3 December 2009

Rocking benefit concert in Arnhem

On Saturday December 12, MwB friends Elena and Georgina will organize a rocking benefit concert for Musicians without Borders and the Mitrovica Rock School! The concert will be held at Café The Stage in Arnhem.

Elena and Georgina are students of Cultural Social Education (CMV) in Arnhem and are organizing the concert as an event internship.

The Rock School will be represented by Rock Academy trainers Suzanne and Ruud, who have worked at both the Rock School in Mitrovica and the Summer Schools in Skopje. Ruud and Suus will give a short presentation on the Mitrovica Rock School, and will then go on to rock the house as only they can.

More information is available on MySpace and Hyves. Be there!

23 November 2009

Rock School students perform in Gracanica

On Friday November 13, students from the Rock School's North branch performed at an event in Gracanica at the special invitation of Rock School donor USAID/AED.

The event brought together a broad range of projects and was attended by U.S. Ambassador Christopher Dell. The Rock School got together a "Dream Team" and rocked the house!

The video below shows Rock School students Milan, Emir and Nemanja and drum teacher Mladen performing Jimi Hendrix's Voodoo Child.


13 November 2009

Mitrovica Rock School on EuroNews

EuroNews released a video report on Mitrovica today, with a prominent focus on the Mitrovica Rock School. Click here to view the report online. The report opens at the Rock School branch in North Mitrovica, and ends at our branch in the South. Enjoy!

4 November 2009

Rock School in 4U Magazine

This October, KFOR's 4U Magazine did a two-page special on the Mitrovica Rock School.

Click here to download 4U in Albanian and English, and here to download 4U in Serbian and English (pages 42-43).

Little known fact: many of the instruments used by the Rock School were donated by Dutch musicians and music schools, and transported to Mitrovica by Belgian KFOR forces.

29 October 2009

Auditions at the Rock School's South branch

Always wanted your own band? Love pop and rock music more than anything else? Want to learn from professional pop and rock musicians? Here's your chance!

The Mitrovica Rock School's South branch is able to place five new students. Open auditions will be held for the following positions:

Guitar player for Sofra

Guitar player for Band 4

Bass guitar player for Missed Call
Singer for Missed Call

Keyboard player for The Frames

Auditions are open to anyone between ages 12 and 25 with at least basic skills in their instrument. Please prepare one or two pop or rock songs for the audition.

Time: Saturday October 31, starting at 1 p.m.
Place: Mitrovica Rock School (South branch), sports center "Fatime Xhaka" - Mitrovica

Edon Ramadani: 049/146-322 / edon@mitrovicarockschool.org / edonramadani@gmail.com
Erhan Mujka: 049/436-855 / e_mujka@hotmail.com

28 October 2009

Ambassador to open for the Sahbaz

Next Thursday, the Return of the Sahbaz benefit concert for the Mitrovica Rock School will be opened by Rock School band The Ambassador.

The "original" Ambassador first got together during the 2009 Skopje Summer School, and is featured in this short film by Tami Ravid.

The "new" Ambassador are:

Minja - vocals

Luka - solo guitar

Vanja - rythm guitar

Nemanja - bass guitar

Djordje - keys

Misko - drums

25 October 2009

R.O.T.S. benefit concert for the Rock School

On Thursday October 29, the Return of the Sahbaz (R.O.T.S.) will give a benefit concert for the Mitrovica Rock School!

R.O.T.S. consists of Rock Academy trainer Ruud Borgers (vocals and guitar), CBM's Rock School Project Manager Milos Drazevic (bass guitar), and Rock School teacher Mladen Marinkovic (drums). The band first performed in Skopje on August 28, where they brought the house down during the Summer School closing concert.

Sahbaz sounds: ZZ Top, Iggy Pop, David Bowie, Ramones, AC/DC, Nirvana and Kylie Minogue. Wondering what that adds up to? Be there!

Date: Thursday October 29
Town: Mitrovica
Venue: VIVA Club

R.O.T.S. will be touring the region from October 26 through November 1. Tour dates are posted here. For surprise concerts on October 30 and 31, stay tuned to the Sahbaz blog!

