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Dolores Hruby

Dolores Hruby

GRHC - March 31st, 2010

Glance at the Past celebrates Women's History Month with the story of Dolores Hruby, composer of sacred music



Although the field of music composition has traditionally been dominated by men, Dolores Smith Hruby lived her life there. Born in 1924, by the age of four she was a student at the American Conservatory of Music in Chicago; by her senior year she had conducted her high school choir in one of her own compositions.

Dolores Hruby's musical education was interrupted early and late by the Depression, world war II, and the demands of marriage and motherhood, but she returned to the Chicago conservatory as an adult to study with famed former Grand Rapidian Leo Sowerby. Hruby's professional career was then shaped by post-Vatican II Catholicism, especially after the introduction of choral programs into local parishes. Her new choir soon became the area's best and Hruby published one of the first post-Vatican II choral masses, her "Mass to Honor St. Elizabeth."

In 1969 Hruby left her career and renown in Chicago to move with her husband, Norbert, to Grand Rapids where he became president of Aquinas College. Then she finished a master's degree, revamped the music program at St. Jude Catholic Church, conducted choir camps and festival choruses--all the time continuing her award-winning compositions for piano and choir, over 100 pieces published by some ten presses. 

Hruby was a mainstay of the national Choristers Guild by publishing articles and conducting clinics; and in 1983 she received the Alleluia Award from the Diocese of Grand Rapids, an award never before granted a practicing church musician. She passed away in 2008, but Dolores Hruby is known both locally and nationally as a choir director and a composer of sacred music. 


Full Details

TitleDolores Hruby
KeywordsGlance at the Past, Women's history, radio, Dolores Hruby, music, WYCE, Grand Rapids, Historical Commission,Podcast
Pubdate StringMarch 31st, 2010

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