An enthusiastic crowd of close to 250 people gathered at Humber Valley United Church in Etobicoke on Sunday, April 29, 2018 to enjoy the uplifting sounds of the Canadian Croatian Choral Society. Led by Artistic Director Edward J. Mavrinac, performances included a heartwarming tribute to some of Croatia’s old cities, including popular, well-known and loved songs honouring Zagreb and Varazdin, beautifully moving sacred songs and solo singing and piano performances from past young Artistic Merit Award recipients. At one point, many in the audience sang along wholeheartedly to the very popular Bože, Čuvaj Hrvatsku (God, Keep Watch over Croatia).
The choir was accompanied by talented young musicians on trumpets, strings, a flute and pipe organ as well as the ever-popular tamburaši quintet.
The CCCS’s 2018 Artistic Merit Award recipient, Danijela Hajdinjak, was presented her award by last year’s recipient, Adam Mezgec, and then enthralled the audience with a rendition of Summertime as well as a solo from an opera composed by her sister and past Merit Award recipient Julijana.
The charming Trio Brinjak, young siblings dressed in magnificent national costumes, performed together and also with the choir to the great delight of all in attendance.
The concert ended with the rousing vocal and instrumental arrangement of Beethoven’s Ode to Joy sung in the Croatian language. Many in the audience were still humming the uplifting tune as friends new and old gathered in the church’s aptly named Fellowship Hall to enjoy a delicious feast of homemade Croatian delicacies.