Gloria Zaharia was born and raised in Edmonton, and has been active in the Ukrainian community from her pre-school years to the present. She began piano and voice lessons at an early age and currently studies voice with Eva Bostrand. She attended the University of Alberta and holds a B.A. in English/Psychology, and M.Ed. in Educational Psychology. She was an elementary music specialist with the Edmonton Public School Board for 32 years, and currently works as a substitute teacher, enjoying the variety of experiences gained while working with students from grade one to grade twelve. For three years Gloria also taught the Yamaha pre-school music program.
Gloria is the co-author of the Ukrainian Bilingual Music Program for grades one to six and prepared two “Listening Kits” to accompany the Ukrainian Music Curriculum. She helped inservice this program to bilingual teachers in Alberta, Saskatchewan, and Manitoba.
Gloria was a member of the Merezhi Ukrainian Women’s Ensemble from 1973 to 1997, and still gets the group together for occasional special performances. She also sang in the Perlyny Trio with two other Dnipro members, who were also members of Merezhi. She has sung with the St. John’s Ukrainian Orthodox Cathedral Choir since her teen years, and has been the assistant conductor for over twenty years. She is grateful for the many summer conducting courses taught by the late Maestro Wolodymyr Kolesnyk, for giving her the skills and confidence to conduct adult choirs. She had sung with Dnipro Choir in the 1970’s when it first became a mixed choir, and rejoined in 1987. She has had the pleasure of being the assistant conductor of Dnipro Choir since 1999.