I will sing to the Lord for He has been good to me.
CHOIR BOARD 2016
The St. Elijah Choir was organized in late 1930 when two socio musical groups – ” Svemir” and “Fruska Gora” – united and renamed themselves the St. Elijah Church Choir. The merger attracted about sixty enthusiastic and spirited Serbian singers, dedicated to their ethnic tradition, culture and Orthodox Church music.
Early directors included Nikola Bizich, Professor Kordin, and Professor E. Bloz. Father Antonoff, a local Russian priest, assumed the duties in the mid-thirties. He was instrumental in refining the choral harmony and liturgical responses. Following his departure Michael Holovac directed the choir. During his tenure the Choir was inducted in to the Serbian Singing Federation (SSF) on September 12, 1937. John Holovac succeeds his brother Mike and served until the unforgettable Professor Boris Dobrovoljsky arrived in 1938. He brought with him a rich and extensive musical background of Serbian choral music along with introducing the choir to composers, principally Stevan Mokranjac. Under “Dobby” the choir enjoyed prominence and success at SSF Festivals along with the concerts that were competitive in that era. In 1948 the Choir performed in joint concert with Metropolitan soprano, Danica Ilich.
After 25 memorable years, Dobby retired in 1963. The choir’s next director was Milan Vuchich, who served a short time. Slobodan Zelich arrived in the early seventies and brought with him many arrangements and interpretations. Veda Y. Milanovich followed him and led the choir for six years. Under her direction the choir hosted the SSF Festival in 1978. Lela Y. Mamula added assistance in church services and related activities. Stella Wallace Dobrovoljsky, Dobby’s wife next came to the aid of the choir. Under her direction we observed our 50th (Golden) Anniversary in 1980. Assisting at this time also was Joyce Medic Yovetich.
Dr. Albert Hazeem followed and during his tenure the choir hosted yet another SSF Festival in 1987. Father Vladimir Soroka of Ambridge succeeded Hazeem and introduced the choir to many new liturgical compositions. Presently Marian Izek with her highly professional technical skills instructs the choir each and every Wednesday and Kathy Loverich directs us in concert performances.
Special recognition goes to + Natalie M Rebich, who taught us to always be proud of who we are, love our Serbain music and always represent ourselves to the very best of our ability in concert and during liturgy Recognition also goes to Kathy Chesla who offered her direction when called upon through the years. Currently we are fortunate to have Kathy Loverich and Andy Muha rotating directing duties in the choir loft, each and every Sunday. They are there for weddings throughout the year. They voluntarily and generously keep the choir organized, united and responsive. Their unselfish personal contributions are indeed what church devotion, dedication and sacrifice represents.
Eleven years have elapsed since we reviewed the first 64 years of our colorful and dynamic history (1930-1994) now we update and insert an additional decade plus of choral services and events and support of church and concerns and activities (1994-2005).
Our first obligation has always been to keep the St Elijah Choir performing at the highest level of quality, and total dedication to its mission and commitment. To that extent, we have traversed the expanses of our borders-from California to Canada, from Florida, to Minnesota, and from Arizona throughout the tri-state area. As concert guests across the United States we take special pride in representing the St. Elijah Church Community as its coral ambassadors. We have served voluntarily and unselfishly at all church functions and services: Sunday Worship, Holidays, private pomens, parastos, weddings, SSF Festivals, banquets, fundraisers, food festivals, and the church renovation project. Apart from these, we retain our separate obligations as church members. We have been self-supporting throughout our existence. This is not to slight the wonderful support and contributions that come from our church community and related organizations. We extend our deepest gratitude for the generous donations and gifts that accrue from our candy sales, bake sales, our current successful ” Bowling Ball” and other fundraising events.
In addition to our local efforts we are members of the Serbian Singing Federation since 1937. In that capacity we help sustain that body both financially and physically. We have hosted several SSF festivals and a Choral Workshop here in Aliquippa. We have been active participants in numerous SSF Festivals most recently the one held this year in Milwaukee.
