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/

Eurostronomia, Erasmus+, Transnational Project Meeting 2

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Inspiring environment & good friends – both to be found in Targoviste, Rumania

From 7th to 11th July 2018 the second Transnational project meeting of the project Eurostonomia, Erasmus+ took place in Targoviste, Rumania. Two teachers and two students from St. Stanislav’s took part: Martin Čokl, Anton Križnar, Aleks Kaapre Rehtijärvi and Alenka Battelino.

This is the first time that students participate in project meetings so that their voice will be also heard throughout the project. This time they were working on composing guidelines for all future Erasmus+ students. They presented their findings at the plenary meeting held on the last day of the meeting. According to the coordinator of the project Mrs Susan Coontz (Wellington School, Scotland) they accomplished their work with excellence and contributed greatly to the success of the meeting.

We enjoyed the hospitality of the partner school Colegiul National Constantin Cantacuzino. All the partners participated in reviewing the activities realized in the first year of the project and intensively planning the activities for the second year. The feedback of national agencies were discussed. The stargazing activity was unfortunately cancelled due to bad weather conditions. We visited the Institute of Multidisciplinary Research for Science and Technology from Valahia University of Targoviste and Museum of Human Evolution and Technology in Paleolithic, Stelea Monastery,”The Royal Court” Museum, Townhall and Old City Center.

It was another wonderful experience working in the inspiring environment of good friends. We all appreciated generous hospitality and thorough organization of the managing team at Colegiul National Constantin Cantacuzino. We all look forward to our next teaching learning activity which will take place in Scotland between 16th and 23rd September 2018. /Alenka Battelino, project coordinator/

Ana Šubic, National Winner of Juvenes Translatores, Translated in Presidential Palace

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Presidential Palace on the Open House Day, Photo STA

The President of the Republic of Slovenia Borut Pahor, issued an order for the conferral of a State Decoration of the Republic of Slovenia on 8th June 2018 to SILA-IWCL International Women’s Club Ljubljana and Magazine Gasilec. Ana Šubic, a student of the Diocesan Classical Gymnasium and the 2018 national winner of the international translation contest Juvenes translatores was invited by the Office of the President of the Republic to read the orders and translate a couple of thank you speeches.

Ana enjoyed every minute of it, especially the relaxed attitude of the organising team and the solemnity of the event.  “On stage I felt quite nervous before translating, eventually I calmed down. The protocol is really strict there.”, she added. The school community congratulates Ana for her excellent translation work in the presidential palace and wishes her all the best in facing further translation challenges! /Lily Schweiger Kotar/

“The world has been good to us. Now it’s time for us to be good to the world. It’s time for action.”

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Ana Receiving the Winning Award in Brussels

With the above words, Ana Šubic, a third year student of the Diocesan Classical Gymnasium and a national winner of the 2017-2018 translation contest Juvenes Translatores, concluded her speech delivered on 10th April 2018 in front of a vast audience of contestants, parents, teachers, translators and other EU officials on the occasion of the award ceremony in the Charlemegne building in Brussels. Among 28 winners from EU member states, only three were invited to give a speech, Ana among them. It was delivered partly in English, partly in Slovene and Ana enjoyed every minute of it, as she put it.

Her speech emphasised the exceptionally favourable living conditions that the young Europeans enjoy today. “Let’s consider numerous education possibilities and our skills. This is a winning combination that not every young person can achieve. We did not earn it, it was bestowed upon us and it is our duty to deal with it responsibly, thus showing the world the opportunities have not been in vain. We, the joung Europeans, shall make an all-out-effort, study well and work for the benefit of mankind. Maybe we will translate a wonderful novel, be the first to talk to a doubtful person, help people who are lost in every sense of the word, we may invent something new. We shall love and lead an active life with a sparkle in our eyes to make this world a better place. By doing so, we will try to justify the opportunities and skills bestowed upon us.” You can listen to the rest of her meaningful speech at 38th minute using the following link: https://business.facebook.com/translatores/?ref=py_c

Ana attended the award ceremony in Brussels with her mother and her mentor Irena Bolta, teacher of German at the Diocesan Classical Gymnasium. /Lily Schweiger Kotar/

Four DCG Students Receive Honourable Mention for the Video in The World of 7 Billion Contest

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Filmmakers Benjamin, Vid, Amadej and Timotej from left to right

Timotej Cvirn, Amadej Pavšič, Benjamin Poljanc and Vid Kregar joined the international contest The World of 7 Billion, which is a project of the population education program that focuses on human population issues.  Among 3000 high school videos theirs received an honorable mention. Since 1975, the program has developed curricula to complement students’ social science instruction about human population trends and their impacts on natural resources, environment and human well-being.

Student competitors have been asked to create a video about human population growth that highlights one of the global challenges and the above mentioned students have chosen the topic of feeding 10 billion highlighting the subtheme of food waste. Taking on this challenge and finding solutions require understanding, but above all cooperation and creativity. Timotej, who is the heart and soul of the project, believes the population issue is in fact a burning one, explaining: “It’s important to start solving the problems now, if we start solving them when we hit 10 billion, it might be too late.” The production is entirely nonverbal, which enables even non-English speakers to get the message. “Brainstorm to get a good story. You can film the video with a smartphone, but you need a good message.” Indeed, well done guys!