18 October 2009

Cuban box drums donated to the Rock School

Through Rock School friend Ryozo Teruoka, the International Citizens Network of Japan recently donated four Cuban box drums to the Mitrovica Rock School.

Here's what a box drum is according to Wikipedia:
A thin wooden panel forms the "skin." The bass cajon is large enough to sit on and is played with the palm, fist and fingers. Where you hit the box determines the sound/tone you create. Bass tones are found towards the center of the playing surface while higher pitched tones are found towards the edges. Played well, the sound of a box drum can resemble that of an entire drum kit.

"All very nice," you say, "but what does any of this have to do with rock'n'roll?" Have a look.

Many thanks to our friends in Japan for this generous donation!

4 October 2009

Official Opening huge success -- Rock School students rock Mitrovica!

Official opening
On Sunday September 27, the Mitrovica Rock School celebrated its Official Opening.

Rocking performances
Rock School students and teachers performed together and with trainers from the Dutch Rock Academy at rocking events on both sides of the city.

Huge crowds
The opening ceremonies were hosted by Rock School students Vesa, Visar, Minja and Milos, who did an excellent job presenting their school to the enormous crowds that had gathered to help
us celebrate. All Rock School bands -- including the new Summer School-inspired band Ambassador -- delivered rocking performances.

Speeches and jamming
The ceremonies included speeches by CBM and MwB Directors Valdete Idrizi and Laura Hassler, the Rock Academy's two Directors Bertus Borgers and Gerard Boontjes, and IKV Pax Christi's Linda Schevers. Quite late into the evening, the opening night was fittingly closed with an awesome jam session starring Rock School teacher Goran Vucetic on guitar and Rock Academy Director Bertus Borgers on the sax.

Opening on TV
For those who weren't able to make it: the ceremony in the South was captured by KTV's Express program (you have to wait for Whitney Houston to finish, but it's worth it). And the ceremony in the North was broadcast by TV Most.


And to all Rock School students and teachers: congratulations on a rocking kick-off!

7 September 2009

The Rock School celebrates its official opening!

After 1 year of successful rocking at the Mitrovica Rock School, it's now time for an official opening!
Originally scheduled for February, the partners postponed the official opening of the Mitrovica Rock School until September 27, 2009, to coincide with the start of the new school year. The Rock School's staff will work closely with the Fontys Rock Academy, CBM and MwB to organize events on both sides of the city.

Rock School students and staff will perform together with the Rock Academy musicians, and guests will be invited to attend concerts and receptions hosted by the Rock School branches in North and South Mitrovica.

And of course we will visit the Rock School with a bunch of people from Holland! The Directors of the Rock Academy, Bertus Borgers and Gerard Boontjes, will be present, as will Gerdien Visser and Ruud Borgers. MwB will be represented by Director Laura Hassler and Project Manager Wendy Hassler-Forest. Tami Ravid will attend the opening to make sure all will be documented and Joosje Jochems and Suzanne van Amelsvoort will be there to give vocal and performance workshops as well!

The locations for the opening will be determined later, so stay tuned...

See you all there in 2.5 weeks!

3 September 2009

August 28 - The Final Concert

Summer School '09 groupies,

hello, and thanks for keeping up! We're finally ready to give a full report of last weekend's concert in Skopje. It was a truly amazing event - the bands, the songs, the musicians, the audience, the atmosphere; everything combined to make an unforgettable evening. Hopefully by now you've had a chance to check out some of the performances on youTube as well!

Things got started in City Park "Shkolka" fashionably late, a bit after 9pm. Xhabir Deralla of the NGO CIVIL was our talented MC, stoking up the crowd and welcoming each band on stage.

Empty Staff opened up the night with the following line-up : "What's up" 4 Non Blondes, "U and Ur Hand" Pink, "Wings of a Butterfly" HIM, and "How You Remind Me" Nickelback.

Next came Le Blanc de Blancs with "I Love Rock 'n' Roll" Joan Jett, "Mercy" Duffy, "Smoke on the Water" Deep Purple, and "Kryptonite" 3 Doors Down.

