24 October 2014

Skopje Winter School Concert

Winter School Closing Concert

Mitrovica Rock School invites you to attend the Winter Concert at Cafe Bar Bravo, Skopje, Macedonia on Friday, October 31. Four of our Ambassador Bands: Schism, Sublime 6, Astral Dreamers and The Suck of Psychotic headline the bill with special appearances from Joe Buck, Jelena Zafirovic and Blerta Kosova.

Official Winter Concert poster

The Rock School will also organize a bus for students of the school and their parents to attend the concert and support their peers and children, respectively.

For more info on the concert and directions to the venue, please write to us on: info@mitrovicarockschool.org
RSVP on the event page on Mitrovica Rock School's official Facebook page.

23 October 2014

Winter School in Skopje

ABP Program: Skopje Winter School 

Mitrovica Rock School are wrapping up the preparations for Winter School set for the closing week of October (25-31) in Macedonia's capital Skopje. Second consecutive annual Winter School is a third tier of this year's Ambassador Band Program, an event aimed at furnishing our students/bands with international touring opportunities and targeted didactic training administered by local and European professional music workers/coaches. The event in Skopje will see two of our active Ambassador Bands work on new songs and record them in a studio and as the week unfolds perform live in two clubs with support by guest bands. We will announce further details about the event and gigs in Skopje in the coming days so make sure to check back if you would like to attend our concerts. More info to follow on our Facebook page and our web site.

The two bands, Sublime 6 and Astral Dreamers, will team up in Skopje and work together for 7 days towards two concerts, one unplugged, the other fully amped. Sound-engineering coaches and students from Mitrovica Rock School also attend the week taking a separate track of trainings and later in the week recording the Ambassador Bands in the studio as well as live on concert. Fontys Rockacademie, Mitrovica Rock School didactic partners, participate with a vocal coach who will coach bands in this department.

23 September 2014

Mitrovica Rock School to rock Berlin

Mitrovica Rock School to rock Berlin in October

As we mentioned earlier October 2014 is the month the Ambassador Band wagon rolls on with two big events in Berlin and Skopje, respectively, where our bands will tour and present themselves to the international audience.

From October 6 to 13, two Rock School 'Ambassador Bands' will travel to Berlin for a week of songwriting, rehearsing and performing. The band members are from the divided city of Mitrovica, Kosovo, and cannot safely meet in their home town. In Berlin - also once divided - Rock School bands The Artchitects and The Suck of Psychotic will play with students from the Fontys Rockacademie (Tilburg, Netherlands), Rockcity Institute (Eindhoven, Netherlands), and Popshule (Berlin, Germany). The week is hosted by German-Dutch NGO Schoolclash.

About the Bands:

The Suck of Psychotic is a brand new Ambassador Band who have been songwriting since May 2014 and met for the first time in Skopje in August. The jury at the Ambassador Band Camp saw great potential and awarded them this tour to Berlin as well as a recording week in at the Fontys Rockacademie in the Netherlands in the spring of 2015.

The Suck of Psychotic at Skopje Band Camp 2014

The Artchitects first started in 2011, as the Mitrovica Rock School's proto-Ambassador Band. At the time the members were some of our top students. By now, all members are working as teachers at the Rock School and play vital roles in project's organization. The Artchitects have toured Italy once, the Netherlands twice and Macedonia several times. They are indisputably the Rock School's top band, and true ambassadors for the school. 

The Artchitects at Skopje Band Camp 2013

We will announce dates and info about their gigs in Berlin in the coming days so stay tuned!

5 September 2014

Band Contest at 2014 Skopje Band Camp

Bands rock out on stage for big prizes

On Friday August 29 as the setting sun heralded a starry warm evening over the Macedonian capital of Skopje, our Ambassador Bands set off in a blended air of anxiety and excitement towards their highlight of the week. After early supper students and teachers accompanied by Fontys Rockacedemie coaches, Musicians without Borders and Mitrovica Rock School staff streamed towards the venue where they were about to perform in front of Skopje as well as Mitrovica crowd. Havana Summer Club is the venue of choice as it is distinguished as city's hottest gigging place and provides a perfect opportunity for young bands to present themselves to a bigger and unfamiliar crowd.

