Slovenian Music School Association

Slovenian Music School Association

The Union of Slovenian Music Schools is an association of public and private music schools, conservatories and Slovenian music schools from abroad committed to the improvement of learning and working conditions, affirmation of music education, mutual integration and, naturally, enhanced level of cultural events in Slovenia.

The fundamental tasks of Slovenian Music School Association /SMSA are:
– integration and commitment to the quality growth and development of Slovenian music education,
– coordination of activities rounded off by educational processes,
– ongoing provision of information on all major issues and tasks,
– provision of incentives and proposals to enhance the educational system and amend legislative and other regulations governing the existence and work of music schools,
– organisation and execution of yearly regional and national competitions for young Slovenian musicians and dancers,
– organisation and co-organisation of school orchestra shows, district shows and other performances by soloists and chamber groups as well as other activities presenting top teaching achievements in the Slovenian music education,
– commitment to the development of music culture in Slovenia,
– development of music culture and integration with Slovenian music schools and societies in the neighbouring countries and wider international environment,
– promotion of professional advancement of schools in teaching, material and other areas,
– exchange of experiences in teaching guidance,
– cooperation and integration with music societies, associations and music institutions, and cooperation with other school communities,
– informing the public of SMSA work and achievements,
– performance of other tasks agreed upon by SMSA members.

  • Union Chairwoman

The Chairperson of Slovenian Music School Association is elected by members at an electoral assembly. The Chairperson represents the Union of Slovenian Music Schools and is responsible for the legality of the Union’s operations. When absent, the Chair person is replaced by Vice-Chair.

At the electoral assembly held on 20 January 2017, the chairmanship of SMSA was assumed by Helena Meško.

Helena Meško is employed at the Maribor Conservatory of Music and Ballet, where she has been the Headmistress since 2009.

  • Vision

Slovenian Music School Association comprises Slovenian public music schools (54) and private music schools (7) holding a concession of the Ministry of Education, Science and Sport. SMSA, therefore, represents a union of 61 music schools educating pupils and students in music and ballet at elementary and secondary level.

The Union seeks to improve learning and working conditions of music schools, affirm music education in the country and bring schools closer to one another. This is where experiences are exchanged and various projects are planned. Slovenian Music School Association is run by an Executive Committee comprising 14 members from all regions in Slovenia. The Executive Committee monitors and manages the work programme of the Union.

SMSA has been a member of the European Music School Union (EMU) since 1991.

Slovenian Music School Association cooperates with the Ministry of Education, Science and Sport, the Slovenian National Education Institute, the Academy of Music in Ljubljana and other higher education institutions. Authorised Union members participate in the National Music Education Council, National Council for Changes to the Educational System, the TEMSIG National Commission for Competitions and the Association of Principals of Elementary Schools. SMSA also collaborates with Slovenian music schools abroad.

  • History

Slovenian Music School Association (hereinafter SMSA) is a well-organised professional association with clear rules and, particularly in recent years, exceptional achievements. The primary goal of SMSA is to become or remain the leading and broadly recognised professional association of public educational culture and art institutions in Slovenia. The quality and preservation, in future also increase, of the scope of activities will ensure the development and protection of employees’ jobs.

SMSA is active in integrating and achieving cooperation between principals of music schools and conservatories in order to affirm music and dance education activities, while providing mutual professional support, education and information to principals.

SMSA includes principals of Slovenian music schools, conservatories for music and ballet, private music schools providing a publicly approved music school programme for at least 6 years, private schools operating under special pedagogical principles and Slovenian music schools from abroad.

SMSA was founded due to the common interests of its members as defined in the SMSA Rules and pursuant to the law.

SMSA continues the work of the Slovenian Community of Music Schools and the Slovenian Union of Music Teachers.

SMSA is entered in the court register under registration number 1198637000.

Its registered office is in Mladinska ulica 12, 2000 Maribor. SMSA is financed from membership fees, public funds (TEMSIG and BALTEK competitions), donations and other funds.

The fundamental legal document of the Union is the SMSA Rules, which constitute its act of incorporation.

SMSA is managed and represented by the Chairperson of SMSA who is elected by secret ballot for the term of 4 years.

In 2016, the Slovenian music education celebrated the 200th anniversary of uninterrupted activities. The celebration culminated with a concert at the Gallus Hall of Cankarjev dom featuring symphony orchestras of music schools, secondary music schools and the Academy of Music, conducted by Simon Krečič.

