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Pan-American Exposition of 1901

Polish Singers Convene

Fillmore Hall too small to hold the Crowd.



Little Poland turned out last evening to honor the United Polish Singers and to give the visiting delegates a welcome to the Pan-American city that will not fade from their memory for many a day to come. Fillmore Hall, where the reception ceremonies were held, couldn't begin to hold the crowds. A thousand persons, half of them visiting singers, and their families, managed to get into the hall, but there were as many more who tried to, but couldn't. They had to be content to stand outside, but even there there was no difficulty in hearing the excellent singing of the three local societies.

Those who think that the Polish people haven't much musical talent ought to have been in Fillmore Hall last evening. There about 50 young men and women, all members of the three Polish singing societies in Buffalo, roused the big audience to intense enthusiasm by their singing, and there were a lot of men and women in the audience who know good singing when they hear it, too.

There are about 500 delegates of the United Polish Singers in Buffalo. They come from all parts of the country and will be in the city for four or five days, at least. Last night's reception marked the beginning of their work. The singers met last year in Bay City, Mich.

When Fillmore Hall was packed so that not another person could get into it, Dr. F. E. Fronczak of Buffalo, who is presiding over this, the twelfth annual gathering of the singers, opened the ceremony with an address of welcome in Polish. At the conclusion of his speech, members of the three local singing societies sang under the leadership of Leon Olszewski of Buffalo, general director of the Zwiazek Spiewakow Polskich, which means the United Polish Singers. The singing of the local societies evoked literal applause from the audience. Mayor Diehl delivered a brief address of welcome, finishing with a quotation of German poetry. Then there was more good singing, after which the Hon. Rowland B. Mahany delivered an address.

A number of representatives of local societies made brief addresses of welcome, John Maternowicz speaking for the Buffalo branches of the Polish National Alliance and Ignace Gutt for the Polish Young Men's Alliance. Other organizations also had spokesmen present.

Leon Olszewski, the general director of the United Singers, spoke in Polish, and at the conclusion of address, a few remarks were made by K. S. Sikorski of Bay City, Mich., president of the organization.

Then the national hymn of Poland, dear to the heart of every Pole, was sung, the audience standing and joining in the song. That marked the close of the reception ceremonies.

The credentials committee for this gathering consists of Messrs. Szmanski of Buffalo, Sosnowski of Nanticoke, Pa., and F. L. Gwizdala of Bay City.

This morning the singers will attend mass in the Church of the Transfiguration, the choirs of Bay City and Chicago furnishing the music. At 1:30 p.m. there will be a business session, and in the evening there will be a concert by a chorus of 500 voices, assisted by Mme. Kwasigroch, Mr. Ardziejewski, and George W. Karpus. Mme Kwasigroch is recognized as the greatest Polish soprano in this country. After the concert there will be a dance.

Business sessions will be held at 9 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. on Tuesday. In the evening there will be a banquet and a singing contest for a lyre, offered by citizens of Buffalo.

Though the meetings will close on Tuesday, the visitors expect to go in a body to the Falls on Wednesday morning and return to the Pan-American in the evening, when a banquet will be spread in Alt Nurnberg. The sessions will be held in Fillmore Hall.

The present officers are K. S. Sikorski, Bay City, president; S. C. Musiak, Bay City, vice president; G. W. Karpus, Bay City, general secretary. F. Syelmeczka is secretary of the local committee and J. Zelechowski financial secretary. Both are Buffalo men. J. Jankowski is the treasurer of the local committee.

Source: This article appeared in the August 19, 1901 Buffalo Express. It has been reproduced here in full.

See also a related article from the Buffalo Courier.