Stage is all set for the big night

By the time the rock expedition reaches the club in the early hours of the evening they find the stage has been readied, the sound system put on air and people were already buzzing around the venue hoping for a soonish start of the show. 20 minutes onwards the stage was occupied by an official presenter of the event Eric Wels who announced the the band contest open, welcomed the audience and guests and gave an encouraging speech to the four young bands, two of which would be making a débuting appearance on stage tonight.

Rock School/MwB presenter opens the event at Havana Summer Club, Skopje

 After a short warm-felt introduction from their coach-mentor of the Fontys Rockacademie Sublime 6 get on stage and belt out their mostly metal-infused set backed by two powerful female vocals. The crowd instantly erupted into a big wave of synchronised headbangers and cheered the band on. The performance left a strong impression on the crowd as the most senior Ambassador band of the four is seen off the stage with an uproarious applause.

 Sublime 6 were first to perform on the night

Young crowd at the concert

The changeover interval is short and again the second band Schism is first welcomed on stage and introduced by their coach-mentor from Fontys Rockacademie. Having already performed at the same venue and event a year before Schism give out a note of confidence stemming from their experience and they almost feel at home at Havana Summer Club as they strum out their pop-ish melodious tunes. Needless to say the set garners approval from the crowd as the band proudly retreats from the spotlight.

Schism perform on stage

We're midway through the official bill and the two remaining bands brace themselves for their first encounter with the audience. First on are Astral Dreamers, a young hopefuls fronted by a female vocalist of enormous talent. They run through their short set of original songs having previously been introduced to the crowd by their coach-mentor. By the time they finish their three-song repertoire they are freed from the grips of stage fright and cheered on by the supportive crowd they come to the full potential of the musicianship leaving nothing to be desired. 

 The Suck of Psychotic debutes on stage 

Another short set is seen by Ambassador newcomers The Suck of Psychotic who played two original songs bursting with emotional vigour from their female vocal buttressed against curious instrumental set-up. Both newcomer bands lived up to the expectations and the fans acknowledged their talent by cheers and shouts.

Astral Dreamers make their first ever appearance as a new band

With the official bill behind us the jury retreated into a secluded area of the venue to sum up and evaluate the performances from the 3 competing bands (Schism was dropped from the competition as they were the last year's winners).
In the meantime guest bands took turns on stage and entertained the crowd and the Rock School staff put CD compilation from 4 bands recorded just days before the event in Skopje on grabs.

 The Mighty Munchkins performed as a guest band

Babylon United set the stage on fire

Half an hour later crowd put out a sigh of relief at the site of the juror climbing on to the stage to present his case and announce the winners. Thanking all bands for participating and heaping praise on the organizers of the event he went on to adjudicate the prizes in the electrified venue.

Jury announces the winners

In an unintentional hierarchical order, Sublime 6 won the *Studio Award*: a half-week of intensive songwriting and band coaching in Skopje in January/February 2015 and a recording week in the Netherlands in the spring of 2015. On this track, the focus will be on songwriting and studio recording.

Astral Dreamers won the *Unplugged Award*: a week of songwriting, arranging and unplugged performance in Skopje in October 2014, and a week of performing in Berlin. On this track, the focus will be on songwriting and arranging, especially for unplugged performances. This band will be paired with Schism;

The Suck of Psychotics won the  *Senior Band Award*: a tour of Berlin in October 2014 and a recording week in the Netherlands in the spring of 2015. On this track, the focus will be on performance and studio recording.

3 competing bands take their prizes on stage

The Ambassador Bandwagon rolls on, next stop Berlin Tour in October 6-13 for two Ambassador Bands The Artchitects and The Suck of Psychotic. We will be reporting live from the event and posting exclusive material so stick with us. 

29 August 2014

Meet the Jury!

Meet the Jury!

The 2014 Skopje Band Camp competition will be presided over by Ronald Seerden. 

