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Polish Singers Alliance
Dedicated to the perpetuation
of Polish culture
Góra Pięśń Polska!
The Polish Singers Alliance of America held its 51st International Convention in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania on May 25-28, 2017 at the Sheraton Society Hill Hotel, hosted by District VII of the Alliance and coordinated by the Philadelphia Choir, Marcella Kochanska Sembrich Chorus #321. The Convention consists of business meetings, elections, a choral competition, awards ceremony, mass and concert. Outgoing General Choral Director Izabella Kobus-Salkin organized the competition and concert which featured thirteen choirs from the United States and Canada. The five judges in attendance were from Poland and United States. In the category of mixed choirs, Polonia Choir Society of Edmonton, Alberta placed first, Aria Chorus #303 of New Jersey second, and Hejnal Chorus #323 of Brooklyn placed third. In the Female division, the host chorus, Marcella Kochanska Sembrich placed first, followed by Jutrzenka Singing Society of Brooklyn, NY and Club Filarets #331 of Michigan. Two choirs were awarded in the Men’s category: Chopin Singing Society #182 of New Jersey and Club Filarets #311 of Michigan. The top scoring choir which is awarded the coveted Hlond Trophy, a gift of the interwar Polish Government, was the Polonia Choir Society of Edmonton, Alberta under the direction of Oksana Ostashevska. Monetary Awards are provided to the choirs who place in the top three in their category. In addition the Mazurek Family has provided funding in memory of long-time General Choral Director, Antoni Kazmierczak, for the director of the choir receiving the Hlond Trophy.
At the business meeting, the following officers were elected: General Choral Director David Zagorski of Philadelphia, Assistant Choral Director Maria Lesniak of Ontario, President Mary Lou Wyrobek, Vice President Gary Bienkowski, Treasurer Frances Cirbus and General Secretary Adrianne Kusmierczyk, all of Buffalo. A scholarship was awarded from District IX to Krystian Sekowski, a graduate of the University of Alberta, concert pianist, choral conductor, organist and instructor who is taking private lessons preparing for auditions for future study.
The concert featured a 200+ voice choir, along with individual performances by the top scoring choirs. In celebration of District VII’s 100th anniversary, conductor Janusz Sporek led Niescie Chwale Mocarze and Ojcze Nasz. The Canadian choirs celebrated Canada’s 150th Anniversary. Symfonia Chorus of Hamilton performed Toronto in Bloom and Polonia Choir Society of Edmonton performed Hallelujah by Canadian composer, Leonard Cohen. The rousing closing, featuring all choirs together, along with soloists, Hymn Chorow Polonijnych, was led by Izabella Kobus-Salkin. The next International Convention is schedule for May of 2020 in Buffalo, NY. The Polish Singers Alliance of America was founded in 1889 and is the oldest Polish American Cultural organization.
Judges' Scores for the top choirs at the May 2017 Competition:
Polonia Choir Society of Edmonton #332 - 94.02 (Hlond Trophy)
Aria Chorus #303 - 88.88
Hejnal Chorus - 88.28
Marcella Kochanska Sembrich Female Chorus #321 - 91.18
Jutrzenka Singing Society #226 - 91.08
Club Filarets #331 - 90.08
Chopin Singing Society #182 - 87.98
Club Filarets #311 - 86.9
Winner of the Antoni Kazmierczak Award funded by the Mazurek family, awarded to the director of the Choir attaining the highest overall score:
Oksana Ostashevska, Director of the Polonia Choir Society of Edmonton #332
Honorowe czlonkowstwo Zwiazku Spiewakow Polskich w Ameryce
(New Honorary Members 2017)
1. Polonia Paderewski #287 - Teresa Ziemak
2. Polonia Paderewski #287 - Wanda Ejdys,
3. Polonia Paderewski #287 - Teofil Sokolowski
4. Polonia Paderewski #311 - Bozena Madej
5. Polonia Paderewski #311 Bozena Miciak
6. Polonia Paderewski #311 Wladyslawa Starzyk
7. Hejnal #323- Andrzej Kolczynski
8. Hejnal #323 - Zdzislaw Pogorzelski
9. Oginski #283 - Zbyszek Koralewski
10. Oginski #283 - Jacek Borkowski
11. Kalina - Frances Cirbus
12. Filarets - Nicolette Jakubowicz
13. Jutrzenka #226- Janina Oledzka
14. Centrum Polsko Slowianskie - Bozena Kaminska
15. Chopin #219 - Gary Bienkowski
16. Chopin #182 - Zbigniew Niejadlik
17. Chopin #182 - David Anderson
18. Marcela Kochanska Sembrich #321 – Janusz Sporek
19. Marcela Kochanska Sembrich #321 – Krystyna Cimoch
20. Aria #303 – Eugenia Sliwowska
21. Aria #303 – Wanda Bakalarczyk
22. Aria #303 – Michal Kurdyla
Polonia Choir Society of Edmonton #332 - Winners of the Hlond Trophy 2017 PSAA Competition
Read all about the PSAA !
Celebrating 125 years, the Polish Singers Alliance of America, the oldest Polish-American cultural organization, invites you to learn of our history through the purchase of: The Polish Singers Alliance of America 1888-1998: Choral Patriotism by Dr. Stanislaus A. Blejwas.
Author and historian, Dr. Blejwas, masterfully crafts a thorough history of the Polish Singers Alliance and its efforts to encourage a Polish consciousness among the immigrant population in America through music, amidst the ever-changing political landscape of the Polish Fatherland and the varied demographics of Polonia.
Cost is $25 incl. shipping and handling. Send check to PSAA c/o Fran Cirbus, 4741 Brentwood Drive, Williamsville, NY 14221.
Polish Singers Alliance of America National Officers
May 2017 - May 2020
David Zagorski, General Director
Maria Lesniak, Assistant General Director
Mary Lou Wyrobek, president
Gary Bienkowski, Vice President
Frances Cirbus, Treasurer
Adrianne Kusmierczyk, Secretary