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Damijan Močnik On His Novelty JERUSALEM

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Damijan Močnik

 Composer and conductor Damijan Močnik wrote a composition entitled JERUSALEM  for St. Stanislav Girls’ Choir to be performed at 11th World Symposium on Choral Music in July 2017 in Barcelona. Here are some of Močnik’s reflections on the piece: “Jerusalem means »the city of peace«; however, the city reflects the world we live in. Every morning it wakes up in restlessness, conflicts and hatred. The idea for the composition and its final form were maturing through numerous talks with my friend and conductor Helena Fojkar Zupančič and at rehearsals with the wonderful St. Stanislav Girls’ Choir of the Diocesan Classical Gymnasium.

In the composition JERUSALEM I have used the name of the city in several languages (Egyptian, Aramean, Akkadian, Hebrew, Arab, Greek, Latin and Slovene) and applied the sections from Psalm 121 in 5 languages (English, Hebrew, Arab, Latin and Slovene). As Jerusalem is the holy city for the three biggest monotheistic religions, I have used different images deriving from Jewish, Christian and Muslim music. What has been created is a picturesque and powerful fresco, which depicts on one hand, an enormous contrast, but on the other, a fervent wish for peace.” /Damijan Močnik/

 

Helena Fojkar Zupančič: »What keeps me going? Look at the girls! They are my drive!«

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St. Stanislav Girls’ Choir

These words by Helena F. Zupančič, the conductor of St. Stanislav Girls’ Choir of The Diocesan Classical Gymnasium, rounded off the Gala Concert that took place on 19th April 2017 in St. Stanislav’s Institution. The house was full; almost 800 listeners enjoyed every minute of it, awarding the choir and the prominent guests with standing ovations. No wonder – all performers showed an enviable level of artistry, taking the audience on a music trip from classics to rock, from vocal to instrumental, from Slovene to foreign, from well-established pieces to novelties. Among these, the following songs need to be mentioned: Chilcott’s God of the Open Air, Močnik’s Jerusalem/Yerushalayim and Lebič’ Nekaj je v zraku /Something is in the air/. The concert featured the following guests: WildArt, the winners of the show Slovenia’s Got Talent 2016; internationally renowned vocal ensemble Ingenium Ensemble; (Re)Mixed Choir of The Diocesan Classical Gymnasium and the programme host Carmen L. Oven.

The event was much more than a fundraising concert for St. Stanislav Girls’ Choir to travel to Barcelona and participate in the 11th World Symposium on Choral Music in July 2017. The concert marvellously mirrored youth’s beauty, energy and commitment to a common goal. This was a topmost event in terms of content, music and technical qualities. One of the girls from St. Stanislav Girls’ Choir posted the following impressions after the concert:” We all feel contented and thankful. I am still overwhelmed by tonight’s beautiful melodies, incredible energy and heavenly feelings, that still resound inside me. /…/ We feel grateful to all those who came to the concert and support our endeavours, helping our dreams come true. /…/ “.

Helena Fojkar Zupančič says St. Stanislav Girls’ Choir will definitely make a remarkable difference in Barcelona. The goal of the concert was helping the choir to get there. I cannot find more appropriate words to top off this writing than by using the verses of Freddie Mercury’s Barcelona. We had the pleasure of listening to it in the interpretation of (Re)Mixed Choir of The Diocesan Classical Gymnasium with two splendid soloists, Marta Močnik and Miha Klemenc:

»Let the songs begin
Let the music play
Make the voices sing
Start the celebration
And cry – Come alive
And shake the foundations from the skies
Ah, Ah, Shaking all our lives …«

/Lily Schweiger Kotar/

 

Gala Concert of St. Stanislav Girls' Choir with Prominent Guests

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Warmly welcome to the gala concert which will be presented  in the sports hall of The Alojzij Šuštar Primary School in St. Stanislav’s Institution /Štula 23, Ljubljana/ on 18th April 2017 commencing at 7.30 pm. The concert will feature St. Stanislav Girls’ Choir  of The Diocesan Classical Gymnasium anf its conductor Helena Fojkar Zupančič and the prominent guests: WildArt, the winners of the show Slovenia’s got talent 2016, the top internationally renown vocal ensemble Ingenium Ensemble, (Re)Mixed Choir of The Diocesan Classical Gymnasium, including two soloist Marta Močnik Pirc and Miha Klemenc with a band and the programme host Carmen L. Oven.

