UWM Slovenian Arts Program News

_____________________Newsletter of the UWM Slovenian Arts Council_____________________

Spring Edition                                                                                                                           March 2007


Igor and Alenka Dekleva Recital 

Igor and Alenka Dekleva were presented in a recital at the University of Wisconsin on Wednesday, November 8, 2006.  The performance was co-sponsored by the UWM Peck School of the Arts, the UWM Libraries, and the Slovenian Arts Program.  Dr. Zvone Zigon, Consul General stationed in Cleveland, Ohio, in his introductory remarks advised that we could forget about Bach, Beethoven and Mozart, as we were about to hear a program of contemporary music.  Our traditional concept of melody, use of rhythm, instrument, and form would be heard differently.  Indeed, it was a program full of surprises.  Melody as we are accustomed to hearing/singing was not present.  The music made repetitive use of rhythmic patterns, louder dynamic levels, and varied use of the piano.  Even extemporary noises were part of the music, i.e. stomping of the feet by the performer and on occasion, tapping the wood of the piano.  Prof. Dekleva composed all the music, solo piano and music for four hands.  He is currently on the faculty at the Academy of Music in Ljubljana.  Much of the music used the extremities of the piano.  There was limited used of the center of the keyboard.  Both composer and wife played the second half of the program, music for four hands.  Here the composer included some snippets of Slovenian folk song.  On occasion, you could recognize a tune because of the length of the measures used.  Sometimes the tune was so interwoven with the music, that you could not recognize it.  This was a concert that you had to listen to taking into account the use of rhythm, repetition, dynamic levels, and novel use of the instrument itself.  I spoke briefly with Alenka and Igor at the reception.  Both she and her husband are classically trained pianists.  However, in this instance they were asked to present a program of contemporary Slovenian music.  I asked Professor Dekleva why he included those measures of Slovenian folk songs in his music.  He said that many of his colleagues use the music materials in much the same way that he did.  He wanted his music to be uniquely Slovenian.  Imagine my surprise when I saw Alenka listed as a graduate piano student and Igor as an instructor, in the year I was also at the Academy.  It was a pleasant surprise that we finally met after all these years.  - Dolores Ivanchich

 President’s Message

 The Slovenian Arts Council takes this opportunity to thank all of you for another successful year.  To those of you who have attended the cultural events this year we are very grateful.  To Robert Bucker, Dean of the Peck School of the Fine Arts, Ewa Barczyk, Director of the UWM Libraries, Dr. Zvone Zigon, Consul General of the Republic of Slovenia, and to the Slovenian Arts Council members, I graciously thank each of you for your outstanding collaborative and creative efforts.  My husband Ray and I have very fond memories of socializing with the very gifted mastersingers, “Slovenski Oktet.”  One of the experiences we enjoyed with them was taking pictures of the Oktet sitting in our Corvette convertible.  We also recall the privilege of listening to the contemporary compositions of Igor Dekleva, masterfully played by him and his wife, Alenka.  Igor’s compositions definitely evoked deep rhythmical emotions.  A very "Special Thanks" are extended to the following individuals who deserve recognition for their outstanding efforts in planning and coordinating this successful Deklava Piano Duo concert.  Dr. Zvone Zigon, the Consul General of the Republic of Slovenia; Ewa Barczyk, Director of UWM Libraries; Dr. W. Robert Bucker, Dean of the UWM Peck School of the Arts; Polly Morris, Marketing Specialist for the UWM Peck School of the Arts; MaryCay and Ray Freiberg; and to Denise Bartlett who paid for the Potawatomi Casino luncheon buffet.

We are looking forward to the exciting upcoming events and activities for the year 2007.  The “Circle 2” SNPJ Chorus will perform at 2:00 P.M. on Saturday, April 14 in the Zelazo Center, Bader Concert Hall.  Donation: Adults are $10, Seniors/Students are $8, Friends of SAP are $5 and Children 12 and under are free.  Tickets will be available at the door or from SAC members.  There will be a free bus ride to UWM from 8500 W. Cold Spring Road, Greenfield, WI.  departing at 1:00 P.M.  For a bus reservation, call (414) 778-1464.  I look forward to greeting you at this marvelous opportunity to celebrate our Slovenian heritage and culture.  The Slovenian Junior Chorus, “Circle 2” will be our first Slovenian Arts Program.  The group and their director, Cecilia “Cilka” Dolgan, bring Slovenian music to Slovenian communities across the United States, Canada and to the home of Slovenia as well.  The “Circle 2” Chorus was founded in 1938 in Cleveland, Ohio.  In 1955, the Slovenian music became their focus and the chorus was established.  For the past 43 years, the chorus has presented two annual programs.  The “Circle 2” chorus’s most recent out-of-town performance was in July 2006 at Disney World, where the group appeared on stage in the Magic Kingdom.  Please contact any SAC member if you are aware of Slovenes who possess talents in the areas of art, dance, literature, music, or theatre.  We are always interested in planning events or programs that promote our rich Slovenian heritage and culture.  May your life be filled with love, joy, friendship, and fun.

