December 2002: The Alcoa Singers, composed of 30 employees, contractors, and retirees of multinational Alcoa Inc. headquartered in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, have recently completed their 41st concert series which was directed by conductor and accordionist Henry Doktorski. The Singers performed ten concerts at various venues throughout the city of Pittsburgh during their 2002 Christmas season, including concerts at Allegheny General Hospital, Magee Womens' Hospital, First Lutheran Church, Carnegie Library, USX Steel Tower and other locations.
Alcoa Singers at Carnegie Library, Downtown Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
Their repertoire, with accompaniment expertly provided by Eric Dzugan, a Duquesne University alumni with a Masters Degree in piano performance, consisted of a dozen anthems consisting of sacred and secular Christmas music, ranging from the 1599 Renaissance classic "Lo, How a Rose E'er Blooming" to the 1990 contemporary carol "Grown Up Christmas List," as well as a medley of traditional Chanukah songs.
Marlene Galluze, Alcoa Singers Co-chair, said, "The medley of Chanukah songs was especially memorable for us and very popular with our audiences, not only because the songs were from the authentic Jewish holiday repertoire but also because our illustrious director accompanied us on his 12-bass accordion. The melodious strains of the accordion highlighted the folk origins of these simple and beautiful songs and inspired us to sing them in a similarly poetic fashion. We enjoyed watching the children in the audiences who were mesmerized by the opening and closing of the bellows, since many of them may have never before experienced live accordion music. I hope he includes his accordion accompaniment in our 2003 season also."
This photograph of the Alcoa Singers was taken immediately after their Carnegie Library concert.
The Alcoa Singers performed at:
- Allegheny General Hospital Auxiliary
- Magee Womens Hospital
- First Lutheran Church
- USX Tower
- Alcoa Corporate Center Holiday Celebration
- Alcoa Corporate Center P.H. O'Neill Riverside Terrace
- One Oxford Center
- Carnegie Library Center, Downtown
- PPG Wintergarden, Alcoa Singers' Family Day
The 41th Anniversary Program consisted of the following pieces:
- Carter, Longfellow: I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day
- Regney, Shayne: Do You Hear What I Hear (Chloe Potts, finger cymbals)
- Leontovich: Carol of the Bells
- Carol Medley
- Foster, Jenner: Grown Up Christmas List
- Chanuka Medley, (Michelle Kirkwood, alto; Henry Doktorski, accordion)
- Gruber, Mohr: Silent Night (Pat Burnett, soprano; Ed Johnston, clarinet)
- Nelson, Rollins: Frosty the Snow Man
- Poet: Jingle Bells Through the Ages
- Adam: O Holy Night
- Miller, Jackson: Let There Be Peace On Earth
The season was dedicated to James Robert Cherry, an Alcoa singer from 1997 to 1998. In addition, Magee Matters, a publication for Magee-Womens Hospital employees, physicians and volunteers, printed a photograph of three Alcoa Singers sopranos and a short article titled A Song for the Season in their December 2002 issue.
Doktorski also directed -- and accompanied from the organ -- the Saint John of God Parish Choir in a concert of Christmas music immediately preceding the 10 p.m. Christmas Eve Mass at Saint Mary's Roman Catholic Church in McKees Rocks, Pennsylvania.