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This article was published in 1917.
1989 articles were published that year.

This article has a primary subject code of "Music" (II A 3 b).
1014 articles share this primary code.

  • Dziennik ZwińÖzkowy -- February 05, 1917
    Anthony Mallek Father of Polish Song in America Is Dead

    Inexorable death has again taken from our ranks a man of great merits in the nationalistic and social fields, a good Pole, an exemplary husband and father, a good citizen of this country, and a loyal son of the Catholic Church. Anthony Mallek, father of Polish song in America, was a tireless worker in the field of music, a member of the Polish National Alliance for many long years, and former secretary general of the Alliance.

    He died yesterday at 4:10 A.M., surrounded by his family, after a long illness which cut the thread of his industrious life.

    The name of Anthony Mallek is well known among American Poles, especially in music circles, as he was the first to spread Polish song and music here. He organized church and national choirs, published many of his own compositions, and compiled textbooks of songs and music. He well deserved the name of father 2of Polish song in America.

    Anthony Mallek was born on May 5, 1851, at Ogorzeliny, Chelm, West Prussia. He received his earliest musical training from his father, Stanley Mallek, who was a talented organist and musician in the village of Waldowie, During the Franco-Prussian War, when the Prussian government was drafting eighteen-year-old recruits, our Anthony, persuaded by his father and friends, came to America in 1871 in order to escape being drafted into the Prussian army. The journey was a relatively good one, lasting sixteen days from Bremerhaven to New York, and three days from New York to Chicago. In Chicago Anthony was welcomed by his brother, John Mallek, on March 31, 1871.

    During his first year in Chicago, Anthony worked at the Illinois Central Railroad depot, where he was introduced by friends who had known his father, Stanley Mallek, in the homeland. He worked there until the time of the great Chicago fire, which destroyed one-fourth of the city. After the fire was under control, he was one in a gang of laborers looking among the ruins for the safe 3of the Illinois Central.

    As a result of the illness of Mr. Wilandt, teacher and organist of St. Stanislaus Kostka Church in Chicago, Anthony Mallek was called upon to serve as a substitute teacher and organist, which position was given him permanently in 1872. At this time he sent for his brother Constantine Mallek, who came to America.

    In the field of music, Anthony's first accomplishment was to organize the first Polish church choir in St. Stanislaus Kostka Church in Chicago; he produced the Lambillote Paschale Mass to the accompaniment of Professor Lawinski's orchestra and was the first one to popularize Polish songs.

    In the year of 1873-74 Anthony was teacher and organist at St. Stanislaus Church in Milwaukee, where he likewise organized the first Polish parish choir.

    In 1875 he accepted the position of teacher and organist at St. Casimir's Church, Northeim, Wisconsin. Here, also, he organized the first Polish choir of St. 4Casimir's. St. Casimir's Choir gained renown through its good singers and the talented soloist Miss Anna Zych, who later became Mrs. Mallek, Anthony's wife.

    In 1876 he also organized the first male chorus of St. Casimir's in the Polish settlement of Northeim.

    In the field of song, Anthony did not stop with the two choirs which were already in existence there, but founded a mixed choir in the German parish of St. Peter's in Newton, and a women's choir in the Irish parish in Meemee.

    In 1879 Anthony was appointed justice of the peace in Manitowoc County. While in office he defended the Poles against being taken advantage of by the Germans; he pacified and calmed his compatriots in matters which were often rather difficult.

    On November 11, 1879, Anthony married Miss Anna Zych.

    In 1880 Anthony changed places with his brother Constantine and took over the 5position of organist and teacher at Holy Trinity Church in Chicago. He did this because he was well acquainted with the affairs of this parish, which at that time was having difficulties. [Translators' note: We have not been able so far to learn what these difficulties were. The affair was very noisy and the papers of that period are full of it, but they do not state what the case was.] In Chicago he worked first in the field of song with the mixed choir of Holy Trinity Parish, which was founded by his brother, Constantine Mallek.

    When Holy Trinity Church was closed, Anthony was engaged as director by the Harmonia Singing Society, which was founded by Constantine Mallek. The Harmonia [Singing Society] prospered and its choir was well received everywhere.

    Anthony conducted a little parish school while Holy Trinity [Church] was having its difficulties. In order to improve the social life of the parishioners, he organized on September 28, 1883, the Holy Trinity Parish Singing Society, which was a male choir. He was therefore directing three choirs at that time.


    In order to afford the singers greater access to music, Anthony Mallek proposed that they purchase type for music and publish Polish songs. The Harmonia and Holy Trinity choirs supported this idea and helped him financially to purchase type for music in 1884. In January, 1885, the first collection of Polish national songs for male choirs and a little monthly publication, Ziarno, (The Seed) were issued. In December of the same year selections for the piano were published.

    On April 8, 1888, Anthony organized the Wanda Women's Choir of Holy Trinity Parish. On July 3, 1888, he also organized the Chopin Male Choir of Holy Trinity Parish. These choirs at that time developed excellent technique and were the pride of the Chicago Poles.

    In 1889 Anthony was elected secretary general of the Polish National Alliance at the Buffalo Convention. There he met the composer Anthony Katski and Professor Zielinski. Anthony Mallek took over the office of secretary at a very critical time in the life of the Polish National Alliance, but through 7work, perseverance, and energy he ironed out all difficulties and stabilized its existence for the future. He held the office of secretary general for six years, being elected three times, at the conventions in Buffalo, Detroit, and Chicago.

