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.
Special awards and achievements:
- 2019 participation at the 2019 American Choral Directors Association National Conference from 27th February to 2nd March 2019 in Kansas City, Missuri, USA.
- 2018 participation at the Europa Cantat Festival from 31st July to 4th August 2018 in Talin, Estonia
- 2017 participation at the International Federation for Choral Music World Symposium on Choral Music from 22nd-29th July, 2017 in Barcelona, Spain.
- 2016 approved participation out of 146 choirs from all over the world at the World Symposium on Choral Music in July 2017 in Barcelona, Spain.
- 2015 Tour to Germany and Denmark, where the choir performed by invitation of two world famous choirs, namely, The Hannover Madchenchor and The Copenhagen Girls’ Choir/Skt. AnnaePigekor
- 2014 International Choir Competition »60th Cork International Choral Festival«, 4th place overall and the receiver of the special award »Schumann/Europe Trophy« for the performance of the contemporary Slovene song by A .Čopi, “A Child with a Sunflower”
- 2013 Overall winner of the International Choir Competition »Summa Cum Laude« in Vienna, and a special award of the Music Youth Austria for interpretation and outstanding performance
- 2012 sparkling performance at the European Youth Choir Festival in Basel, where the most prominent European youth choirs sing
- 2011 Tour to England with a performance on the BBC and the handover of Silver Rose Bowl to the new winner of Euroradio choral competition Let the Peoples sing
- 2011 Overall winner of the international Youth Choral Festival in Celje, Slovenia, special award for the best interpretation of a contemporary Slovene song by D. Močnik, Godec pred peklom /The Fiddler in front of Hell/; for the best programme and the best conductor of the competition
- 2009 Euroradio choral competition Let the Peoples Sing in Oslo, Norway – winner of the youth category and overall winner, recipient of the prestigious award Silver Rose Bowl. This is the only Slovene choir to have received this prize to date.
- 2009 participation at the opening concert on the occasion of the 20th anniversary of the World Youth Choir in Örebro, Sweden
- 2008 National Competition in Zagorje, Slovenia – 1st place in the category, gold plaque with honours and overall winner of the competition
- 2007 International Choral Festival Celje, Slovenia – 1st place in the category and gold plaque, overall winner of all categories, special award for the best Slovene choir of the competition, the best interpretation of the Slovene composer’s song and the best interpretation of a composer born after 1950
- 2006 National competition in Zagorje, Slovenia – 1st place in the category, gold plaque with honours, overall winner, special award for the 20th century composition
- 2004 National competition in Zagorje, Slovenia – 1st place in the category, gold plaque with honours, special award for the interpretation of a composition by a Slovene contemporary composer
- 2001 International Choral Festival Celje, Slovenia – 1st place in the category, gold plaque, overall winner of all categories, special award for the best Slovene choir of the competition, the best interpretation of a composition by a Slovene composer, the best interpretation of a composition from Romanticism
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.