Ronald’s musical career begins at the very young age of 10. He started off as a drummer and lead singer in a band called “the Improvers” (a Kiss cover band) and made his first TV appearance at the age of 12. The band’s rehearsed in the basement at his parent's house. The guitarist of the band would leave his gear and guitar standing there and that’s how he got to know the instrument. It would take him two years to finally switch from drums to guitar when he joined a school band together with his friend Eric Coenen. In 1986 Ronald played at the Pinkpopfestival (also with Eric Coenen) in a band called Ge Reinders and friends. In 1992 Ronald started as a student on the Rotterdam Conservatory where he graduated in 1996. From then on he played as a session player with several Dutch, German and Belgian artists. In the year 2000 he is asked to become a teacher at the Rockacademy in Tilburg Holland. To this day he is still working as a teacher, guitar player and a music producer and has his involvement in several music projects in the Netherlands.

27 August 2014

Outing at Veles, Macedonia

A day off for Ambassador bands

After three hectic days of toiling in practice rooms and studio, our bands hanker for a little respite from work and the sweltering hasty metropolis of Skopje. A small lake town north-east from Macedonia capital Veles is a perfect destination for a getaway. There the bands and their coaches from Mitrovica Rock School and Fontys Rockacademie, and with the logistical help from Musicians without Borders' staff organized a recreational outing. Swimming and sunbathing in a beautiful scenery of Veles rejuvenated Skopje Band Camp participants.
 On the way to Veles the atmosphere was euphoric 

 Upon the arrival at our destination...

 Participants enjoy the ambience in the shade

  Participants enjoy the ambience in the shade

 Lake side in Veles

 Participants enjoy drinks inside the swimming pool

 Late lunch

26 August 2014

First Recording Day at 2014 Skopje Band Camp

Sublime 6 records their new song

Second working day saw more band coaching and rehearsing for all four Ambassador bands as they're enthusiastically working to complete new songs which they will present to the crowd at the big concert come Friday night.

 The newly-formed band The Suck of Psychotic finalizing their first song

Band Schism take a short breather from practice to discuss song arranging

Following their productive practice the band Schism took to pasting up the streets of Skopje with posters announcing the Friday night's big concert which they will headline along with other three Mitrovica Rock School bands. A very effective PR stunt indeed. They hope to appeal to as many young Skopjan rock'n'roll gig-goers as possible and offer to them a brand of music nurtured in Mitrovica.

 Schism male trio put up posters in Skopje city center

Schism pose in front of 2014 Skopje Band Camp concert posters

However, the hightlight of the day was first studio recording for Sublime 6 this term. One more song added to their short band resume which stemmed from an outstanding run of creativity and moulded into a melodious rock track in just two days in Skopje.

 Sound engineering crew sets up studio before recording

Sublime 6 recording new song in studio

This take is good

The band teased with christening the song and so far the newborn remains unnamed but we testify to it sounding great and that it offers insight to the talent band possesses. Mitrovica Rock School will make sure this track makes the Ambassador band's CD compilation cut.

25 August 2014

Skopje Band Camp 2014 in Skopje

First rehearsals at 2014 Skopje Band Camp

After a day of settling in Skopje the four Mitrovica Rock School Ambassador bands have embarked on a week-long upskilling in songwriting, band coaching and performing, which will culminate in a concert scheduled on August 29 at Havana Summer Club located in Skopje's city park. Coaches from Mitrovica and Fontys Rockacademie worked diligently with the bands all day in a bid to help them kickstart the creative process and get bands to generate own material.  By the end of the day the bands already had something to show for and are poised for what lies ahead of them in the coming days.

 Sublime 6 in their first rehearsal at this year's Skopje Band Camp

 A coach instructing young guitar duo (electric and bass) from Astral Dreamers

 Young duo on guitar and bass guitar from Astral Dreamers strum away at their instruments for the first time at Skopje

 Schism tuning their instruments at today's rehearsal

 Instrumental part of the The Suck of Psychotic mull over the structure of their first ever song

The Suck of Psychotic in full edition with coaches sedulously supervising band's progress

As soon as bands have smoothed out their new songs in the coming days they're heading off to the studio to record them.

Stay with us and follow the progress of the bands as the week unfolds and keep up to date with upcoming event.

18 August 2014

Coming to Skopje: Ivan

hi rock school,
i am Ivan, I'm 18y old. i play a solo guitar and have been playing at the school for almost 4 years. i'm a member of the band Schism and this is my second time in Skopje with this band.

 last year we took one of the main prizes and hoping to do good this year too. looking forward to seeing my bandmates again and new people in Skopje. see you soon

- Ivan Bozovic

15 August 2014

Coming to Skopje: Aron

Hi, I'm Aron 16 years old. I play drums on 2 bands "Jutbina" and "The Anti Socials". This is my second time on Skopje, this year I'm going to work on studio as sound engineer.

