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District 7 Convention Report

Bravo to Polish Singers Alliance of America's newly organized Camerata Polonia - Academic Chorus #1 - for placing first in the mixed category and earning highest overall points in the exciting festival-style Concert/Competition of District 7's 57th Convention hosted by the Polonia-Paderewski mixed (#287) and female (#311) choruses, in New Britain, CT on Saturday, June 11, 2005.

Organized two years ago by their choral director, Darius Ocetek, this was the group's first convention. The chorus fully participated in all aspects of the gathering. Their president, Magdalena Pietrzak, assisted convention chair Debbie Majka (Marcella Kochanska Sembrich Female Chorus #321, Philadelphia, PA) as vice-chair of the convention. Janusz Wolny (Oginski Male Chorus #283, Hempstead) also served as co-chair.

Other participating choruses in the mixed division placed as follows: Polonia-Paderewski #287 of New Britain, directed by Waldemar Ciesielski; Aria #303 of Wallington, NJ, directed by Dayle Vander Sande; and Hejnal #323 of Brooklyn, NY, directed by Kazimierz Ambroziak.

In the female division, first place was awarded to Jutrzenka Singing Society #226 of Brooklyn, NY, directed by Izabella Kolbus-Salkin; followed closely by Polonia-Paderewski #311 of New Britain, directed by Waldemar Ciesielski.

Male division choir Oginski Male Chorus #287 of Hempstead, NY, directed by Dr. Barbara Miluk-Kolasa, placed first; followed by Chopin #182 of Passaic, NJ, directed by Alicja Rusewicz Pagorek.

In all respects, each choir is a true winner because the members came, sang, participated and did their very best, making the concert/competition a most enjoyable and happy experience. The choruses each prepared three songs of their own choosing: one from the early Renaissance period, one art song, and one folk song.

Other participants in the concert were the Ukrainian Vocal Ensemble Yevshan directed by Mary Ann Sporcich. Three lovely female bandura players added a delightful note to this segment of the program.

The program also included performances by Les Etoiles de Chantal Junior Chorus #23 of Brooklyn, NY and Con Amore Chamber Choir of Brooklyn, NY, both under the direction of Izabella Kolbus-Salkin.

Bass-baritone Darius Ocetek, accompanied by Waldemar Ciesielski, rounded off the program with three works by Stanislaw Moniuszko: Dziad I Baba, Dwie Zorze, and Skoluba's aria from Straszny Dwor.

The entire weekend was dedicated to the memory of Pope John Paul the Great who loved Polish music and song.

Male chorus, Chopin Singing Society #182, of Passaic, NJ will host the 58th District Convention in 2006.