Category Archives: Brass Band Barka

Guca Trumpet Festival Image Gallery

Guca Trumpet Festival History

Serbian History Trumpet tradition
Dragacevo, which used to be a rural region, experienced strong economic and general educational and cultural development after 1950, and mostly in the first decade of the 21st century, first of all thanks to the Trumpeters Festival.

The capital of modern trumpeting – Guca, is relatively small, and the trumpet was first played as far ago as 1831. Before nearly two centuries Milos Obrenović ordered the establishment of a “Principle’s Serbian band” in Kragujevac, and that the first brass band be led by Josip Slezinger (1794-1870), a man from Sombor, who in those times was the first musically literate expert in Serbia. “Oberlautar” Mustafa, a man who played the violin and “zurle” (zurna), was until then amusing the Serb ruler and his entourage “and was amusing also even foreigners who did not have much understanding for Turkish music”. Immediately upon his arrival in Kragujevac he started to organize the band. Since he lacked in skilled musicians, he asked the Principle to arrange that young man from among the population be found, who have talent and will to do this job. Milos promptly ordered that each county delegates five young men. And, so it started. Although it did not always run smoothly, they learned to play the new “golden” instruments, by playing the round-dances and songs which they knew and were familiar with them, but learning also everything that maestro J. Slezinger was teaching them in the then Serbian capital Kragujevac.

History of the Serbian Trumpet Tradition

History of the Serbian Trumpet Tradition

Almost two centuries passed by, there were many outstanding military brass bands and band leaders from the regiments and divisions. However, only in the mid 19th century were the foreign musical and cultural influence getting stronger; they can be identified at the beginning of the new era in the folk music of Dragacevo and were particularly strong in regard to trumpet music and homophonic multi-part singing , i.e. in singing “na bas”. How the brass bands were emerging we heard from spontaneous statements of modern Dragacevo musicians. It is known in Dljina that their oldest trumpeter “was a guy named Cebic who was playing before World War I… And he himself inherited it from the past times. “In Goracici the first orchestra was founded by the Davidovic brothers from Dragacica “probably sometimes about the times of World War I, and this band included only four musicians”. Also, the story goes that “in Rti the band leader and first trumpet was Milisav Kostic–Tralja, and his today’s heirs are trumpeters playing in the Srecko Obradovic orchestra”. And so we come also to the trumpeter Desimir Perisic from Goracići and the winning orchestra at the First Festival in Guca in 1961.

The songs are usually based of two-bar motives and melodies, mainly of two part structure consisting of 4 to 5 tones.

All around the globe, at all meridians, on all continents, most probably also on the Antarctica, it is known that Guca and Dragacevo are famous for trumpet music. The trumpet can be heard, loudly and gently, also in the biggest cities of the world and recordings of the trumpeters’ music have reached the outer space, where the cosmonauts were amusing themselves.

Trumpet Museum

Trumpet Museum

With all the other flags, the Dragacevo Trumpeters Festival’s flag has been flying since 2000 also on the highest mountain peak of the world, Mount Everest, on the Himalayas (8,848 m). It was placed there by the first Serb – a man from Dragacevo, Dragan Jacimovic from Puhovo.

To say it in modern language, Dragacevo Trumpeters festival is one of the most famous Serbian brands. And trumpet music took for the world from the villages of Dragacevo, via Guca. Via Dragacevo Trumpeters Festival at which, for full five decades, the blessed musicians – the golden Serbian trumpeters – gathered in flocks.

Dragacevo, which used to be a rural region, experienced strong economic and general educational and cultural development after 1950, and mostly in the first decade of the 21st century, first of all thanks to the Trumpeters Festival.

The capital of modern trumpeting, Guca, is relatively small, and the trumpet was first played as far ago as 1831. Before nearly two centuries Milos Obrenovic ordered the establishment of a “Principle’s Serbian band” in Kragujevac, and that the first brass band be led by Josip Slezinger (1794-1870), a man from Sombor, who in those times was the first musically literate expert in Serbia. “Oberlautar” Mustafa, a man who played the violin and “zurle” (zurna), was until then amusing the Serb ruler and his entourage “and was amusing also even foreigners who did not have much understanding for Turkish music”. Immediately upon his arrival in Kragujevac he started to organize the band. Since he lacked in skilled musicians, he asked the Principle to arrange that young man from among the population be found, who have talent and will to do this job. Milos promptly ordered that each county delegates five young men. And, so it started. Although it did not always run smoothly, they learned to play the new “golden” instruments, by playing the round-dances and songs which they knew and were familiar with them, but learning also everything that maestro J. Slezinger was teaching them in the then Serbian capital Kragujevac

Almost two centuries passed by, there were many outstanding military brass bands and band leaders from the regiments and divisions. However, only in the mid 19th century were the foreign musical and cultural influence getting stronger; they can be identified at the beginning of the new era in the folk music of Dragacevo and were particularly strong in regard to trumpet music and homophonic multi-part singing , i.e. in singing “na bas”. How the brass bands were emerging we heard from spontaneous statements of modern Dragacevo musicians. It is known in Dljina that their oldest trumpeter “was a guy named Cebic who was playing before World War I… And he himself inherited it from the past times. “In Goracići the first orchestra was founded by the Davidovic brothers from Dragacica “probably sometimes about the times of World War I, and this band included only four musicians”. Also, the story goes that “in Rti the band leader and first trumpet was Milisav Kostić–Tralja, and his today’s heirs are trumpeters playing in the Srecko Obradovic orchestra”. And so we come also to the trumpeter Desimir Perisic from Goracići and the winning orchestra at the First Festival in Guca in 1961.

