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Helena Fojkar Zupančič: "Now it is Time for Pure Pleasure."

Singing With Passion (Photo: Tilen Miklavič)

The gala fundraising concert of St. Stanislav Girl’s Choir of the Diocesan Classical Gymnasium which took place on 4 January 2019 started with a welcoming song: God grant us a good evening. Indeed the evening was grand in all perspectives from the singing girls, conductors, repertoire, soloists, the Alumni orchestra to the eloquent and amiable programme host Jure Sešek.

The above mentioned choir is the only European choir to be invited to perform at the 2019 American Choral Directors Association Conference in Kansas City, Missouri, USA. The full house enjoyed in particular the femininity of the choir in its best sense of the word: gentle, yet strong and determined in their music expression, the girls presented a part of American programme which coprised impeccable singing, imposing sound and complex choreography matching the melodies with great precision. We listened to an appeal for peace in Močnik’s Jerusalem; accurate merging of movement and sound in Jennefelt’s Noviori Ani; Makaroff’s melodious perception of human transience in the image of a Butterfly’s life’s brevity and finally an energetic and playful stamping of feet and clapping took place in the piece And so we dance in Resia.

In the short interview the conductor Helena Fojkar Zupančič said that the hard work is mostly over. “Now it is time for pleasure and we all feel the joy of anticipation”. Gloria Ema Glas, the girls’ representative did not complain about numerous rehearsals, but expressed her enthusiasm for the opportunity to set off to Kansas City. “If I did not sing in this choir, my singing would not be that good and my personal growth would be underdeveloped. Friendly relationships in the choir boost excellence.” She spoke thankfully about the strong impact Helena Fojkar Zupančič has on the girls.

The evening was rounded with some solo singing by prominent guests and the premiere appearance of The Diocesan Classical Gymnasium Alumni Orchestra under the baton of Jera Petriček Hrastnik and her assistant Matija Krečič. Special thanks go to anybody who has participated in whatever way for this concert to be a huge success. In particular sincere thanks go to the sponsors, whose generous support is truly appreciated.

The last song, Foster’s and Sager’s The prayer, adequately ended the poignant musical evening. The audience was pleased, calm and fully appreciative of the girls’ and conductor’s endeavours. We left the hall under the impression of the programme host portraying vividly in his mind the image of St. Stanislav trying to silence his fellow saints in heaven saying “Hush up guys, my girls are singing tonight.” Indeed, tonight’s concert felt like a little peace of heaven. /Lily Schweiger Kotar/

Brushing up and Finishing Touches: Intensive Singing Practice for St Stanislav Girls' Choir

fotka - intenzivne

As the only European choir St Stanislav Girls’ Choir of The Diocesan Classical Gymnasium is close to setting off in February to perform at 2019 American Choral Directors Association in Missury, USA. As the biggest and most important tour of the choir is getting closer and not all songs have yet been shaped to perfection, we had a weekend of intensive choir practice in Ilirska Bistrica. Musically speaking, it was a very productive weekend. Our conductor Helena Fojkar Zupančič introduced a few new techniques that really helped us and we made great improvement. But it was not only a weekend of singing 24 hours a day, it was also a weekend spent with friends we had made in the choir. If you ask me, positive energy plays a big role in the success of our choir.

Singing in such an amazing choir that teaches us not only to sing but also to be disciplined and work in a larger group is a privilege. Singing in front of international audience in foreign countries is an even greater privilege and for that we are infinitely thankful. Even if it is often hard and tiring, we know that our work will be rewarded.

As our conductor has said many times: we strive for perfection to achieve greatness. /Gloria Ema Glas, year 4/

Gala Concert of St. Stanislav Girls' Choir with Guests

Singing is about sharing my true self

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 4th February 2019 commencing at 7.00 pm. The concert will feature St. Stanislav Girls’ Choir of The Diocesan Classical Gymnasium, its conductor Helena Fojkar Zupančič and some prominent guests: Marta Močnik Pirc, Ana Benedik, Manca Malovrh, Tine Bec, Tilen Lotrič along with the orchestra Simfonija 23 under the baton of Jera Petriček Hrastnik and assisstant Matija Krečič .

This a fundraising concert in aid of St. Stanislav Girls’ Choir of The Diocesan Classical Gymnasium, who is to perform at the 2019 America Choral Directors Association National Conference in February 2019 in Kansas City, Missuri, USA. This event brings together choirs, choral musicians, composers and publishers form the entire world. St. Stanislav Girls’ Choir is the only European choir to perform there, along with 50+ choirs from the US, 4 honor choirs and 11 iconic conductors.

