“Jasielsk Suite”, how the musical life of Jaslo was shaped at the turn of the 20th and 21st centuries


Our project is carried out by students of the School Complex No. 4 in Jaslo: Zuzanna Dziedzic, Karolina Furmanek, Oliwia Kolasa, Magdalena Madejczyk, Katarzyna Ochwat and Luiza Waśko. The guardian is Zbigniew Dranka. And just before the official start of classes we were lucky, because we met by chance, on the steps of the Science Generator, the Mayor of Jaslo City Ryszard Pabian. A short chat was crowned with a joint photograph.

At the first meeting we got acquainted in detail with the topic of the project, and an action plan for the coming weeks was developed by us. We visited the Jaslo Science Generator to get to know better the place of our joint work.

We watched a documentary film “Jasło” presenting the history of the city and learned about the history of the album “Jaslo Suite”, from which the title of the project was borrowed. The time spent together allowed us to integrate, even before the study visits to our cultural institutions.

On November 25, 2022, we paid a visit to the Jasielsk Cultural Center. There we had a chance to learn about the history of this institution and how it is currently prospering. We interviewed the director of the JDK, Helena Golębiowska, through which we learned about the offer of the cultural center and the most important prestigious events organized by the JDK. Then we had the opportunity to talk with singing instructor Ewa Grzebień about the musical life of the community center, and visit the recording studio and talk about the process of creating songs with music instructor Wojciech Nowicki. We then browsed through the chronicles to get a better idea of JDK’s activities over the years. We topped off the meeting with a look at the stage where many concerts or award ceremonies took place.

Unexpectedly, we met in JDK Mr. Tomasz Kasprzyk cultural activist and photographer, who took a group photo for us. It will be our showcase in the multimedia presentation crowning the project.

On November 29 and 30, 2022 we had the opportunity to see the Andrew Dance Meetings at JDK. Soloists and teams competed against each other, but there was great respect and mutual support.

On December 5, 2022 we wandered to the Youth Cultural Center. Here the director Grazyna Lenchuk told us about the musical offer of the institution, illustrating the activities with richly filled chronicles. MDK has been teaching, entertaining and educating for years.

Various classes and attractive events gather thousands of children and teenagers. On the same day in the evening we hosted a ceremony at GEN to launch the activities of all project groups.

On December 8, 2022 we went to the Franciscan Church to listen to the largest instrument in Jaslo – the organ. We learned, from Pawel Chłopek – the organist, that it is built with more than 2650 pipes, and we had the opportunity to see what this instrument looks like from the inside.

After visiting the sanctuary, we went to the State and Private Music School, We had the opportunity to talk with the director of the Witold Lutoslawski State Music School Renata Osikowicz-Wyroba and the director of the Private Music School Leokadia Wróbel. We watched a film made for the 50th anniversary of the state school. We learned about the history of both schools, the process of their establishment and how they function on a daily basis. We learned about the successes and achievements of young Jaslo musicians, and saw the halls in which the students study.

On December 14, 2022, just before the ceremonial handover of the facility after revitalization, we were entertained by Mariusz Swiatek, director of the Regional Museum. Together with Adrianna Napiórkowska-Bek, they chatted and pointed out exhibits related to the musical culture of the city and region. Our colleague Madzia played the harmonium, an instrument once produced at the Jasielsk Piano Factory.

On January 2, 2022 we went to GEN to search and discuss the biographies of Jasielsk artists from our tutor’s collection. We browsed through many interesting newspaper clippings of musical events addressed to both young and older Yasiel residents, We also watched films featuring the bands of the factory establishments and Albin Grybos’ master’s thesis on Yasiel brass bands and the chronicle of the “Vinigamy” band from ZDK Chemik. Through these activities and other actions, participation in concerts, and research, we are at the stage of collecting materials that, arranged, will form a compendium of knowledge about the musical life of Jaslo. But we still have a lot of work ahead of us.

On January 9, 2023, we met in GEN. We analyzed the material we had collected so far, adopting a scenario for a multimedia presentation. We also reviewed photographs depicting various, including musical, events in our city.

