18 December 2008

Band coaching in South Mitrovica

Here are some pictures of lessons and band coaching at the Rock School branch in South Mitrovica. As you can see, it was quite cold when the pictures were taken, but heaters and some other much needed equipment are now being bought.

8 December 2008

Rock Academy training on Radio Netherlands

This short documentary was made by Robert Chesal of Radio Netherlands Worldwide. Radio Netherlands has posted a written report on its website: "Rock and Roll bridging the divide."

Radio Netherlands has also created a (different) radio report on the Training Week, which you can listen to here.

7 December 2008

Mitrovica Rock School wins award!

On Wednesday, December 3, the Mitrovica Rock School won an award. A panel of judges from the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs awarded the Rock School "Best Project 2008" under the NCDO Matra/KPA program.

The panel called the Rock School a "brave project that counters nationalism, is independent and is run by and for young people."

More information on the Matra program is available here.

Left to right: Caspar Veldkamp (Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs), Wendy Hassler-Forest (Musicians without Borders), Miloš Dražević (Community Building Mitrovica)

28 November 2008

Rock Academy training in the news

This Article appeared on Fontysnieuws on Thursday, December 4: "Fontys Rock Academy Helps Rock School In Kosovo."

This article appeared in Brabants Dagblad Saturday December 6: "Teachers From Kosovo Guests At Rock Academy." To view the article online, click here.

Here's an article posted today on MusicFrom: "Rock Academy To Train Kosovo Musicians: From Guns To Guitars."

Last Saturday, OneWorld.nl posted an article (in Dutch) on the training week at the Rock Academy. The title is "Rock Academy In Tilburg To Train Rock Music Teachers From Kosovo." Click here to view the full article.

27 November 2008

Panel discussion "From Guns To Guitars"

On Tuesday evening, December 2, the Rock Academy will be hosting a panel discussion on rock music as a means on reconciliation, called "From Guns To Guitars."

The panel members are:
Laura Hassler (Director of MwB International)
Baya Corlija (Director of MwB Bosnia-Herzegovina)
Milos Drazevic (Project Coordinator, Community Building Mitrovica)
Daria Nashat (Senior Program Officer Southeast Europe, IKV Pax Christi)
Caecilia van Peski (International Manager Educational Projects, Fontys University)
Bertus Borgers (musician and Board Member of Fontys Rock Academy).

For more information (in Dutch), please visit the Rock Academy's website, or (in English) click on the press release below.

Filmmaker Tami Ravid to visit RA training

Filmmaker Tami Ravid is to join us at the Rock Academy next week to meet the musicians and research a documentary on the training at the Rock Academy. More information on Tami and her previous work is available here (in Dutch).

Mitrovica Rock School nominated for award

The Mitrovica Rock School project has been nominated for the Matra/KPA Award 2008, through one of our major donors, NCDO Matra/KPA.

The winner of the Matra/KPA Award 2008 will be announced during the Matra/KPA Inspiration Day, on Wednesday December 3, 2008. For all those in the Netherlands/The Hague area, you can still register and be part of the day (provided that you're not previously engaged at the Rock Academy).

Of course we're very excited about the nomination and are looking forward to representing the Rock School during Inspiration Day.

Article in De Tilburgse Koerier

This article appeared today in local newspaper De Tilburgse Koerier: "Rock Academy In Tilburg To Train Rock Music Teachers From Kosovo." Click here to view the article in its original context.

19 November 2008

Mitrovica Rock School team to visit the Rock Academy in the Netherlands

From December 1 to 5, 2008, the band coaches and coordinators from Mitrovica will be offered a week of workshops and master classes at the Fontys Rock Academy in Tilburg, the Netherlands. The Rock Academy has prepared a program that includes both group elements and individual training based on the needs and wishes expressed by the coaches and coordinators during the Rock Academy's visit to Mitrovica in October.

Meet the team!

In his role as the Mitrovica Rock School project coordinator at our partner organization CBM, Milos is responsible for the local implementation of the project. In addition, he is responsible for the daily management of the Rock School branch in North Mitrovica. He also plays the bass in the bands Psycho-Sonic Boris and Hosenfefer.

Edon picked up the keyboard 12 years ago. He has played with many singers and bands in various genres, including pop, rock, folk and jazz. The bands Edon has played in include Marigona, Ethnically Plugged and Morena & Hysni Klinaku.

Edon has also been active as an arranger and composer, and has worked as the assistant conductor of the Kosova Philharmonic Choir.

He has a bachelor’s degree in General Music Pedagogy from the Faculty of Arts in Pristina, where he is currently studying Conducting.

Edon has taught solfeggio and music theory at the primary music school in Mitrovica. Since it opened its doors in November 2008, Edon has been working as the coordinator, band coach and keyboard instructor at the South branch of the Mitrovica Rock School.

Originally from Bosnia-Herzegovina, Mladen now lives in Mitrovica, Kosovo. Mladen is self-taught and has played the drums in many different bands over the past 18 years. He is currently the drummer of Psycho-Sonic Boris and Hosenfefer.

