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EPOC in Bosnia

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Michael Copley, freelance musician, has been involved with music-based reconstruction projects in Bosnia (particularly in Mostar) for over 15 years. This trip was one of his biannual visits on behalf of funding organisations and individuals, notably Sir Richard Stilgoe, who have continued to support music projects in Bosnia – particularly one run by Danijel Puvaca in Mostar’s only special school ‘Los Rosales - Centar za djecu i omladinu sa posebnim potrebama’ (Los Rosales Centre for Children and Youth with Special Needs).

Michael Copley and Mark Tinkler in Mostar October 2014

Following the success of a similar visit in 2013, Michael invited the Artistic Director of English Pocket Opera Company (EPOC) and co-director (with Michael Copley) of the Cambridge Music Trust - Mark Tinkler - to join him on this visit in order to:
•    pursue further opportunities for collaboration with Mostar-based music and education organisations
•    lead workshops with local choirs, disability groups, and local schools

SingFest Mostar

One of the principal outcomes of the trip was the possibility of setting up a project in Mostar – SingFest Mostar. We met several key people who were all supportive of the idea and want to back the project – so it is we are currently writing a draft proposal for a four-year, annual, sustainable, educational music and singing festival for all schools in Mostar

Aims  -  To promote and encourage harmonious relationships between the communities of East and West Mostar and, more broadly, the constituent peoples of Bosnia and Herzegovina (Serb/Orthodox, Croatian/Catholic and Bosnian/Muslim).

Objectives  -  To establish an annual programme of shared music making & teacher training with elementary and special schools on either side of East/West divide in the city of Mostar and its environs. Project to culminate in an annual concert/s with choirs and drumming ensembles from each school and a specially-convened youth orchestra

For    -    Schools, school children (aged 5-14), their families and their communities

Content   -  Singing and Drumming workshops, interactive presentations in school, web-based resources, teacher and workshop leader training, in-school teacher support, curriculum support, singing/drumming/orchestral concerts

Duration  -  2015 (pilot), 2016-18

Workshops run by Mark and Michael during trip

Mark and Michael were joined in several of the workshops by Danijel Puvaca

Concert for children with Downs Syndrome – 6th Oct

Workshop with Mostar Youth Choir – 8th Oct

Workshops at SOS Kindergarten Mostar – 8th Oct

One workshop was held at the school led by Mark and Michael.

Workshops at Los Rosales – 6th & 7th Oct

Two workshops were held at Los Rosales with Mark, Michael and Danijel at the school.

Workshops at Los Rosales (cont)