We are at this time issuing an appeal for any individuals interested in joining our choir “family” so that we may continue to strengthen and sustain our Serbian choral heritage. We encourage any new or former members to come and enjoy a casual heritage. We encourage any new or former members to come and enjoy a casual practice session every Wednesday evening.
The passing of any valued member leaves a void in our ranks and in our hearts. We paused at this moment to offer in reverence our sincerest ” Vjecnaja Pamjat” (Memory Eternal) to our dearly departed members of our St. Elijah Choir Family. Gone but never forgotten.
Throughout the past 34 years, Father Stevan has been part of our bass section. He offered his own enviable talents and shared them so willingly and graciously with us. He has enriched us and challenged us by introducing many compositions over the years that we sing with him during liturgy and concert. We offer him and Popadija Ana our sincerest gratitude and appreciation for inviting us into their home each and every Christmas and Thanksgiving over the past 30 plus years. HVALA!
Kolo Choir/Holiday Choir
April 17, 1973 was the day that a group of ladies form the Kolo Srpskih Sestra met with Fr. Stevan and a new Choir formed. No longer did a holiday go by during the week that responses were not being sung. On “Spasovdan” June 7, 1973, they made their first appearance singing the responses at Divine Liturgy.
The original Choir included the following ladies:
+ Milica G Milanovich, + Kata Crevar, + Protinica Tomich, Popodija Ana Stepanov, + Milka Rodich, + Kata Manojlovich, + Stella Philipovich, + Milka Milosecevich, + Marija Zlatovich, + Darinka Kusic, + Sara Scott, + Kata Grkovich, + Milka Zernich, + Milice Vignjevich, Sophia Bila, + Rose Mrvosh, + Vera Djordjevich, Dorothy Minnich, + Darinka Holic, + Mildred Duich, Danica Petrovich, + Marcia Ivosevich, Seka Paich, + Mary Klipa, Diana Abramovich, + Beatrice Wolorad, + Martha Milich, +Ann Urick, + Ruzica Mijatov, + Ann Ostojich, + Mary Madjarevich
Bringing us up to date a Choir continues to sing responses each and every holiday. The name has changed but the love of our music, and church is still the same. They are now known as the “Holiday Choir”.
Current members include:
Charter Member- Protinica Ana, Mickey Belas, Marie Rebich, Sylvia Michic, Mildred Snyder, Sophie P. White, Kathy Loverich, Kathy Chesla, and Patricia Cekoric
The current Jr. Choir was formed in March 1993 by Fr. Stevan Stepanov and assisted by Donna August and Kathy Loverich. Twenty plus eager singers between the ages of three to sixteen attended the weekly rehearsals.
The main focus for the singers was to help them learn the Serbian language through song, introduce them to basic music theory and basic vocal techniques.
The children were quick and eager to learn. Over the course of time their repertoire consists of many secular songs as well as many liturgical selections.
One of their greatest accomplishments is they are able to sing the Tones during liturgy each and every Sunday, sing the communion hymn as well as sing during offertory.
They have performed at the Annual Fellowship Dinners, for the St. Sava Celebrations along with performing at the St. Elijah Choir’s Annual Concerts.
The foundation of this choir has paved the way for singers to go on and join various Tammie groups, and Chorus classes at the Junior and Senior High level. The main goal is for them to move into and join the St. Elijah Choir and carry on the gift of song for years to come.
We are proud for the first time since their organization that they were honored to perform at the 67th Annual Serbian Singing Festival here in Aliquippa the weekend of May 23,24,25, 2008. Students from the ages of 3-21 graced the stage to perform to a captive audience on both Saturday and Sundays program.
- Kathy Loverich, President
- Michael Volitich, V.President
- Diane Volitich- Knapp, Secretary
- Dushi Mistovich,, Financial secretary
- Marlene Volitich, member
- Anka Vidakovich, member