Ten representatives of The Academic Society Unitas Würzburg are to visit St. Stanislav’s Institution on Tuesday, 26th March 2019. Among them, we shall welcome also two alumni of The Diocesan Classical Gymnasium Marko Planinc and Jan Pintar who together with Pavel Orešnik have received a scholarship for undertaking the university studies in Würzburg. Irena Bolta, teacher of German at the DCG and Pavel’s class teacher, has been in charge of the link with Society Unitas since its very beginnings in 1997.
Since 1855 The Academic Society Unitas Würzburg has been there to assist science Catholic students and academics. In 19877 the Archbishop Jeglič, the founder of St. Stanislav’s Institution, was accepted as member when on a study tour in Germany. He kept in touch with UNITAS also later when appointed the archbishop. Pre-war alumni dr. Marjan Zupančič, an UNITAS member as well, informed his fellow member about the reestablishment of Stanislav’s Institution in 1993. The society embraced the news enthusiastically, offering the possibility of university studies in Germany to one alumni of the DCG. This was Pavel Orešnik (1st generation), an attorney specialised in German transport, civil engineering and architecture law, with an office in Tettnang, Bavaria, Germany. The second alumni to benefit from the UNITAS generosity was Marko Planinc (10th generation), who finished studies of business informatics; presently Jan Pintar (18th generation) is studying social politics at Bayerische Julius-Maximilians Universität Wurzbürg.
We are happy to welcome all members, especially Mr Steimer, thanks to who alumni of DCG have had a chance to study in Würtzburg and has taken care of the constant financial support throughout the 22 years of fruitful common cooperation. /Lily Schweiger Kotar/
This is how one of the participants of the exchange experienced the second part of the stay in Trenčín: “On 20th March 2019 in the morning, the choir headed to the practice for the concert in the evening, whereas the linguistic group finished its posters and began designing models of the chosen architects’ famous buildings. The group that was studying Jože Plečnik was working on a model of the biggest cemetery in Ljubjana, Žale. After lunch we took a bus to a town called Hlohovec, where the choirs were to have a concert in the evening. While the Polish and Slovak choirs were practicing, our group visited the castle. We had a short tour of the building and the choir did not miss the chance to sing in the castle’s chapel. In the evening all three choirs performed and the Slovenes delivered an amazing performance. After the concert some students returned to their hosting families and others went back to the hostel where Mr. Zlobko, the school chaplain, held a mass.
On the following day all the choirs had a practice for the final concert and the linguistic group was given some time to finish the models and prepare presentations. Before lunch choirs gave a lunch concert for the students of the school in Trenčín and the linguistic groups presented their work. In the afternoon we had some free time and roamed the city centre, enjoying the sunny day. At six we gathered at the church for the final concert. All of the choirs sang beautifully and they wrapped up the meeting with the traditional Nech ten chram, when the joyous song was literally coming from happy heats. After dinner at school we had some free time and spent time in cafes in the centre. We returned to the hostel late at night and held a mass in honour of Rok’s birthday.
On Friday 22nd March 2019 we packed our bags and headed to school for a final mass where we sang togeter with our Slovak and Polish friends. After bidding them goodbye and thanking for the kind hospitality and great creativity days, we were homeward bound. /Eva Sedej, year 2/
At the end of the exchange an inspirational idea flashed Mr Zlobko’s mind: “Music is a language of love. If silence is the language of God in which He speaks to men, human response is music.”
Hori Takeaki, a guest at the international PEN meeting in Bled, Slovenia, will deliver a speech for the students of the Diocesan Classical Gymnasium on 27th March 2019 at 10.40 a.m in the Jeglič Student Home.
Hori Takeaki is a professor, scientist and a haiku writer as well as an honorary vice chairman of PEN International. With his assistance, the Hiroshima and Nagasaki exhibition in Ljubljana has been set up to recall the memory of the atomic bomb victims and raise awareness of the danger of nuclear weapons. Mr Takeaki will talk to students about his poetic endeavors and they will read some of their own haiku poems. We are very much looking forward to the event. Welcome! /Lily Sch. Kotar/
The traditional exchange with three Slavic Gymnasiums is taking place from 18th – 22nd March 2019. This year Piarist Gymnasium from Trenčín hosts students from Piarist Lyceum from Krakow, Poland and those from The Diocesan Classical Gymnasium, Ljubljana, Slovenia. Traditionally, students exchange their knowledge of singing as well as of all three Slavic mother tongues, namely Slovak, Polish and Slovene. This time St. Stanislav’s Youth Choir under the conductorship of Damijan Močnik represents the singing force of DCG.
