St. Stanislav Youth Choir and St. Stanislav String Orchestra took part in a music tour in Spain from 18th – 25th February 2023, which included also an Erasmus+ exchange visit of The Professional Conservatory of Music of Cartagena. This is how the entire event resonated with one of the enthusisastic participants.
“When we left the school at midnight on 18th February 2023, we were all tired because of the singing practice before, so we soon fell asleep on the bus. We made a stop in Montpellier, France, where we spent the night and visited the city centre later during the day. We also stopped at a beautiful antique town of Carcassonne. This is a charming little town, but its streets were deserted. We continued our way to Spain and arrived in Cartagena early in the morning, so we had some time to have brunch. We stayed in Cartagena for three days. In the mean time we had singing practices. We explored Cartagena’s streets, hidden places, cosy cafés and ancient highlights. At a fancy looking restaurant, called Mare Nostrum, we had lunch twice. I can say that the choice of food on the menu was interesting. On Tuesday we had a concert with one of the Spanish choirs in a local church in Murcia. Together we sang one Spanish and one Slovene song. We had another concert at the Conservatory of Music of Cartagena. While singing Raindrops keep falling on my head, the lights suddenly went out for a second or two, and it was quite a shock for some of us. Fortunately, they were on shortly after. The concert was a huge success, which was expressed by one of the thrilled visitors, a native Scot and a professional retired musician, with the following words: »Saw the concert on Tuesday night in Sucina – tremendous! The youth choir had a beautiful, rich sound with a fine balance between the voices in the a capella pieces. The whole programme had a good variety of music and the Spanish premiere of Močnik’s mass Missa St. Francisci Assisiensis was very well performed by choir and orchestra to an enthusiastic audience. Overall a great concert, really enjoyable and a worthwhile experience.”
It was time for us to leave for Barcelona. On the way we stopped in Valencia, a beautiful city, where we had a delicious lunch. We arrived in Barcelona in the evening, and as we were all really hungry, we went to a nearby Italian restaurant. The next day was our last day of the tour. Barcelona is a big city and has a lot of spectacular sights, but we only had time for Parc Güell, the majestic cathedral Sagrada Familia, La Rambla and the stadium Camp Nou. Some of us even managed to go to the beach where we took a quick swim in the cold sea. After a wonderful last day in Barcelona we said farewell to Spain and saved our memories in our hearts.
At the end of the tour Damijan Močnik, the conductor and leader of artistic activities at the Diocesan Classical Gymnasium, told us he was satisfied with the progress our choir had made and was proud of us for singing the whole concert program by heart.” /Maša Vintar, year 2/
Elizabeta Tomac, has joined twenty-eight other students from all over Europe for winning the 2022 translation contest for secondary schools ‘Juvenes Translatores’! Elizabeta translated from French into Slovene. Another student from the DCG, Ana Leskovar, who also translated from French, received a special mention for her translation. Year 2022 was the European Year of Youth, that is why the young Europeans and green policy were the topics of the texts which young translators from across Europe had to translate.
We all agree that Latin, which both of the above-mentioned competitors have been learning now for the third year, contributed to the excellency and accuracy of their translations. In March 2023 Elizabeta will travel to Brussels with Eva Pišljar Suhadolc, English teacher from the DCG in charge of the Juvenes Translatores 2022, to collect the award for the most accurate translation of Slovenia. This year The Diocesan Classical Gymnasium has competed for the sixth time and won the competition four times! Well done indeed!
The Contest in Numbers
For the 16th time since 2007, 2883 students from 681 secondary schools across the European Union translated texts. They could choose from any of the 552 possible combinations between any two of the EU’s 24 official languages. Students used 141 language combinations. All winners chose to translate into their strongest language or mother tongue, as the official translators in EU Institutions do. The aim of the contest is to promote language learning in schools and give young people a taste of what it is like to be a translator.
The Slovene Context of Juvenes Translatores
On the national level, there were 31 students competing from eight Slovene high schools. There were five contestants from the DCG, translating from English, French and German. The obligatory languages taught at the DCG are Latin and English, some students take also classical Greek, but all have to choose a third foreign language from German, French, Spanish or Russian. /Lily Schweiger Kotar/
St. Stanislav Girls’ Choir, from Ljubljana, Slovenia ranks among the best girl choirs in the world. It is one of the five school choirs at The Diocesan Classical Gymnasium in St. Stanislav’s Institution. The choir comprises of 40 girls between the ages of 15 and 18, but there is much turnover among singers; each year about a third of the girls leave at graduation, while new singers join.
Last year the choir prepared an outstanding musical event intertwining songs and dances with the music of an exceptional woman from the High Middle Ages, Saint Hildegard of Bingen. It bears the title Caritas abundant in omnia/ Love Aboundeth in All Things. The musical performance is enriched by a new musical setting by a Slovene composer Damijan Močnik, which combines seamlessly past and present.
Hildegard’s music, which represents the spiritual expression of The High Middle Ages, is extremely demanding to recreate. For this very reason, it is so valuable that this project has been launched by such young girls. With all their hearts’ creativity they dedicated themselves to the studies of almost one thousand-year-old musical notation and spiritually rich texts, which are so different from anything they encounter today. With courage and determination, they have left behind the world they know, the fast world, often of superficial nature, and entered into the profound message of love, wisdom and the gifts of the Holy Spirit. The choir’s interpretation of this Medieval mystic, composer and polymath are full of girls’ tenderness and so convincing that overwhelm even the most demanding listener.
