Our next “performers” have been doing so for at least 50 years! It is an honor to present the 50- Year Pin award to those choir members who have selflessly devoted at least 50 years of singing and supporting their choirs with their voices and volunteer activities. This year’s recipients are the following: From the St. George S.S.S. Choir in San Diego, California, is Millie Mrja who is not only a good alto but can sing tenor when needed. Millie not only supports her choir but her church as well. Also from San Diego is Protinica Božana Drašković. Protinica sings in the choir with her family, has been a member in Detroit before coming to San Diego, and was President of the San Diego Kolo as well as the founder of the “Morava” dance group. From the S.S.S. Josif Marinkovich in Steelton, Pennsylvania, is Patricia Hernjak, their choir President. Patty has given continuous service to her choir since 1965 and remains very active to this day. Also from Steelton is Helen Misćevich, a 55-year member who joined the choir in 1945 at age 12 because of the war, took leave to care for her mother and brother, and has given continuous service since 1966. The third recipient from the Marinkovich choir is Mary Ann Radanovich-Seiders, a wonderful soprano for 53 years and still active in her beloved choir. From Hamilton’s St. Nicholas Serbian Orthodox Cathedral Choir is none other than the choir’s director Protinica Mira Stojsavljevich, whose name was submitted by the entire choir for service above and beyond! Need we say more? This year we also have several gentlemen who are being awarded the 50-Year Pin! This year’s recipients are all from the Serbian Men’s Choir “Kosovo”. They are Nick Mitovich who also sings with the Holy Trinity Serbian Church Choir in Youngstown where he is a lead tenor. In Kosovo, Nick is the choir secretary. Next is Sam Rusnov, Kosovo’s President, and singer also with the Holy Trinity Serbian Church Choirin Youngtown. Sam is not only active in the S.S.F., but with S.O.C.A. and Pan Orthodox choirs as well. AND he has 60 years of active service! And last but most certainly not least, from the Kosovo choir and the S.S.S. Njegoš in Cleveland is Dr. Rick Živić. Rick’s service reads like a veritable Who’s Who of Choral Singers and Directors! He has been active in forming choirs, singing in choirs, and directing choirs in Milwaukee, Akron, Cleveland, and Columbus. He has also been administrator of the S.S.F. Choral Workshop for decades. Please congratulate these remarkable individuals who are true exemplars of dedication, commitment, and passion for our Serbian music, church, and community. Congratulations, and thank you, to each of you!
~ As announced at the Choral Festival by Elizabeth Neskow, S.S.F. Executive Secretary