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

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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.

Christmas Greetings 2018

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Nativity Scene by Br. Wolfgang Kogler

For a moment I took a step back and the angels sang: «Amen. Alleluia.« /Jernej Grlj, alumnus of The Diocesan Classical Gymnasium, 22nd generation/

Christmas awakens longing for happiness, fullness of life and true joy.Let us stop, look in ourselves and consider others. There are many reasons for hope and opportunities to share it with the loved ones. Allow it to touch us and fill up our hearts with the mystery of Holy Night.

We wish you a Merry Christmas and a Joyful New Year 2019.

Anton Česen, M.A., Director

St. Stanislav’s Day – Youth Woven from Sparks of Sun

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Each year the entire school community celebrates St. Stanislav’s Day to mark the feast of the Institution’s patron.  This year is in particular solemn, as we mark the 25th anniversary of the reestablishment of The Diocesan Classical Gymnasium and The Jeglič Student Home as well as the 10th anniversary of The Alojzij Šuštar Primary School.

We have the pleasure of inviting you to this year’s celebration which will be marked with holy mass and a solemn celebration on Tuesday 13th November 2018. Holy mass will be celebrated at 3 p.m. in the parish church of St. Vitus in Ljubljana Šentvid by the Archbishop of Ljubljana Msgr. Stanislav Zore. The solemn celebration will take place at 5 p. m. in the sports hall of the Alojzij Šuštar Primary School. Mr. Gregor Čušin, theatre actor, will hold the official speech. The performance will be given by the students of all schools in St. Stanislav’s Institution.

We look forward to meeting you.

Anton Česen, M. A., Director of St. Stanislav’s Institution

The exchange with St. Calasanz Institute in Nijeln, Belgium

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Solving a murder mystery like real-life forensics

The exchange took place from 15th – 19th October 2018, so eleven students and two teachers set off at around 5pm from Ljubljana Airport to Bruxelles. Since it was quite late when we arrived to Nijlen, the town in which we would spend the next few days, our host families took us home and we soon went to bed. The next day started quite early. We gathered at the train station and drove to Brugge, a picturesque town that amazed us with its beautiful architecture. The next stop was the seaside, where we enjoyed the last moments of summer on a wide sandy beach. Wednesday was a school day for us. The Belgian teachers prepared a very interesting task: we had to solve a murder by analysing the crime scene and suspects and doing various experiments. Our team unfortunately condemned the wrong suspect, but we still came up with (in my opinion) a liable story. We spent the afternoon with our hosts, most of us meeting in a nearby town for a drink, and later we went bowling. On Thursday, our host students became our tour guides and led us through the city of Antwerp. We visited the Museum of diamonds, because Antwerp is famous for its diamond trade business. In the afternoon we had some free time, which we spent differently: some went shopping, some devoted Christians visited the cathedral, and some enjoyed the delicious Belgian waffles. The last thing we saw before leaving Antwerp was the house of the famous Flemish artist Peter Paul Rubens, where we marvelled at his baroque paintings. Friday was, sadly, our last day in Belgium. We spent it by making pralines in a local chocolate atelier and to our delight, we could take our creations home. After saying goodbye to our Belgian hosts who had become our great friends, we left Nijlen and flew back home. The whole exchange was an amazing experience and I think I can speak for everyone when I say that it was definitely worth missing a few school days. /Glorija Ema Glas, year 4/

Nik Smerkolj Attends the European Youth Parliament Session in Rotterdam

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The Slovene Delegation in EYP, Nik is third from left

The Diocesan Classical Gymnasium graduate Nik Smerkolj is currently attending the International session of European Youth Parliament as a Slovenian delegate. After a short visit to Amsterdam, he has settled in a hostel in a gorgeous neighbourhood of Rotterdam. These are some of his impressions: “Just being here and taking part in a session feels big. The Slovenian delegation is already looking forward to starting with work. All the delegates are divided into 15 committees, each dealing with a different topic, valuable to the European Union. I am a delegate in the committee on foreign affairs (AEFT) and our topic is Sahel – EU relations and current problems that the aforementioned region is facing, such as poverty, internal and external migration, lack of basic services and governance.

