Everything Flows - Viva's 25 years

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In Mixed Choir Viva, we pay great attention to the implementation of new compositions and arrangements from renowned Slovene composers. The symphony of Everything Flows, which we performed at our 25th anniversary on Sunday, September 17 2017, in the Knight’s Hall of the Posavje Museum Brežice, was created in cooperation with four renowned composers. Damijan Močnik, Andrej Makor, Tine Bec in Matjaž Predanič have written choral instrumental work for Viva in which their four compositions are interweaved. The author's compositions are based on literary texts by Slovenian poets (Kovič, Novy, Kuntner and Strniša), the theme is related to the choir’s moto Vivat, crescat, floreat - Let it live, frow and blossom!

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Who we are

Published in Viva

The Mixed Choir Viva Brežice was established by Simona Rožman Strnad in the fall of 1992. Into this new choral circle she invited her musical friends from the local area and since the very beginning of their artistic creations they brought a breath of fresh air into an already rich choral tradition of the Posavje region.

The continuous improvement of the choir’s quality in the past 25 years has been proved at numerous competitions. Their first performance at an international competition in 1996 in Riva del Garda, Italy, was followed by competitions in Lithuania (Klaipeda, 2005), Greece (Preveza, 2007), Italy (Rimini 2009), Thailand (Pattaya, 2013) and Spain (Cantonigròs, Vic, 2016). Highlight achievements are the gold medal and the best choir award from the competition in Klaipeda, the gold medal from Preveza, 3 gold diplomas with more than 96 points, 1st place in the category of mixed choirs and the 2nd place in the jazz-gospel-spiritual category from Pattaya, and the 4th place in the category of mixed choirs with the special price of the competition from Vic.

Beside the competitions abroad, the choir has participated at the Slovenian national competition Naša pesem in Maribor eight times and has received a silver medal seven times.

Because of their quality the Mixed Choir Viva Brežice has been invited to attend several national and international projects. The more prominent are the collaboration at the VII. European days of musical youth in Switzerland (Bern, Luzern), a concert with an Italian baroque orchestra Barrocco di Bologna and several performances of Carl Orf’s Carmina Burana also in Potsdam, Germany. The most distinctive of all the projects is definitely the participation at the musical spectacle of Gustav Mahler’s Symphony No. 8 in E-flat major – The Symphony of the Thousands, which was conducted by the distinguished Valerij Gergijev.

The Mixed Choir Viva Brežice has marked the last six years with several innovative projects of their own. These projects have brought a new approach to the making of the choral music in Slovenia. The most notable being a concert where they performed The Symphony of Everything Flows -  a choral instrumental work in 4 acts composed by four renowned Slovenian composers (Makor, Predanič, Bec, Močnik), based on the texts of famous Slovenian poets. The composition was written especially for the choir and it marked 25 years of its existence.

The choir has released five CDs and has dedicated much attention to the engagement and the performance of fresh musical pieces and arrangements for the choir by eminent Slovenian composers (Mojca Prus, Damijan Močnik, Ambrož Čopi, Vladimir Hrovat, … ), as well as young composers and students of composition (Matjaž Predanič, Tine Bec, Uršula Jašovec, …).

The Mixed Choir Viva Brežice is not just a choir. It is also a synonym for socializing, celebrating, creativity, innovativeness, and especially a love of singing, which has been keeping this choir alive for more than 25 years.

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Viva's achievements

Published in Viva

Take a look, here are some of our more significant achievements throughout the years of our existence.

Competitions:

  • 2016 – 34th international festival of music Cantonigròs (Catalonia) – 4th place in mixed choir category in and special festival award in the competition of 13 choirs from all over the world;
  • 2016 – 24th Slovenian choral competition Naša pesem Maribor – silver award of the city Maribor (85,7 points);
  • 2015 – Regional competition of adult singing groups, gold award, special award for the best choir of competition, special award to conductress for competition schedule selection;
  • 2013 – Grand Prix Pattaya (Thailand) – internetional choral competition: three categories (mixed choirs, jazz-gospel-spiritual, folklore a cappella), 3 gold diplomas over 96 points, 1st place in mixed choir category, 2nd place in jazz-gospel-spiritual category;
  • 2012 – Slovenian choral competition Naša pesem Maribor – bronze award of the Maribor city (78,7 points);
  • 2010 – Slovenian choral competition Naša pesem Maribor – silver award of the city Maribor (89 points);
  • 2009 – International choral competition Rimini, Italy, 2nd place and silver award;
    2007 – International choral competition in sacred music Preveza, Greece – gold medal;
  • 2007 – Slovenian choral competition Naša pesem Maribor – silver award of the Maribor city (89 points);
  • 2006 – 2nd regional competition of adult singing groups from regions Dolenjska, Bele krajina and Posavje in Novo mesto, Slovenia – gold award, the best choir of the competition;
  • 2005 – International choral competition Stasys Šimkus Klaipeda, Lithuania – gold award and best mixed choir award, Grand Prix performance;
  • 2004 – 1st regional competition of adult singing groups from regions Dolenjska, Bele krajina and Posavje in Novo mesto, Slovenia – gold award;
  • 2003 – Slovenian choral competition Naša pesem Maribor – silver award of the Maribor city (87 points);
  • 2001 – International choral competition In … canto sul Garda, Italy – 2 gold diplomas; thr award for a promising young conductress;
  • 2001 – Slovenian choral competition Naša pesem Maribor – silver award of the Maribor city (86,7 points);
  • 1999 – International choral competition Novy Bor, Czech republic – bronze award;
  • 1999 – Slovenian choral competition Naša pesem Maribor – silver award of the Maribor city (83,5 points);
  • 1997 – Slovenian choral competition Naša pesem Maribor – silver award of the Maribor city (81,3 points);
  • 1996 – International choral competition 4° Concorso Corale Internazionale, Riva del Garda – silver diploma.