Third in line was Ambassador with "Keep on Rockin' in the Free World" Neil Young, "I Shot the Sheriff" Bob Marley, "Sweet About Me" Gabriella Cilmi, and "By the Way" Red Hot Chili Peppers.

And wrapping up the line-up of Mitrovica bands came the Anchors performing "Be Yourself" Audioslave, "Little Wing" Jimi Hendrix, "Wicked Game" HIM, and "Fly Away" Lenny Kravitz.

During the performances more and more audience members came and went, but more and more accumulated throughout the evening with a total of 700 people in attendance. Some of those included devoted family members and friends who came all the way from Mitrovica just for the concert.

After the Mitrovica student's performances, the Tilburg students and Mitrovica coaches took the stage. First Joosje and Zana sang "Summertime" and next came some solo singing by Xhemil - with Michael Buble's "Sway" - and then Joosje.

Our German documentary makers, Maximilian and Florian even got in on the action performing 2 Queens of the Stone Age songs : "Go with the Flow" and "No One Knows."

The final band to take the stage was Ruud Borgers, Miloš Drazević, and Mladen Marinković. They performed "TUSH" ZZ Top and "Long Way to the Top" AC/DC. If we're lucky, this group will be performing together again come the end of October...

To end the evening, students from Mitrovica took the stage one last time and rocked together for one final jam session...

No one was quite ready for the evening to end - but it was finally time to say good-night. Wendy came on stage to thank and congratulate everyone their contributions to a successful concert and an even better week.

So, while it's time to sign off from reporting on Skopje Summer School '09, we hope you'll keep up with the Mitrovica Rock School throughout the year - and definitely join in with us again next year for what is guaranteed to be an awesome time at Summer School '10!

Thanks for your interest and til next time - keep rockin' in the free world...

Photography courtesy of Peder Wiegner

Summer School interview on Radio Vati

The day before the concert, Edon, Milos and I were interviewed Radio Vati about the Rock School, the Summer School and the concert. Here's the unedited interview.

Eastwest Sounds donates four guitars to the Rock School!

Long-time Rock School supporter Eastwest Sounds announced today that it will donate not two (as stated in earlier reports) but four brand new electric guitars to the Rock School!

Eastwest Sounds Europe is an Amsterdam-based company that deals in highly advanced music software.

Many thanks to everyone at Eastwest Sounds, and particularly to Michiel Post, not only for this generous donation but also for arranging the transport to Mitrovica. Your guitars will be put to good use!

2 September 2009

Summer School concert online!

Keep a close eye on our YouTube channel: we've started uploading footage of the spectacular closing concert of the 2009 Skopje Summer School.

Here's a preview:

Empty Staff

Le Blanc De Blancs


The Anchors

1 September 2009

August 29 : Summer School Comes to a Close

Hey to all you Summer School Participants, Mitrovica Rock School Students, and fellow Rock Music Lovers;

Thanks for sticking with us all last week and continuing to check in as we've wrapped up our time in Skopje. Friday night held an amazing concert, which we'll be reporting on in detail - as soon as everyone has had a chance to recover a bit.

The Summer School Participants left Skopje to drive back to Mitrovica on Saturday at noon. We hear they had a safe and pleasant trip back, despite wishing they were still in Skopje. They got home just in time to start the school year today, the 1st of September (and we know how much they were looking forward to that).

The Dutch Music Team from Tilburg headed out shortly afterward on a flight back to Amsterdam, and others dispersed as well. As far as we know everyone has made it home - except of course for Tami who is still hanging out in Mitrovica and working on her documentary.

The success of Summer School 2009 has added so much to the momentum of the Mitrovica Rock School. All the potential which has been building over the last year is really starting to manifest itself in amazing events and plans which are taking place right now and will continue to grow in the future.

We hope you'll keep checking in, both to hear the report on the final concert and to see where the coming year takes the Mitrovica Rock School and its many talented students.

Keep Rockin'...

photograhpy courtesy of Peder Wiegner