The Society was founded in 1899 by Boleslaus Michalski, a Polish immigrant, who served as organist at St. Adalbert’s Basilica. It was there that the Society first found a home. The Society soon moved to its own premises located at 1210 Broadway. Subsequently, it purchased property at 18-24 Kosciuszko Street where it was located for over sixty years. It then located to 2155 Old Union Road for several years. The Society holds its choral practices at Leonard Post Jr. VFW Post, 2450 Walden Avenue each Tuesday. Its programs and events are held in a variety of venues. The Society’s mailing address is 26 Countryside Lane, Depew, New York, 14043.
The Society was incorporated as a cultural and educational Society in 1914. The incorporators were Joseph Dulski, father of former Congressman Thaddeus Dulski (also a Chopin member) and Lawrence Nagowski, long-time treasurer of the Society. From that period until 1949 the Society enjoyed growth and a high level of excellence in its choral work. In 1912, the Society won first place as best men’s chorus in the International Singers’ Alliance Competition. In 1990, the choir won first place as best overall Chorus.
The Society was not only a source of a rich cultural life for Buffalo’s Polish-Americans but, during World War II, it offered solace and support to displaced Polish immigrants. The upper floor of its clubrooms temporarily housed immigrant families. The Society’s home became the center, as well, of the Polonia Society, an organization of newly arrived immigrants. The Society helped to assuage their longing for Polish culture. Many Polonia members entered the Chopin ranks, including Ludwig Distel, soloist of the Society for some forty years. He and long-time soloist Theresa Dybas charmed audiences with their solo and duet work.
The Society chose as its patron and namesake, Frederick Chopin, the poet of the piano who was considered a genius of unprecedented stature. His music continues to be performed on concert stages all over the world to this day. Of special note to our Society is that his music has great nationalistic themes which are a perfect fit for the mission of the Society, “To promulgate the best in Polish music and song.”
The Chopin Singing Society
Chopin Singing Society of Buffalo © 2015