This is how one of the participants experienced the first days in Trenčín. “After hours of driving and a short lunch break in Bratislava, we finally arrived at our destination. The choir had the first practice there, and members of the language group had a mass with our priest Martin Zlobko. Afterwards, we had dinner in the school, and some of the choir members left with host families, and the other went to the hostel. On Tuesday, we got up early and headed to school for breakfast. Having enjoyed a lesson of Slovak, the choirs had another practice, and the language group met with students from Poland and Slovakia. We talked about famous architects from our countries and designed posters in our native languages. In the afternoon we visited Trenčin Castle. We enjoyed the afternoon sightseeing the city and some free time there. In the evening we left for a nearby town where we attended the mass. The choir was singing and gave a short concert in the church. We spent a pleasant evening with our host families”. /Eva Sedej, year 2/
In recognition of world poetry day the students of the Diocesan Classical Gymnasium prepared a recital of ancient Roman poetry. The event took place in Dr. Anton Breznik Library on 21st March2019. The passages from Ovid’s Art of Love and other pieces of poetry were read and interpreted by second year students. They proved that the theme of love and courtship have not changed much through times. It was a perfect and occasionally humorous celebration of the first spring day.
World Poetry Day was declared by UNESCO in 1999. Each year the focus is given on some particular poet and his/her works. One of the main objectives of the Day is to support linguistic diversity through poetic expression. In celebrating the occasion the school community recognizes the outstanding ability of poetry to capture the creative spirit of the human mind. /Lily Schweiger Kotar/
Homer’s Iliad is one of the earliest work in the Western literary tradition and one of the best loved stories of all times. It will be read by almost six thousand readers from all over the world and Dragica Fabian Andritzakos, teacher of Latin and ancient Greek at the Diocesan Classical Gymnasium, is to join them with some other Slovene humanities lovers in Ljubljana. Students of the DCG will join the audience as well. The public reading will be carried out on the world level during the 13th European Latin Greek Festival, which will take place in Lyon, France from 20th to 24th March 2019. The Iliad is an epic poem, which recounts some of the meaningful events of the final weeks of the Trojan War and the Greek siege of the city of Troy.
The event in Slovenia will take place on 22ndMarch 2019 in The National Gallery (Prešernova 24, Ljubljana) at 10 a.m. Welcome to experience Iliad in the ways that Ancient Greeks might have done. This is one of the ways to celebrate classical poetry and culture. /Lily Schweiger Kotar/
… are just two of the praises St. Stanislav Girls’ Choir of the Diocesan Classical Gymnasium won after the second appearance at 2019 ACDA in Kansas City on 28th February. Many professionals returned to listen to the choir after yesterday’s concert. The atmosphere in the Muriel Kauffman Theatre was amazing, there was an extraordinary bond between the singers and the audience. The girls were singing as one, trying to convey their joyous heart and all the knowledge they had gained. Young ladies were proudly expressing the most charming and sunny aspect of the choir’s mission which is to share their true selves. Compliments kept pouring in and Helena Fojkar Zupančič as well as Damijan Močnik felt extremely proud – after all St. Stanislav Girls’ Choir is the only Slovene choir to perform at both biggest choral events in the last two years: 11th World Symposium on Choral Music in Barcelona (July 2017) and 2019 National Conference of American Choral Directors Association in Kansas City, Missouri. Some top observations of the concert: “I was utterly amazed when the conductor gave the sign to the choir to start singing and then she stepped aside. The girls sang independently and mastered the choreography on their own!; The choir filled our hearts with wonder.; Your performance was astonishing and simply wonderful. Thank you for coming to the US and inspiring us.;Unbelievable sound! OMG!”
