George Memorial Library to host Czech Heritage Day October 13

Miss Texas Czech-Slovak Queen Caitlin Orsak.

Fort Bend County Libraries, in partnership with the Fort Bend County Chapter of the Czech Heritage Society of Texas, will celebrate Czech Heritage Day on Saturday, October 13, from 9:30 am to 12:00 noon, in the Meeting Room at George Memorial Library, 1001 Golfview in Richmond.

The celebration, “Showcasing Czech Youth,” will shine the spotlight on talented children from the Texas Gulf Coast area, who will share their Czech heritage with traditional singing, dancing, music, and a dramatic rendition of a story based on a Czech children’s opera.      Families are encouraged to bring their children to this fun celebration of Czech youth who are eager to share their Czech heritage with other people!

Meet the members of the Fort Bend County Chapter of the Czech Heritage Society of Texas at a brief, general meeting of the organization that will kick off the day’s events at 9:30 am. Learn about the activities in which the members participate to preserve the rich heritage of the Czech community in Texas.

The meeting will be followed with a performance by dancers from the Keller Academy of Performing Arts in East Bernard. Dressed in festive red, white and black Czech costumes, the children will perform their rendition of traditional Czech dances. The young dancers are regular performers at the Klobase-Kolache Festival every year.

After the dance demonstration, Mary Jane Kocurek will introduce the children’s book, Brundibar, written by Tony Kushner and illustrated by Maurice Sendak. Tiffany and Arianna Selph (ages 8 and 10), of Rosenberg, will act out a scene from the children’s story book. Brundibar is based on a children’s opera written by Jewish-Czech composer Hans Krása, which was originally performed in 1942 by children who were soon to be incarcerated in the Nazi’s Theresienstadt concentration camp in occupied Czechoslovakia.

Following this performance, the reigning Miss Texas Czech-Slovak Queen, Caitlin Orsak, will sing “Ship of Dreams,” written by Texas songwriter Daniel Klapuch. The song was inspired by Klapuch’s grandparents’ immigration from Bremen Germany on the SS Breslau.

A resident of Shiner, Orsak graduated from Sacred Heart High School in Hallettsville and plans to attend Texas A&M University.

The day’s activities will conclude with a musical performance by the Suttie Young Men of Stafford. Robby Suttie (age 11) and his brother Charlie Bubenik (age 12) will perform a polka medley on the baritone horn and the alto horn. The brothers began playing Czech music when they were five years old, and have performed with their father as part of the Bob Suttie Texas Czech Band Trio.

The celebration is free and open to the public. Kolaches and coffee will be served. For more information, call the library’s Public Information Office at 281-341-2677.

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