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3 August 2016 | Jõhvi, Estonia [Averonika Beekmann]  Musically talented children and youth from Estonia and Latvia joined together for a music camp, 23 – 30 July in Jõhvi. Now running for the fourth year – and for the second time with Latvian youth, the camp is the brainchild of two girls from Tallinn who, according to camp organizer, Hans Soosaar, did not want to participate in worship alone, rather including others in their music making.

Estonia church concertThe youth orchestra performing at the Sabbath evening concertThe camp is the result. Both membership and the repertoire of music has increased and some of the 'children' now come back as youth and young adults.

The camp is more than just about music. Along with deepening friendships and worship, there are also a range of other fun activities. "I liked all the places we had outings to: the beach at Toila, the castle park, a mining museum in Kohtla and a fortress in Narva," states principle violinist, Ly Kaasik. "The park was amazingly beautiful and the mine with its long, dim underground passages made us feel as if we had found the entrance to a fairyland dwarf empire."

estonia-1st violinShe also loved the performance in the final Sabbath concert. "It always gives a lot of joy if a piece of music that has caused me difficulties during the rehearsal comes out unexpectedly well at the concert," she says.

Orchestra conductor, Raeli Florea, also enthuses at how much the quality of the music making improves each year. "Orchestras that play together for several years take after their conductor," she said. "For one thing; they personally know each other much better. They have also developed a lot as musicians during these four years." Florea is impressed with their progress noting that "an orchestra player has to have three ears – two for the neighbours each side and one for themselves. This skill has now been acquired by the participants."

Estonia conductorRaeli Florea conducts the outdoor concertThe orchestra is a mixture of freshmen where everything is quite new, and more experienced musicians who have grown used to playing with each other. Kassik states, "I am maybe not the right person to evaluate this, but as Raeli gives us more and more interesting and complicated pieces to play, one can conclude that our playing together works better and better."

The orchestral arrangements are written by Rein Kalmus. According to Florea, this significantly adds to the beauty of the concert. "These are not difficult, but they make a good sound. A great 'thank you' goes to Rein that we have him and he is willing to make something new for children every year – we are very fortunate!"

Estonia trumpetThe camp ended with not only a church concert, but also open air concerts in the yard of Narva fortress and on the Jõhvi Town Hall Square. "Playing in the street, where the sound goes in another direction, teaches us to listen," Florea noted. "For the orchestra player, it is very important to understand that you are not alone; that you play with others."

Estonia orchestraFollowing a suggestion by Konstantins Reznikovs, a parent of one of the Latvian children, it is possible that next year, on their fifth anniversary, that the orchestra will achieve new heights with the release of their first CD. Certainly the memories of this camp will give impetus to music practice and the joy of another camp to look forward to next year.  [tedNEWS]


tedNEWS Staff: Victor Hulbert, director; Esti Pujic, editor

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