The Slavjane Folk Ensemble is a dynamic, dedicated group of 34 young performers from ages 4 to 18. Throughout the year they tirelessly rehearse and display their representation of the Slavic heritage and culture, especially that of the Carpatho-Rusyns.
Founded in 1959 and incorporated since 1973 by "Mr. Slavjane" Jack Poloka (1938-2010), Slavjane has performed extensively in the Pittsburgh and tri-state areas. Slavjane has also performed at Epcot Center in Florida, in Washinton, DC, Rahway, NJ, Atlantic City, NJ, Baltimore, MD, and in the former Czechoslovakia - in the summer of 1992, Slavjane was the first Carpatho-Rusyn group from the United States to perform in the annual Medzilaborce Arts and Sports Festival. Slavjane had the prestigious honor of being invited to perform at the Rusyn World Congress and Rusyn Youth Rally which was held in Krynica, Poland in June 2005, returning from a successful 2-week tour of the Rusyn homeland that included performances in Uzhorod in Transcarpathia; in southern Poland Lemkovyna; in Presov and again at the annual Medzilaborce Arts and Sports Festival, representing the Carpatho-Rusyn Society, the Greek Catholic Union of America (GCU), the Rusynys of the United States and North America, the Byzantine Catholic Archeparchy of Pittsburgh, and the Holy Ghost Byzantine Catholic Church, McKees Rocks, PA. The ensemble also performs at the Pittsburgh Folk Festival representing the Carpatho-Rusyns.
Supporting Slavjane is the parents organization, Spiritial Director Fr. Frank Firko, Dean Poloka-Program Director and Choreographer, Darlene Fejka-Music Director, Susan Fejka-Junior Ensemble Director, Cara Kassabov-Assistant Program Director, Tom Ellis-Music Instructor, Ashley Spenser-Choreographer, Katie Kennedy-Instructor. Slavjane maintains a very active schedule of rehearsals, performances, social events and fund raisers.