The academic year 2009/2010 has merely begun, but already the Isidor Bajić Music School has celebrated a significant jubilee – the 100th anniversary of the establishment of the school. The central event chosen to mark this notable anniversary was the concert Find Inspiration, which was held on the main stage of the Serbian National Theatre on October 17, 2009. This singular undertaking will be remembered for years to come not only by the participants and the audience present for the occasion, but also by the many across the country who watched the TV broadcast from their homes. Awe, love, and admiration might be the words most apt to describe the feelings inspired in the many listeners by such an assembly of determined and enthusiastic young people, who came together for one night in an effort to jointly realize something powerful and substantial: the school’s many significant achievements. Gathering around the goal of demonstrating and honoring the invaluable lessons of a school reknowned for the quality and discipline of the music which echoes through its halls, the performers successfully captured the impressive capability of an institution at the height of its powers, when its resources and pupils are fully dedicated to such a purpose in a union of emotion, talent, and effort. All told, more than 490 individual performers contributed to make this concert a memorable affair – 118 children sang in the Music Kindergarten Choir, 38 students performed in Bajić’s Nightingales Choir, 24 young string players made up the Elementary School String Orchestra, the Margita Baračkov Accordion Orchestra counted 25 pupils, 185 students sang in the High School Mixed Choir, and, joined by past graduates, the High School Symphony Orchestra totaled over 100 players.
The Principal of Isidor Bajić Music School, Ms. Radmila Rakin Martinović, delivered the opening speech.
”At the Music School each student must practice and prepare for lessons- rather than rely on the teacher and do nothing.
At the Music School students are guided to work and fulfill their duties individually, which affects each child’s character building.
A student is sure to receive proper lectures.
Music School educates students in a number of disciplines. Not only do students learn to play well, but the School also teaches them, through music science theory, to understand music as a science and to enjoy in it.
At the Music School each student has an opportunity to get acquainted with music literature.
Music education at the Music School is cheaper than elsewhere.
Music School is a cultural institution with an important task that has public accountability for its success“.
Dear students and parents, esteemed colleagues and distinguished guests,
Isidor Bajić said those words on October 17, 1909.
Today, on the day of our jubilee, 100th anniversary of founding of the “Isidor Bajić” Music School, we pay our respects to numerous generations before us.
I truly believe that we have been left a legacy- a mission to walk the road less traveled.
I’d like to thank all those who have taught us…:
……. to tell our tale about the infinite power of talent!
…… to show the beauty of giving by giving ourselves!
…… to add a smile to this miraculous alchemy!
…… to gather people who want to understand each other!
…… to bestow power upon this energy!!
……. to find the best in ourselves together!!
…… to be better than we are!
……. to try to do the impossible!
……. never to give up!
That is how we managed to find an inspiration!!!!!!!!!!
I’d like to thank all of you who supported us:
…… because you gave yourselves despite our flaws!
…… because you met beauty and power of talent!
…… because you managed to recognise true human values!
…… because you succeeded in feeling accomplishment!
…… because you succeeded in touching fulfillment!!
…… thank you for all the smiles and kind words!
…….thank you for walking with us on the road less traveled!
Thank you for finding inspiration in us!!!!!!!!!!
In space and time where everyday life is a challenge in itself, we all bestow upon young and talented musicians ”merely an opportunity” to find their own way through the world of art.
My dear students!
With all my heart I wish you luck on that journey!
Believing in existence of absolute beauty and magical power of music, I wish to all of you from the bottom of my heart to find your own inspiration tonight!”
Dr. Gerd Eicker, President of the European Music School Union, followed with an address to the audience.
Dear young singers and musicians,
On behalf of European Union of Music Schools I congratulate you on 100th anniversary of your school of music, here in Novi Sad. There are not many music schools in Europe that can look back on such a long and uninterrupted tradition. For the most part of 20th century, music education was still a privilege of children from well-to-do families that could afford additional education such as music. Those families championed humanistic education, the kind that was available only to the aristocracy before the occurrence of the bourgeoisie. Not earlier than in 20th century did someone recognise the significance of education that included music to a broader population. However, the road from the moment of recognition to the point of implementation is, as we all know, a long one- the road that is paved with rough stones, or sometimes even rocks, especially in the tough realm of politics.