Please click https://www.worldof7billion.org/video_winners/food-waste/ to watch the video and find extra information on its background. /Lily Schweiger Kotar/

Two Alumni of Diocesan Classical Gymnasium to Participate in Biennale Architettura 2018 in Venice

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Slovene Contribution by Arrea Architecture, photo Tadej Bolta

16th International Architecture Exhibition, one of the greatest architecture exhibitions in the world, starts on May 26th 2018 with two  DCG alumni actively taking part in it. These are Tadej Bolta and Klara Bohinc, both working for Arrea Architecture, one of the most prominent architectural bureaus in Slovenia under the leadership of Maruša Zorec. In the 16-year long history of the biennale Arrea is the first Slovene bureau to be invited to partake.

The leading theme of the Biennale 2018 is freespace  – a word which describes a generosity of spirit and a sense of humanity at the core of architecture’s agenda. Architecture opens up space in new ways, offering it to people, who may discover the essence of their existence through its use. The Biennale is divided in two sections. In the first one different countries participate with various installations, presentations and pavilions – all based on the biennale’s common theme. In the second section the invited architects or architectural bureaus from all over the world take part. This year 71 of them were invited by the curators of exhibition Yvonne Farrell and Shelley McNamara, both from Ireland. The exhibition will remain open until November 25th 2018.

For more deatailed information please see: https://www.arrea.si/biennale

We congratulate the young architects for the outstanding opportunity and feel very proud of them both! /Lily Schweiger Kotar/

Youth Woven from Sparks of Sun

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Moments of Sharp Focus During Bruckner’s Te Deum

The 25th annual jubilee concert with nine choirs, string orchestra of St. Stanislav’s Institution and and the hosting orchestra of Frederic Chopin Conservatory in Krakow, Poland included more than 500 musicians who fired the full house in Cankarjev Dom with enthusiasm on 13th May 2018. The majestic music event, rounded off by Anton Bruckner’s Te Deum, celebrated the 25th Anniversary of Diocesan Classical Gymnasium and Jeglič Student Home and 10th Anniversary of Alojzij Šuštar Primary School.

This year individual choirs joined into four meaningful groups depending on songs performed, which ranged in various style. The concert opened with a medley of Slovene folk songs, entitled Alba/Dawn, a novelty by Damijan Močnik, dedicated to the long-serving director of St. Stanislav’s Institution Roman Globokar. Two more mixtures of folk songs Joyous Heart and Vigred/Springtime were presented by both Primary School choirs; the latter being accompanied by an improvisation on folk instruments. Both first year choirs of the Diocesan Classical Gymnasium continued with a mix of evergreen Slovene pop songs, a novelty compiled by Tine Bec, conductor of the First-Year Boys’ Choir. The audience attention of the first part went to The Beatles Best of Songs in the interpretation of the (Re)Mixed Choir of the DCG and St. Stanislav Student Choir. Impeccable choreography (by Mojca Sečkar) of more than 150 singers underpinned by singers’ 1960’s outfits brought to life the Beatles’ greatest hits of all times. It was an explosion of Beatlemania in its broadest sense of the word, which fuelled big cheers. The grand finale united almost 600 performers from nine choirs, both orchestras and four accompanying voices in the interpretation of Bruckner’s Te Deum. The following singers features as soloists: Marta Močnik Pirc, soprano; Sabina Gruden, alto; Martin Sušnik, tenor and Marcos Fink, bass. All five sections of this majestic work put new life into the words We praise you, God – the life of sincere praise for numerous gifts gratefully received in the last 25 years in St. Stanisalv’s Institution. The piece drew on full resources of the choirs and orchestras, concluding in a joyous fugue of In Te, Domine, speravi/In you, Lord, have I trusted. That was the second time this evening that the audience gave a standing ovation.

Apart from music, there were two meaningful speeches given on the solemn occasion. The first one by Anton Česen, M.A.,  director of St. Stanislav’s Institution, who explained the guiding lines of the jubilee motto Youth Woven from Sparks of Sun. It combines fruitfully the search for opportunity growth,various challenges and personal endeavours of the young. He concluded by words of thanks to the conductors and the singers for their commitment to the cause. The honourable speaker was Tomaž Faganel, M.A., Slovene musicologist, who pointed at the role of music throughout the 25 years since the reestablishment of St. Stanislav’s Institution. “Music is a way of life, liberated from everyday routine, invariably originating from curious silence. All this is presented to the young in St. Stanislav’s Institution by charismatic leaders – conductors, who create “little songs” that the audience and performers gratefully take home. They represent a significant part of our dreams and encourage curiosity.”

Indeed, the listeners took home many new songs from tonight’s concert that featured music which was a feast for the soul and the senses. You can listen to it at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qpPkL1rRgK8

/Lily Schweiger Kotar/