One of the oldest professional artistic ensembles in Ukraine, since its creation in 1919 until today, Dumka has been a leading choral group of its home country. During these years, it has enjoyed collaborations with the best choir conductors of Ukraine: Polikarp Bigdash-Bigdashev (founder), Nestor Horodovenko, Petro Goncharov, Oleksandr Soroka, Pavlo Muravskyi, and Mykhaylo Krechko. Since 1984, the choir is directed by Yevhen Savchuk.
The leading Ukrainian composers Kyrylo Stetsenko, Mykhailo Verykivsky, Pylyp Kozytsky, Lev Revutsky, Boris Lyatoshynsky, Stanyslav Ludkevych, Yevhen Stankovych, Lesia Dychko, Myroslav Skoryk, Vladimir Zubitsky, Ivan Karabits, and others, have collaborated with Dumka in various periods. Thanks to Dumka, a vast majority of Ukrainian choral music received its first performances and later stage life. A very important place in the ensemble’s repertoire has always been occupied by works of world classical music – from the past eras to the present: J. S. Bach, Handel, Haydn, Mozart, Beethoven, Brahms, Verdi, Berlioz, Rachmaninoff, Shostakovich, Stravinsky, Penderecki, and others.
The phrase Derzhavna Ukrainska Mandrivna Kapella forms an abbreviation from which the name Dumka was justifiably derived, referring to the choir’s advancement from the first wanderings with concerts in Ukraine to concert tours across Europe, Asia, and North and South Americas. Dumka has also visited Poland many times. Above all, the long-term cooperation of the ensemble with the Polish composer Krzysztof Penderecki is worth mentioning. Under his baton, Dumka has sung in Kiev, Cracow, Lviv, and Warsaw. The vibrant, creative work in the field of two musical cultures, Polish and Ukrainian, is directed by a Polish conductor Roman Rewakowicz.