Upon that occasion, the President of the Republic of Slovenia presented SMSA the SILVER ORDER OF MERIT, while the formal speaker at the event was Helena Muffli, the Chairwoman of the European Music School Union (EMU).

  • Members

– public music schools providing a basic music education programme,
– private music schools providing a publicly approved basic music education programme and entered in the register for at least 6 years,
– Slovenian music schools abroad,
– providers of secondary school, post-secondary and university music programmes

Slovenian Music School Association is committed to:

– integration, quality growth and development of the Slovenian music education,
– the development of music culture in Slovenia,
– the promotion of professional advancement of schools in teaching, material and other areas,
– exchanging experiences in teaching and education,
– putting forth initiatives and proposals to enhance the educational system and amend legislative and other regulations governing the existence and work of music schools.

The Union organises yearly regional competitions and participates in the preparation and execution of national competitions for young Slovenian musicians and ballet dancers.

The Union participates in the organisation of shows featuring accordion, string and symphony orchestras and other activities presenting top achievements in the Slovenian music education.

The Union cooperates with other associations, music societies and music institutions.

  • Education

Additional education takes place at schools organising such education for employees and children or, rather, pupils. They are intended for advancement, development and cooperation among Slovenian and foreign recognised musicians.

  • Fran Gerbič Awards and Recognitions

SMSA presents the Fran Gerbič (one of the most important conductors in the second half of the 19th century and beginning of the 20th century) Awards. No more than three awards are presented for long-standing above-average achievements in music education. The presentation of the awards is held in April every year in Cerknica, where Fran Gerbič was born.

Fran Gerbič was born on 5 October 1840 in Cerknica, in the Notranjska region. Little France resided at home until 1851 and attended the public school. After that, he was sent to Ljubljana, where he finished two more grades of elementary school and then three more years at the grammar school. Since the grammar school at that time lasted 3 years, he enrolled into a preparatory school for teachers in 1856. There, he met Kamilo Mašek, a music composer and teacher from whom he obtained further knowledge of singing, harmony and playing the piano and organs. Aged 17, he was employed as an assistant teacher in Trnovo near Ilirska Bistrica on 14 October 1857. He soon received a permanent position and later the position of a senior teacher. He continued to pursue music activities. He was a church organist and started composing when he was 20. His first collection of compositions called “Glasi slovenski” (Voices of Slovenia) was self-published in 1861. It was intended for singers accompanied by the piano or men’s choirs and quartets.

Gerbič – who at the time signed as France Gerbec – also participated in the establishment of the Trnovo National Reading Society and then decided to study music in Prague in autumn 1864. There, he attended a conservatory until the end of 1867 up skilling his singing as his major, the piano, composition (harmony, counterpoint, morphology, instrumentation) and many other subjects. During that time, he also issued “Lira Sionska” for one year (1866), his own monthly for church music.

After his teaching, composing, study and editorial career, young Gerbec, who issued several church songs in between, decided to become a heroic tenor at the Prague Opera House. Somewhat earlier than that, he toured his home country. In June 1869, the Croatian writer and theatre manager August Šenoa invited him to Zagreb, where he helped set up the National Opera House. In 1876, he married the Czech opera singer Emilija (Milka) Daneševa, who also worked at the Zagreb theatre. After 9 years, he left Zagreb and resided at home in Cerknica for two years because he had contracted severe pneumonia in 1878. In autumn 1880, he again accepted the job of a heroic tenor, this time in Ulm in Baden-Württemberg. But he did not stay long. In autumn 1881, he was amongst the Poles in the Galician city of Lviv. An unfortunate event when his one-year old son Viktor died just before one of his performances crushed him severely and he decided to give up the career of an opera singer. He accepted the job of a professor at the Lviv Conservatory. He taught for four years and then decided on a new adventure.

