The Lira Ensemble, which specializes in Polish music, song and dance, planned to present a concert celebrating the 100th anniversary of his birth with a concert at a major basilica in Chicago – but the COVID-19 pandemic made that impossible. So Lira will present a celebratory concert on the eve of his birthday, online, for free.
The concert features the Lira Singers and the Lira Chamber Chorus performing sacred music, music written to texts by St. John Paul II, music dedicated to him, as well as folk songs from his beloved home city of Krakow (Cracow), Poland – sung in Polish and Latin.
The one-hour concert will be heard on the Jesuit YOUTUBE channel on the eve of on the saint’s birthday. You can access the channel at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HvSzlRkFr3k.
Or you can visit http://www.jezuici.org/msza-online and just scroll down a bit to see the altar at the Jesuit Millennium Center. If your computer or other device does not take you directly to the Polish Jesuit’s website showing the altar, just click on the first line it takes you to: msza online – jezuici. That will take you to the website and just scroll down a bit until you see the altar.
REMEMBER: The concert is AUDIO ONLY, the only picture you will see is the altar.
SUNDAY, MAY 17TH
AT 5PM (CENTRAL DAYLIGHT TIME) WITH ENGLISH NARRATION – AUDIO ONLY
AT 6PM (CENTRAL DAYLIGHT TIME) WITH POLISH NARRATION – AUDIO ONLY
FOLLOWED BY A 7PM POLISH MASS FROM THE JESUIT MILLENNIUM CENTER IN CHICAGO
WITH VIDEO AND AUDIO
The concert offers listeners an opportunity to hear ancient Polish music, music by master Polish composer Stanislaw Moniuszko, and late 20th century music by composers known and revered in Poland, but unknown in the United States, such as Irena Pfeiffer, Juliusz Luciuk, Jozef Swider, as well as Chicago composer Marek Rachelski.
The Lira Singers and Lira Chamber Chorus are conducted by Paul Dijkstra and Philip Seward who were co-conductors of the Lira Ensemble in 2003 when the works to be heard on May 17th were recorded at WFMT for a program honoring the 25th anniversary of the papacy of St. John Paul II.
The Polish narration is by the Reverend Pawel Kosinski, S.J. and the English narration is by Lucyna Migala, artistic director and general manager of the Lira Ensemble. The Lira company has two of its own anniversaries this year: the 55th anniversary of the founding of Lira and its 25th year as artist-in-residence at Loyola University Chicago.
Polish Mass is broadcast live on the Jesuit YOUTUBE channel weekdays at 8am, 6pm and 7pm; Saturdays at 8am and 7pm; and Sundays at 8am, 9:30am,11am, 1pm, 7pm and 7:30pm. These Polish Masses are broadcast from the Jesuit Millennium Center at 5835 West Irving Park Road in Chicago. The Jesuit channel also offers other programming, titled: “Radio Modlitwa w Drodze” in Polish, featuring sacred music, prayer and meditations.
Donations to the Lira Ensemble are very welcome during these difficult times of the pandemic. To make a donation, please visit the Lira website: www.liraensemble.org.