Initiated as the first Kitka-run ongoing community ensemble experience, Zele is now entering its 17th season led by Kitka singer Janet Kutulas. The group is comprised of 20+ women of all ages. Learning traditional folksongs and choral arrangements from the Balkans and the Caucasus, the group stops along the way to hone ensemble skills and study regional vocal placement, stylistic subtleties, language, and to enjoy the incredible harmonies of both the music and the good fellowship of the group.


Janet Kutulas

Janet Kutulas

Kitka Community Chorus: Zele
Directed by Janet Kutulas
10 Tuesday sessions: starting Sept 3 - Nov 19 (with Oct 15 and Nov 5 off)
Location in Berkeley to be disclosed upon registration

The group will meet weekly for 10 sessions to learn traditional and contemporary folk repertoire from Eastern Europe and the Caucasus region in the context of committed ongoing ensembles. Rehearsals include work on vocal technique, ensemble singing, and performance skills. “Zele” is open to female singers of all ages.

There are no auditions required to join the Kitka Community Chorus. However, it's essential that interested singers have the ability to match pitch and sing harmony parts in tune. If you have any questions about whether you'd be a good vocal match for the group, please contact Zele's director Janet Kutulas. Previous experience with Eastern European folk singing is helpful but not required. The ability to read music is also helpful but not required, as music is taught using both aural and written methods.

For more information, please email Janet directly.


There will be a $245 fee for the entire series with three payment options:

  • Single Payment: $245

  • Two monthly payments of $123

  • Three monthly payments of $82

A private link to these payment options will be provided upon registration.


Zele banner photo by Steven Bollman