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Folk Orchestras

Eugene Wilkins

Creative Director

What is a Russian Folk Orchestra?

The Balalaika and Domra Association of America (BDAA) exists to promote the playing and legacy of Russian, East European, and Romani folk music in the US. Our goal is to introduce new people to this rich musical tradition and create resources for members to learn more about the balalaika, domra, bayan, folk song, dance, and traditions, and to connect with others with similar interests.

Mission Statement

The BDAA is a multi-ethnic, non-profit, non-political association organized to perpetuate music written for the balalaika and domra and related instruments, to disseminate information pertaining to the musical and cultural heritage of Eastern European traditions, and to provide a forum for the exchange of ideas and developments concerning these instruments and their musical possibilities.


The BDAA was formed in 1978 by three musicians (Lynn Carpenter, Charley Rappaport, and Steve Wolownik) who were interested in the study and performance of Russian and Eastern European music on the traditional folk instruments of this region. In its 42 years of existence, the BDAA has grown its membership in the US and abroad, with connections to many orchestras and ensembles worldwide. The BDAA serves as the premier organization dedicated to Russian folk music in the US and North America.

Our Activities

The BDAA is an affable and active community, both in-person and online. A few of our major pursuits include the in-person annual convention, a quarterly newsletter, educational resources, youth outreach, convention scholarships, community building / networking, and advice for finding and playing these unique instruments in the US.

Join Us!

More than anything else, the BDAA is about friendship and sharing a love of music with others. Join us today to become part of our community and create bonds that will last a lifetime.


Membership Info