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The Chopin Singing Society

The Chopin Singing Society #182 Polish Singers Alliance of America of Passaic, New Jersey is one of the oldest male independent choral groups still active in the United States. The Society was officially organized on March 10, 1910, in honor of the 100th anniversary of Fryderyk Chopin's birth. The choral group's first Musical Director was Edmund A. Sennert.

The Society's first performance was a commemorative program honoring Polish patriots who fought and died in the 1830 revolt against Russian occupation. When World War I began, seventy-five per cent of the chorus joined the newly organized American Legion of the Polish Army. After the Armistice, the chorus reorganized and one of its first accomplishments was to appear in the American performance of Giuseppe Verdi's opera, Il Trovatore starring Giovanni Martinelli.

The choir has achieved the highest score at international choral competitions of the Polish Singers Alliance of America (PSAA). In doing so, the choir has been awarded the traveling Cardinal Hlond Trophy and maintains the distinction of being the only chorus to win the trophy three times, twice in succession.

The choir prides itself in having in its repertoire the ability to sing Polish classical, folk and patriotic songs, a complete Latin mass, as well as American classic and barber shop songs. The Society's busiest time of the year is the Christmas season fulfilling requests to present its time-honored Polish Christmas concert and to appear as guest choir during the celebration of mass at many churches throughout the Metropolitan area. Also, in 1997 and 1998 the Society was the featured choir with the Jimmy Sturr Christmas Show tour appearing at Felician College, Lodi, New Jersey and in theaters in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania; Middletown, New York; Springfield, Masachusetts; Easton, Pennsylvania and the Taj Mahal in Atlantic City.

The Society has some recordings to its credit, namely two: Polskie koledy (Polish Christmas carols) and Songs of Poland, a mix of traditional Polish songs. The success of the Chopin Singing Society stems from its members' dedication and desires to promote and maintain Polish culture through song.

About our Music Director:

Chopin's new Musical Director, Alicja Rusewicz-Pagorek, was born in Gorzow, greater Poland. There she completed her studies at the National School of Music, Level I and II on viola. Shorly thereafter, she left her home town and relocated to Poznan to continue her music studies at the Lyceum of Music M. Karlowicza in Poznan. At this time Ms. Rusewicz was participating in concerts with symphony orchestra PLM that featured such famed artists as Wieslaw Ochman, Konstanty Andrzej Kulka and others.

Ms. Rusewicz completed her four years of study as a musical instrumentalist with a major in viola. She furthered her studies at the Music Institute of Culture and Arts at the University of Zielona Gora, majoring in Music Education, specializing in Choral Directing. She studied under the watchful eye of Professor K. Domanski Mackowiak of the Music Academy of Poznan. Ms. Rusewicz also took part in the social, academic and cultural life of her school and in the city of Zielona Gora. She was a member of two academic choirs and sang with the female chorus Polirytmia. Ms. Rusewicz also took an active role in the student entertainment group Forum Arka. She participated with them in concerts in Poland, Italy, Germany, Denmark and the Czech Republic, not only as a singer, but as a choral director, fully taking advantage of the skills she attained in her studies. After entering the competition for assistant superior she began teaching at the Music Institute of Culture and Arts at the University of Zielona Gora. Ms. Rusewicz graduated with honors.

The chorus is actively seeking new members. If you like to sing, please consider joining us at rehearsals held on Monday evenings at 8:00 PM at the Polish Cultural Center 1-3 Monroe St. Passaic NJ. Knowledge of the Polish language is not essential. Any male over 16 yrs. can join. For further information, contact Louis Gill at 973-471-8079 or Stanley Kobylarz at 973-478-8268.

Upcoming Activities:

*Sunday, January 21, 2007. St. Joseph’s Church , 7 Parker Ave., Passaic, NJ. The Chopin Singing Society will sing Christmas Carols during the 10:30 Mass.

*Sunday, December 3, 2006, a Christmas Concert, will be held at 3 PM at the Polish American Cultural Center (Polish Peoples' Home) 1-3 Monroe Street, Passaic. The program will consist of Polish and English Carols. Price of admission includes a Polish hot-buffet following the concert. For ticket information phone Stanley Kobylarz at 973-478-8268.

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Member 182 of the Polish Singers Alliance of America
established May 13, 1889

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Polish Singers Alliance of America (PSAA)
Aria Chorus #303 PSAA (mixed), Wallington, NJ
The Frederick Chopin Society in Warsaw
The Fryderyk Chopin Academy of Music
Association of the Sons of Poland
Polish Folk Resources
Links to Polish Pages

From the archives:

Lutnia Choral Society Buffalo
Chopin Choral Society Buffalo

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or contact us at our mailing address: The Chopin Singing Society, c/o The Polish Cultural Center, 1-3 Monroe Street, Passaic, NJ 07055