We are delighted to welcome Yuliia Billa to the staff at Trinity UMC! Yuliia joins us as the director of Music Ministries beginning January 1, 2023. In her new role, she will focus on the development of our total music ministry. She already has a great relationship with many of our church members and musicians and looks forward to getting to know the others better.
Yuliia is a Ukrainian coloratura soprano. She graduated from Tchaikovsky National Music Academy in Kyiv (Ukraine) and majored in voice and orchestra/choral conducting.
In Ukraine, she had a very active life as a concert singer. Her performance credits included many solo recitals throughout Ukraine with orchestras, choirs, and the organ. Her repertoire includes works of many different composers and styles such as G. F. Handel’s Messiah and Neun Deutsche Arien, J. S. Bach’s Jauchzet Gott in allen Landen, W. A. Mozart’s Exsultate, Jubilate, I. Aboulker’s Femmes en Fables, and D. Argento’s Six Elizabethan Songs.
For those new to Trinity, Yuliia moved to the United States in April 2015 with her husband, Viktor Billa, who came to join us as organist at Trinity. During this time, she volunteered with her musical talents in all church music groups, sang in the Chancel Choir, led Youth, NETkids, and Alpha Choirs, and, together with Viktor, the Jubilation Bells. After a few years of work at Trinity, Yuliia accepted the position of music director at Bainbridge First UMC in Georgia.
In spring 2022, she earned a master’s of music degree in vocal performance at Florida State University. She had opportunities to advance her vocal career through notable vocal training programs in the U.S., Bulgaria, and Italy. Yuliia was selected to sing the title role of Nerone in Monteverdi’s L’incoronazione di Poppea at the 2019 Miami Music Festival. She played the role of Papagena in Florida State University’s production of Mozart’s The Magic Flute in the fall of 2021. In summer 2022, she performed the role of Pamina from The Magic Flute at the Trentino Music Festival, which took place in Mezzano, Italy. Currently, she is working to develop herself in the choral conducting world, and she is writing a book on Ukrainian choral works, which she hopes will someday be performed by professional and church choirs.
Yuliia is very excited to come back to Trinity and to work alongside Viktor. In Ukraine, they worked constantly together including in the State Philharmonic Organ Hall, performing concerts together, in music school, and music college, where Yuliia was a voice teacher, and Viktor was a piano accompanist in her studio class, which yielded high results: Their students won top awards at Ukrainian competitions. So, she is very thrilled to share all their talents and skills with Trinity.
“A Dream Come True”: Meet Yuliia Billa
“Hello, dear Trinity Family! I am very happy to be coming back to Trinity in January 2023. Back in April 2015, I arrived in the U.S. with Viktor because we wanted to work in one church together. And now our dream has come true. We both are so happy because of that! For us, church is a sense of our lives, a second home, and all people are part of our family. Trinity has been special to us since we came to the U.S. We receive so much support and love from so many church members.
I began as a leader in Orthodox Church when I was just 14 years old. I led the children’s choir and children’s Bible study and sang in chancel choir in the church. I was one of the main readers of scriptures in the Old Church Slavonic Language. (see photo)
My first experience in a Protestant church was at First Baptist Church in Kyiv, where I married Viktor in 2008. The church took all my mind and heart and is leading me through my life. Professional music education supports me in finding a different approach for church music groups and soloists and making leading music more enjoyable and pleasurable. In Ukraine, I earned a bachelor of music and specialist degrees in choral/orchestra conducting. Here, at FSU, I completed a master of music in vocal performance. Currently, I am trying to stay connected with choral activities at FSU and in Tallahassee.
I believe God guides me in this life, and I am trying to trust Him and follow His directions. I am very happy that He brought me back to Trinity. I am sure that He will make me wise enough to be a good music leader. I am very excited to develop music ministry at Trinity together with Viktor and all the other musicians. Looking forward to meeting everyone!”