28 August 2009

August 27 - Almost There

Hey all,

Thursday came and went very quickly - and while everyone was tired, they're maintaining their energy to successfully complete the week. The morning held different workshops and coaching sessions both for bands and for instruments. Some of the trainers from Mitrovica along with Wendy made an appearance on a local radio station here in Skopje in the morning. It was a great chance to keep getting the word out for Friday's concert and to talk about the Mitrovica Rock School and the ideas behind it.

The afternoon was left for more coaching and some final brushing up for the evening's dress rehearsal. Several members of the group also got a chance to make an appearance on a local television station, talking about the concerts and the school. Translation confusion took place once or twice during the interview section ("We have 23 participants." "There are 23 bands?" "No, no, no..."), but 3 Summer School participants - Minja Velimirovic (vocal), Vesa Nishliu (drums), and Arbër Buçinca (guitar) - had the opportunity to give a short performance.

The real excitment of the day came though after dinner with a dress rehearsal for the concert. We all returned to ESRA and squeezed into one practice room to hear the results of what everyone has been working on throughout the week. With only a few minor hiccups, everything went extremely well. The energy level in the room was amazing - whether a band was playing an upbeat song or one which was slow and intense.

Lots of dancing, clapping and cheering took place. Afterwards, one participant said, "Well, I've been tired all day - but now I have so much energy I don't want to go to sleep tonight!"

The concert Friday evening is gonna be rockin' - can we expect to see you there?

27 August 2009

A Sneak Peak at the Bands

With all the fun everyone's been having (and hard work they're doing) there's been a delay in the creation of the bands' mySpace pages. However in the meantime, here are portraits of each of the bands, to give you and idea of who you'll be seeing at the performance on Friday!


The Anchors

Empty Staff

Le Blanc de Blancs

Photography and Image Editing by Maximilian Cress.

August 26 - A Day for Some Fun

Thanks for checking in!

Yesterday, Wednesday marked the middle of the week. The final concert is now in sight - it's approaching quickly and the bands' performances are coming together well. The morning was spent rehearsing songs again, but the afternoon held other plans.

The group traveled to the nearby Lake Matka and River Treska. We walked awhile to a open area on the river where the group could spread out, relax, have a picnic and play music and games. Having a chance to get out of Skopje and get a change of scenery in the middle of the week was an important thing for everyone. Time outside in fresh air and sunshine was a great way to spend the day and unwind.

After enjoying ourselves for a bit the whole group took a trip on the Lake in little boats which were very stable (or maybe not).

We got to explore a little cave from there which was home to a lot of bats and some very cool stalactites and stalagmites. After the boat ride back we headed down to a spot on the river where those who wanted to could swim. The smart ones of course opted not to... seeing as the water was very very cold (one estimate was 3 degrees, although we have no way to confirm this report). On the river bank a vicious waterbattle took place for those who had energy but weren't quite up to braving the water. Allegedly Xhemil started it all, but again, nothing can be confirmed. By the time we all got back on the bus everyone was exhausted but definitely from a day well spent.

And on Thursday it's right back to rehearsing (but perhaps with local radio and television performances thrown in as well... you'll have to check in again with us to find out!).

26 August 2009

August 25 - Still Going Strong

Rock School Enthusiasts,

Tuesday was another great day at the Skopje Summer School. There's still a lot to accomplish in the week, but a lot of good work was done yesterday.

The morning and afternoon sessions were solid blocks of time for all the bands to work on their songs. With the help of the Mitrovica instructors and the Tilburg students coaching, everyone made a lot of progress!

During their time "off" the groups started to work on an assignment they have received. Each band much create a mySpace page with information about their members, the band name, at least one photo, and their Friday night song line-up. Their pages should be up by tonight (Wednesday) and we'll have the links posted here on the blog as soon as they are available. In the meantime, here is a little preview of the bands:

The band "Ambassador" includes Gjylisha, Vedat, Nemanja, Vanja, Luka and Gagi. "Empty Staff" is Albana, Irfan, Vesa, Dado, Filip S., and Saranda. "Le Blanc de Blancs" is members Shaban, Minja, Milos, Krenar, Kreshnik, and Engjell. And the final band is the "Anchors" with members Milan, Filip M., Enver, Arber, and Djordje.
Everyone kept working hard even after dinner. Some headed back to ESRA for workshops and others worked together in their rooms at the hotel to practice what they had learned during the day. All the participants are extremely dedicated to putting on a great show at the end of the week. Of course we've been having a lot of fun at the same time, which isn't too hard considering all the great people we have together here in Skopje.

