||Under the direction of Frank Bucar and assistant director
Mary Spehar White, “The Singing Slovenes” were formed in
the multi-ethnic community of Gary-New Duluth in 1980.
The mission of the Minnesota group is to preserve
Slovenian music and cultural heritage. Slovenia is an alpine
country nestled between Italy, Austria, Hungary, and
Croatia. Though the name of the troupe is indicative of the
Slovenian heritage, the group boasts a wide and varied
number of nationalities. The “Singing Slovenes” represent
countries far and wide; Slovenia, Croatia, Italy, Germany,
Denmark, Poland, France, Norway, Finland, and Sweden.
Sharing the joy of their musical heritage helps promote good
fellowship and love of their neighbors through the use of
their time and talents. These performances are educational
as well as entertaining. Dressing in native costumes for
performances at educational facilities gives the students the
opportunity to experience other cultural attire. There are
also geographical and language lessons that transpire
during the course of the performance. The singers also
appear at festivals, senior centers and nursing homes, as
well as area churches with their musical ministries.
Instrumental accompaniment for the troupe is provided with
accordions, guitars, and drums. “The Singing Slovenes”
promote fellowship through music and cultural education,
sharing the Slovenian heritage and preserving it for current
and future generations.
Some noteworthy accomplishments on the national level
include being nominated for numerous awards at the
Cleveland Polka Hall of Fame Awards Show during the 50th
Anniversary of Tony Petkovsek’s Annual Thanksgiving Polka
Party in November, 2011, and winning the Cultural and
Heritage Award. The Singing Slovenes made back to back
appearances in 2011 and 2012 at World Fest at Silver
Dollar City in Branson, Missouri.
The following members make up ”The Singing Slovenes”:
Frank and Sharon Bucar, Mary Spehar White, Frank B. and
Leslie Bucar, Joe Jagunich, John Stark, Seannn McGovern,
Mark and Jen Spehar, Randy and Rose Hella, Chris Nollet,
DJ and Emily McClain, Jamie Finn, John and Polly Stojevich,
Ann Menart, Stephanie Fehringer, and Barb Smolnikar