The John Paul II Foundation was established on October 16, 1981 by the Holy Father. In the current year the Foundation celebrates the 35th anniversary. From October 22-24, 2016 in Rome took place the anniversary celebrations which were attended by the Foundation’s friends from around the world. There were representatives from 48 Chapters from 18 countries. The main goal of the Foundation is dissemination of the spiritual heritage of Saint John Paul II as well as educational and financial help for young people from Eastern Europe and Indonesia, who are studying at the Catholic universities in Krakow and Lublin.
Joining the anniversary celebrations, the New York Chapter of the John Paul II Foundation organized a concert “In honor of Saint John Paul II”. The concert which took place on November 13, 2016 at the Polish-Slavic Center in Greenpoint features young artists. The concert included pieces from classical music, religious, sacral, musical, popular and patriotic songs. Pianist Robert Argasiński with virtuosity played F. Chopin’s “Mazurek B-dur op.17” and presented his own piano composition “Waltz Apassionata.” It was for the audience a very nice surprise as we were one of the first once to listen to this piece. Sebastian Muzeja selected F. Chopin’s “Waltz A-dur” and P.Czajkowski’s “The Seasons: April.” Maja Kędzia presented on flute L. van Beethoven’s “Ode to Joy” and A. Vivaldi’s “Four seasons: Spring.” Weronika Kołacz played on violin two pieces: J.S. Bach “Ave Maria” and “Gavotte.” Veronica Policht sang in soprano F. Schubert “Ave Maria” and “Geheimes” and a prayer “The Lord Prayer” by A. Maelotte. Julia Raczkowska presented song of C. Frank to the words of St. Thomas Aquinas “Panis Angelikus.” Julia Raczkowski selected song from “Quia Respexit” from J. S. Bach’s oratorio “Magnificat.”
As St. John Paul II entrusted his life to Mother of God, artists selected also various Maria’s songs. Ela and Julia Raczkowski sang famous Maria’s song “Black Madonna.” The audience joined sisters in joint singing. Isabella Świerzawska selected Piotr Rubik’s “Ave Maria Jasnogórska.” There were also songs related to Saint John Paul II. Sisters Julia and Nicole Biały sang “Crowds of hearts” from Rev. S. Ceberek’s repertoire. Victoria Wesołowski presented song “Who is that man” with lyrics written by Rev. W. Hnatczuk. Natalia Sokolnicki sang Natalia Kukulska’s “From the deep of hearts”, a song written on the occasion of the 80th birthday of the Holy Father. Along with Victoria Policht, Patrycja Posłuszny, Natalia Sokolnicki and Julia Skubisz the entire audience sang the songs “Barge” and “Abba Father”, which are associated with the pontificate of our great Compatriot.
The artists presented also patriotic songs which related to the November 11 celebrations of the Polish National Independence Day. Nicole Biały sang “Have hope” from the repertoire of Jacek Wójcicki from the movie “The Last Bell.” Natalia Sokolnicki touched listeners with the interpretation of the military song “Buds of white roses were blooming” while; Victoria Wesołowski with the strong voice sang marching song “Independent, rebellious.”
Young artists presented themselves very well in the repertoire of the Polish classical song. Isabella Świerzawska sang Violeta Villas’ hit “Letter to Mother.” Paulina Raczkowska recalled hits of the three famous singers of light music: Irena Santor “You will come back here,” Edyta Gepert “Life I love you” and Anna Jantar “The joy of the most beautiful days.” Julia Skubisz selected a song from Marek Torzewski’s repertoire “Nothing is given forever.” Patrycja Posłuszny presented song of Piotr Rubik to the words of Zbigniew Książek “Amazement” from oratory “Świętokrzyska Golgota.” During the concert artists presented also world known hits. Iconic song of Leonard Cohen “Halleluja” was performed by Julia and Nicole Biały. Famous and well liked aria from “Memory” from the L. Weber’s musical “Phantom of the Opera” presented Patrycja Posłuszny. Julia Skubisz selected the Ennio Maricone’s song “Nella Fantasia.” The song “Prayer” from the repertoire of Celine Dion and Andrea Bocelli presented Julia and Ela Raczkowski. They also ended the concert with the song “Time to Say Goodbye.”
The performance by young artists was well received and warmly applauded by the audience. The concert hall was full. The artist – many of whom attend a prestigious music schools – presented a high level of musical and vocal performance. The standing applause and enthusiasm as well as flowers given to artists said everything. Teresa Rysztof- painter and Polonia’s activist was the artistic director of the concert. Audio and sound was provided for free by Tomasz Raczkowski who represents the InwestPoland.biz. This concert was supporting the Foundation which was established by the Polish Pope and promoted young, talented Polonia’s artists. We hope that we will soon hear about our young artists in the music world. We wish them that with all our hearts.