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Encyclopedia of Cleveland History

HARMONIA CHOPIN SINGING SOCIETY

HARMONIA CHOPIN SINGING SOCIETY

The HARMONIA CHOPIN SINGING SOCIETY was established in 1902 by young Polish immigrants interested in preserving their heritage. It was formed on 2 Aug. 1902 as the Harmonia Choir by B. W. Ruszkowski, Stanislaw Rakwitz, John Kaczmarski, Boleslaw Szbarbach, Joseph Sznajder, and John Mendrzycki. The group soon took over the Kosciuszko House, a small hall over a tavern at E. 65th St. opposite Baxter Rd. In 1912 it merged with the Fryderyk Chopin Choir, formed in 1907; by 1919 the new Harmonia Chopin Choir had 100 voices as well as branches for both boys and girls. By 1923 the group had moved to its present location at 3736 E. 71st St. The group not only served the Polish community but also performed outside it to introduce the larger population of Cleveland to Polish culture. It sang for many religious, fraternal, and civic gatherings, as well as at important Polish affairs, including fundraising events to benefit fellow Poles. The group has received a number of awards and trophies for its singing. Only partly active in 1995, the society's 32 members gave semi-annual performances at St. Stanislaus Church. The society remains a member organization of the Polish Singers Alliance of America. The president of Harmonia Chopin in 1995 was Mieczystow Wasiewicz.