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.

About the choir

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 2019 American Choral Directors Association National Conference in Kansas City, Missuri, USA, this school year they are rehearsing more intensively. 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. The choir has 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”. In 2017 they  were invited to the 11th World Symposium in Choral Music in Barcelona, Spain as the first ever Slovene choir to perform at such an event. In July 2018 St. Stanislav’s Youth Choir  represented Slovenia at the biggest European choral convention Europa Cantat in Talin, Estonia. Slovenia is the hosting state of the next Europa Cantat 2021. The choir was invited to sing in February 2019 at the the 2019 American Choral Directors Association National Conference in Kansas City, Missuri, USA.

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 600 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.

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.

Choir's mission

SHARING MY TRUE SELF

Singing in the choir is about sharing just about everything: discipline, hard work, compliance, focus, trust, vigour and a love for singing. The moment a beautiful sonority is created, it is time to pass it on through concert performance. When sharing their true selves in front of the audience, the girls become an inspiration for others and the mission is accomplished.

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

Katarina Banko

Each song narrates a different story. I like that.

I love starry nights and mint tea. I still keep a diary.

Manca Beguš

Nothing is more relaxing as the solo career under the shower.

I love dogs and penguins.  I cannot tell left form right.

Ajda Eler

When I sing I feel creative using my voice and I like it.

I like good food, movies, books and series that I watch too often. I enjoy wearing socks of different colours and interesting patterns.

Urška Grad

I love singing as it relocates me into a world without unsolvable problems.

I dance better than walk. I adore ballet, opera, sunshine, wind, rain and animals.

Doroteja Kink

Singing takes me to the endless world of imagination.

A cup of cappuccino and cloud gazing relax me.

Katarina Klopčič

Singing is one of my favourite talents and I love developing it.

I like Latin American dances (e.g. zumba) and long walks very much.

Mana Križnar

I love singing as I feel my life is like a melody.

I love dancing and mountaineering. I never feel bored; there is always something going on in my life.

Lucija Smrkolj

With singing I am a part of a different story in every song.

I love football, mountaineering and treasure hunting. If I were an animal, I would be an eagle.

Alto 1

Mojca Berkopec

Singing is art and I love being artistic.

Some people make my world magic. I cannot fall asleep without socks.

Vesna Bukovnik

While singing I forget about all stressful and unpleasant things.

My abiding love is for Kekec – the movie + books + the pâté.

Polona Capuder

I love singing as thismeans going through different times and feelings.

I love doing embroidery, laugh with little children and caress them. I like candles, cocoa and fluffy things.

Marjana Capuder

I really enjoy singing when I relax, calm down and forget about bad stuff.

I also love listening to music, playing the piano and reading novels.

Vita Marta Ciraj

I adore paths that take me to my personal goals. Singing pursues them.

I love sport, open air, summer time. I often cry out of sadness, but mostly of delight, happiness and gratefulness.

Glorija Ema Glas

I reach the unreachable through singing.

I am the happiest person in the world in nice places with Scout friends and a bunch of silly jokes. I love oranges.

 

Ana Lucija Jezeršek

I can express my joie de vivre through music.

I enjoy nature, doing some sport and having a good company. I love sunshine, seaside and snow.

Zala Klavs

Singing is fun and pleasure. In particular, I like the relationships in the choir and the feeling that we have sung well at concerts.

I love playing the flute, dancing and reading.

Urška Kopač

My music career started by singing in the shower at the age of three. Ever since I have been humming melodies during lessons, in the streets or on the bus.

I like to smile, hang out with friends and enjoy chocolate and tea.

Jerica Ledinek

Singing evokes the forgotten feelings.

Gliding relaxes me, a hot shower is fine too. I often have hiccups.

Lea Ložak

I love singing because whispering is bad for my voice. ;)

I love December and snow.

Urška Planinc

When I sing I feel like a Disney princess.

I love long walks by the sea, candle-lit evenings by a good book and a cup of tea. I always stand by what I say.

Soprano 2

Katja Božič

Singing practice is like a retreat from school. It is also time for mingling with my friends.

I play the cello and watch movies. I learn Turkish and watch Turkish series.

Zala Erent

Music is pure pleasure. It is fascinating how a trifle improvement in singing technique effects a substantial change in sound.

I love coffee, walks in nature and the time spent with my friends.

Katarina Fabiani

Singing is an escape for me and it fulfills me emotionally.

