Posts Tagged ‘polish origin’

Talents of Polonia

Friday, January 5th, 2007

Several weeks ago, on December 10, 2006, I had a great pleasure to attend a concert “When Stars Collide” at E.J. Thomas Hall in Akron, Ohio.  I decided to spend this beautiful Sunday afternoon by going to the concert at E.J. Thomas Hall for two reasons: I needed to relax in the middle of my difficult exam session, and most importantly, I wanted to hear a young, very promising musician of the Polish origin.

Konrad Binienda (17), a senior at Firestone High School in Akron, appeared as a soloist with the Akron Symphony in the world premiere of his own composition Piano Concerto in e-minor.  When asked before the performance what was his inspiration for writing this concerto, he replied that he began working on this composition just after the departure of John Paul II.  The death of “the Polish national hero,” as he put it, inspired him to write this very beautiful music.  I am writing “beautiful” because this is the only word that comes to mind as appropriate to describe my experience. In this music I heard Zygmunt tolls from Wawel Hills, birds singing over Polish meadows, and all my nostalgia for Poland, albeit I would never be able to paint it with sound like Konrad painted it.  A more experienced ear could easily discern Chopin’s motives woven into the structure of the concerto.  Konrad himself remarked that Chopin has been his icon.
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Growing up Polish

Monday, March 1st, 2004

We refer to ourselves as Americans of Polish origin.  My sister and I were born in the United States, whereas our older brother was born in Belgium where our parents had completed their university studies after the Second World War.  We not only grew up speaking Polish at home, our parents taught us to read and write Polish before we started (American) kindergarten.  However, we were more than just bilingual, we were brought up bicultural as well.  Has this hurt us at all?  Have there been any negative repercussions associated with this?  Absolutely not!

As adults, we realized that our parents had been enlightened people who knew that by virtue of being raised in this country, we would be Americans in every sense of the word and that we would speak like everyone else.  However, they also knew that giving us a second language would enrich our lives and broaden our horizons.

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