S spostovanjen,

MaryCay Freiberg

President, UWM Slovenian Arts Council

Congratulations NEW SAC Officers and Many Thanks, Past SAC Officers

 New SAC Officers as of January 2007 are, Judy Price - Vice President, Denise Bartlett – Treasurer, and Christina Carroll – Recording Secretary.  The SAC members look forward to working with our new Officers.  We extend our heartfelt appreciation to outgoing Treasurer, Patricia Gorence, and outgoing Vice President, Frank Fritz, for their dedication and outstanding contributions in carrying out their respective duties.  We also extend our heartfelt appreciation to David Bevsek and Frank Fritz, who recently became honorary Council members due to their many commitments.  We look forward to their promise to continue to share their valuable thoughts and ideas to enhance our future activities and events.

Slovenian Arts Program Tribute cards 

Are you ever at a loss for ideas about what to give a Slovenian relative or friend who “has everything,” or at the time of a funeral when the family suggests donations to your favorite charity in lieu of flowers?  The Slovenian Arts Program has tribute cards available, which can be used for a memorial donation to the Slovenian Arts Program.  These cards may be obtained from members of the Slovenian Arts Council or from the Bevsek-Verbick Funeral Home.  It is a wonderful way of honoring a relative or friend and promoting your Slovenian heritage.

 Getting to know Cecilia “Cilka” Dolgan, Director of “Circle 2” Chorus

 Cecilia Dolgan has been involved in Slovenian culture and heritage for more than five decades.

As a music director, she has influenced two generations of youngsters in the Slovenian Junior Chorus of SNPJ “Circle 2” and the Slovenian cultural scene in Greater Cleveland.  In 1965, she began directing the children’s chorus and arranged performances in many states, Canada, as well as, three concert tours to Slovenia.  Many “Circle 2” members have become leaders within the Slovenian community and polka world.  Cecilia started singing as a child, with the lead role in the Slovenian operetta, “Janko in Metka” (Hansel & Gretel), by the Slovenian Youth Chorus in Cleveland, under the direction of Anna Vadnal.  In her teens, she joined the Slovenian chorus Glasbena Matica, and sang in fully-stage operatic productions, and as a soloist.  She sang roles in “Carmen,” “Tales of Hoffman,” and “La Traviata.”  As a professional singer, she has performed with ensembles as varied as the Cleveland Symphony Orchestra and America’s Polka King, Frank Yankovic.  She also sang with the Robert Shaw chorus at the Casals Festival in San Juan, Puerto Rico, Carnegie Hall, and at the United Nations in New York, in the 1960’s.  Her contributions to Slovenian heritage also include printing two books of sheet music of Slovenian folk songs, a sing-a-long book, recording ten Slovenian albums, hosting a weekly Slovenian radio hour for ten years, and authoring a Slovenian National Directory.     

DBUS (the Association of Ballet Artists in Slovenia) Invites Isabelle Again!

Isabelle Kralj’s 2005 choreography work for, “I STILL DON’T KNOW“, was so successful with critics and audiences that DBUS invited her back for the 2006 6th Annual Gala Evening of New Choreography in Slovenia.  She created the choreography “MAGDALENCA” and because of her repeated participation in the event the American Embassy designated the Gala Evening as an opening event of “American Cultural Days.”  It was a month-long series of activities presenting American Culture & Art to Slovenian audiences.  Isabelle’s participation was once again sponsored by the American Embassy and the Slovenian Ministry for Slovenians Abroad.  The Slovenian Arts Council wishes Isabelle continued success in her creative and inspiring choreography works. 

Remember, only he is worthy of his Ancestors whose customs he honors


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