Stubendek István, Prof. Párkai István and Stubendek István, Stupendek István's medal, Concordia Chorus
On the 50th anniversary of the Magyar Kórusok, Zenekarok és Népzenei Együttesek Szövetsége (Association of Hungarian Choruses, Orchestras and Folklore Ensembles – KÓTA), prizes for 2019 were awarded on January 22nd ,2020, the Day of Hungarian Culture. This year, the event was held at the St. Imre Cistercian Gymnasium in Buda. Prizes were awarded in eleven categories.
Only two recipients were from outside of Hungary’s current borders, both from the Felvidék area: Méry Margit, folklore researcher of Pozsony, and the 40 year-old Concordia Chorus from Komárom, founded and directed by Stubendek István. The prize was awarded to him and the Chorus in recognition of their magnificent work in the field of Hungarian musical culture over the years.
The 2019 KÓTA Grand Prize went to Professor Párkai István, Kossuth-prize winning conductor, piano virtuoso and university professor. Of particular interest is that the 91 year-old Professor Párkai was Stubendek István’s former professor. This is the first time that teacher and student can congratulate each other for their achievements.
Twenty years ago, the Chorus traveled to the USA for a concert tour. The initial concert was at the Norwalk John Calvin Reformed Church; from there, the tour continued to New York City, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Washington DC, and New Jersey.
On the day they were flying back to Hungary, some members of the Fairfield, CT Calvin United Church of Christ met them in New Jersey, and went with them to the Statue of Liberty. Inside the Statue, the Choir started to sing. It was something to remember!
Today, the Chorus has 35 members, many of them children of the original members. On May 16, 2020 the Chorus will celebrate its 40th anniversary at the Egressy Béni Culture Center of South Komárom, with the participation of other choruses. For this occasion, a yearbook also will be published with many stories, photos and memories.
Currently they are preparing for the Slovakian Hungarian Choruses concert and the Galánta Kodály Zoltán Days, which are organized every third year.
I am very proud to have István, his wife Anna (chorus member), and their daughter, Stubendek Kati (actress) as friends.
Congratulations to the Concordia Chorus, and to Founding Conductor Stubendek István on the Chorus’ 40th anniversary and the KÓTA prize!