The well-known Lira Singers and Cuerdas Clasicas String Ensemble will perform a concert of Mexican and Polish music on Sunday, May 6, 2012 at 4pm at St. Bruno Church, 4751 South Harding in Chicago .Â Admission is free; a free-will collection will be taken.
The concert celebrates two important ethnic holidaysÂ — Cinco de Mayo and May 3rd/Polish Constitution Day.Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â
The concert features the Lira Singers, the core group of the Lira Ensemble which specializes in Polish music and dance, and the Cuerdas Clasicas String Ensemble of men and women who play traditional Mexican stringed instruments as well as sing. The program includes Mexican, Polish and American folk and patriotic songs as well as Marian hymns performed by the two companies.
Reverend Antoni Bury, pastor, invites all to this concert which honors the Polish immigrants who created and built St. Bruno Church as well as the many Mexican Americans who now are parishioners.
The event is produced by the Lira Ensemble, artist-in-residence at Loyola University Chicago, and Â is part of a series of Mexican/Polish performances presented by Lira since 1990.Â The series has been praised by audiences, community leaders, as well as critics. A reviewer in the Chicago Tribune described these joint concerts as “a joyous explosion of song and ethnic traditions” which “proves the power of music.”Â The Lira Ensemble won the City of Chicago 2001 Human Relations Award for its inter-ethnic concerts with Mexican Americans, African Americans, and its outreach to American Jews â€“ many of whom have roots in Poland .Â
Mexican Americans celebrate Cinco de Mayo (the 5th of May) to commemorate the Mexican victory at the Battle of Puebla on May 5, 1862 against the French.Â This was part of the Mexican fight against Napoleonâ€™s invading armies. Polish Americans celebrate May 3rd as Polish Constitution Day to remember the signing of the Polish Constitution of May 3, 1791.Â This was the second written constitution in world history, second only to the United States Constitution, on which it was partially based.
The May 3rd concert will be narrated in English by Lucyna Migala of WCEV Radio/1450am, who is co-founder, artistic director, and general manager of the Lira Ensemble.Â In 2007, she received the Sor Juana Award of the National Museum of Mexican Art in recognition of her cross-cultural initiatives. The Cuerdas Clasicas String Ensemble will perform under the direction of Rodolfo Hernandez, founder of the group.Â The concert will be conducted by Mina Zikri, resident conductor of the Lira Ensemble.
Admission to this Mexican-Polish concert is free, but the audience is asked to make a contribution when the free-will collection is taken. Free parking is available adjacent to the church.
The concert is funded in part by the Illinois Arts Council, a state agency and the CityArts Program of the Chicago Department of Tourism and Culture.
For more information, call the Lira Ensemble at 773-508-7040.