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The Washington Balalaika Society is now the largest orchestra of Russian folk instruments in North America and endeavors to pattern its sound and repertoire after the great orchestras of Russia while at the same time continuing to explore new kinds of music and new musical possibilities for this fascinating family of instruments.

The Washington Balalaika Society was founded in 1988 by a group of Washington-area musicians interested in studying and performing the music of Russia, Ukraine and eastern Europe on traditional Russian folk instruments — the balalaika, domra, bayan and related folk wind and percussion instruments. The Society’s initial membership of eight has grown to more than sixty, and the WBS Orchestra is now the largest of its kind in America with musicians at all levels from beginner to professional, from teens to 80s in age.