Kayla Ankeny Allamou began singing with Svitanya in 2007. In 2013, she moved to Casablanca, Morocco to continue teaching Yoga, Capoeira, Pilates and dance. After three years in Morocco she returned to the USA with her husband and is excited to be a part of Svitanya once again! Kayla teaches Vinyasa and Aerial Yoga in the Philadelphia area, and is a Capoeirista, a Licensed Massage Therapist and a dancer. Visit the following to learn more about her Yoga and moving art classes.
Susan Anderson has long been actively involved in the international folk dance community as a dancer, singer and musician. As the leader of the International Folk Sounds orchestra and the Macedonian village band Izvornotes, she sings and plays many instruments including gaida (bagpipe), balalaika, violin, guitar, and tambura. She leads the Beaver International Folk Dancing group, performs Appalachian clogging with Fiddlekicks, and is a musician with contra dance band SPUDS. In her spare time, she jogs and skis around the world with her husband.
Jane Carver Jane Carver is the Artist-in-Residence for The Association for Cultural Equity: The Alan Lomax Archive, and a co-founder of the performance series Low Stakes. She composes original works for accordion and voice, which she performs in tandem with her visual art work, including sculpture, photography and works on paper. She is a graduate from the Hunter College MFA studio arts program, an alumnus of Yasna Voices, and a member of the band Scrap Gold.
Kimberly (Fedchak) DiMattia is our musical director, and has also enhanced our repertoire with several original arrangements. In addition to singing, she plays a variety of instruments including piano, clarinet, recorders, accordion, flute and percussion. She currently performs Middle Eastern music with world fusion band Animus, and plays English country dance music with Socks. Kim is of Ukrainian descent. She earned a PhD in Russian, and taught Russian language at Swarthmore College for a number of years. Currently she teaches at Harriton High School.
Anne Ehrhart has been an enthusiastic singer and folk dancer for most of her life. She has performed with diverse ensembles; from large choral groups such as Bucks County Choral Society and the Philadelphia Revels to tiny ensembles such as the Greenwood Singers, a Renaissance madrigal group she founded, directed & costumed. She plays percussion with Svitanya, and is our primary administrator. In 1998 she joined Slaveja with her daughter Leela, and together they became founding members of Svitanya. In addition, she currently performs with folk dance band Ajde, and leads the International Folk Dance Club at Ann's Choice in Warminster, PA. After 20-plus years as a software engineer at Mellon Bank, she served for several years as the Managing Director of Voloshky Ukrainian Dance Ensemble.
Leela Ehrhart first began performing at age six, starting with several years in The Philadelphia Revels, then singing with school choruses and learning the recorder for several years. She began singing with Slaveja Slavic Folk Chorus at age eleven, before helping to found Svitanya in 2001. A graduate of Drexel University, Leela has also long pursued her other artistic passion, jewelry making, and has has worked for herself as well as several small jewelry companies in the Philadelphia area. Currently she is pursuing a Master's degree in psychology.
Chrissy Steele sang along with recordings of Bulgarian folk music for many years before joining Svitanya in 2006. Inspired by the fun of making music, she is now learning the Macedonian tambura and the frame drum. Though she doesn't know any Eastern European languages, Chrissy has studied Tamil, Arabic, and French. A graduate of the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Art, Chrissy makes Artists' Books (a genre of hand-assembled, limited edition books.) Chrissy has a Master's degree in TESOL and teaches English as a Second Language. During the last few years she was on leave from Svitanya while teaching at the American University of Iraq, Sulaimani in Iraqi Kurdistan.