MCI seeks assistance

For many years, cantors who received comprehensive cantorial training in Europe were known in this country as “professors.” These men led church singing, taught religion classes, directed plays, and often organized church services when clergy were scarce. Over time, other particularly influential cantors were also called by the title “professor.”

In order to better preserve and foster our chant tradition, the Metropolitan Cantor Institute (MCI) has been working with the Byzantine Catholic Seminary of SS. Cyril & Methodius in Pittsburgh to collect information about these important leaders in our church. Now we are turning to you for assistance. We are particularly interested in the following cantors:

Peter Babey

Joseph Barron and other

cantors in the Barron family

Michael Demyan

Julius Dobra

John T. Dzurisin and

Paul Dzurisin

Gabriel Flintosh

Andrew Hleba

John Horvath

Michael Hrebin Sr.

George Hress

John Jaroscak

George I. Kacan

John Kahanick

Nicholas Kalvin

Basil Karol

John Katchen

Daniel J. Kavka

Peter Korpos

George Kostraba

Joseph Kotch

John Lessler

Stephen Levkulich

John Maceyko

John Mitchell

John Molnar

Andrew M. Morros

(or Morris)

I. J. Palazey

George Parvenski

Andrew J. Parvensky Sr.

George, John, Michael

and Stephen Pauley

John Petach

Andrew Petrin

Michael Petzko

Theodore, Joachim, and

Anthony Ratzin

George Sabol

Basil Sarady

John Alexander Saxun

Emil Simodejka

Michael Stinich

Alex and George Suchan

•”Prof. Suhunyak” (Pleasant

City, Ohio)

Michael Vuksta

John Wischak

Paul Yatsko

Michael G. Zaretsky

Peter Zelezniak

The MCI can provide some basic information about each, usually from published obituaries.We are looking for information about where and when each of these individuals learned church music; where they served as cantors; documents, photographs or recordings, if any exist; and, most importantly, personal remembrances of their work as cantors. In the case of cantors who also composed or arranged church music, we would like to assemble either a complete or representative sample of their work.

The collected information will be used to document the history of our church singing, foster our plain chant and choral singing and honor our cantor forebears. It will also be shared with the parishes where these cantors served. If you can contribute to this project in any way, please contact Deacon Jeffrey Mierzejewski at plainchanter@ or by calling 412-735-1676. Watch the MCI Web site at and Byzantine Catholic Seminary Web site at for updates.