in bringing back to life old traditional Bulgarian songs and dances, among which Koledarski pesni and Koledarski Yambolski Buenek, performed by our men. This idea was initially introduced to the Bulgarian community after receiving a 4Culture grant for our “Together for Christmas” Bulgarian Show at Kirkland Performance Center in December 2013. The excitement generated by this teamwork became the foundation for our later activities.Performances
In December 2014, along with the Bulgarian Voices of Seattle Women’s Choir and Medena Pitka Children Folklore Group, we performed before the Bulgarian community in Vancouver BC, where 100+ participants from Seattle traveled to perform in our mutual Christmas performance.


Tvorilnitsa – Traditional Arts and Crafts Workshop 
tvorilnitsaAs part of the BCHCS program for Bulgarian Folklore Arts, “Tvorilnitsa” weaves the connective tissue in the colorful tapestry of the program and the community through arts and crafts. In the past, the workshop has functioned as an ongoing project concentrated around major Bulgarian holidays like Surva, Koleda and baba Marta, and visiting the Bulgarian School in Seattle.Facebook pageFor more information on dates and times for the workshop, please refer to our calendar.








The Society for Poetry and Literature discusses themes and ideas mainly from the world of Bulgarian literature. These are viewed with regard to historical, political and cultural contexts in Bulgaria from different periods and in parallel with larger European cultural movements. Different authors and texts are discussed when the themes are suggested by members of the club. The Society also welcomes topics regarding works of non-Bulgarian authors.

The Society meets once per month.

Link to Facebook page here.
To join or for more information please contact: 
Bulgarian Voices of Seattle Womens Choir director: Michael Lawson at: michaellawson6@gmail.comBulgarian Folklore Arts program director: Daniela Ivanova-NybergBulgarian Folklore Arts program assistant: Ana-Maria GeorgievaMedena Pitka Children Folklore Program Coordinator: Mila PopovaSociety for Poetry and Literature Coordinator: Daniela Ivanova-Nyberg





Link to the trailer

This Baba is a 30-minute documentary, a universal story of grandmothers from every country across the globe who are divided between here and there, isolated by a lack of English, stuck in suburbs, missing their friends and loved ones back home.

This Baba – Penka Encheva – had dreams of becoming a professional singer, but her path led her to another life, as a teacher. In 2010, at age 67, she came to America to live with her daughter’s family and help care for her two young grandsons.

As part of the project Songs of Our Families, “This Baba” was produced by Mary Sherhart and directed by Bogdan Darev.

Visist “this Baba” FB page here https://www.facebook.com/thisbabamovie

Visit www.thisbaba.com to find out where This Baba is screening next.

Penka Encheva & Friends CD

The 17-track CD features Baba Penka Encheva singing songs from her childhood with new musical friends she met in America including Vlado & Hristo Mollov, Michael Lawson, David Bilides, Jody Rush, Aleksandr Eppler and the Bulgarian Voices of Seattle Women’s Choir.  Tunes range from slow ballads to spritely dances.

Produced by Mary Sherhart

Purchase Penka Encheva & Friends CD here



Special thanks to West Coast self-storage Bellevue for  their services. https://westcoastselfstoragebellevue.com/




Permanent link to this article: http://seattle-bg.org/