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our work > news > Mitrovica Rock School in 2017
Mitrovica Rock School in 2017
December 20, 2017   West Balkans

Mitrovica Rock School in 2017

As we approach the end of the year, we like to share our experiences with Rock School friends and supporters.

Starting to feel normal
2017 has been an exciting year, with our investments from the past nine years coming to fruition. For the first time, mixed-band rehearsals in Mitrovica started to feel normal. Some students even began crossing the bridge on foot, so that they could rehearse outside training weeks as well. Nearly every week, our teachers gave workshops for mixed groups of students, a small step with big implications.

Ambassador Bands visible and productive
Our bands performed in several places in Kosovo and beyond. They recorded new songs, shot music videos and made professional band photos. Ambassador Band Proximity Mine performed at the Grantmakers East Forum in Vienna, launched their own social media, and are getting ready to record their first album.

Going into our tenth year optimistic
The talent and drive of these young musicians and their eagerness to expand their horizons make us optimistic for the city’s future. We thank those who support the Rock School for opening the doors for so many youth, and look forward to celebrating the Mitrovica Rock School’s tenth anniversary with you.

Our year in numbers:

• 126 Rock School students (68 north, 58 south), ages 11 to 26, who participated in 1,526 skills lessons and band coaching sessions
• 9 mixed bands with 44 members (22 north, 22 south) who held 162 rehearsals and gave 8 concerts
• 682 parents and friends from north and south Mitrovica attended mixed band concerts in Pristina, Gracanica and Skopje, together
• 15 staff, 7 of whom are former students: 4 junior teachers; 3 trainees, ages 18-27; 6 senior teachers, 3 management team members (one of whom doubles as a teacher), from north and south Mitrovica

Inter-ethnic concerts:
1. March 25: Five mixed bands at Genghis Pub in Gracanica
2. April 28: Final concert Spring Band Camp, moved from Skopje to Gracanica, four mixed bands (including three new)
3. June 17: Five mixed bands at Hamam Jazz Bar in Pristina
4. June 29: Ambassador Band Proximity Mine at the UN Youth Conference in Pristina
5. August 26: Eight mixed bands at the final concert of the Skopje Summer School
6. September 8: Ambassador Band Proximity Mine at Hotel Gracanica
7. September 28: Ambassador Band Proximity Mine at the Grantmakers East Forum in Vienna
8. December 8: Five mixed bands and one singer-songwriter at Genghis Pub in Gracanica

Other key events:
• April 24-29: Our first Spring Band Camp, launching three new ethnically mixed bands and involving Proximity Mine.
• August 20-27: Our 10th annual summer school in Skopje, Macedonia. Over forty young musicians from north and south Mitrovica came together for a week of songwriting, rehearsing, recording and performing, forming seven new ethnically mixed bands.
• September 26-29: Ethnically mixed band Proximity Mine and a delegation from Musicians without Borders and the Mitrovica Rock School were invited to Vienna to attend and perform at the Grant Makers East Forum. Proximity Mine recorded a professional music video with Stuart Jolley-Socea.
• Six training weeks in Mitrovica for nine mixed bands: February (5 mixed bands), March (8 mixed bands), May (7 mixed bands), June (6 mixed bands), October (4 mixed bands), December (5 mixed bands).
• 43 inter-ethnic workshops year-round: teachers work with inter-ethnic groups on both sides of Mitrovica.
• The Rock School was featured in 21 media reports in four languages.

The Mitrovica Rock School thanks you for your ongoing support.
Best wishes for 2018, and keep on rockin’ in the free world!

In 2017, the Mitrovica Rock School was supported by the Stability Pact Fund through the German Embassy in Pristina, the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation, the Robert Bosch Stiftung, the Haella Foundation and the Global Peace Building Foundation.

The Mitrovica Rock School program is implemented by NGO Mitrovica Rock School and Musicians without Borders, with support from the Fontys Rockacademie and Community Building Mitrovica. It was established with the support of PAX.

Topics: West Balkans