Hope to see you here at the concert on Friday!

25 August 2009

August 24 - Hitting the Ground Running

Rock School Enthusiasts,

Monday was the first full day of the Summer School and things have gotten off to a great start. In comparison to last year, so much has already been accomplished. The bands have started working together, opening up all kinds of possibilities for the week.

The morning began bright and early with everyone headed to University of Audiovisual Arts ESRA where rehearsals and workshops will be taking place all week. First on the agenda was setting up equipment and giving the bands time to decide which songs they will perform. Each band will play about 4 songs which they worked together to choose. They tried to find pieces they all agreed on and would satisfy the diverse tastes and talents of all the band members. This is not always such an easy thing to do! Groups were also starting to think about their names but for now none have made a final decision.

After a break at the hotel for lunch it was right back to work. The bands took turns practicing their songs and being coached by instructors from Mitrovica and students from the Rock Academy. A lot of good work was done in this period - everyone is giving their best effort towards creating an unforgettable concert at the end of the week.

The afternoon ended with a jam session to give everyone a chance to cut loose and enjoy the all the talent the group has to offer. Some were hesitant to jump in but everyone who did gave great performances. We were having so much fun that we were late to get on the bus back to the hotel!

Everyone had the evening to relax - except for our dedicated trainers and coaches who kept making decisions about how to make the most of the rest of the week. Thus far their planning has paid off and we're excited to see where they take us next.

Keep checking in to find out!

24 August 2009

Summer School '09 is Rockin'

Hey to all you Rock School fans out there,

Yesterday, August 23rd the Skopje Summer School of the Mitrovica Rock School kicked off with lots of energy and enthusiasm. 22 students and 7 trainers from Mitrovica and students and teachers from the Rock Academy in Tilburg (as well as a few others of us) gathered all together here in Macedonia to start off a week of learning, good times and most importantly Rock Music.

Those of us coming from Mitrovica left bright and early on Sunday morning. First, the bus picked up participants from the North and everyone pitched in to help load up all the instruments, equipment and luggage.

Then it was time to go pick up everyone in the South so the group would be complete and we could all head on our way. It was clear how excited everyone was to be headed off on the adventure to Skopje - on the bus ride the students and coaches talked, laughed, sang and of course did some impromptu guitar playing and drumming (with whatever was available) to set the tone of constant music-making for the week.

Upon arrival in Skopje, the group received a warm welcome from the students and teachers coming from Tilburg who had flown in the day before. They helped with unloading everything from the bus and getting the whole group from Mitrovica settled into the hotel where we'll all be staying together for the week.

After some lunch, the first activity of the week was a quick get-to-know you game where each Mitrovica Rock School student was paired up with another student who they didn't know yet. After having some time to talk they then took turns introducing one another to the rest of the group. This was an excellent activity for meeting new people and starting to break the ice.

The big activity for the rest of the day was forming the bands for the week! The bands were decided by the trainers and teachers and then unveiled. Everyone got together with their new band-mates for the week to take part in a "Pop Quiz" created by the Tilburg Rock Academy Students. Lots of the questions were very tricky, but the Mitrovica Rock School students proved they know their stuff! Everyone did a great job, and the winning band was awarded the opportunity to choose when they want to play in the Closing Concert on Friday night.

For the evening, the group got together for a tour around Skopje. Some people have been here before, but for others it was brand new and pretty exciting. We walked to the Center of town, walked along the river, through the Old Town, and finally ended in "Shkolka" City Park where the Closing Concert will be. Seeing the place where the performance will take place was exciting for everyone and reminded everyone about the goal for the end of the week - to work hard with their new bands to create some excellent music for an awesome Rock Concert!

Stay tuned...

Reporting Live from Summer School '09

Hey Rockers and all our Rock School groupies out there...

Hello and thanks for checking in with us! My name is Tory and I'll be posting reports throughout the week about what our musicians are up to here in Skopje.

I am a volunteer for Musicians without Borders Bosnia-Herzegovina in Sarajevo. I've been working in Bosnia-Herzegovina since 2007, but this is the first time I have had the opportunity to come to Macedonia and I'm pretty excited about it. Especially to be here with such an amazing group as the students and teachers from the Mitrovica Rock School.

Enjoy the reports and photos from this week, we may also post some videos on youTube of the bands rehearsals and jam sessions - stay tuned to find out. And feel free to comment and ask questions if there's anything you'd like me to answer for you throughout the week!

xx T

22 August 2009

Have a great Summerschool ya'll!

