Scythian returns for Party in the Park 2016

Lucy Bennett, Contributing Writer

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Scythian, a four person upbeat celtic rock band, is the main performance for this year’s Groundhog Festival. Photo by Becca Rosen.

With your Dallas Blonde Ale in hand and friends at your side, prepare to dance along with the energetic, upbeat Celtic styles of Scythian, the main performers at the ultimate bash we call Groundhog.

Scythian is a Celtic rock band comprised of four members, including two brothers, Alexander and Danylo Fedoryka, of Ukrainian ancestry.

“We were taught the language and all the traditions, including the music and folk dancing, so we like sharing that part of our heritage, especially since it was oppressed so long by the Communists and almost snuffed out,” Alexander wrote in an email.

Their love of rich culture led to Irish music and folk dancing, fitting their desire to play what Alexander calls the “fast, energetic, rhythmic, foot-stomping” style of Irish music.

“I was raised playing classical violin and although I loved it, I always wanted to play a type of music that I could break open around a camp fire or in a kitchen,” Alexander wrote. “I became obsessed with the tunes, playing them for hours, and then I traveled to Ireland for four months and picked up as many tunes as I could in the streets and in the pubs. It’s hard not to fall in love with the Irish culture and its music no matter what your heritage is!”

Alexander’s impressive musical background in classical music includes studying in Japan for six months with Dr. Suzuki, founder of the Suzuki School of Music. Although the band had a skillful musical background and a fervent desire to share their talents, getting started was not easy.

“We started out as street musicians,” Alexander wrote. “My brother Danylo and I would drop a bucket and play Irish tunes for gas and food money, and not long after that, we started getting asked to play dinner parties and eventually we made our way into pubs in the DC area.”

Over ten years and 1,500 shows later, Scythian is one of the most exciting Irish groups, characterized by songs that make you want to get up and dance.

But there is more to Scythian than a foot-stomping good time. The brothers grew up in a strong Catholic family aware that their musical talents are gifts from God.

“Being Catholic was always an integral part of our upbringing, and our parents always looked at music as a gift and talent to be given to others for the glory of God,” Alexander wrote.

Their exuberant Catholic faith joins with vibrant musicality to create the band’s contagious enthusiasm and love of music, making them perfect for the University of Dallas. While UD students are fans of Scythian, Scythian is also a fan of UD students.

“We’ve been down to UD several times now and the student spirit is fantastic. We feed off the crowd and the UD students are always ready to raise it to the next notch. We push and they always push back. We’ll be coming after you guys with some new tricks so you better be ready!” Alexander wrote.

Scythian exemplifies using one’s talents for the glory of God, for as Alexander says, “the point of music is sharing and bringing joy to others.”

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