It was CCCS’s privilege to host its second annual Christmas concert with guests Hrvastsko Seljačko Pjevačko Društvo (HSPD) “Podgorac” Zagreb, one of the oldest existing choirs in Croatia. A capacity crowd filled Humber Valley United Church on both December 8th and 9th 2017 in anticipation of this musical collaboration. 

The evening of festive Christmas repertoire commenced with a beautiful candlelit processional and resounded with both choirs performing accompanied by trumpets, tamburaši, a string quartet, a flautist and an organist. 

Prior to the processional, CCCS President, Mira Lorkovich Omura, HSPD “Podgorac” President Zdravko Radić and Artistic Director Edward J. Mavrinac welcomed and thanked the audience and patrons for their support. 

The intricate and colourful national costumes worn by the Podgorci choir enriched the festive ambiance.  It was HPSD “Podgorac”’s first performance in Canada. For CCCS it was an amazing experience singing alongside fellow choristers with a 110-year-old choral history.

These concerts included traditional Christmas music sung in Croatian, English and Latin as well as an impressive interpretation of the oldest Canadian Christmas hymn Jean de Brebeuf’s The Huron Carol sung by Merit Award recipient Ivica Balaban. Additional highlights included performances by Merit Award winners Julijana Hajdinjak who was accompanied by her sister Danijela Hajdinjak, and Andrew Šporčić. The audience eagerly joined along singing to some favourite Christmas carols.

Immediately following the concerts at the receptions, everyone enjoyed singing and dancing to traditional Croatian music played by our talented tamburaši and sampling the delicious treats made by choir members.

These performances brought to life Artistic Director Edward J. Mavrinac’s vision of a collaborative cultural musical exchange between CCCS and HSPD “Podgorac” and remain a cherished memory for all, never to be forgotten!

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