When Gerbič taught in Lviv, three patriotic societies were active in Ljubljana, namely the Narodna čitalnica (National Reading Society), Glasbena matica (Music Society) and Dramatično društvo (Drama Society). All three societies shared committed membership, but had no adequate artistic leadership. Hence, board member Fran Drenik thought of Fran Gerbič, whom he believed to be appropriate for such a responsible role. The problem was money. All three societies together could offer to pay only 1300 gulden a year – the Music Society 800, the Reading Society 300 and the Drama Society 200 gulden. Gerbič earned trice as much in Lviv. But a miracle happened. Gerbič’s sense of patriotism prevailed. He decided to take the position offered. When the Conservatory management learned of his intention, he was offered a salary increase by the same amount offered by his friends in Ljubljana. Hence, he would keep his current earnings and also receive the promised Ljubljana “bonus”. But Gerbič replied that “he had felt a duty and desire to contribute something to the development of musical art in his home country”.

Hence, Fran Gerbič took up all three positions in Ljubljana in 1886, extensively using his experiences obtained abroad. He became the head of the music school at the Music Society (Glasbena matica), teaching singing, the piano and harmony and conducting its occasional choir. He also took over the men’s cast at the Reading Society (Narodna čitalnica). But he did the most at the Drama Society (Dramatično društvo), where he strived to introduce operas. He planned the first opera, “The Sleepwalker”, for the end of January 1887. When it was scheduled to be performed for the second time, the Ljubljana Theatre burned down the night before (16 February). Hence, he had to work further in completely impossible working conditions. Fortunately, Ljubljana got a new theatre building 5 years later, where Gerbič proved himself 4 days after the opening ceremony by staging the opera “In the Well”. He participated in operas until the 1895/96 season. He conducted singing at the National Reading Society until 1890. However, he stayed loyal to the Music Society, where he taught for almost quarter of a century by 1910.

  •  Study groups

Study groups operate within the scope of the National Education Institute and meet regularly a few times a year. For most instruments, study groups are extremely active and participate with various institutions, striving to improve and advance music education.

TEMSIG – Competition of young Slovenian musicians and ballet dancers

Slovenian Music School Association and the TEMSIG Commission have organised the national competition for young musicians without interruption since 1971, while the BALTEK ballet competition is somewhat younger; the two competitions provide integration and quality growth and development of the Slovenian music culture, while ensuring international recognition and excellence of the Slovenian music education. Many today established ambassadors of Slovenian music culture were first recognised and given an opportunity for international affirmation at TEMSIG competitions. The competition in each discipline takes place every three years and, in ballet, every two years, and is broken down to age categories until the age of 25.

The TEMSIG competition has been a member of the European Music Competition for Youth (EMCY) since 1991 due to its high level and international comparability. An important link with international music institutions are jury members who come from the most prestigious music universities and institutions across Europe. The latter meet young Slovenian talents at the competition, invite them to concerts, universities, festivals and theatres. Winners at TEMSIG (music competition) and BALTEK (ballet competition) later on as a rule become the main music players in Slovenia as conductors or members of both professional and opera orchestras, the police and army wind orchestras, and the RTV Slovenija Big Band or as excellent teachers. Many achieve success abroad.

Before the competition, over a hundred concerts are held in various places across Slovenia, with special note given to the final concert of competition winners, which will in 2020 take place on Tuesday, 24 March, in Ljubljana at the Ljubljana Conservatory of Music and Ballet.

Great added value to the competition is a series of Slovenian music novelties, which are as a rule composed for the competition by young Slovenian composers. The promotion of the Slovenian music creativity, a high level of requirements and extraordinary performances by young musicians and ballet dancers give the Union of Slovenian Music Schools and the TEMSIG Commission the inspiration and will to continue this ever more demanding project with decreasing financing support by the state despite great organisational and financial challenges.

The TEMSIG Commission is appointed by Slovenian Music School Association and comprises principals of music schools and a representative of the Academy of Music. Commission members perform their work free of charge.

  • Commission for Music and Dance Competitions (TEMSIG)

The TEMSIG Commission is a permanent expert commission of the Union of Slovenian Music Schools for music and dance competitions. The fundamental task of the TEMSIG Commission is the preparation and execution of competitions for young Slovenian musicians and ballet dancers. Detailed tasks and competences of the TEMSIG Commission are laid down in Articles 29 and 30 of the SMSA Rules.

The composition of the TEMSIG Commission changed on 8 November 2018:

Polonca Češarek, President

Hinko Haas, Vice President

Helena Valerija Krieger

Helena Meško

Petra Mohorčič

Edvard Popit

Martina Valant

© 2015 Zveza glasbenih šol Slovenije, vse pravice pridržane. Izvedba: opa!celica.