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Highlights From PSAA’s Convention

NEW YORK – On Saturday, May 21, 2016,  eight member choruses of the POLISH SINGERS ALLIANCE OF AMERICA’s  DISTRICT 7  hailing from CT, NJ,  NY and PA  gathered in South Brooklyn’s Our Lady of Czestochowa – St. Casimir lower school hall, rectory and church proper for their Business Sessions, Rehearsals, Competition/Concert, Mass and wound up the day’s events culminating at the Awards Banquet held at the Grand Prospect Hall located at 263 Prospect Avenue between 5th and 6th Avenues overlooking the Prospect Expressway.

Upon arriving, delegates proceeded for Breakfast which was supplied by Marian Nowakowski compliments of his Queensboro Flooring Company.

Mary Wozniak, chairperson of the Pre-Convention Committee greeted the Delegates  and turned the Business Session over to District 7 President Yaga Chudy. Izabella Kobus-Salkin led all in singing the Polish and American Anthems. Chosen Chairman of the Business Session was Deborah Majka of Marcella Kochanska Sembrich Female Chorus #321, assisted by Helen M. Pater of Jutrzenka #226 and Mary Lou Wyrobek, President of PSAA’s Central Administration located in Buffalo, NY.  Mary Wozniak of Jutrzenka #226 became Recording Secretary of the Business Session, assisted by Halina Fabianska of Hejnal #323.

Officers and choruses gave a short verbal account of their reports – which were printed up and distributed to the delegates.

ELECTION RESULTS of Officers for the next two years are as follows:

President – Yaga Chudy
Vice President – Brent Iskra
Vice President – Bozena Madej
Secretary – Katarzyna Wysocka
Treasurer – Jeff Pogorzelski
Librarian –  Mariusz Bryszkiewicz
Public Relations – English:  Barbara R. Blyskal
Public Relations – Polish:  Bozena Madej
District Choral Director – Janusz Sporek
Assistant Choral Director – David  Zagorski
Sergeants-at-Arms –  Ela Bernatowicz and Cecylia Bidiuk
Flag Bearers –  Jacek Borkowski and Mariusz Bryszkiewicz

CHORAL COMPETITIONS and CONCERT  were held in the church proper.

In order of appearance, MALE CHORUSES sang first.
CHORUS #1 was OGINSKI MALE CHORUS #287 of Hempstead, directed by substitute director, Izabella Kobus-Salkin in the absence of Dr. Barbara Miluk Kolasa.

CHORUS #2:  CHOPIN SINGING SOCIETY #182 of Passaic, NJ, directed by Anthony Tabish.

Next, FEMALE CHORUSES presented their songs:
CHORUS #1 MARCELLA KOCHANSKA-SEMBRICH #321 of Philadelphia, PA, directed by Janusz Sporek.
CHORUS  #2 JUTRZENKA SINGING SOCIETY #226 of South Brooklyn and hosts of the convention, directed by Izabella Kobus-Salkin.
CHORUS #3 POLONIA-PADEREWSKI #311 of New Britain, CT, directed by Mark Neumann.

Lastly, the MIXED CHORUSES:
CHORUS #1   HEJNAL #323 of Greenpoint, Brooklyn, NY, directed by Janusz Sporek.
CHORUS #2 ARIA  #303 of Wallington, NJ, directed by Joanna Mieleszko.
CHORUS #3 POLONIA-PADEREWSKI #287 of New Britain, CT, directed by Mark Neumann.

Five qualified fine musicians judged the competitions:
Dayle Vander Sande,  Wayne Weng, Pawel Raczkowski, Alec  Galambos and Mieczyslaw Gubernat.

CONCERT of combined choruses preceded Mass. The WIANEK Children’s Chorus joined the District 7 Choruses for the  Finale: “Let There be Peace on Earth.

Father Janusz Dymek, Adninistrator of Our Lady of Czestochowa – St. Casimir Parish and Pre-Convention Chaplain celebrated an English Mass in honor of all living and deceased members of PSAA’s District 7. He surprised the singers by singing to them a special song of appreciation in Polish  for their fine efforts promulgating Polish Culture through song.

All proceeded to the Grand Prospect Hall for the AWARDS BANQUET.

The Children’s WIANEK Group, in their colorful Lowickie costumes,  presented a short program  of  dances and songs for the singers’ enjoyment.  Izabella Kobus-Salkin  is their choral director and Joanna Bis is their dance teacher and choreographer.

Attending as special guests were Agnieszka Chwatko, Manager of the Staten Island Branch of the Polish & Slavic Federal Credit Union with two of her co-workers; as well as Bozena Kaminska, President of the Polish & Slavic Center, with a guest, also represented the Polish National Alliance of the United States of North America.

Music for listening and dancing throughout the evening was supplied by Ron and Chet’s Polish- American Dance Band.

The newly elected Officers were introduced.

Izabella Kobus-Salkin was presented with a bouquet of red and white carnations for her dedication as District Director for so many years.

The time to announce the results of the competitions came at last:

Achieving
FIRST PLACE in the MALE CATEGORY was CHOPIN #182
SECOND PLACE … MALE CATEGORY was OGINSKI #283.

FIRST  PLACE in the FEMALE CATEGORY was JUTRZENKA #226
SECOND PLACE  … FEMALE CATEGORY was MARCELLA KOCHANSKA-SEMBRICH #321
THIRD PLACE … POLONIA-PADEREWSKI #311

FIRST PLACE in the MIXED CATEGORY  was  ARIA #303
SECOND PLACE  … MIXED CATEGORY was HEJNAL #323
THIRD PLACE … MIXED CATEGORY was POLONIA-PADEREWSKI #287.

ARIA #303 scored HIGHEST of all eight competing choruses.  CONGRATULATIONS to ALL for a job well done!

NEXT YEAR  May 25 – 28, 2017 – PSAA’s 5lst  International Convention will be hosted by District 7’s  Marcella Semrich-Kochanska Female Chorus #321  in Philadelphia, PA.

Submitted by Barbara Blyskal