Apart from the political aspect, EYP is a great opportunity to meet new friends, improve your English skills, visit new countries and cities and gain some new experiences. EYP is there for you too! If you want to know more about it and how it works do not hesitate to contact me. You can also check the website of EYP Slovenia /https://eypslovenia.org/ or write them directly. /Nik Smerkolj, year 4/

John Rutter’s Mass of The Children – The Highlight of Musical Happening in Poland

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Majestic Joint Performance of The Poles and Slovenes

Each of the final three days of our tour in Poland was a unique experience despite the somewhat monotonous schedule: breakfast, practice, lunch, practice, free time, concert. On Thursday night our music sounded off the walls of St. Florian Basilic in Cracow’s city centre, whereas Friday’s concert took place in Miechow. There we performed at the festival of the University of the Third Age, therefore our singing and playing were often interrupted by enthusiastic cheers of elderly ladies. :) Saturday finally came – that was the big day we had all been expecting for the entire week. After packing all our belongings and leaving the hotel, we had some more time to explore Cracow and enjoy the wonderful weather. As the evening was quickly approaching, we could all feel adrenaline working through us and as the final rehearsals weren’t what we had expected, our nervousness was getting only worse. However, our conductor and mentor advised us to relax, do our best and enjoy the good acoustics. The Divine Mercy Church was packed and full of expectation. After the Polish choir, it was time for the Slovenes to perform. After orchestra’s Concerto Grosso in B flat major by Georg Friedrich Handel the choir performed their varied palette of songs that included everything from Slovene folk melodies to spiritual pieces. What all of us had really been anticipating was actually the joint performance of all Polish and Slovene choirs and orchestras. John Rutter’s Mass of the Children was absolutely magnificent – the interlacement of fast and slow, joyful and melancholic intricate melodies created by the choirs, the symphonic orchestra and the soprano and baritone soloists touched everyone’s hearts and resounded in our ears throughout the magical evening. Still touched by the majestic last chord of Rutter’s masterpiece it was time for us to leave Poland and return back home. We are so thankful to have had the opportunity to collaborate with such talented young musicians, to make new friendships and get an insight into the Polish culture and lifestyle. I am sure every one of us could agree that each concert was a new unforgettable adventure. We are looking forward to playing music with our Polish friends in the future Music to Life exchanges. /Anja Tršek, year 4/

Music To life – Erasmus+ Exchange to Krakow, Poland

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Night Singing Rules

The String Orchestra and St. Stanislav Youth Choir of The Diocesan Classical Gymnasium will take part in the Erasmus+ exchange Music to Life program from 5th – 14th October 2018. This will be a return the visit to the Polish students who visited St. Stanislav’s Institution in May 2018. Approximately 90 students and teachers got on the bus and set off at around 10 in the evening.

On Saturday morning we arrived to our first destination, Zakopane, a smaller city and famous winter resort. Excitement visibly filled us with energy and hid our lack of sleep caused by the night drive. After settling in our hotel we had some free time which most of us used to take a walk around the lovely town or hike up a small hill right above our hotel in order to enjoy the breath taking view of Zakopane. Saturday afternoon was the time for our first short concert in one of the local churches. The friendly audience gave us a huge round of applause and eagerly asked for another song although we weren’t too satisfied with our performance. We spent the rest of the evening exploring Zakopane by taking a walk through the city center, enjoying local food and live music in small cosy cafes.

On Sunday morning both the orchestra and the choir participated at the holy mass. After that, we impatiently waited to see what “lunch with a surprise” on our programs meant. We were more than thrilled to see horse carriages waiting for us! Local coachmen took us to a big meadow where Polish girls dressed in national costumes welcomed us with their traditional music. They set up fires on which we grilled our lunch while singing Slovenian and Polish songs. In the end we all sang to the melodies of Elvis Presley’s Can’t Help Falling in Love as one. This was a wonderful introduction to our least favourite part of the day – practice. We spent the rest of the afternoon working on our pieces and were proud to see some major improvement as hours passed.

All of us are having a wonderful time and are looking forward to our departure to Krakow where we’ll finally meet our Polish friends once again. /Anja Tršek, year 4/

Sport Exchange in Utrecht, The Netherlands

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The Slovene Floorball Team

The traditional international sport event took place from 24th – 28th September 2018. Apart from the Slovene and Dutch teams, there were also high school students from The Czech Republic, Germany and Italy. The event was the fourteenth in a row, this time dedicated to floorball with 21 matches taking place. The Diocesan Classical Gymnasium took the second place, while the Czech team won the tournament. Next year the hosting school will be the one of the winners in The Czech Republic. /Tea Obrč, exchange coordinator/