The Slavjane Folk Ensemble is a dynamic, dedicated group of young performers ages 4 to 18. Throughout the year they tirelessly rehearse and display their representation of 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 area and tri-state region. Slavjane also has performed at Disney's Epcot in Florida, and for private events in Washington DC, Rahway, NJ, Atlantic City, NJ, Baltimore, MD, among other locations.
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 in eastern Slovakia. Slavjane also 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. The ensemble returned from a successful 2-week tour of the Rusyn homeland which included performances in Uzhorod (Transcarpathia); Lemkovyna in southern Poland; Presov and again at the annual Medzilaborce Arts and Sports Festival, representing the Carpatho-Rusyn Society, the Greek Catholic Union of America (GCU), the Rusyns of the United States and North America, the Byzantine Catholic Archeparchy of Pittsburgh, and Holy Ghost Byzantine Catholic Church, McKees Rocks, PA. Slavjane also had performed for many years at the Pittsburgh Folk Festival representing the Carpatho-Rusyns.
Supporting Slavjane is the Parents Organization, Spiritual Director Father Frank Firko, and a staff of experienced directors and instructors, including 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 Spencer-Choreographer; Katie Kennedy-Instructor.
Throughout each performing season, Slavjane maintains an active and diverse schedule of rehearsals, performances, social events and fund raisers.