From Moscow to Mower

Published 4:52 pm Saturday, March 3, 2012

The Russian folk trio Moscow Nights, consisting of Sergey Pudov, from left, Anton Fadeev and Vitaliy Bezrodnov played for Southgate Elementary students Friday morning.The group was taking part in Artists for School's Week through Riverside Concerts. The group played at the Mayo Civic Center Saturday night. - Eric Johnson/

Southgate learns about culture with Russian trio

Vitaliy Bezrodnov, one third of the Russian folk group Moscow Nights, lifts Southgate Elementary student Piny Bol by her arms as she plays with other students along with Moscow Nights Friday morning at Southgate Elementary. - Eric Johnson/

Southgate Elementary students took a trip through Russia Friday morning.

Students danced, sang, and played instruments with Moscow Nights, the three-man Russian folk group.

“Learning about a culture like this is such a positive experience,” said Margo Bissen, Southgate music teacher.

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Bissen was able to bring Moscow Nights to Austin through Riverside Concerts, which hosted Moscow Nights Saturday at the Mayo Civic Center. Moscow Nights has toured around the country since 1994 and has played thousands of concerts, according to Vitaliy Bezordnov, one of the Moscow Nights trio.

“For us, it’s an opportunity to spread our culture to people and introduce them to our culture,” he said.

To prepare, Southgate students learned about Russian composers, a bit of Russian history, some folk songs including “Kalinka,” and even the troika dance. All of that makes the Moscow Nights concert mean that much more to students, according to Bissen.

“They’ll always have a real broad sense of the songs they heard,” she said.