WINDBER -—Members of the Rodoljub, Croatian Educational Singing Society, entertained at the Center For Life senior center in the Windber Medical Center Wednesday.
The group, made up of members Brian Lohr, Michael Filo, Terri Laslo, Lauren Laslo, Sandy Rohde, Betty Sekela and Evonne Yanzetich-Homway, sang a number of songs in both Croatian and English for those in attendance.
Betty Sekela of Windber, the group's past president and second generation member said, "Within the past decade our chorus has dwindled and though we are limited in our choice of music, we are just as dedicated to signing the beautiful Croatian and Slovenia songs that our ancestors brought to America. Now, more than ever, it is imperative for us to preserve the heritage our parents and grandparents have given us."
Her father, John Cekolj, was an honorary-life member and joined Rodoljub in 1929.
"He was proud of his Croatian Heritage," she said.
Sekela joined Rodoljub as a tribute to her father and to help promote Croatian music in America.
The Croatian Educational Singing Society, based in Johnstown, was organized on June 10, 1910, by Slavic immigrants who came to this country soon after the turn of the 20th century. According to the group's official history, the members "would meet in club rooms and would harmonize singing their ethnic folk and classical choral music. Using compositions written by the masters from their Yugoslavian homeland, Rodoljub dedicated itself to preserving the musical heritage of Croatia, Slovenia and Serbia."
Rodoljub performs throughout the area and welcomes an opportunity to do so. For more information, contact Sekela at 814-467-7010.