Spring was finally in the air as the CCCS performed for over 500 guests in late April and early May 2019 at Humber Valley United Church in Etobicoke and Oakville’s Holy Trinity Croatian Catholic Church. The concerts, entitled Dalmatian Melodies, celebrated the history, culture and music of Dalmatia, a Croatian gem on the eastern Adriatic Sea.

The adult choir was joined by the new eight-member youth choir for several numbers. And the audience was charmed watching the enthusiastic youth choir joyfully sing under the guidance of Assistant Director Julijana Hajdinjak. Both choirs were accompanied by past Merit Award recipients Julijana Hajdinjak (2014) and her sister Danijela (2018) as well as guest artists including a youth string quartet, trumpeter, enthusiastic tamburaši musicians and an organist and pianist.

One of the evening’s most enchanting moments came when choir member Leo Spralja paid tribute to his late father Joso who was the first Croatian to perform at Carnegie Hall in New York City. The concert also commemorated other musicians who contributed to Croatia’s rich musical past. Other highlights included performances by this year’s Merit Award recipients Mia Miličević captivated the audience with the stirring aria Un Bel Di Vedremo from Puccini’s Madama Butterfly and Michael Kelemen dazzled at the piano, sharing his stunning interpretation of Morel’s Étude de Sonorité No. 2.

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