I like travelling and meeting new people. When I need a break I put on some loud music and enjoy some thought-free vacuum.

Tina Jeglič

Singing simply relaxes me.

To unwind I eat some chocolate and lie down. I like dry sausages.

Tadeja Jelnikar

I love singing because it is always subject to improvement. I also love eating.

Chatting with funny people about funny topics is great. The full moon and I get along well.

Eva Klanjšček

Maja Klemen

Singing is like acting for me. When I sing I assume the role of somebody else and try to comprehend the lyrics from his/her perspective.

I love getting lost in my brother’s and father’s oversized pullovers.

Vida Kravanja

Music occasionally helps me to express ideas that words cannot. This is where the beauty of singing lies.

I love riding. Sometimes a good movie might substitute it. I cherish honesty and directness.

Lucija Stopar

My life is more authentic when saturated with singing.

I feel safe when talking to my beloved ones and when doing so, I glow along with my very fair hair.

Karin Terglav

I like learning about different singing techniques and gaining new life experiences.

I love breaking rules and doing things on my own.

Ema Vertačnik

I delight in choir singing as I love unconventional harmonies.

I love to seize the stories through lenses. When I am bored I play Sudoku.

Alto 2

Neža Bizalj

Singing simply makes me happy. I love the glorious feeling on the stage.

I love mountains, jogging and nature escape and they are the reason why I do not need to use blush.

 

 

Anamarija Čibej

Anamarija Čibej

Singing accompanies me every day and I cannot imagine life without it.

I love cycling and running, mountaineering relaxes me.

Maja Dobravec

Singing is my way of communicating  happy news.

Playing the guitar in my room relaxes me most. I am a very honest person. I wear my heart on my sleeve.

Aneja Holobar

I love coming to singing practice, as this calms me down and relaxes me.

I am often too chatty.

Ana Koprivec

There is nothing better than singing in the shower.

I relax by turning the volume of my favourite radio station up. I like people who have me laughing tears.

Karolina Marc

I love singing as thisis the way to eternal tingling with happiness.

What I like most is rolling on the grass with my dog. I always try to look on the bright side of life.

Neža Mastnak

Being a member of this choir is one of the best things in my life. Singing takes me to a fairyland full of music dwellers.

I love to play the piano, read detective stories and enjoy board games with my brothers and sisters.

Klavdija Okoliš

I consider singing as an integral means of getting to know my potentials, my skills and myself.

In order to unwind, I find a recluse and read (romantic) books. I also like to hug the people I love.

Zala Reberc

I love singing as it requires psychophysical energy.

Photographing is my hobby, running energises me. I am extremely phlegmatic.

Lora Štravs

Singing is part of my everyday life, which offers the air of carefreeness.

I unwind by playing the organ, reading and making bobbin lace.

Listen to us

Performances

  • Open rehearsal, Open House Day in St. Stanislav’s Institution, The Diocesan Classical Gymnasium, Gallery nr. 3, 26 January 2019 at 11.15 a.m.
  • Gala Fundraising Concert, Športna dvorana Osnovne šole Alojzija Šuštarja /Sport hall of The Alojzij Šuštar Primary School/, St. Stanislav’s Institution, 4 February 2019 at 7 p.m.
  • Memorial concert for the 25th anniversary of Stane Kregar Gallery, St. Stanislav’s Institution, Matija Tomc Concert Hall, 6 February 2019 at 6 p.m.
  • Performance at the festival of Ljubjana choirs, Matija Tomc Concert Hall, St. Stanislav’s Institution, 14 February 2019 at 7 p.m.
  • Concert in Christ’s Church Cathedral, Hamilton, Ontario, Canada; 20 February 2019 at 7.30 p.m.
  • Concert in Our Lady of the Miraculous Medal Catholic Church, Ontario, Canada; 21 February 2019
  • Concert in St. Mary’s Church, Cleveland, Ohio, USA; 23 February 2019
  • Singing at the Sunday service followed by a concert in Mary’s Church, Cleveland, Ohio, USA; 24 February 2019
  • Performance at the 60th Conference of American Choral Directors (ACDA), Muriel Kauffman Theatre, Kansas City Missouri, USA; 27 February 2019 at 8.45 p.m.
  • 25th Annual Concert of Choirs and Orchestra of St. Stanislav’s Institution, Cankarjev dom, Galusova dvorana  /Gallus Hall in Cankarjev Dom, Ljubljana/, 11th May 2019 at 6 p.m.