This a fundraising concert in aid of St. Stanislav Girls’ Choir of The Diocesan Classical Gymnasium, who is participating in the 11th World Symposium on Choral Music in July 2017 in Barcelona, Spain. World Symposium on Choral Music is the biggest event of the type in the world, taking place every three years, each time on the different continent. The girls have been chosen among 146 applied choirs from all over the world to join the 24 performing choirs in Barcelona. St. Stanislav Girls’ Choir is besides Carmina Slovenica Choir from Maribor, Slovenia the second Slovene choir ever to take part in this prestigious choral event. Tickets  (to buy call Tina Tandler at +386(0)1 58 22 245) are limited due to the capacity of the venue, and are expected to sell out – so book early to avoid disappointment! Please consider attending the Gala Concert when forming your itinerary.

Make a plan to be with us and support St. Stanislav Girls’ Choir of the DCG in their artistic endeavours. /Lily Schweiger Kotar/

About the choir

St. Stanislav’s Institution

St. Stanislav’s Institution is an educational and cultural establishment of the Ljubljana Archdiocese, Slovenia. It consists of Diocesan Classical Gymnasium as its most significant unit, Jeglič Student Home, Alojzij Šuštar Primary School, Good Shepherd Kindergarten, Music School and Janez F. Gnidovec Residence Hall.

Founded in 1901 by the Bishop of Ljubljana, Anton Bonaventura Jeglič, the Institution was in operation until June 1945, when it was closed by the authorities of the time. Its educational work was reinstated at the beginning of the 1990s. The classical gymnasium was the first to reopen in 1993, with the other units following in subsequent years. All the girls of St. Stanislav Girls’ Choir attend the Diocesan Classical Gymnasium.The educational programme of the school is based on classical and Christian values. Every student learns at least three foreign languages, of which Latin is obligatory. Since the re-opening, much attention has been devoted to the systematic training of choral singers since music importantly and decisively underpins the school curriculum.

The mission of St. Stanislav’s Institution is to foster the comprehensive personal growth of an individual within a community, based on faith, hope and love and in dialogue with the surrounding world, so as to allow the individual to live a full life and contribute to a better world.

Music at St. Stanislav’s Institution

Since the re-opening of the gymnasium in 1993, much attention has been devoted to the systematic training of choral singers. Half of 650 students of the Diocesan Classical Gymnasium participate in choral singing.

The five school choirs, which vary according to the age of their singers and the level of their repertoire, form a choral pyramid. Due to its large scope, the number of participating students and quality, this choral programme is quite unique among Slovene schools as well as within the European school context. The DCG choral pyramid consists of: First-Year Girls’ Choir, First-Year Boys’ Choir, (Re)Mixed Choir, St. Stanislav’s Girls Choir and St. Stanislav’s Youth Choir. After finishing their education at the Diocesan Classical Gymnasium, the former students can continue their singing career in two alumni choirs.

The Alojzij Šuštar Primary School with 450 pupils was established in 2007 and has been building its own choral pyramid on the model of the DCG’s. During the first three years all children sing in their class choirs, while in subsequent six years the pupils join choirs on the basis of their interest and talent for music and singing. There are two choirs in the Alojzij Šuštar Primary School: The Children’s Choir and the Youth Choir featuring a repertoire of folk and art songs and presenting an annual musical. There are 75 pupils singing in both choirs.

History of St. Stanislav Girls’ Choir

St. Stanislav Girls’ Choir is one of the five high school choirs at the Diocesan Classical Gymnasium in St. Stanislav’s Institution.

St. Stanislav Girls’ Choir was founded in the school year 1996/97 based on the desire to provide musically and vocally ambitious girls the opportunity to further develop their singing ability through more demanding repertoire. The girls, aged between 16-19, rehearse for two and a quarter hours once a week. However, to brush up their performance for the World Symposium on Choral Music in Barcelona, this school year they are rehearsing twice a week. There are 41 girls in the choir, and each of them is given a 10-minute individual lesson on vocal technique every week. Their achievements in national and international competitions, as well as their participation in several significant vocal-instrumental projects, rank the choir among the best secondary school choirs in Slovenia and Europe. Together with St. Stanislav Youth Choir they have been actively shaping the Slovene choral scene at its highest level for almost two decades.
The choir has been enthusiastically praised for its subtle interpretation, outstanding repertoire and colourful sonorities. The girls have fascinated us with their creative and vivacious performances, youthful passion and at the same time with their incredible concentration and sound accuracy.