Also on January 9, 2023, our guest was photographer and cultural activist Tomasz Kasprzyk. He talked about his passions, a gallery of well-known Iślans. He mentioned the restoration of age-old tombstones, as he is a member of the Social Committee for the Protection and Renovation of Old Cemetery Monuments, from the proximity of his residence near this necropolis he often sees to the renovation work, and photographs stone works of art. It was Mr. Tomasz who initiated in 2009 a public fund-raiser to save the monuments of sacred architecture located in the Communal Cemetery on Zielona Street in Jaslo. He was friends with Jerzy Dudus Matuszkiewicz, a Jaslo native by birth and a renowned composer. It was this musician, our compatriot, who funded a concert piano for the Jaslo House of Culture, and financed art scholarships for young Jaslo residents. To commemorate the artist, JDK organizes a series of Jasielskie Jazzowe Klimaty “Jassmaty” concerts every year. Mr. Tomasz presented us with the Medal of Merit in Culture “Gloria Artis” awarded to him on December 8, 2020 by the Minister of Culture and National Heritage and Sports. In this way, the Minister recognized the work of a Jilanese in the field of artistic creativity, cultural activities and the protection of culture and national heritage. Tomasz Kasprzyk (born 1960) is a respected photographer, author or co-author of many artistic exhibitions, member of prestigious organizations including the Krynica Photographic Society, Fotoklub of the Republic of Poland and the Union of Polish Art Photographers. He actively participates in the work of regional associations: “PlaJa” – Jasielsk Visual Artists and the Association of Lovers of Jaslo and Jaslo Region. He cooperates with the local government, serving for several terms as chairman of the Board of the Jaslo – Srodmiescie Estate. For his achievements to date, he has been honored with, among others, an honorary badge “Meritorious for Polish culture” (2014), a gold badge “For care of monuments” (2015), the Award of the Mayor of the City of Jaslo in the field of culture (2015), a medal “For merits for Polish photography” (2018), a silver medal “For photographic creativity” (2020). In our poll, the Guest pointed to the “Jasielskie Okółki” Festival as the most popular musical event, in the group of well-known bands he chose the Jasielska Symphonic Orchestra, while from personalities he spotted Michal Babiarz – pianist and Maciej Ochwat – accordionist.

On January 16, 2023 we were hosted at the “Kolejarz” House of Culture, formerly an institution of railroad unions. We were hosted by Mieczysław Kogut, Chairman of the Association of Cultural Animators “Kolejarz”. It was the association that in 1992 bought the equipment of this facility from the trade unions and cultivated the traditions of promoting culture. And once this facility was famous for the activities of amateur groups, theater and music, Until 2021 for a hundred years sang the male choir “Echo”, played a brass band. In the facility for many years there was a cinema “Railwayman”.
Discos, children’s games, farewells to pensioners, social gatherings, weddings, name days, gatherings of pigeon breeders, beekeepers, various exhibitions were held here. Rehearsals were held in the large hall, table tennis was played. Rooms were rented for meetings with important politicians.
After the liquidation of the cinema, there was a furniture store in its hall, and in others there was an accounting office, a repair store for household appliances, and a musical campfire.
We describe this meeting in more detail separately, as Mieczysław was active in this environment for many years, now he will liquidate what is material, chronicles will go to our museum. The building was put up for sale by the Federation of Trade Unions in Warsaw, the current owner.
We received tasteful folders depicting 100 years of the “Echo” choir as a souvenir.

The same day we were in the reading room of the Municipal Public Library. We were provided with books: “Encyclopedia of Jasło”, “Jaślanie znani i nieznani”, “Kalendarium Dziejów Jasła”, “Biographical Dictionary of Famous Figures of Jaslo and the Region”, “Jasło Yearbooks”, “Jasło Elementary Schools”, “Jasło Middle and High Schools”, where basic information about the history of the city is available, also noted biographies of famous Jaslans and all important and popular events, including music.
We know that we can always still look here in search of materials for the compendium of knowledge under development on “Jasielsk Suite” – how the musical life of Jasło was shaped at the turn of the 20th and 21st centuries, and other source materials.

Oliwia Kolasa

The GGP task is implemented within the framework of the project: “Jasło – City of Knowledge” implemented within the framework of the project financed from the funds of the EEA Financial Mechanism 2014-2021 and the state budget titled “Jasło – my city, my home”.

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