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The mission of the Lira Ensemble is to bring the best of Polish culture into American life - through performances of the Lira Symphony, Lira Singers, Lira Dancers, Lira Chamber Chorus and Lira Chamber Ensembles, all based in Chicago.
The Lira Ensemble is the nation's only professional performing arts company specializing in Polish music, song and dance. Lira is a symphony orchestra, singers, dancers and chamber ensembles that perform all types of Polish and Polish-American music and dance - including classical and folk, sacred music, music from all historical periods - in historically correct period costumes and authentic, colorful folk costumes, when appropriate. Every Lira performance includes an English langauge narration which explains the history and traditions behind the music, song and dance performed.
Lira serves and represents the Polish-American community of Northern Illinois, which numbers about one-million according to the 2000 US Census. The company Lira is a "culture bearer" for its community and is callled upon whenever a performing arts element is needed for major community events. Lira is also THE arts outreach organization of its community, frequently appearing at city, state and private events which require Polish cultural representation.
For the past 20 years, Lira has produced an award-winning series of cross-cultural concerts with and for African Americans, Mexicans and American Jews (who have historic roots in Poland).
Lira performs widely in Northern Illinois - often at prestigious venues such as Orchestra Hall of Symphony Center - tours regularly across the Midwest, sells its recordings around the US. Lira has made six concert tours of Poland and partners with major local Polish American organizations and with the Consulate of the Republic of Poland in Chicago, which plays an active role in Polish-American cultural life.
Lira is artist-in-residence at Loyola University Chicago's Lake Shore Campus.
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