Their repertoire is very versatile – from classical choral music of various periods to vocal pop. They pride themselves in several world premiere performances of compositions by contemporary Slovene composers (L. Lebič, D. Močnik, A. Čopi) as well as in their performance of some larger vocal-instrumental works. In 2009 they won the exclusive Euroradio choral competition Let the Peoples Sing in Oslo, Norway, which ranks them among the most outstanding vocal ensembles in the world. In the same year, they worked with the Swedish conductor Fred Sjoberg and became one of the five selected study choirs in the European Competition of Young Conductors. They also performed in the concert to honour the twentieth anniversary of the World Youth Choir in Oerebro, Sweden. In 2010 the choir travelled to England, where they performed in the competition Let the Peoples Sing in Manchester and passed the Silver Rose Bowl to the new winner. In May 2010 they took part in the world-renowned European Youth Choir Festival in Basel, Switzerland. In 2013 the girls became the overall winner of the International Choir Competition »Summa Cum Laude« in Vienna, Austria. At the International Choir Competition »60th Cork International Choral Festival« in 2014, the choir took the 4th place overall and received the special award »Schumann/Europe Torphey« for the performance of the contemporary Slovene song by A .Čopi, “A Child with a Sunflower”. The 2016 come up with the exciting news for the girls to be one of the 24 choirs invited to the world symposium in choral music in Barcelona, Spain.

Up close

Conductor

Helena Fojkar Zupančič

Helena Fojkar Zupančič has a perfect education for choral conducting – she is both a solo singer and a music teacher. Her knowledge of the human voice and a refined approach to singers is reflected in sophisticated vocal techniques and the extremely cultivated sound of the choirs she conducts: St. Stanislav Girls’ Choir Ljubljana and St. Nicholas Choir Litija. She was the choir master of Slovenian Children’s Choir in 2004, 2007, 2008 and 2009. She collaborated and recorded with the Slovenian Radio Chamber Choir, in 2016 she appeared with the Slovenian Philharmonic Choir. Helena Fojkar Zupančič has received several awards at different competitions for the best conductor, she has also received various awards for the best performances of Gregorian chants, Renaissance, Romantic and contemporary choral literature, as well as folk songs. In 2012 she was awarded the Gallus plaque – the highest award in the field of music, offered by The Public Fund for Amateur and Musical Activities. Helena Fojkar Zupančič was also awarded the 2016 prize for outstanding achievements in the field of musical education presented by The Ministry of Education, Science and Sports of the Republic of Slovenia.

In her interpretations she offers the experience of music’s eloquence – the one that used to exist with fusion of words and music and is often neglected by conductors. Because of her success, knowledge, skills and rich experience, Helena Fojkar Zupančič is very popular amongst singers and a sought-after jury member for choral competitions. She also runs seminars for school choir conductors and courses for church musicians.

Soprano 1

Manca Beguš

I like singing because I get a feeling I can achieve anything.

I can’t tell left from right.

Amalija Cotman

I like singing because when I do, I leave all my worries behind and I can be my true self.

I love little kids and oversized sweaters. They say I talk too much.

Katarina Klopčič

I like singing because that’s how I forget my worries.

Hand creams, clay and fries are keeping me alive.

Mana Križnar

I like singing because it takes me to world of dreams.

I like to go for long walks in any kind of weather.

Manca Malovrh

I like singing because it relaxes me and I enjoy it.

I love ski jumping.

Nuša Merše

I like singing because when I do, I feel a touch of heaven.

I love big puzzles.

Ana Elizabeta Sekavčnik

I like singing because when I do, I share a part of me with the world.

I don’t like to start watching a film that I haven’t seen before.

Petra Skubic

I like singing because it is a cure for all troubles, no matter how big.

They say the most fascinating thing about me is my high piched laughter.

