Dobele '09

VII International Festival-Competition of Chamber Ensembles for Young Performers “We Play Music With Friends” was held in the sunny lilac capital of Dobele
This year 95 young musicians (32 ensembles) and 56 teachers from Vilnius B. Dvarionas MS, Vilnius M.Churlionis NMS, Tartu H.Eller MS, Dobele, Venstpils, Limbazhi, Liepaja, Tukums, Vetsumnieki, Vidzemes Jurmala, Gluda and Riga (1, 4, P. Jurjāns MS, Jāz. Mediņš Music Schools) went in for the Festival – Competition .
The young chamber musicians had already unofficially opened this year's festival on May 29. On May 30 in the morning the opening ceremony in the exquisitely decorated hall of Music School of Dobele was introduced by traditional sounds of menuet. Everyone present was greeted with good wishes in 4(!) languages by the principal of Dobele Music School Māra Rozentāle, the mayor of Dobele Andris Elksnītis, the artistic director of the festival Gunta Melbārde from Jāzeps Mediņš MS and others.
At the Competition the achievement of children ensembles was evaluated by an international jury. After a joint photo session in the school yard the day was concluded by a brief concert in the Lutheran church of Dobele - moments of peace, gratitude and silent contemplation filled with sounds by teachers' playing. In the evening a joyful friendly gathering took place at Ausātas guest house. A decent meal awaited us there. The kids had fun together performing music in an informal atmosphere. The beautiful weather, the picturesque view of the lake, the adorable scent of the blossoming flowers was like a special present for the young musicians and their teachers from Nature herself.
The next morning was devoted to a seminar for teachers: meeting with the jury and methodic analysis of the children's achievement. Gunta Melbārde told everybody present some news from ECMTA, which resulted in an active informal discussion about daily problems. After that, professor Gunta Sproģe held an open master class with the attractive trio of girls from JMMS.
The Festival concerts took place at the Dobele Palace of Culture and the gorgeous fragrant Lilac Garden in the afternoon. Thanks to the children's sparkling joy of playing music and the responsive audience the concerts turned out to be utterly excellent.
In the evening the music events took place among the ancient ruins of the castle of Dobele. We were all enthralled by the expressive performance of Gaiva string ensemble from RTU (The Technical University of Riga) conducted by Dzidra Pelēķe. Then, at the closing ceremony the results of the Competition were announced, the participants were awarded and warm words of gratitude were said.
Making our farewells we want to thank the hospitable colleagues from Dobele Music School and to say special THANKS to principal Māra Rozentāle and her helpful team for the inexhaustible energy and disinterested assistance. The brightest moments of this music spring were shot thanks to Didzis Biedriņš. If you would like to get some of the video materials, please, contact us.
Organisers of the event, Foundation 'We Play Music with Friends', Jāzeps Mediņš Music School and Dobele Music School would like to thank for support:
Latvian State Culture Capital Fund,
ULMA,
Egils Kaljo personally,
Reklāmdruka,
SIA ONYX and Musica Baltica publishing house
 
We hope to meet everyone at the traditional annual Masterclasses, which will take place in JMMS, January 8-10, 2010. Outstanding chamber ensemble teachers not only from JVLMA, but also from other countries will be invited.
We also expect young musicians next summers, June 4-6, 2010, in Riga in the new premises of JMMS on 8, Kronvald Boulevard to participate in the VIII International Festival – Competition of Chamber Ensembles for Young Performers 'We Play Music with Friends'.
 
Thank you, Dobele! And hello, Riga!