80 Musicians Reach New Heights at Special Summer Camp in Croatia

Eighth annual music camp helps students to improve and nurture each other.

Trans-European Division, and Adventist Review
80 Musicians Reach New Heights at Special Summer Camp in Croatia
The eighth annual Music Summer Camp in Croatia connected various young musicians and music theory enthusiasts for six days of encouraging connections and creative exchanges. [Photo: Music Summer Camp Maruševec]

The Music Summer Camp, now in its eighth year, is a masterclass for various musical instruments and music theory enthusiasts in Croatia. Held August 20-23 in Maruševec, the camp brought together 80 young players of piano, violin, cello, accordion, flute, and saxophone, among other musical instruments. With the guidance of dedicated music teachers, these young musicians studied fervently and nurtured each other’s creativity over six days.

Classes and Concerts

At the camp, organized by the youth ministry department of the Adriatic Union Conference of the Seventh-day Adventist Church, students were asked to select and rehearse a musical piece before their arrival. Teachers then provided young musicians with tips and skills to enhance their performance during lessons at the camp. Each participant developed their performance skills in individual lessons on their respective instruments. They also had the opportunity to participate in chamber ensembles, allowing them to develop their interpretation skills and musical abilities through playing together.

“The fact that participants return year after year fills us with great joy,” the camp’s leaders commented. This year, the camp’s opening was graced by a concert by KunstUni brass, a group of students from the University of Graz, who accepted an invitation from Jan Mojzeš, a trumpet player and dedicated attendee of the union conference’s camp since its inception. With a rich musical program, these twelve young musicians shared their profound love for music and art, demonstrating the significant impact of the Music Summer Camp in Maruševec on their musical development. Luka Relić, an alumnus of the music camp, was invited this year by his saxophone teacher to join as an assistant lecturer in the class. Seeing students develop this way brings incredible joy and pride in them, camp leaders said.

During the intensive week of instruction, teachers also took the opportunity to practice, learn, and collaborate as a team. They not only benefited from attending their colleagues’ lectures but also dedicated themselves to preparing an exceptional professors’ concert for the students. This touching event, held on the penultimate day of camp, was a powerful reminder of the value and importance of creativity, cooperation, and the art of music.

The KunstUni brass ensemble, from the University of Graz, shares the joy of playing music together. [Photo: Music Summer Camp Maruševec]

Creativity and Leisure Activities

Beyond music-making, concerts, and classes, the week was punctuated with moments of exceptional creativity. Those who participated in the Gloria Hobby Art workshops, led by Slavica Radovanović, seized the opportunity to channel their free time into new creative ventures. Using découpage techniques (cutting out pictures, gluing them to an object, and then coating the pictures and the object with layers of varnish) to transfer images to binders, the students created their miniature works of art to take home, where they could store their music manuscripts.

Additionally, the students crafted and adorned music boxes by painting on foil using stencil techniques. They also employed quilling techniques to embellish the Music Summer Camp banner. “The enthusiastic response to these workshops was a heart-warming testament to the multifaceted nature of children, each with varying abilities across different aspects of their lives,” the leaders commented. “Allowing them to express themselves in areas they excel fosters spontaneity and bolsters their confidence.”

Concert and Awards Ceremony

After studying and learning for a whole week, students and teachers came together for the final concert. Every camp participant and teacher had the opportunity to perform and receive recognition for their dedication. “The final concert feels like standing at the top of a conquered mountain peak, affording us a panoramic view of the parents and audience members who come to witness and appreciate our musical journey. Each year, our audience becomes dearer and more cherished, as this camp propels us to new heights and broadens our horizons,” camp director Svetlana Relić said.

Students said they thoroughly enjoyed the camp. “One class with a professor moved me to tears, but in the best possible way,” one student said. “Thanks to her and this camp, my love for life and music has grown stronger.”

“My teacher imparted a wealth of knowledge in such a short time,” another commented. “I am grateful for the opportunity to work with her and hope for a chance to do so again next year.”

A third added, “I loved this camp! It seemed to pass by in the blink of an eye, but I’ve never experienced so much in such a short time. I want to thank all the professors and organisers for this incredible experience.”

Still another student shared that “saying goodbye on Friday felt like bidding farewell to a beloved family.”

The original version of this story was posted on the Trans-European Division news site.

Trans-European Division, and Adventist Review