Since it opened its doors in October 2008, Mladen has been working as band coach and drum instructor at the North branch of the Mitrovica Rock School.

Since she was 17, Zana has participated as a solo singer in many concerts in various genres, ranging from classical to rock. She has also been an active choir singer, and she has recorded two rock/alternative songs.

With the help and support of Musicians Without Borders and Community Building Mitrovica, Zana was admitted to the Faculty of Arts in Pristina in 2003. She graduated in Solo Singing, and has been working as a music teacher since 2004.

In 2006, she won the second prize in the International Competition of Classical Music in Pristina.

Zana is currently working on her MA degree in Solo Singing at the University of Skopje, Macedonia.

Since it opened its doors in November 2008, Zana has been working as band coach and vocal instructor at the South branch of the Mitrovica Rock School.

Goran taught himself to play the guitar in 1990 and has now been playing for 18 years. He has played many club concerts, jam sessions, festivals and bigger concerts. Goran has jammed with big names like double bass player Branko Peiakovic (Max Gregor Orchestra, Duke Ellington, Jenny Evans) and drummer Marko Djordjevic (Ziggy Marley, Rick Margitza, Amit Heri). He also opened for several Serbian bands, including Viktorija, Time, Yu Grupa, Neverne Bebe and Elektricni Orgazam, and once played a club gig with Faith No More bass player Billy Gould.

Goran knows different guitar techniques, like slide guitar, chicken pecking and tapping, and plays genres ranging from blues, rock, heavy metal and fusion to jazz. Besides the guitar, Goran also plays the bass and basic drums.

Since it opened its doors in October 2008, Goran has been working as band coach and guitar and bass instructor at the North branch of the Mitrovica Rock School.

Born and raised in Mitrovica, Erhan is currently enrolled at the Faculty of Arts in Pristina as a student of classical guitar. In addition, he has been working as a music teacher at the primary music school in Mitrovica since 2003.

Besides classical music, Erhan also plays rock music and blues. He has been a member of a number of local groups in Mitrovica. He is currently part of Tema. Tema recently competed at the Rock for Rock festival, where it was awarded second place. Tema also performed at the Kembana rock festival.

Since it opened its doors in November 2008, Erhan has been working as band coach and guitar and bass instructor at the South branch of the Mitrovica Rock School.

Originally from Prizren in western Kosovo, Gjemil started playing the drums in 1994 as part of a rock band. He studied different kinds of percussion (conga, bongo, timbales) in 2000. In 2002, he enjoyed lessons from Professor Okay Temiz in Istanbul, and participated in the Instanbul Jazz Festival.

Gjemil has played with many famous singers from Kosovo, in genres ranging from pop, rock and latin to jazz. In addition, he has played in several bands and formations, including Marigona and Ethnically Plugged. Since 2003, he has been a member of the Big Band on public TV broadcaster Kosova RTK.

Since it opened its doors in November 2008, Gjemil has been working as band coach and drum instructor at the South branch of the Mitrovica Rock School.

Born and raised in Mitrovica, Misko has been around in the Mitrovica music scene for a long time. In addition to playing in many bands, he has been extremely active in organizing music festivals, including the Rock Fest and Jazz Fest. Misko studied drums at the Barcelona Music Academy. He also plays guitar and percussion and sings, and has been working as a private drum teacher.

11 November 2008

Band coaching in North Mitrovica -- live footage

During the first week of October, the North branch of the Rock School started band coaching and music lessons. We now have over 30 students in the North, and a waiting list.

During the last week of October, Ruud, Gerdien (Rock Academy) and I took a peak, at the special invitation of Milos Kabasic (on drums). The band playing is The Cold Shots. The coach in this video is Goran Vucetic, who joined the team after the Summer School. Goran will be joining us in Tilburg, NL, during the first week of December, where the Rock Academy will be organizing training and master classes for all the coaches and coordinators.

23 October 2008

Rock School up and running in North and South

Hi all!

Just a note to let you all know that we’ve started band coaching and lessons in the North. If you haven’t joined yet and you want to get involved, you can get in touch with Milos Drazevic of CBM at drmilos81@yahoo.com.

It looks like we’ll be able to start in the South next week. The coordinator for the branch in the South is Edon Ramadani. If you want to join, you can send Edon a note at edonramadani@hotmail.com.

I’ll be in Mitrovica all of next week. Gerdien and Ruud of the Rock Academy will be joining me on Wednesday October 29. And of course we would love to see everyone from the Summer School again.

Rock on!


3 October 2008

The Beat Goes On to support the Mitrovica Rock School

The drum festival The Beat Goes On, which will be held in Amersfoort (NL) this Saturday, has chosen the Mitrovica Rock School as one of its two causes.

TBGO will donate part of the festival's proceeds to the Mitrovica Rock School. There will be an MwB delegation at at the festival to talk about the Mitrovica Rock School and, of course, to enjoy the show.

We're very excited about the enthusiasm the Mitrovica Rock School is generating among Dutch musicians and music organizations, and especially by this great match with TBGO!

