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Scythian, a Ukrainian-America folk rock band, is playing for a cause close to their hearts

J-P Mauro - published on 05/24/22

Scythian's new song, "The Motherland," recalls the hardships of the Ukrainian people while toasting the hope of a bright future.

For 20 years, the band Scythian has treated music like a vocation, using it as a tool to open people’s hearts in order to leave room for God to do His work. Now Danylo and Alexander Fedoryka, the brothers responsible for Scythian’s artistic vision, are directing their band’s efforts to another cause close to their hearts: The Knights of Columbus Ukraine Solidarity Fund


If not for a calling from God, Scythian as we know it might never have existed. The brothers Fedoryka were discerning a vocation as priests in the seminary, all the while trying to use their deft musical skills to form a ministry. Their riveting weekly performances became such an anticipated event that they soon identified that their true calling was on stage.

In the 20 years since, they have traveled the world performing their unique brand of folk music that combines Ukrainian, Celtic, and sometimes Romani styles. The band has been so successful that they have been able to organize an annual festival, called the Appaloosa Music Festival. The weekend-long event has featured faithful Catholic bands like The Hillbilly Thomists, and usually offers Sunday Mass for all attendees. 

Music of faith

Scythian is a band that’s guided by Catholic virtues, but they don’t play hymns or praise music. To the brothers Fedoryka, music does not have to be overtly religious to help open people’s hearts to the Lord. This is a sentiment they inherited from their mother, Danylo explained to the Knights

“‘Music is the first entry point for God and can lead to God,’” Danylo recalls his mother saying to him and Alexander as young boys. “The Holy Spirit can work on a soul that is touched by beauty — and beauty is what opens the heart. And if you do something beautiful, then God can do his work.”

Alexander was quick to add that an energetic and virtuosic performance can have the same effect as a heartfelt song of faith:

“She said just play 110% for the glory of God,” Alexander added. “The Holy Spirit works through joy. It’s a gift of the Holy Spirit. For us, music has been like a vocation as well as a passion.”

Ukraine war

Since the war broke out between Russia and Ukraine, in February, Scythian has teamed with the Knights of Columbus to help them raise funds. On February 26, wasting no time, they organized a live-streamed concert with proceeds going towards the Knight’s fund. In the three months since the war began, the KofC has raised over $16 million, which has been used for humanitarian aid for Ukrainian refugees. 

The brothers Fedoryka, who are Knights themselves, are especially close to the cause as they are first generation Ukrainian immigrants to the U.S.. From hearing their flawless English, one would never know it’s their second language, but the roots of their heritage run deep in Scythian’s music, which tends to focus on Ukrainian and Celtic stylings.

The band will perform in Charlottesville, Virginia, on June 10, at a concert to benefit Ukrainian refugees. To purchase tickets, visit Scythian’s website.

“The Motherland”

Now, Scythian has put their unique style to supporting Ukraine with a song of hope. Called “The Motherland,” the tune is what can only be described as a lively dirge. The verses hearken to memories of brighter days, while the chorus is a toast to the Ukrainian people with a hopeful melody and a riveting cry of “Na Zdorovie!” or “Cheers.”

Read more about Scythian’s contribution to the Ukraine Solidarity Fund at the KofC. 

Click here to learn more about the Knights of Columbus’ Ukraine Solidarity Fund. 

Knights of ColumbusMusicUkraine
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