Hi there rockin' musicians,

I wish you all the best in Skopje! Make it an unforgettable week with lots of fun, music, laughter, short nights (I bet you'll all be sooo tired after this week..!) and most of all a smashing performance on Friday!

It would be great if you keep us posted through this blog so we can read all of your great adventures here!

We'll be in touch!


19 August 2009

Meet the Summer School participants: Irfan

Hi! I'm Irfan, i'm 19 years old.

I play drums for 2 years, that's my main opsession. Also have a band called BreakDowN, which is playin HC/TrasH metal. Music that i listen is all kinds of metall, also love grunge, blues, jazz, and other progressive technical genres.

I hope that, in Skopje i will raise up my skills on bigger level. Love you! :)

Till Skopje, KEEP ROCKIN' ! ! !

Meet the Summer School participants: Filip

Hello, I'm Filip. I'm 16 years old... I'm going to economic school, I'm third grade...

I play drums in one rock, metal band Krvna Grupa.... In Skopje I would like to learn some fills, and some good technique...

See you soon

17 August 2009

Meet the Summer School participants: Milan

Hi, I'm Milan in "cyberworld" a.k.a. Chilly Willy

I'm 19 years old. I play guitar since year 2000. I also play guitar and sing in band DARK SKY which is very known in this area. We've been playing at many many festival all around Serbia, our own songs. We have not recorded yet but I hope that we'll get all financial support to make our first demo. In Skopje I would like to learn more about performance workshops.

Well, see u guys soon! Cheers! :)

Meet the Summer School participants: Emir

Hi! I'm Emir Hasani and i'm 17 years old.

I play guitar. I go to high music school "Miodrag Vasiljevic." I play in Heavy Metal-HC band Dark Sky... I like all grunge, rock and metal genres...

See you soon ;)

Meet the Summer School participants: Nermin

Hello, I'm Nermin, and I'm 19 years old.

I play bass guitar 2 years. I play in the band Dark Sky. My favorite music is metal, grunge and hard rock.

Meet the Summer School participants: Nemanja

Hello, everybody.

I'm Nemanja and I'm 21 years old. I play bass guitar and I started to play 3 years ago.

My favorite music genres are grunge rock, alternative rock and all metal genres. Also, I have my own rock/metal band INSOMNIA. What else... I can't wait the beginning of summer school.

See you in Skopje!!!

Meet the Summer School participants: Djordje


I'm Djrodje Avramovic, I'm 17 years old, I go to Gymnasium third grade.

I play keyboards... I'v finished "Miodrag Vasiljevic" musical school section piano... Now I play in one Blues, Rock band Floyd Rose... We do covers...

See You in Skopje!

15 August 2009

Meet the Summer School participants: Krenar

My name is Krenar Bejtullahu

Im 12 yars old

I like about for (bass)or(guitar)

thank you

Meet the Summer School participants: Albana

Hi everyone : ) !

I'm Albana Berisha. I'm 15 years old. I finished the 9th grade in primary school "Meto Bajraktari" in Mitrovica. Also, I'm student of Musical School "Tefta Tashko," grade 7th.

In "Rock School" I sing, I'm member of band "Freak Week."

Mussic was my passion since I was a little girl, and I always wanted to became a singer and sing all over the world. I love music, A LOT <3!

I have a lot of hobbies: First of all SINGING, Playing Basketball, Drawing, etc. I would like to learn how to play the Guitar and Drums too :P.

See you soon : ) !

14 August 2009

Meet the Summer School participants: Ngadhnjim

I am Ngadhnjim Musliu.

I was born in 29.09.1992 in Mitrovica. Primary school I finished in "Andon Zako Çajupi in Mitrovica, in same time I also finished Primary music school "TeftaTashko" in Mitrovica. Now I am In secondary music school "Tefta Tashko" in xI class. I play piano and klarinet Instruments. I have proud that i choose this direction.

Also I am in rock school in Mitrovica, in the first Band called "Sofra'm"
from Mitrovica, in this Band I play Piano.

Leisure draw exercising piano, klarinet and heard music, while my hobby is skiing and swimming.

Meet the Summer School participants: Shaban


My names is Shaban Behramaj and I am 17 years old. I am in high music school "Tefta Tashko".

In Mitrovica Rock School I'm a vocalist in band "Missed call" and I am very hapy for that. In summer school in Skopje I hope to learn about techniques in singing.

I write petry in free time and in a future i want to write beautiful songs for my self.

I like Rock-Pop,Clasic,and Jazz music. My favourite band is : RHCH Peppers, U2, Coldplay etc.

See you in SkOpjE.