1 October 2008

MwB winner of Music & Words competition!

To celebrate its 25th anniversary, the Dutch record label Music & Words nominated five organizations for prizes ranging from € 25 to € 2,500. Thanks to our many friends and Rock School fans, MwB came in first!

MwB has decided to put the money towards the next steps in the Mitrovica Rock School project: band coaching in Mitrovica. Our partners at CBM are working around the clock to make sure we'll be able to start in both sides of Mitrovica this October. We're very excited about the next steps and, of course, very grateful for this generous contribution at such an important point in the project.

12 September 2008

Milos on the future of the Mitrovica Rock School

Milos was the drummer in the band One. I asked him a couple of questions about the Rock School. Here are his answers.

What did you think of the Summer School?
Summer School is a very good and interesting project, project helped me a lot. 'Cause I learned more things about drums. It was very funny. I play now with more dynamics

When we open the Rock School in Mitrovica, will you come?
Yea, of course.

What would you like to learn?
Drums Again.

What music would you like to play?
Hard Rock and Rock 'n' Roll.

Are there a lot of young rock musicians in Mitrovica who would like to come to the Rock School?
Yes there are so many musicians but they don't have rooms for practice and that is big handicap for music in Mitrovica.

Do you think the Rock School can help make Mitrovica an important city for rock music again?
I hope so!


The drummers: Roland (Rock Academy) & Milos

11 September 2008

Blerta on the future of the Mitrovica Rock School

I think this is truly all I can say about it!!

- You know.. the opening of a ROCK school here in Mitrovica, was just a beautiful dream once.. (at least for me). But now seeing this dream come true, I'm just like... wow.. SPEECHLESS if I can say so. I'm just waiting everyday to hear something new about it.

If this is ever going to happen, then I'm so sure that we'll all have an unforgettable time together (as we did in Skopje). And I'm pretty sure that here in Mitrovica, we have a lot of talented musicians that are just waiting for a chance to take.

If you ask me how I see the future of my city with the Rock school then it's like this:
| MITROVICA – The city of Rock*Stars | or something like that:P

I just want to say that I’m so optimistic that something Magical will come out of this!

I miss you, and I just can’t wait till the next meeting of us all!


BLERTA [Passing Card]

10 September 2008

Milica on the future of the Mitrovica Rock School

I would be very happy, if Mitrovica, in the future, have a school of that kind of music. We alredy have a Classical Music School and Academy. But we also have
many people who love rock music, and play rock, and they wont to be better and more professional in that. And because of that i think that opening Pop-Rock Music School in Mitrovica will be the right things for everybody. And with your's help, I hope we'll make it good. That will be like time in Skopje-funny, and very instructive.

(Milica was a member of Passing Card during the Summer School. She plays keyboards.)

5 September 2008

Last day, Friday August 22

Most nervous (but dressed to impress):

Most ceremonious: Directors present participants with Summer School diplomas


Passing Card:

One, supported by Five Days members:

Sauvignon (Rehab intro):

Mladen, Milos & Vanja rock!

2 September 2008

Fourth day, Thursday August 21

Best photo-op (though not the best photos): press conference at the Multimedia Center. Left to right: Xhabir, Edon, Wendy, Pieter, Suzanne & Milos
Least ceremonious: the Directors arrive (Bertus from the Rock Academy and Laura from MwB) and take a sneak peak at rehearsals

Most exciting: the dress-rehearsal! (Five Days performing)

Third day, Wednesday August 20

Most flexible: bands wait to take turns rehearsing, and cheer each other on after sessions have to be shortened due to graduation ceremony in the central hall of the highschool.

Best girl scout: Sophie, for finding the lake in the park where we had our picnic ;)

Best photo-op: post-picnic group pose on the stage we had just booked for our concert

Best spontaneous party: Wednesday night at the hotel, with Ana on the accoustic guitar and Vjosa playing the drum (featuring interesting vocal performances by Xhabir and Ruud).

Second day, Tuesday August 19

Most optimistic: thinking that we'd be able to stick to this schedule.

Biggest "challenge": notice announcing more exams at the school where we were rehearsing during the Summer School week...

Most incredible: the way Xhabir was able to arrange the concert stage Pieter and Gerdien had spotted the night before, after we discovered the stage we had previously booked would be too small.

Most impressive display of work ethos (if we do say so ourselves): the art of late-night schedule creation.

31 August 2008

First day, Monday August 18

Second-best photo-op: bringing instruments from the hotel to the school (I got to carry the cool guitar ;))

Most impressive: the way Joey and Sophie did the pop/rock quiz together and were able to get everyone into it.

Skopje's no. 1 top model: Milos

Coolest: by a distance, the jam session in the afternoon. I missed half of it, but when I got to the school, everyone was playing together and taking turns at the mic and the instruments. You could hear it from outside, and it already rocked.

Best photo-op: announcing the results of the pop/rock quiz (One came in first, hence the band name)

Best moment: the way the bands were working together, deciding on their repertoire and downloading lyrics and MP3s all night.