Dallas Czech Orchestra
History of the Dallas Czech Orchestra
The Dallas Czech Orchestra
The Dallas Czech Orchestra is a 30-member all volunteer group that plays traditional music of Central Europe, primarily Czech polkas, waltzes, marches and landlers.
The instrumentation and musical arrangements are European in style, featuring tenor horns and flugelhorns, giving it the sound of a traditional old-world town band. The ensemble includes several violinists, who have played with the group since its inception over 45 years ago.
The band was founded as the Czech Day Orchestra in 1964 by Sid Pokladnik, in response to a request for music for Czech Day at the State Fair of Texas. The group continues its long-standing tradition of playing at the State Fair. It has also performed at a variety of Czech and other international cultural events including the Dallas International Festival at the Morton H. Myerson Symphony Center, the San Antonio Folk Life Festival and the National Polka Festival in Ennis, Texas. Reflecting the widening scope of the group’s venues, the name was changed to the Dallas Czech Orchestra.
The Dallas Czech Orchestra plays at the Southern District Sokol Slet annual athletic exhibitions throughout Texas. In 2009, the band was honored to perform for the International Sport and Cultural Festival and the XXII American Sokol Slet in Fort Worth.
The group performs at senior centers and nursing homes in Dallas, Ennis and Ft. Worth where many of the residents are of Czech ancestry. In addition, it also performs for Czech functions and dances at Czech Halls in Dallas, including the SPJST, Sokol and Czech Club (KJT/KJZT) and for special Czech events in Houston, Corpus Christi, Ennis, Ft Worth, West, Caldwell, Belton, Bryan, La Grange and other towns in Texas and Oklahoma.
The Dallas Czech Orchestra promotes the Czech music that is an important part of Czech culture. The musicians’ aim is to share their love for this music with appreciative audiences. The ensemble continues to promote the Czech musical heritage, which began so many years ago.
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