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The Leokadja Dombroska
Polish Singers Alliance of America Scholarship

Who is Leokadja Dombroska?
Born in Bydgoszcz, Poland and living in South Brooklyn for most of her life, Leokadja Dombroska bequeathed monies to the P.S.A.A. for a scholarship fund, having been a dedicated member of the Jutrzenka Singing Society #226 and serving as their librarian for many years.  A person of great joy throughout her 98 years, she had the privilege of meeting Ignacy Paderewski as a young woman.  He requested that she sing for him having heard that she had a lovely voice.  
Too shy to do so, she, nonetheless, dared to ask if he would play for her.  He honored her request, specifically for the Moonlight Sonata!

Past Winners

 2017 Winner -- District IX: Krystian Sekowski is a concert pianist and the Choral Conductor and Music Director for the Edmonton Latin Mass Society.  He is a graduate of the University of Alberta and has studied in Poland, Austria and Italy.  A member of the Polonia Choir Society of Edmonton, the talented young musician was put forward as a candidate from District IX by the President of the Choir, Ela Ostapowicz.  He has performed with the Edmonton Symphony Orchestra and helped organize numerous concerts through the sponsorship of the Polish Culture Society.  While concertizing and directing, Mr. Sekowski is also a piano teacher, organist, accompanist and has shared his talents as a  volunteer with children, with the L’Arche community, and at numerous organizations’ charitable events.  He continues with private study, preparing for acceptance in a masters program in performance.

2016 Winner – Districkt IX: Jakub Jozef Orlinski
who participated in the October 2015 Festival of Youth hosted by District IX.  He also was a featured soloist at the 1050th Anniversary of Christianity held at St. Patrick Cathedral and coordinated by the Polish Consulate in New York City at which District VII performs.  Most notably, he was one of the five awardees of the Metropolitan Opera Competition. Prior to winning the Metropolitan Opera award, the most prestigious vocal competition in the United States, Mr. Orlinski received the 2015 Marcella Kochanska Sembrich International Voice Competition, the Oratorio Society of New York’s 2016 Lyndon Woodside Oratorio-Solo Competition, as well as prizes in Germany, Slovakia, Romania and Poland.   A student at Juilliard, he studies with Edith Wiens.  His other interests include dance, where he has also placed well in competitions, modeling and acrobatics.

2016 Winner - District VII: the Director of Aria Chorus, Joanna Mieleszko, a mezzosoprano soloist, Ms. Mieleszko has performed at the Kosciuszko  Foundation, Pilsudski Institute, Kurier Plus, Polish-Slavic Center, Merkin Hall, Kaye Playhouse, Symphony Space, St. Patrick's Cathedral, The Brick Church and at yearly Polish festivals in New York and New Jersey.   As a professional ensemble singer, she performs under the batons of NYC's finest directors as both soloist and choral scholar.   She premiered contemporary works alongside Kronos Quartet at Symphony Space as part of the UN initiative, "Music for a Sustainable Planet" and was an oratorio soloist in Bach's Magnificat and  Mozart's Missa Solemnis in New  York and New Jersey respectively, and performed the role of Lucy Perez in Hunter Opera Theatre's production of "The Hotel Casablanca."  She is currently pursuing Russian, Eastern and Central European studies at Hunter College with a concentration in translation. 

2015 Winner – District IX:  Michael Hawk, a voice major at SUNY Fredonia, has performed with the Nickel City Opera in its world premier performance of the opera, Shot, about the assassination of William McKinley and in Amahl and the Night Visitors.  He has also performed with the Buffalo Philharmonic Chorus and Orchestra, the Rocky Ridge YAS Orchestra, SUNY Fredonia College Symphony Orchestra, the Western New York Chamber Orchestra, and Linquae Canto, a vocal and language study program in Italy. Michael Hawk is also working on his Masters at Rice University. As a note, Michael’s grandfather changed their name to Hawk from Kozlowski.

2013 Winner – District IX:  Artur Kapron is a gifted accompanist who graduated from McMaster University, received his Masters from University of Western Ontario with a practicum in choral techniques, where he is currently a PhD candidate.  He has served as accompanist for Symfonia Choir and is fluent in Polish.

2014 Winner – District IX:  Emily Helenbrook, a graduate of the University of Rochester’s Eastman School of Music, has made her mark in the music world having performed with the Rochester and Buffalo Philharmonics, the Ars Nova Chamber Musicians, the Cheektowaga Symphony, the Genesee Symphony Orchestra, the Livermore-Amadore Symphony in California, and performances at the Chautauqua Institute and at Carnegie Hall as one of the winners of the Barry Alexander International Voice Competition.  A winner of numerous awards, including the American Prize in Vocal Performance, Emily has been showcased on the CBS Morning Show with Renee Fleming.  Emily Helenbrook was one of four vocalists chosen as finalists in the 2017 Getting to Carnegie Voice Competition, which The Huffington Post has called “Carnegie Hall meets America’s Got Talent.”   The final round took place on January 11, 2017 at Carnegie Recital Hall, where the audience pronounced Emily the winner.

Requirements for Application

District Officials may nominate individuals for the Leokadja Dombroska/Polish Singers Alliance of America Scholarship to the Central Office for review.  Preference is given to candidates in vocal, choral or accompaniment studies at the undergraduate or graduate level who have been active in the Polish community or in promoting Polish music.  An award of $1000 is offered to each district.

To donate towards the Scholarship Fund please mail to the following:

20 Brookfield Lane #4, Cheektowaga, NY  14227.

The Polish Singers Alliance of America awarded the Leokadja Dombroska/Polish Singers Alliance of America scholarship to Dominik Wrona at its recent annual meeting. Wronak hails from Oakville, Ontario and is a private student of Dr. Natalia Tyomkina who studied under Emil Gilels at the Moscow Conservatory.

Having completed all 10 grades of the Royal Conservatory of Music, Wrona is working to complete his associate diploma at the Royal Conservatory of Music. He is also a student at the University of Toronto where he is pursuing a computer science specialist degree and a classics minor.

Wrona serves as an organist at the St. Anthony of Padua Polish Roman Catholic parish, is a piano teacher, as well as a performer. He has performed at both of the Permanent Chair of Polish Culture at Canisius College Scholarship Concerts benefiting the fund of which he is now a scholarship recipient. In addition he sings with the Symfonia Choir and the Cantabile Choir based in Ontario.

2018 Winner -- Haley Brunstad is entering her sophomore year as a vocal performance major at Nazareth College, a private institution located in Rochester, New York.  Recent works she has been featured in include Clara, My Love, an art song musical by Heather Nicole Winter and Lauridsen’s Lux Aterna, performed with the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra.  She performed in Glenn McClure’s Caribbean Mass For Steel Drums and Choir with Nazareth College’s Chamber Singers under the direction of Mark Zeigler.  Prior to studying at Nazareth, Haley was a student at Lancaster Central High School where she was heavily involved with the music department, including Mrs. Banks in Mary Poppins and in the international tour of Rocktopia at Shea’s Performing Arts Center.  She performed in the Scholarship Fund concert run by District IX in March 2018 at St. Michael Church.