Here in Novi Sad, it seems, this road was smoother. Still, it took a public figure that unyieldingly followed the idea of providing music education to the people: Isidor Bajić, a geat composer and choir conductor, who succeeded in founding this school in 1909. But he did not want a school for fun- he demanded serious engagement in music.
He supported individual students’ work, and at the same time he requested fulfillment of personal objectives and potential. Today, someone might say: Discover your talent and develop it, recognise your potential and use it! However, the society, the public, is responsible for creating the environment for that, as music schools are educational institutions with very serious requirements. It was only last year that the Novi Sad Music School Choir got the opportunity to win over the audience in Bohn by its outstanding quality of performance.
This guideline is our driving force even today. 27 National Associations united in the European Music School Union are after this same goal. And each individual school of music can contribute to our Europe becoming not only a strong economic region, but also a cultural region in which music education has a distinguished role. What is more is that it is so simple- music does not have language barriers. We all speak the same language with different melodies. And we understand each other when we create music.
Therefore, I urge every person in politics and education to support work of music schools and their associations. There is no better investment in development of peaceful and humane Europe!
Thank you very much!”
After the opening speeches, the stage was filled to the brim by young singers from the Music Kindergarten, who, observed by over 1000 members of the audience, nevertheless fearlessly, joyfully, and spontaneously entered the spotlight and performed. In all, 118 students of Isidor Bajić Music School’s Kindergarten sang and acted out several songs: Captain Jan, Once Upon a Time There Was One Lion, Yow, I Like Melons. The charming choir was made up entirely of children ages 4 to 7 energetically led by Marija Josimović.
The Elementary School Choir Bajić’s Nightingales, under the baton of Ana Kovačić, was the evening’s next installment. They first performed an ensemble hymn – an originally Belgian song whose gracious message is captured in its title Love Makes the World a Better Place, before continuing their performance with a singing of the most famous tune from the movie Titanic, My Heart Will Go On.
The Elementary School String Orchestra Bajić’s Young String Players pulled off a remarkable appearance thanks in large part to conductor Csaba Zima, who has been devotedly leading the ensemble for many years. The group performed two unpretentious, whimsical pieces: Fiddle Dance by Persy E. Fletcher, and the unusual Blues Tango, undoubtedly enriched by the original choreography of the accompanying ballet dance performed by Marko Dubovac and Helena Aksamit, both students of the Ballet High School.
The first half of the concert was brought to a close by the Margita Baračkov Accordion Orchestra. The youthful and talented conductor Igor Paroški led the orchestra in its performance of Isidor Bajić’s Serbian Flowers for Serbian Hearts (the first wreath), followed by Ray Henderson’s Black bottom, in Rico Reinwarth’s arrangement.
While students of all age groups performed in the first half of the concert, encompassing educational levels from kindergarten to high school, the second installment focused on displaying the talents of more advanced performers associated with the school: high-school students, former graduates, and former and current teachers – all levels joined together for the event into the High School Mixed Choir and Symphony Orchestra. This ensemble, which counted over 200 performers led by the steady hand of Aleksandar Kojić, opened with Aram Khachaturian’s Waltz from the Masquerade orchestral suite. The central element of the ensemble’s performance, Parade of Choral Hits, led us on a unique musical journey through some of the most popular landmark choral masterpieces, including fragments from such compositions as G. F. Händel’s Halleluiah, L. van Beethoven’s Ode to Joy, fragments from operas by Verdi, Borodin and Bizet, as well as I. Bajić’s Serbian Girl from Prince Ivo from Semberija. The final piece of the programme was D. Shostakovich’s Waltz No. 2 from the Suite for Orchestra.
An encore featuring additional special guests provided a fitting and celebratory end for the jubilee concert. The well-known electric string ensemble Studio Alektik, whose members are former graduates of the school, took the stage to perform their own arrangement of Shostakovich`s Waltz No. 2, supported by the entire joint ensemble.
The concert Find Inspiration successfully portrayed Isidor Bajić Music School as an unique entity, a centenarian with modern views, an institution respecting and celebrating the classical elements of a time-honored musical tradition, while at the same time eagerly embracing the incredibly various manifestations of our contemporary musical arts, always striving towards the noble purpose of creating a greater future by building from the foundations of a fertile past.