The attenders marvelled at the fact that the choir is not a part of a music high school, that this incredible level of performing was achieved only by three and a half practice lessons per week and that a third of singers change every academic year. The following day some girls participated in a number of intriguing workshops, lectures and concerts. It felt great to be a part of the 2019 ACDA story from the listener’s perspective as well. Now the work is done. Well done indeed! /Lily Schweiger Kotar/
The 27th February 2019 was the day of great anticipation for St. Stanislav Girls’ Choir. It was the day of the concert the girls had been working for the last two years. They welcomed the evening in peace, listening attentively to the final tips finishing touches by Helena Fojkar Zupančič.
Before entering the warming up room in the Muriel Kauffman Theatre, the executive director of ACDA Tim Sharp welcomed the choir. He spoke vividly of his happy memory when inviting St. Stanislav Girls’ Choir to the conference in KC immediately after having listened ot the concert at 2018 World Symposium on Choral Music in Barcelona, Spain. He wished the chior the best of luck saying the girls would never sing in front of so many attentive, demanding and grateful listeners as that night. The performance itself started with the conductor’s solo in May God Grant us A Good Evening. Already after the first song the choir surprisingly received an enthusiastic applaud. When the pianistPrimož Bratina joined the choir it was time for Ipavec’ Winter Song – what an appropriate title for the winter conditions far from springlike Slovenia! One of the highlights of the evening was Močnik’s Jesualem, during which the audience was invited so sing along the following verse: May they prosper who love you. The musicians, conductors, educators and choral directors from all over the world sang the meaningful words and expressed their enthusiasm with seemingly endless standing ovations. Hard work paid off, the girls and the conductor were more than pleased with every single detail they managed to express through music. The evening was the embodiment of a worthwhile quote by John Rutter, one of keynote speakers at 2019 ACDA : “Choral music is not one of life’s frills. It connects the human race, and choral music is a supreme example of this wonderful and beautiful power… which is kind of an emblem for what we need in this world. That’s a lesson for our times and for all times”. /Lily Schweiger Kotar/
This is an account by two choir singers: “We started the next day with a holy mass and singing a few songs for those who might have missed our concert the day before. Then we headed to St Vitus Church nearby to participate in charity brunch for the local Slovene school in Clevelnad. Unfortunately, there was an electricity due to extreme winds, so we had to sing in complete darkness. What followed was an incredibly romantic candlelight meal. We spent the afternoon with our host families and some of us had the opportunity to see the Slovene Pristava, a lovely place for events or gatherings for the Slovenians. Each family also has a small chalet that they use at weekends or for special occasions. When we returned home, we found out that our flight was cancelled due to strong winds so we didn’t have to wake up at 2 am. Some girls decided to spend their evening in front of a TV watching the Oscars, or at least commenting on the outrageously extravagant dresses the actresses wore.
Luckily, the incredible Tina and Silvija resolved the travelling situation of the cancelled flight and organised the bus which took us directly to Detroit airport. We flew to Kansas City and drove to our hotel. After getting comfortable in our hotel rooms, the teachers took us to a nearby quality restaurant (Wendy’s – cheap and good, in Mr. Močnik’s opinion). After lunch, we took a long walk around the truck parked a little farther up the street. We had a rehearsal in the evening and a healthy dinner after that. However, the best news of the day was that we would be able to get 10 hours of sleep”. /Glorija Ema Glas & Vida Kravanja, year 4/
The Slovene families took a really good care of the girls starting with a warm welcome and continuing with huge and delicious breakfasts. After having explored the city of Cleveland and enjoyed the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, the Science Museum or the Cleveland Museum of Art, a rehearsal took place before the evening concert in St. Mary’s Church. This was the last concert before the ACDA appearance in Kansas City. The church was packed, as the Slovenes poured in from near and far. The choir was honoured by the presence of the Consul General at Consulate General of the Republic of Slovenia in Cleveland Andrej Rode and his family. It was a privilege to sing in front of the audience who feel so closely attached to the homeland of Slovenia, yet living in the US for several decades. People were genuinely moved by the Slovene songs and no wonder the verse I really tell you, nothing compares to the Slovene Land brought tears in their eyes. The afterparty was a joyous feast with the sounds of the accordion, happy dancers – even Damijan Močnik joined in – and loads of delicious food prepared by the hosting families. Some girls got acquainted with some distant relatives and friends. Everybody wished the choir the very best of luck with performing in front of the demanding, international audience at the conference ACDA in Kansas City. /Lily Schweiger Kotar/