St. Sava’s Choir
The St. Sava Church Choir was established in 1954 by Iguman Dimitrie D.D. Balach, the parish priest. At the time, services were conducted in the beautiful little church located in East Los Angeles on the corner of Second and Humphries.
For the next two decades, the choir sang responses to the Divine Liturgy whenever it had a director to lead it. With the arrival of Very Rev. Petar Jovanovich in 1980, the choir reorganized and has been a continuous choral presence in the church ever since.
By 1984, the choir was singing in the new St Sava Church in San Gabriel Valley. It had established itself as a “church choir,” not a traveling, concert choir. Subsequently, however, the choir did visit Serbian communities across the country to participate in choral festivals and concerts. It also hosted numerous guest choirs at its home in San Gabriel.
A significant choir highlight occurred in 1988 with its induction into the Serbian Singing Federation (SSF), the parent organization of Serbian choirs across the United States and Canada. St. George Serbian Singing Society of San Diego, California, acted as the Kumovi Choir for the event. In 1995, His Grace Bishop Jovan bestowed an Episcopal Gramata of Recognition on the choir. Finally, in 1996, the choir performed at the 55th annual SSF festival, held here in Los Angeles.
Through the years, the choir has been fortunate to attract a number of dedicated directors, who together helped to improve the group musically. For the past ten years, the choir has been most ably directed by Natasha Milatovich. It is important to acknowledge Sonja Popovac, who directed the choir for many years, stepping into the role whenever needed.
The St. Sava Serbian Church Choir is proud to have served its church and congregation these many years. It is the choir’s fervent hope that it continue to do so for many more to come.