Projects and events:

  • 2018 – Annual concert Let me embrace you – Slovenian folk songs – theatricak performance, premiere 6. 10., repetition 4. 11., The Knight's Hall ob Brežice Castle;
  • 2018 – koncert Everything flows Vse teče – a shooting star; Gala concert by extended ensemble of current and former Viva's singers, two concerts, February, The Knight's Hall ob Brežice Castle;
  • 2017 – Gala concert, project Everything flows, following choir's 25th anniversary – vocal-instrumental project in 4 parts; author music of 4 composers (Makor, Predanič, Bec, Močnik), written for Viva Brežice; premiere performance with two concerts, september The Knight's Hall ob Brežice Castle; repetition in KC Janez Trdina Novo mesto (20. 10. 2018);
  • 2014 – Sozvočenja – regional thematic concert of adult singing groups, first award: singing in the final concert in Slovenian philharmonic, Ljubljana;
  • 2012 – Viva's 20th anniversary with 20 events, called "Vivanje": edition of Viva's newspaper, jubilee concert with repetition: premiere performances of songs - arrangements of Slovenian folk songs with instrumental accompaniment, a literary evening with a photographic exhibition, issuing our new CD Kako se ti medi dopadeš (novelties - arrangements of Slovenian folk with instrumental accompaniment, written especially for Viva);
  • 2011 – international project: Gustav Mahler's 8th Symphny, Symphony of a thousand with slovenian professional and amateur choirs, along with Slovenian and Zagreb (Croatia) philharmonic orchestras - events in Ljubljana and Zagreb were broadcasted by Slovenian and Croation national televisions;
  • 2010 – participation in international project: Orff's Carmina Burana, together with Choir sv. Nikolaja Litija (Slovenia) and Symphonic orchestra Collegium musicum Potsdam (Germany) - concerts in Potsdamu (Germany), Krško and Litija (Slovenia);
  • 2008 – printed publication "Choral music in Posavje region from the 19th to the 20th century";
  • 2007 – An expert public consultation "Choral music in Posavje region from the 19th to the 20th century" in Brežice (Slovenia);
  • 2006 – Christmas concerts project "Winter Fairytale" with Slovenian Army Orchestra, conducted by Tomaž habe – 4 concerts: two in Ljubljana, one in Maribor and one in Nova Gorica (Slovenia);
  • 2006 – Cooperation with Italian orchestra Barrocco di Bologna on an opening ceremoy of Festival SEVIQC Brežice in The Knight's Hall of Brežice Castle: performing two Vivaldi's compositions: Gloria and Magnificat; the concert was covered by Slovenian national television;
  • 2004 – participation in the international music festival Music Coridance, Tarare (France);
  • 2003 – participation in the international festival in Custozzi (Italy);
  • 2003 – cooperation in common project of Slovenian Army Orchestra and selected female singing groups to honor 150th anniversary of Vincent van Gogh's borthday, Cankarjev dom, Ljubljana (Slovenia);
  • 2002 – cooperation in international project VII. European days of musical youth in Switzarland (Bern, Luzern);
  • 2002 – cooperation in project Requiem – 4 selected choirs and Slovenian Army Orchestra;
  • 1999 – concert tour Toronto (Canada);
  • 1999 – concert tour Berchtesgaden (Germany).

CDs:

  • 2012 – 5th CD Kako se ti meni dopadeš;
  • 2012 – 4th CD Viva (u)živa, posnetek konceta v živo;
  • 2008 – 3rd CD Vrtiljak;
  • 2002 – 2nd CD Odkar vem zanjo …;
  • 1997 – 1st CD Vivat, crescat, floreat – Naj živi, raste in cvete.
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Who is Simona

Published in Viva

Simona Rožman Strnad graduated from the Faculty of Education at the University of Maribor with a degree in choral conducting. During her studies, and in the years that followed, she gained her singing knowledge in the Carmina Slovenica choir, where she also held a position of a rehearsal coach. In the fall of 1992 she established the Mixed Choir Viva in Brežice and afterwards taught the theory of music at the Music School Brežice and the arts of music at the Brežice High School until 1998. Since then she has been employed as a head of the Republic of Slovenia Public Fund for Cultural Activities, local unit Brežice. In 2013 she also co-established the Brežice High School Mixed Youth Choir, which has been under her leadership to this day.

Simona attended numerous seminars and workshops for choral conductors which were led by acknowledged experts, such as Karmina Šilec, Andraž Hauptman, Gabor Hollerung, Gert Frischmuth, Garry Graden, etc. She received a reward/scholarship for the best young conductor of the 6. International Choir Competition “In canto sul Garda” 2001 in Riva del Garda, Italy. In August 2007,  during the singing week Europa Cantat in Ljubljana, Slovenia, she worked as a workshop assistant, which was held by the acknowledged Gary Graden. She continues to educate herself in choral music at different workshops at home, as well as abroad. With the Mixed Choir Viva Brežice she holds concerts in Slovenia and abroad and also attends national and international competitions. Her achievements from different competitions include awards for the composition and choice of program, the musicality and the interpretation.  

Simona Rožman Strnad received the plaque of the city of Brežice for achievements with the Mixed Choir Viva and for growth of youth participation in choral music (2005), the silver and the gold medal of the Union of Cultural Societies Brežice (2007, 2018 for the year of 2017) and the highest Award of the city of Brežice – the October Award (2012) for a remarkable contribution in the development of choral music in the Brežice Municipality and beyond.

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