Homage Concert to St. John Paul II and Homeland

Participating in the celebrations of the 100 anniversary of Poland regaining independence, the John Paul II Foundation New York Chapter organized a vocal-music concert entitled: “Guard your Homeland as previous generation did it” The concert took place on April 29, 2018 in the hall of the Polish-Slavic Center in Greenpoint and it featured young Polonia’s artists.  The concert coincided with the fourth anniversary of the St. John Paul II canonization, thus there were pieces related to the Holy Father and His pontificate.

The first part of the concert began with works of classical music, majority with the religious nature.  Daria Niebrzydowska sang F. Schubert’s song “Ave Maria”, Andrea Łapińska with a strong soprano presented C. Frank’s “Panis Angelicus”, Julia Skubisz beautifully performed antiphony in honor of the Mother of God “Alma Mater.”  Then, Robert Argasiński on the piano played the song G. Caccini’s “Ave Maria”, while Nicolas Kaponyas performed a piano version of J.S. Bach’s “Prelude”.  St. John Paul II entrusted His life to the Mother of God.

The young artists reached to Marian songs, religious one and the one composed by Piotr Rubik.  Monika Niebrzydowska sang the well-known song “Mary, beautiful Lady”, sisters Julia and Nicole Biały duo performed the song “Black Madonna” which is so close to the heart for every Pole.  Songs by P. Rubik were performed by: Patrycja Posłuszny who sang “Ave Maria from Częstochowa” and Julia Skubisz, who sang “The tower of prayer.”   With the child charm, Olivia Głogowska performed two religious songs:  “Leaf” and ‘When the twilight falls.”  Sisters Julia and Nicole Biały presented the familiar hit of L. Cohen “Hallelujah.”  The first part of the concert finished with songs which are permanently associated with the Polish Pope.  Natalia Sokolnicki presented a song “From the bottom of our hearts,” which was composed on the occasion of the 80th birthday of John Paul II.  The highlanders band Antoni Kapołka – accordion, along with his children Michał and Kasia – violin, played and sang with a great dynamics the song “The barge” and “Abba Father.”  They were accompanied by Monika Niebrzydowska, Natalia Sokolnicki, Julia Skubisz, Patrycja Posłuszny, Julia and Nicole Biały, Daria Niebrzydowska.  Moved by their performance the entire hall joined them in singing.  However, when the highlanders’ note in the song “Highlander, do you not regret” was heard while being performed with the highlanders temper by Kapołka’s family, all people had tears in their eyes.   All of us had in memory the farewell of the Holy Father when he was departing his Homeland and was saying “I feel sorry that I need to leave!”

The second part of the concert was patriotic.  It began with the song “God, Thou Hast Poland” played by Adam Piotrowski.  The audience standing joined to singing this patriotic religious hymn.  Then, Andrea Łapińska performed Maria Konopnicka’s poem “Rota” to which Feliks Nowowiejski composed music.  She touched many by her beautiful performance.  Both of these songs played particular educational and patriotic role in the days of lack of independence and occupation.  Robert Argasiński performed on piano his own piece entitled “Overpowered-Undefeated.”   It is worth to note that this young pianist with virtuosity accompanied many performers, for which we are very grateful.  Continuing with the patriotic songs, Daria Niebrzydowska sang “November 11th”, while Patrycja Posłuszny performed touching ballad bout the children of the Warsaw Uprising “White Eagle” with the main hero – Wojtuś Zalewski, 11 years old insurgent.  Natalia Sokolnicki chose the well-known military song “Buds of white roses were opening.”  Then, Benjamin Świerzawski with a great temperament performed the guerrilla, marching song “Heart in the backpack.” Maja Kędzia on a flute played two songs “White Eagle will win” and “My rosemary.”  Young artist also performed pop songs related to the Homeland.  Well known hit of Maryla Rodowicz “Tango for a voice, orchestra and one more voice” performed Monika Niebrzydowska.  Julia and Nicole Biały performed Andrzej Rosiewicz’s hit “You are asking me”, while Kasia Hanulewicz with  a strong voice performed Zdzisława Sośnicka’s hit “Home which I have.”   Andrea Łapińska has chosen the beautiful, lyrical song “White towel”, which was popularized by Bernard Ładysz.  Adam Łapiński – accordion brought back the songs “Near Cracow, on Błonie” and “How quickly moments are passing by.”  Then, young pianists from the Kobo Music Studio presented pieces by Fryderyk Chopin.   Nicholas Kaponyas beautiful played “Revolutionary etude”, Antoni Żakowski “Waltz in b minor, Marcin Żakowski “Waltz in c sharp.”  The concert ended with the performance of the music group Gaudete under the direction of Ewa Gindorowicz.  With the youthful vigor, they performed several patriotic and military songs, such as: “Flow, Vistula flow”, “We, the First Brigade”, “Came ulans to the window”, “My rosemary”, “Hey, falcons.”

Numerous fans of the classical music attended the concert.  The hall was entirely filled with the audience.  Young Polonia’s artists with their singing, performance on various instruments as well as their interesting repertoire provided a real spiritual feast.  Many of them are attending prestigious school of music.  It is certain that we will hear about these talented young artists in the future.  We wish them continued successes in the world of music.  Teresa Rysztof, well-known Polonia’s activist and painter was the artistic director of the concert. Katrzyna Ziolkowska was the master of the concert.

Zofia Twarowska