Campus Address: Rockwell Hall 116K
Ivan Docenko is one of the best known accompanists and versatile musicians in Western New York. He not only accompanies Music Department events, but is often heard at various events across campus. Docenko is also a keyboardist for the Camerata di Sant'Antonio, the Johann Strauss Orchestra of Buffalo, and serves as organist/pianist for St. Luke's Anglican Church in East Aurora. He also occasionally accompanies singers for the annual Metropolitan Opera Council Auditions.
He holds a B.F.A. in piano performance from the University of Buffalo, where he studied with Stephen Manes and Frina Arschanska Boldt. Musical associations include collaborative performances with the Chopin Singing Society, Paderewski Singing Society, Amherst Male Glee Club, Opera Buffs of WNY, Opera-Lytes, Buffalo Opera Unlimited, Chromatic Club, and Community Music School. He has worked with well-known local vocal teachers Janiece Epke-Baldwin and Genia Las.
At the Lancaster Opera House, he was music director for High School Musical and keyboard player for Gershwin's Crazy for You. For almost 10 years, Docenko has served as music director for local composer Paul Ziemba's musical adaptations of the Dracula story—most notably, Dracula, the Opera. Using this music, Docenko, as one of the house organists at the Riviera Theatre, provides musical accompaniment to F.W. Murnau's classic 1922 German silent film, Nosferatu: A Symphony of Horror, every Halloween.
Docenko performs throughout the area with his violinist brother, Gregory, performing their Docenko Brothers:Variety and Virtuosity shows at the Lancaster Opera House. Most notably, they provided incidental music for WNED's documentary, POLONIA: Western New York's Polish-American Legacy. They also recorded an original score, written by Buffalo composer Alan Kryszak, for D.W. Griffith's 1919 silent film, Broken Blossoms. http://www.cdbaby.com/cd/akryszak
In the past, Docenko's interest in Ukrainian culture has had him as a frequent participant in the Niagara Folk Arts Council Festivals. Now, he and his family perform at the annual Ukrainian-American Day festivities and Argentine Tango Society of WNY events.
His musical pursuits include improvisation (silent films, jazz gigs, etc.) and composition. He has recorded a Pianomation CD, Operatic Phantoms, featuring improvisations on operatic themes. Videos of some of his performances can be seen on YouTube.
Docenko is currently composing a Celtic musical drama based on the legend St. Dymphna, called The Lily of Erie.
His talents as an illustrator for Droozy, A Jewish Little Girl Goes from Germany to America by Dr. Ursula Falk can be viewed at http://www.jbuff.com/droozy/droozind.htm.