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

Summer School interview on Llink radio

Sunday evening, the Rock Academy's Joerie Dekker and Roland Baak and IKV Pax Christi's Mathieu Hermans appeared on Llink radio to talk about the Summer School. The full broadcast is available here (in Dutch). Scroll to the final ten minutes or so for the bit on the Summer School.

A bit about ESRA, the university that hosted the Summer School classes

This year, the Summer School classes and workshops were held at the excellent facilities of ESRA University. Below, you'll find a short introduction to ESRA and its activities.

On behalf of the whole Summer School group, I'd like to thank everyone at ESRA for being such gracious and welcoming hosts. We know we're quite a noisy bunch, yet you made us all feel very much at home in your beautiful building. Many thanks, we look forward to continuing this great relationship in future years!

The University of Audiovisual Arts, ESRA Paris-Skopje-New York, started to work one year ago as a first private University in the field of audiovisual arts in Macedonia. The educational programs are implemented by the most quality professors from Macedonia, but also in the education program their parts took visiting professors and professionals from abroad. The University offers to the students modern technology necessary for quality attending of educational process. But one thing that makes this University different from others is the fact that this University is in very close collaboration with ESRA Group which exists 35 years. This means that our students have a chance to study final third year of the studies in France or to finish with the specialization program in New York.

As a part of the University there are five faculties:
- Faculty for theatre arts
- Faculty for film arts
- Faculty for scene design
- Faculty for applied music and
- Faculty for sound production.

Besides educational programs and activities the intention of this University is to organize workshops, festivals, film revues, theatre plays, visits of the biggest name in the world of film and theatre etc.