Sokół Polish Folk Ensemble
President – Bernadette Gabriel
Music Director – Tadeusz Biernacki
Assistant Music Director – Monika Lukomska
Assistant Music Director – Michal Kowalik
Recording Secretary – Valla Wojtas
Treasurer – Kaz Malkiewicz
Audit Committee – Ola Tutaj, Valla Wojtas, Jola Goluchowska
Wardrobe Committee (Choir) – Valla Wojtas
Membership – Mieczysław Dittmar
Music Library – Agata Ploszanski
Concert Technical Support – Adrian Zarychta
Media – Jola Goluchowska
Social Committee Chair – Andrzej Kuciel
Webmaster – Paweł Głowacki
Tadeusz Biernacki holds the position of Assistant Conductor, Assistant Music Director and Chorus Master of Manitoba Opera as well as Associate Music Director of Royal Winnipeg Ballet. Tadeusz was born in Czestochowa Poland where he begun his music education at early age of four. He won the Karol Szymanowski competition in Warsaw in 1976 and earned his Master of Music degree in Piano Performance from the Conservatory of Music in Katowice in 1978. He has performed as a soloist in many European countries.
Tadeusz settled in Canada in 1978 and continued his studies with professor Marek Jablonski at the University of Manitoba and Banff School of Fine Arts.As a winner of 1980 Young Artists Competition he has toured Canada extensively in solo and chamber music recitals.In 1983 he begun his association with the Manitoba Opera and in 1988 with the Royal Winnipeg Ballet.At this same time Tadeusz started to develop his talents in conducting field.He made his conducting debut with Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra in 1992, in 1995 he conducted The Abduction from Seraglio for Manitoba Opera and has since conducted Vancouver Symphony Orchestra, Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra, Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra, Manitoba Chamber Orchestra, Music Baroque Ensemble, Kitchener-Waterloo Symphony Orchestra, National Arts Centre Orchestra in Ottawa, Windsor Symphony Orchestra, Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra, Tessaloniki State Orchestra and Royal Winnipeg Ballet Orchestra.
Tadeusz has also branched out into composition with his 1 act opera Happy campers composed for Manitoba Opera School Tour in 1997 and arrangements and orchestrations made for RWB and WSO.Feeling equally at home with choral music he has been Music Director of Sokol Polish Folk Ensemble since 1980. Under his
leadership the ensemble has made several recordings and has been touring in Canada and abroad.
Assistant Music Director
Born and raised in Poland, Monika attended the Academy of Music in Katowice, Poland. After she immigrated to Canada she completed both a Bachelor of Music and a Bachelor of Education degree at the University of Mantioba. Ms. Lukomska also holds an Orff Certificate from the University of Manitoba, and has completed a 5 year certification program in choral conducting from the Institute of Culture in Koszalin, Poland. She has held the position of music specialist at Ecole Garden Grove School since 1993.
Her school choirs had been awarded many trophies at the Winnipeg Music Festival including the prestigious Beth Douglas Memorial Trophy for the most outstanding public school choir. Ms Monika Lukomska is the second receipient of the Michael J. Proudffot Trophy for Choral Excellence given yearly to a conductor who most demonstrates passion for choral music, a drive to produce excellence in the choirs with which they work, and a history of performance in the Winnipeg Music Festival. Ms Lukomska is also the conductor of award winning youth choir Pembina Trails Voices – Chorale.
Assistant Music Director
Michał Kowalik was born in Czestochowa, Poland. In 2014 he graduated from the University of Manitoba with a Bachelor of Music and Bachelor of Education. During his studies, he performed the role of Count Almaviva in the U of M Opera Theatre’s presentation of The Marriage of Figaro. He has been an active member of Manitoba Opera Chorus since the 2007 season. He appeared as a soloist with the company in Rigoletto (2012) as a Herald, and as the Notary in Don Pasqualle (2013). Mr. Kowalik has performed as a soloist in numerous recitals, he is also a member of the Sokó Polish Folk Ensemble Choir, and the organist and choir director at Holy Ghost Church. He is currently a music teacher at Polson and Emerson elementary schools
Choreographer (Ensemble Dancers)
Gale was born and raised in Winnipeg, Manitoba Canada. In 1994, Derek joined the Sokol Polish Folk Ensemble as a dancer and in the following year, attended a workshop in Elblag, Poland with a small contingent of dancers to learn new regional dances and work with several well-known choreographers. This was the first of three trips to Poland with the dance group for him. The most recent two, as the choreographer of the group, were to the International Festival of Polish Folk Ensembles in Rzeszow, Poland (2011, 2014). Derek began teaching in the Sokol School of Polish Folk Dance in 1998 and started a course in Polish Folk Dance and Ethnography the following year. In 2001, Derek received his Diploma in Polish Folk Dance and Ethnography through the Polish Ministry of Culture in Krakow. He continued teaching with the school and eventually became the Artistic Director of the Sokol Polish Folk Ensemble Dancers. Shortly after, he took on the role of sole choreographer which he has now maintained for 8 of the last 9 years.
Choreographer (Sokół Polish Dance School)
Was born in Poland (Szczecin), and has been involved with Polish folk dance, modern dance and singing from an early age. She is a qualified dance instructor, judge dance of Jazz & freestyle, and has a degree of Master of Education. For nearly 20 years she has worked with children and youth as an instructor and choreographer. Dance and working with children is one of her greatest passions with which she wants to infect young dancers so they enjoy dance and joy which flows from it. Since 2010, Anna has filled the role of Artistic Director of the Sokół Polish School of Dance, taking care of cultural and artistic development of the school. Supporting Polish community through performances by her dancers, promoting Polish culture in the hearts of young artists is and will be one of the most important goals of her artistic life. On behalf of the Sokół Polish School of Dance I would like to thank you for the invitation to the great Polish cultural project which is the concert Songs of my Warsaw.
|Biernacka, Beata||Kukielka, Caroline|
|Biernacka, Anna||Łukomska, Monika|
|Gabriel, Bernadette||Szewc, Zofia|
|Głowacka, Bożena||Wojtas, Valentine|
Altos and Mezzos:
|Chmieluk, Lindusia||Tabbernor, Christine|
|Ferencz, Agnes||Tutaj, Mary|
|Merta, Magda||Tutaj, Ola|
|Dubiel, Bogusław||von Lau, Adam|
|Kowalik, Michał||Zarychta, Adrian|
Basses and Baritones:
|Dittmar, Mieczysław||Nawrocki, Mirosław|
|Gałązka, Zygmunt||Panufnik, Paweł|
|Kuciel, Andrzej||Szymanski, Dan|
IN LOVING MEMORY
Long time choir member Jerzy Bibik passed away peacefully on June 27, 2019. He was well known for his outstanding dedication to, and leadership within the Sokoł Choir Ensemble. Under his guidance, the Sokoł Choir Ensemble has transformed into the success so many people enjoy and find solace in today. Jerzy will always be cherished in the memory of the Sokoł Choir Ensemble, and the greater Winnipeg Polish community at large.
In Memory of Jerzy Bibik (1939-2019)
“We all came in as fledglings
Birds full of songful ambition.
Oh, sure we could sing
We loved Polish, and Polish culture
But to tell the truth, we were all a little
In awe of the famous Sokol Choir.
But there was a mature bird there
Who took us all under his wing
So to speak, so intelligent, great voice,
But most of all, it was his smile
Come in, feel right at home,
You’re welcome, it’s your culture
And by the way here is the music,
Please memorize it by next week.”
– Ron Romanowski