Welcome Christmas with Music
During the last two weeks AUBG music professors and students from the Applied Music classes said goodbye to this semester with a series of Christmas concerts. All performances were greeted with compliments from students, professors and other local guests.
Marking the start of the series of concerts was the Christmas Piano and Harp Recital, which took place on Nov.30. All AUBG students who took the Applied Music Harp & Piano classes with Professor Anna-Maria Ravnopolska-Dean during the Fall 2016 semester, performed on stage and filled the AUBG Auditorium with passion. The wide range of performances included traditional songs, carols, and compositions by L. W. Beethoven, P. Tschaikovsky, Bartok and Y. Tiersen.
Professor Ravnopolska-Dean, who is a famous piano and harp composer herself, greeted the audience with three carols on harp and one original piece on piano.
“This last recital was a great success,” Ravnopolska-Dean commented. “I’m so proud of my students and especially of those who dared to perform on stage without having any previous experience in playing music. I am always pleased to see how these concerts pull students out of their comfort zone and teach them to deal with stress and fear – a lesson which they would certainly bring to their every-day lives.”
Professor Valentin Iliev from the Mathematics and Science department at AUBG was also present at the Piano and Harp Recital. Even though he is not a musician, Professor Iliev is well-known within the AUBG community for including music breaks in his classes. He expressed his appreciation for the performances and shared his willingness to continue his regular attendances to such concerts.
“There is some kind of mobility in music that makes me love it,” Iliev said. “I think music is important for every intelligent person and I highly appreciate the diligence of AUBG students in performing it.”
On Dec. 1, people were brought together once more. This time the AUBG choir performed four Orthodox songs in old Bulgarian, one of which was the choral poem “St. Kliment Ohridski“composed by the choir director and professor of music at AUBG Hristo Krotev. During the Fall 2016 semester the piece was recorded in the Bulgarian National Radio.
„The choir helps you experience AUBG in a more family-like way,” said Milostina Krusteva, a second-year student and a member of the choir for a third semester.“Three hours of practice each week, rehearsals on the go, music scores, and cassocks are the attributes of each of our concerts.”
The City Children Choir to Chitalishte “N. Vaptsarov – 1866” Blagoevgrad, directed by Hristo Krotev, and the Academic Choir “Angel Manolov” from Sofia, directed by Darena Popova, were invited to contribute to the concert as well. After their performances they all expressed their gratitude for being a part of the event.
“The AUBG choir has a lot to be proud of,” Elena Gelova, member of the The City Children Choir, shared. “I was amazed by the wide range of voices and the perfect diction in Bulgarian – I didn’t even understand that there were so many non-Bulgarian students within the choir!”
The Applied Music Voice concert was the last one of the Christmas series. It took place on Dec. 7 and presented the achievements of 11 AUBG students who took the Applied Music Voice classes during this semester. Students performed different pieces from a wide spectrum of classical music eras from Renaissance to Romanticism and early Modernism with the piano accompaniment of Hristo Krotev and Nikolina Kroteva.
The program included both ensemble and solo performances in English, Russian, Italian, and French. Boryana Ilyova, a fourth-year AUBG student and member of the AUBG choir, called a halt to the concert with the performance of “White Christmas” by Irving Berlin.
Later, Professor Krotev expressed his satisfaction with the concert and the achievements of his students throughout the semester.
“This is one of the best concerts that we’ve had so far,” shared Krotev. “I’m incredibly pleased with the results of our efforts and I have bold expectations for the upcoming semester!”