Lucija Smrkolj

I like singing because it relaxes me and makes me emerge in a different story.

I have ten fingers.

Alto 1

Ana Benedik

I like singing because for me singing is an escape from reality.

I have different laughters.

Polona Capuder

I like singing because it brings words to life in a special way.

I love soft, chubby and adorable babies.

Bernardka Čemažar

I like singing because I have been singing since childhood.

I love running in the rain.

 

Glorija Ema Glas

I like singing because when I do, all negative feelings vanish.

I spend 90% of my free time in a phantasy world.

 

Manca Hočevar

I like singing because when I do, I forget about all the worries.

I am absent-minded most of the time.

Hana Jereb

I like singing because it takes me to a wonderland.

I love the smell of sea and sunbathing.

Ana Lucija Jezeršek

I like singing because music wakes the melodies of my heart.

I adore avocado.

Lea Ložak

I like singing especially when I am inspired by the bathroom.

When I am not laughing, I’m considering it.

Ana Movrin

I like singing because that’s how I fully express my feelings.

I adore retro.

Mica Oberstar

I like singing because when I do, all my worries go away.

I play the French horn.

 

Urška Planinc

I like singing because it makes me feel like a Disney princess.

I am a tea and candle enthusiast. I also love summer.

Nika Tomše

I like singing because it brings about a touch of magic.

I collect magnets of the cities I visit, and bottles of parfumes.

Soprano 2

Neža Bernik

I like singing because it’s the most I can give in return for my life.

I’m addicted to petting cats.

 

Špela Brlan

I like singing because I forget about the bad things and just relax.

I love smiling.

Eva Klanjšček

I like singing because I’ve realised it’s the best medicine for a bad day.

If I could, I would spend my entire life in a comfy, oversized hoodie.

Kristina Knez

I like singing because it makes me truly alive.

I am chatty.

Andreja Kolman

I like singing because it makes me happy and relaxes me.

I am happy when I travel but I am even happier when I return to Slovenia.

Vida Kravanja

I like singing beacuse the only instrument I can always carry on me are my vocal cords.

I love weekends!

Ema Krečič

I like singing because I feel I am doing something good for others and myself.

I sometimes imagine people being bald.

Kristina Sadar

I like singing because it makes me feel free.

A life without memes is no life.

Lucija Stopar

I like singing because I live differently then.

I feel the best on windy but clear, winter days.

Klara Strehar

I like singing because it makes everyone’s day.

I like doing pranks.

 

Alto 2

Katarina Babič

I like singing because music relaxes me.

I like animals and reading good books.

Nuša Balen

I like singing because it helps me express love.

I love the smell of first snow, spring, rain and sea.

 

Neža Bizalj

I like singing because it’s simply a part of my life.

I like to dance funky.

 

Eva Brulc

I like singing because it takes me to a beautiful, worry-free world.

Usually I speak fast and unclearly.

Pia Gortan

I like singing because the choir practise cheers me up every Monday.

The whole world is a climbing spot.

Anja Jerina

I like singing because it takes me up to the sky.

Klavdija Okoliš

I like singing because when I do, I am my true self.

Life is better with Latin.

Nika Povšič

I like singing because it fills my heart.

I don’t believe in coincidences.

Listen to us

Performances

  • Open rehearsal, Open House Day in St. Stanislav’s Institution, The Diocesan Classical Gymnasium, Gallery nr. 3, 28th January, 2017 at 11-12 a.m.
  • Ljubjana Choirs Show, St. Stanislav’s Institution, Ljubljana, Slovenia, 16th February 2017 at 7 p.m.
  • Christal Season Concerts, Škofja Loka, Slovenia, Sokolski dom, Kulturni center Škofja Loka /Škofja Loka Cultural Center/, 29th March 2017 at 7.30 p.m.
  • Gala Fundraising Concert, Športna dvorana Osnovne šole Alojzija Šuštarja /Sport hall of The Alojzij Šuštar Primary School/, St. Stanislav’s Institution, 18th April 2017 at 7.30 p.m.
  • 24th Annual Concert of Choirs and Orchestra of St. Stanislav’s Institution, Cankarjev dom, Galusova dvorana  /Gallus Hall in Cankarjev Dom, Ljubljana/, 6th May 2017 at 6 p.m.