Home
 Sunday School
Choir
Sisterhood



Priest
Schedule
Directions
Centennial

St. Nicholas Serbian Orthodox Church

СРБСКА ПРАВОСЛАВНА ЦРКВА СВ. НИКОЛЕ

5050 Harrison Street
Omaha, NE 68157-2247
Telephone: (402) 731-5583

S.S.S. St.Nicholas
Our History

 

Following the consecration of St. Nicholas Church in 1917, Divine Liturgy responses were sung by the Serbian school children and worshippers. In the summer of 1931, +His Grace Bishop Mardarije (Uskokovic), the First Serbian Orthodox Bishop of America and Canada, visited our parish and recommended to Professor Buckingham to organize and direct a choir. Professor Buckingham was teaching the SOKO Orchestra at the time.

The choir was formed in the fall of 1931 and named SOKO Choir, which translates to hawk. The hawk is a symbol of freedom and strength to the Serbian people, similar to the bald eagle being a symbol to Americans. Upon +Bishop Mardarije’s next visit to Omaha, he heard the voices of the new choir singing, enhancing the beauty of the Divine Liturgy.

The choir kept the title SOKO until its induction into the Serbian Singing Federation of America and Canada in 1953. This newly inducted choir of the S.S.F. was then requested either to choose the name of a famous Serbian composer, poet or its church name. Choosing its church name, the Serbian Singing Society St. Nicholas of Omaha, Nebraska was born. S.S.S. Sloboda of South Chicago (now Lansing, Illinois) served as honored kumovi during the induction and remains as a faithful friend to this day. The S.S.S. St. Nicholas celebrates its Slava on December 19, the Feast of St. Nicholas.

The S.S.S. St. Nicholas has established an everlasting bond with its close neighbor, S.S.S. St. George in Lenexa, Kansas. The St. Nicholas parish was honored to have the S.S.S St. George sing the Hierarchical Divine Liturgy responses for the church’s community center consecration in 1976 and church consecration in 1989. The two choirs annually participate in each other’s fall concerts and other special events.

Throughout the years, the S.S.S. St. Nicholas has been active within the Serbian Singing Federation. The choir was chosen as honored guest choir for the 1958 S.S.F. Festival in North Chicago and again at the San Diego, California Festival in 2012. The choir hosted four S.S.F. Conventions, most recently in 2015. The choir also hosted the 60th annual S.S.F. choral festival in 2001. The S. S. S. St. George of Lenexa, Kansas was chosen by the S.S.F. to be the honored guest choir for that occasion. The S. S. S. St. Nicholas has remained faithful to the St. Nicholas parish for over 80 years and the choir’s success can be seen through the dedication of five-year and 50+-year members alike. Through fund-raising efforts, choir trips, picnics, participating in local community events, singing during liturgy and active participation in the S.S.F., the choir continues to maintain a strong presence.

Thomas Olsen is the church and concert director and LeighAnn Martic is the assistant church director. Previously, Ann Renard, with the help of +Betty Cubrich as an assistant church director, directed the choir for many years. Ann Renard is still active and participates in many choir activities.

The S.S.S. St. Nicholas established the +Joseph A. Churchich Scholarship in 2004, named in honor of one of the most dedicated and talented directors to grace the choir. At that time, the scholarship was an award of $300 and is now $1,000. Recent scholarship winners include Machaela Atkinson and Matthew Lustgraaf. In addition, our youth members have received over $10,000 in scholarships through the Serbian Singing Federation. The dedication of members young and old guarantees the success of this choir into the future!

It is with great historical significance and deep gratitude to have received the spiritual leadership and guidance from +Bishop Mardarije. This very holy and pious man was canonized as a Saint by the Serbian Orthodox Church in September, 2015, followed by his Glorification in July, 2017 with participation of all Orthodox hierarchs of America. His relics (remains) were found to be completely incorrupt after 82 years since his repose. God is glorious in His saints!

 


CHOIR EXECUTIVE BOARD

Very Rev. Fr. Sasa Petrovic, Parish Priest
Linda Olsen, President
Protinica Marija Petrovic, Vice President
Mary Krajicek, Treasurer
Lindsey Mercado, Secretary
Thomas Olsen, Church and Concert Director
Contact Person: Linda Olsen
(402) 658-0121 or email: lzolsen1022@hotmail.com