Petar Krstich Choir
The Petar Krstich Choir was formed in 1943 as the Mirjana Singing Society of Holy Resurrection Serbian Orthodox Church in Steubenville, Ohio. Their first public concert was held in 1946. That same year, the choir took the name of the prominent Serbian composer and director, Petar Krstich. In 1948 the Choir was received as a member of the Serbian Singing Federation by the Federation’s Executive Secretary, Vlajko Lugonja, with SSS St. Elijah of Aliquippa as their Kumovi Choir.
The Petar Krstich Choir, also known as the “PK” Choir, has been a regular participant in the annual SSF Choral Festivals and has been selected as Honored Guest Choir of the Festival four times. Over the years the Choir has sponsored four additional choirs for membership in the SSF.
The PK Choir has been honored with invitations to sing all over the United States and Canada. They have performed on radio and television and have sung for special events at the request of the Serbian Orthodox Church in the United States and Canada, the Movement of Serbian Chetniks “Ravna Gora,” the Serb National Defense of Canada, and the Serb National Federation. The Choir, however, is first and foremost a church liturgical choir, singing the responses in both Church Slavonic and in English faithfully at the Divine Liturgy and many other services in their home parish. Most recently singing at the local nursing homes not just for the church parishioners but also for some of their own Petar Krstich choir members who can no longer attend church services and choir practices. We never want to forget our own members who have help to make our choir
what it is today.
The Petar Krstich Choir has been led by many directors in the past starting with the first choir director, Protinca Miriana Trbovich who founded the first church choir in Steubenville. With many directors to follow with their short stay as director of the Petar Krstich Choir. The person with the most time served as director and has most recently retiring on May 3, 2009 was Slobodan Zelich with 49 years of service. Mr. Zelich has expanded the repertoire of the Choir enormously through his own 100 arrangements and compositions.
Nino Karas is now following in the footsteps of many celebrated directors of the Choir. It is now his turn to make a mark in history as the Petar Krstich Choir director. Nino was appointed the choir director May3, 2009. He has been assistant choir director for over 25 years and has shown his love for his Orthodox faith and Serbian Heritage with his dedication of time and talents. With Nino’s love for music he is going to be a strong leader for many years to come.
Also the choir has assistant church directors who help during Divine Liturgy and Holy days services, they are John Drzayich, Robert Zori, and Mary Lynn Ricci.
The Petar Krstich Choir has produced five recordings that showcase their favorite
liturgical and folk selections. They are Songs of the Serbian People and Bells of
Visoki Decani, which are LP recordings; Kosovski Bozuri and Za Krst Casni i
Slobodu Zlatnu, which are cassette tapes, A Portrait of Orthodox Hymns and Serbian Folk Music, which is available in both cassette and CD format. At the 2008 Festival in Aliquippa the choir has re-release a CD of Kosovski Bozuri.