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A Little Bit of History
Originally organized as a PNA Group for young women (#2698) by Helena Markowska in 1932, the name at that time was "Jutrzenka Society for Young Ladies."
In 1934, Kazimiera Markowska, Helena's daughter, gave the society a purpose by forming a female choir, and the group became JUTRZENKA SINGING SOCIETY. The idea came from a family friend, Adam Trzcinski, who was at that time a member of a local Male Choir, "Moniuszko", also a member of the Polish Singers Alliance of America.
In 1936 the chorus was recruited by the PSAA, and became the 226th member of that national organization and assigned choir #226 in District 7. That same year, Kazimiera (Kay), married a member of Moniuszko, William A. Kostecki, and a new legacy was begun.
Kay L. Kostecka remained President of the choir until her death in 1988. Leadership of the choir was then passed down to her eldest daughter, Barbara R. Blyskal, who to this day is President of the group.
Throughout the years, Jutrzenka participated and performed in concerts, conventions and other programs of District 7 and the PSAA, as well as their own functions, or as guests of other member choirs or cultural groups. Many Jutrzenka members served as officers of the District and the Central Administration over the years.
In 1991, the chorus was down to just twelve dedicated singing members. Jutrzenka owes a debt of appreciation to Jacek Boryszewski, who, when he became their director in 1992, was instrumental in introducing nine new members from his church choir to the group. This gave Jutrzenka a new lease on life in the community.
Since 1995 the choral director has been IZABELLA KOBUS-SALKIN. Her background includes being a Star of the Lodz Opera Company in Poland. Izabella brought to Jutrzenka new enthusiasm and energy, as well as tips on proper breathing and voice control. At her own expense, Izabella completed a four-year summer course for choral directors offered in Koszalin, Poland. She is constantly on the lookout for new talent, encouraging young people to develop their talents, even offering free voice lessons if they join Jutrzenka!
Jutrzenka strives for an atmosphere of friendliness and camaraderie, trying its best to make its members feel at home as in a family. The choir is most grateful to each and every one of its members, past and present, for keeping the chorus alive through thick and thin. Without its members, its talented directors would have had no chance to share with appreciative audiences beautiful songs and choral works arranged for female voices.
In May, 2001, Jutrzenka participated in the 46th Triennial International Convention competitions of the Polish Singers Alliance of America held in Johnstown, PA where they were awarded their first, FIRST PLACE Trophy in the Female Division at a National/International Convention.
Past Presidents and Choirmasters
1934-1988 KAZIMIERA L. (MARKOWSKA) KOSTECKA
1988-Present BARBARA R. (KOSTECKA) BLYSKAL
1934-1935 - Stanislaw Osik
1935-1944 - Walter (Pop) Zbytniewski
1945-1953 - Prof. Alexander M. Bernyk
1954-1955 - Stanley Zachradnik
1955-1979 - Prof. Alexander M. Bernyk
1980-1987 - Jerzy Garbien
1988-1989 - Robert Kulik
1990 - Dorothy Kostecka-Wieczerzak
1991 - Jan Sporek
1992-1994 - Leslaw (Jacek) Boryszewski
1994-1995 - Jozef Czyz
1995 - Present - Izabella Kobus-Salkin
About Jutrzenka's Family Roots
As mentioned above, three generations of the same family organized, promoted, lead, and still carry on the traditions of this group. Kay and Bill's other daughters, Helen M. (Kostecki) Pater, and Casimira Kostecki not only sang with the Jutrzenka Junior Choir, but then with the Senior group as soon they were of age (16). Helen is still Treasurer of Jutrzenka, and also served as President of District 7 at one time. Prior to relocating to California, Casimira was Vice President of District 7, and for many years Vice President of the Central Administration.