Warren Polston dedicated himself vigorously to the cause of male choral music in the United States. The Sibelius Chorus of Chicago, a member chorus of The Finnish Male Singers of North America, benefited greatly from his leadership and musical expertise for forty-two years. Warren shared his musical talents with two other male choruses in the Chicago area. Beginning in 1988, he served as the Director of the Normennenes Singing Society, a male chorus of Norwegian heritage. Additionally, he served as Assistant Director with the Schiller Lidertafel, the German male chorus with whom he toured extensively throughout Germany.
Warren’s most notable achievement was that of serving as a Director of the Finnish Male Singers of North America on five concert tours of Finland. Recognizing his talents and his years of dedicated service, that organization conferred upon him the title of Honorary Choral Director.
The extent of Warren’s contribution to the growth of Finnish choral music on the North American Continent was recognized by President Mauno Koivisto of Finland in 1993, granting him the title of "Director Cantus". Warren was the only recipient of that award in the United States.
The public schools of East Chicago, Indiana were fortunate to have a man with such musical talent as a teacher. His students were the recipients of his educational experience and devotion. It was during this time that he earned a Master of Music degree from Northwestern University.
His "brothers in song" will miss Warren’s excellent direction and insistence on musical precision in our choral presentations. Some of us will doubtless remember Warren standing at the front of a swaying tour bus in Finland, microphone in hand, helping us to relax by expertly telling some hilarious joke.
We will cherish his memory.
Contributed by Martti Varpio, April 30, 2005
Warren was laid to rest in the family plot along with his mother, father, and brother Lawrence on Thursday, June 9, 2005 at 2:00 P.M. Members from the various choruses along with many cousins from the Chicago area were in attendance. A Lutheran pastor was present for the meaningful graveside services. Most of us stayed for the lowering of the coffin into the grave and lingered afterwards, somehow not wanting to leave. Warren is now at peace as are members of the choruses after this long period of waiting. A Memorial Service was conducted on Sunday, June 11, 2005 at the Estonian House. We celebrate Warren’s life.