I think the biggest thing that struck me about our recent course in Croatia was the friendships that developed between the young flute players, parents and Croatian friends. It was quite heartwarming to see so many people getting on so well. We had an impressive number of social activities and I got back home with the feeling of having been at a party for 2 weeks - exhausted and exhilarated!
The course itself was very good. I think we all enjoyed the programme I had planned. The theme this year was global warming so we started the course, after a poem by Sophie, with 2 movements from Winter by Vivaldi. I was thrilled that Klaudija, who had come on courses in 2008 and 2009, had offered to come and help out on this course. Klaudija is a superb violinist, having spent 3 years studying in Zagreb, she is now going to Dublin for 3 years for her Masters Degree. It was fantastic to have her on the course, to hear the diverse sounds the violin makes is so refreshing to flute-exhausted ears! Klaudija worked with Max, Sophie and Tomoko on the first movement of the Vivaldi and Lorna Brown worked on the second movement, Rain, with most of the other flute players, while I had an exciting time working with our saxophone player, percussionist and a very young Croatian flute player.
Klaudija can be seen in the photos below from 2008 and 2009 :)
I had planned to use the poem, We are Going to See the Rabbit* by Alan Brownjohn for our creative piece, including using parts of Peter’s Tune from Prokovief’s Peter and the Wolf and Chopin’s Funeral March. We were all extremely satisfied with the result.
Money, Money, Money by ABBA was next on our concert programme and we made the magical discovery that we had a budding conductor on our course, Paloma! I’m sorry we didn’t get a full performance, but the clips below demonstrate Paloma’s rapid development.
We also had the wonderful addition of a guitarist, Boris from Villa Soulavy and he performed Oblivion by Piazzolla with Paola.
I had found a really good book of trios with backing tracks. For the final concert we played 3 of these; We’ve Only Just Begun, Baby Elephant Walk and Eye of the Tiger. For the concert on Brac we played those three plus Moon River and Summer Time. We ended both concerts, as always in Croatia, with Walk Like This.
More videos can be found at the end of this blog.
The social side of our story was great. The whole of Villa Soulavy was full with British Flutewise families and others were staying in hotels or apartments nearby. On Tuesday evening we had a Flute and Pizza party were anyone who wanted to performed something and then we ate pizza
Three mornings of music classes followed at the Ballet School, which is the local music school, right on the beach. We had a lovely barbecue at the Villa on Friday evening thanks to the organisation f the parents and the cooking skills of Boris. Saturday was a free day and on Sunday we all went to Brac, one of the islands. We explored Supetar, the town the ferry arrives at and most people went swimming in the crystal clear sea, the a coach took us to Park Sutivan. We enjoyed a lovely meal here, joined by one of the donkeys then played a concert on their amphitheatre. For such a small island we had an excellent audience. I’m really grateful to my friend Jadranka and her family for helping to make this happen.
Monday and Tuesday we were back at school and on Tuesday evening we had our final concert in Castle Viturri, a truly magical place to perform. Then we had another party!
Now I think we are all counting the days to next year! Join us.
This video of photos tell the story. Thanks to Aoi, Bruce and Mark
The poem if you are interested:
We are going to see the rabbit.
We are going to see the rabbit.
Which rabbit, people say?
Which rabbit , ask the children?
The only rabbit,
The only rabbit in England,
Sitting behind a barbed-wire fence
Under the floodlights, neon lights,
On the only patch of grass
In England, in England
(except the grass by the hoardings
Which doesn’t count.)
We are going to see the rabbit
And we must be there on time.
First we shall go by escalator,
Then we shall go by underground,
And then we shall go by motorway,
And then by helicopterway,
And the last 10 yards we shall have to go
And now we are going
All the way to see the rabbit,
We are nearly there,
We are longing to see it,
And so is the crowd
Which is here in thousands
With mounted policemen
And big loudspeakers
And bands and banners,
And everyone has come a long way.
But soon we shall see it
Sitting and nibbling
The blades of grass
In – but something has gone wrong!
Why is everyone so angry,
Why is everyone jostling
And slanging and complaining?
The rabbit has gone,
Yes, the rabbit has gone.
He has actually burrowed down into the earth
And made himself a warren, under the earth,
Despite all these people,
And what shall we do?
What can we do?
It is all a pity, you must be disappointed,
Go home and do something for today,
Go home again, go home for today.
For you cannot hear the rabbit, under the earth,
Remarking rather sadly to himself, by himself,
As he rests in his warren, under the earth:
‘It won’t be long, they are bound to come,
They are bound to come and find me, even here.’