    While an officer of the Polish National Alliance, Anthony kept on working on the development of Polish singing; he also did his best to obtain justice for Holy Trinity Parish in Chicago, which was being persecuted. In November 1889, Mallek and Joseph Gillmeister went to Washington and Baltimore as delegates of Holy Trinity Parish. In Baltimore they visited Archbishop Satolle, the papal delegate. While in Baltimore, by a strange coincidence, Mallek visited the vessel "Herman," standing in port, on which he had come to America eighteen years earlier. While in Washington he called on Benjamin Harrison, President of the United States.

    In 1890, when the second convention of the Polish Singers' Alliance was held in Milwaukee, Anthony was elected director general for the second time.


    In 1891 Anthony organized a musical contest for the Polish Singers' Alliance of America, with prizes for the sixteen best compositions sent in on a cantata celebrating the one-hundredth anniversary of the acceptance of the Polish Constitution of May 3, 1791.

    For the celebration of the one-hundredth anniversary of the Constitution of May 3, Anthony sent all the groups of the Polish National Alliance in all the Polish settlements in America copies of the military air "March of the Guard of Honor." The music was mimeographed by Mr. M. Majewski, treasurer of the Polish National Alliance.

    In 1891 the third convention of the Polish Singers' Alliance of America was held in Chicago, at which Anthony was re-elected director general for the third time.

    In 1891 the Central Board of Directors of the Polish National Alliance sent Anthony, together with Mr. S. Adalia Satalecki, president, to Mr. Kalusowski, in Washington, in regard to making an agreement whereby the library and museum 9would become the property of the Alliance.

    On April 26, 1892, Anthony was host to Anthony Katski, composer and honorary member of the Polish National Alliance. On his return from Kansas, Katski went directly to the office of the secretary general, and there wrote "The March of the Polish National Alliance" while a storm was raging outside. When lightning struck a neighboring house, the old gentleman jumped up intending to abandon the idea of any further writing, but on Anthony Mallek's persuasion he finished the composition. The manuscript was given to the library of the Polish National Alliance.

    In 1892 Anthony received a letter from the committee of the Columbian Exposition addressed to all the Polish societies in Chicago, inviting them to take part in the civilian parade. After calling together all the societies and organizing a committee, in spite of all the obstacles set up by his compatriots, Anthony, together with the committee, obtained permission from General Miles to form a Polish division in the civilian parade.


    In September 1892 the fourth convention of the Polish Singers' Alliance of America was held at Grand Rapids, Michigan. Anthony was elected director general for the fourth time. Anthony Katski, Doctor of Music, was present at the convention.

    After the Grand Rapids convention, Anthony had a great deal of work to do in connection with the civilian parade of the Columbian Exposition and with the publishing of the piano arrangement of the "March of the Polish National Alliance."

    On June 5, 1893, Anthony played the organ during the Mass celebrated by Archbishop Satolle at Holy Trinity Church. This was a triumphant day for the cause and an unusually great day in Anthony's life, as he lived to share in the victory after so many years of persecution.

    Besides all the works which we have only partially listed, Anthony Mallek published the following:


    1. The Seed, a collection of Polish songs for male choruses, 1890. This work contains one hundred songs and took Anthony three years of painstaking work to complete.

    2. School of Song, and Songs for Children.

    3. Polish National Hymns, for the piano.

    4. "Students' Life," waltz, for the piano.

    5. "Desire for Spring" waltz, for the piano.

    6. "May Breeze," waltz, for the piano.

    7. Ernst's "Cantata," for choir and piano.

    8. Katski's "Polonaise," for male chorus.

    9. Religious and Funeral Hymns, for male chorus.

    10. Katski's "March of the Polish National Alliance," for the piano.

    11. "Kosciusko's War Signals," for the piano.

    12. "Signals of Pulaski's Cavalry," for the piano.

    13. The Seed, Series II, for male chorus. This work contains fifty male quartets.

    14. The Seed, Series III, for women's choruses, with piano accompaniment.

    15. "Live," by A. Mallek, for mixed and male choruses.

    16. More Songs for Children.

    17. "God's Moment on Earth," church songs for organ and two voices.


    [In addition he published] "The Song of Work," "March of the Polish Women's Alliance," "Song of the Innocent Polish Daughters," "The Polish Woman Patriot," and a great many other compositions, for which we do not have space here.

    Anthony Mallek died at the age of 65 years and nine months. Up until the time when he became ill, he filled the post of organist at Holy Trinity Parish and directed several choirs.

    Surviving him are his widow, Anna Mallek, nee Zych; two sons, Joseph, 33 years old, and Leon, 28; and two daughters, Anna, 35, and Cecilia, 17, both music teachers.

    The funeral of this patriot and champion of Polish song on foreign soil will be held on February 7 at the home of the deceased, 2125 Haddon Avenue. The requiem mass will be celebrated in Holy Trinity Church at 11 A.M. He will be buried at St. Adalbert's Cemetery. Mr. Korzeniowski, undertaker, life-long friend of the deceased, will take charge of the funeral. The funeral will no doubt be very impressive, as the deceased was very popular among all the 13Polish factions.

    The Poles in America have lost one of their most prominent men, and this loss will be greatly felt, especially where Polish songs resound. May this gallant champion and indefatigable worker rest in eternal peace. Although he has gone beyond, his work will remain after him as a witness of his fine and noble efforts. We extend our deepest sympathy to the members of the family of the deceased.

    II A 3 b, I C, II B 1 a, II B 2 d 2, II B 2 d 3, III B 2, III B 3 a, III B 4, III C, IV