Music and choir activities at the Diocesan Classical Gymnasium along with the above-mentioned concert reflect the school’s mission statement in its main points. St. Stanislav Girls’ Choir with 40 teenage girls, who each definitely seek for their own identity and role, who undoubtedly cannot succeed without each other, without the complementing community, as only together they can sound harmoniously. With their teacher Saint Hildegard, the girls could not but include the Christian values – from their personal faith to music making in a singing community, which both inevitably result in personal growth and excellency in anything the young singers do. The result is inspiring and it fully realises the school’s motto Amor magister optimus/Love is the Best Teacher. This is the most precious piece of advice a teacher can give to a student. You are kindly invited to listen to how love sounds!
In the depths of every heart, love creates bonds and expands existence, for it draws people out of themselves and towards others. Since we were made for love, in each one of us ‘a law of ekstasis’ seems to operate: »the lover ‘goes outside’ the self to find a fuller existence in another«. For this reason, »man always has to take up the challenge of moving beyond himself«. Pope Francis, Encyclical letter Fratelli tutti
We wish you a Merry Christmas and a joyful New Year 2023.
On November 30 2022, students of The Diocesan Classical Gymnasium took part in the international online English language competition Best in English. There were 22,779 participants from all over the world, 1007 from Slovenia. The students from our school performed very well; the maximum number of points was 118 and the following students came close to 100: Jerneja Podgorelec, 4. A scored 102.5 points, Klara Lešnik, 3. B 100.5 and Tadej Skubic, 4. A got 100 points. Congratulations to all the competitors! /Manca Golob/
This year The Diocesan Classical Gymnasium is one of the randomly selected schools for Juvenes Translatores 2022, an online translation contest for secondary schools in the European Union.
The purpose of this event is to bring together language students and to put new life into the EU’s own motto to be ‘united in diversity’. In order to materialise it, we need to be able to understand languages other than our own. In the long run, learning languages will bring us closer and help us understand each other’s cultures, which will enable the young today — tomorrow’s adults — to study and work around Europe.
It all started in 2007 with the first translation contest ever. So far The DCG has participated in this contest for four times with much success. This year the contest will take place on 24th November 2022 and we have 5 represetatives from The DCG. Liza Knez, Iris Ambrož, Brina Gubanc, Elizabeta Tomac and Ana Leskovar are to translate from different modern languages, namely English, French and German. We shall keep our fingers crossed! /Lily Schweiger Kotar/
The Diocesan Classical Gymnasium will take part in a English language competition Best in English. This year 46 students will have a unique opportunity to challenge their English language skills in an online international competition, which will take place on 30th November, 2022.
The Best in English contest is a unique worldwide English language competitionfor high school students aged between 15 and 19. The level of the test is B1 – C1 according to the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages.
So far 17 223 students from almost 595 schools from 32 countries have taken part.
Each year the entire school community celebrates St. Stanislav’s Day to mark the feast of the Institution’s patron.
We have the pleasure of inviting you to this year’s celebration which will be marked with holy mass and a formal celebration on Tuesday 15th November 2022. 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 formal celebration will take place at 5 p. m. in the sports hall of the Alojzij Šuštar Primary School. Prof Ddr Klemen Jaklič, a Judge of the Slovene Constitutional Court and a full professor of constitutional law, 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 celebrating with you.
Anton Česen, M. A., Director of St. Stanislav’s Institution
The contest took place in Tolosa from 28th October–1st November 2022 and brought together the best choirs in the world manily to enjoy choral music. St. Stanislav Girls’ Choir under the conductorship of Helena Fojkar Zupančič went into competition with eleven excellent adult choirs from Europe, USA and Mexico and won second place in both categories, polyphony and folklore. This is by all means an unprecedented success, considering St. Stanislav Girls’ Choir is a high school choir.
This is how the headmaster of The Diocesan classical Gymnasium Rihard Režek, M. Sc. reflected upon this extraordinary achievement: »First I wish to congratulate to you, dear Helena for your energy, heartiness and professionalism which you share with St. Stanislav Girls’ Choir and St. Stanislav’s Institution. Immediately after this I pay tribute to the girls – to all together as well as to each and every one of you. Nourish the beauty and the good in yourselves, keep up the good work, but never forget to enjoy it. This will allow you to continue to delight and embrace with your voices all those who walk by your side. « He also thanked gratefully to Marjetka Kozmus for her full and professional backing as well as Tina Tandler for her wholehearted support in this project.
The girls’ perspective of the D-day, Sunday, 30th October 2022 runs as follows: “Sunday was the most important day. The morning mental preparation is as important as the voice preparation, since any contest is among other a test of being able to keep inner peace and concentration. Having tested the acoustics of the hall, we got ready for the evening by putting on the concert dresses and applying some make up. As the third choir to sing in the contest we stepped on the stage in an energetic manner and already with the first accord we sounded jovially and determined. Our singing was fantastic and the public applauded loudly and cheered enthusiastically.”
One of the impressions of the winning singers speaks for itself: “I have to say that it has not been easy for the last few weeks in school, as the exam season started. But it was worth scarifying some hours of sleep and better grades, as the contest has been unforgettable. I feel grateful for all sea views, rehearsals and in particular for the fellow singers. However, I am most thankful for the moments, when we assumed we would not make it, but providing mutual support enabled just about anything we could wish for.” / Lily Schweiger Kotar/