 I am so happy to be again on the summer school, and to meet with new people, and having a good time like last year, see ya!

- Aron Dobroshi

Coming to Skopje: Baton

Hello, my name is Baton Haxhikadriu and I'm a drummer. 

It's my fourth time going this year, and the other 3 previous years have been absolutely incredible, and I'm sure this time will be even better. See you J

- Baton Haxhikadriu

Coming to Skopje: Emir

Hi my name is Emir, I am 15 and play drums. Since I was a kid, was into music, my favorite music is: rock, pop, funky, reggae, bossa nova, etc. I am also a drummer of one of the bands in the rock school, called Dark Shadow, with whom we won the 3d prize in Prizren Rock Live festival. 

This is my first time in Skopje, can’t wait to meet you all and play some music together!!!

- Emir Ismajli

Coming to Skopje: Leutrim

My name is Leutrim , I am 18 years old , I live in Mitrovica Kosovo.I now in October start studying Computer Engineering here in Mitrovica.
I like playing guitar, listening to music , reading books , my favorite book is The Alchemist by Paolo Coelho. Im into spiritual stuff lately so I meditate daily and I see the world in a Half Full Gass prespective I love animals spiders are my favorite, the label I like to put to myself is that I am a Free Spirit, not bounded by the chains of the material world.

I listen to whatever I feel like fits the moment so mostly I listen to Indie, Folk, Rock , Metal , Ambient ,Psybient.
The Guitar is the way I speak with notes not with words , so I love playing it whenever I find time.Coming to scopje this year is gonna be a great opportunity to meet new people and simply have fun.

- Leutrim Fetahu

Coming to Skopje: Urim

Hi I am Urim, 19 years old but by the time we will be in Skopje I will be 20 haha! I study graphic design and I am the drummer of the band named Sublime 6. 

I was in Skopje in winter school and had a very good time; I hope that in the summer school it will be a very good time too.

- Urim Karakashi

Coming to Skopje: Luan

Hi, I’m Luan Çeliku , I’m 17 years old. Actually I’m in high school. My hobby is basketball and music.

 I’m bass player. I hope that we will have a good time in Skopje. It will be a good experience for me.

- Luan Celiku

Coming to Skopje: Njomza

Hi everyone, I’m Njomza Tmava. I'm the keyboard player of the band Schism .This is my third time in Skopje Summer School, i hope we will have a great time together. See you soon!!!

- Njomza Tmava

14 August 2014

Coming to Skopje: Nikola

Helo, my name is Nikola, I'm 15 years old, i play the guitar for 2 years in band called SKART, in MItrovica rock school..

I can no longer wait, take me to Skopje i hope we have a good time there.. See yaa.

- Nikola Savic

Coming to Skopje: Stefan

Hi guys, my name is Stefan, I'm 20 years old, I play the drums for 2 years, I play in a band called 'SKART'.

I hope we have a good time in Skopje, I can not wait to get there, and I will celebrate my birthday with you Skopje. See you.

- Stefan Kuc

Coming to Skopje: Jelena

Helooooooooo guys.. My name is Jelena, I'm 17. I've been singing for a year in a band Bright side, in Mitrovica Rock school.

In my free time I likee to hang out with my friends, listen to the music,and read books . I can' t wait to go to Skopje, see yaa there. Cheers.

- Jelena Drazevic

30 July 2014

Coming to Skopje: Shejlla

My name is Shejlla, I am 15 years old. I live in Mitrovica, Kosovo. I study in “Frang Bardhi” high school.
I love singing, composing lyrics, playing piano and reading books. I love all animals but cats are my favorite, as you can see in the picture.

I love jazz, blues and electronic music.

In free time I like to hang out with friends and have a fun. 

- Shejlla Shabani

Coming to Skopje: Edona

Hi ! My name is Edona , I study painting , I'm a singer in ''sublime 6'' and Im happy that we will perform agang in Skopje, have fun and making good memories! cheers!

- Edona Ibishi