By Dejan Kožul
In Serbia’s ‘Svi uglas!’ [‘All in unison!’] choir, children and young people from the Roma community and young people from the Serbian majority population come together to sing a repertoire including pop, rock, folk and children’s songs in Serbian and Romani. The country’s street paper, Liceulice, talked to its founder, maestro Maja Curcic.
Liceulice: What drove you to start a choir?
Maja Curcic: The idea came spontaneously. I am a music teacher and previously worked at a music school. As the years passed, while I was working with children and young people, I began to understand that music has a much greater influence on growth besides the simple development of singing and playing skills.
Music is close to all people, often evoking strong feelings and driving us to think. Considering that I’ve always loved my profession, I wanted to make a contribution outside of school.
I contacted the Youth Integration Centre, a Belgrade-based organisation that has been taking care of Roma children that spend large amounts of their time on the streets. I suggested holding music workshops there pro bono in order to get to know the Roma community and culture better, and I tried to use music in a novel way.
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