The songs are usually based of two-bar motives and melodies, mainly of two part structure consisting of 4 to 5 tones.
The vigorous folk round-dances from the western regions are characterized by occasional pauses of the leading trumpets, with the basses taking over the leading tune of the leading trumpets, highlighting the basic harmonies. Also, we will notice that southern folk dances are usually characterized by oriental music, in the so-called “aksak” rhythm. This is especially emphasized with the “performance” of the drummer, who expertly combines larger “cukan” (right hand) strokes with those of the thinner stick (left hand, on the edge of the drum, skillfully stressing the changes of double and triple meter in the specific rhythmical formulas and combinations (8/8; 7/8; 9/8 etc.), especially in the characteristic dances – songs called “chochek”. Then, spontaneously and ravishingly, genuinely enjoying in the music, dance only those who truly know how to do it. In the eastern region a big number of folk dances of the “Batrna” (ancient dance) type and “Stara Vlajna”, i.e. “Timocka Rumenka” or “Svrljiski laskavac”, are preserving the genetic features of the Vallah or Serb Hora dancing, when the dancers are crossing their hands and holding each other by the belt. And all Serbian songs and dances have up to five tones, while Vallah melodies are more diversified and with an occasional alternation of the slow parts with the usually faster refrain. Singing with trumpet accompaniment is gaining in popularity nowadays here with us. Like the first folk trumpeters from the times of Milos, contemporary ones are also mainly autodidacts having keen hearing, and are playing a huge repertoire of songs and dances by heart, and by the ear, improvising their interpretation spontaneously and from their soles and hearts. With the first orchestras, their members evolved as musicians and their number was invreasing. At the beginning the orchestras had five musicians, and the contemporary orchestras usually have up to ten musicians (three to four ”B” trumpets, three bass flugelhorns, one bass trumpet – helicon or euphonium, and, finally, snare drum and large drum with cymbals. Three regions clearly identified themselves by the style of their music, and are today three famous centers with the best trumpeters in Serbia today. Although the trumpet is not as deeply rooted in our people like the vocal music tradition, the fact is that those active in the field of culture have four decades ago broke the ground for trumpet music in tiny Guca. Since then, like awakening from a dream, trumpet music grew very quickly in those areas of western, eastern and southern Serbia in which the trumpet seed probably had already been thrown and did exist, and it also woke up during so many decades in the center of sumadija, where its seed was for the first time thrown in the far away year 1831.

Brass band “Barka”, Knjazevac

Orchestra Brass band “Barka”, Knjazevac

The Barka Brass Band comes from the small town of Knjazevac in eastern Serbia, near the Bulgarian border. With their black suits and hats, they look like they have escaped from the film The Blues Brothers. This dynamic brass ensemble’s finest achievement came last year with their victory at the Guča Trumpet Festival 2012, a kind of unofficial world championship for brass bands. Warning: this stuff is explosive!

Darko Dimitrijevic was born in Knjazevac in 1980. year. He began playing trumpet at the age of fifteenth year. He finished secondary music school in the class of Professor Mile Paunovic in Negotin. At the Academy of Music in Cetinje, completed undergraduate studies in the class of Professor Mladen Djordjevic, where along with a horn section and theoretically studied. He was engaged as first trumpet of the Montenegro Symphony Orchestra. He is currently employed in the “Symphony Orchestra of city Nis” as first solo trumpet. In addition to classical music, a great connoisseur of ethno sound from Balkan region, especially in Eastern Serbia, which is the theme of his new CD, which is in preparation.

Ivan Kostic was born in 1983 in Nis. He finish secondary school for machine technician in Knjazevac. Actively start to playing piano from 1997. Forming Orchestra Brass band “Barka” from Knjazevca, in 1998. years, he began playing the trumpet. Along with tenor horn, he playing acoustic drums and percussion. Awards and Recognition: With Orchestra Brass band “Barka” performed, except in Serbia, in many cities and countries around the world, where he won many awards. The biggest prizes won in competitions in Guca: In the category Youth Orchestras: second place twice time, and once first place. In the senior category, “The Golden Apple” the best band award for best performed folk dance. At the international Guca Trumpet Festival competition: the best band. Collaboration: The music band and Orchestra Brass band “Barka” has cooperation and joint appearances with orchestras ”Balkanika” Sanja Ilic and “Black and White World” by Dejan Pejovic.

Milos Velickovic was born in 1984 in Knjazevac. Milos finish secondary school for machine technician in Knjazevac. With music he deals since 1996, then began to play the accordion with keyboard. He forming Orchestra Brass band “Barka” from Knjazevca, in the 1998. year, when he started to play the trumpet. Awards and Recognition: With Orchestra Brass band “Barka” he has performed at many events, festivals in Serbia, in many cities and countries around the world and won many awards. The biggest prize was in competition in Guca like the youngest band: 2004. and 2005.,  second place, and in 2006. he won first place. In the senior category: 2011 he won “The Golden Apple” award for the best band in 2012 and the award for Best performed round. At the international competition: 2013. his band get award for the best Guca Brass band. Collaboration: He has cooperation with many famous musicians and composers, and had the honor to be with orchestra “Balkanika” of composer Sanja Ilic.

Dejan Petkovic was born in 1985. in Knjazevac. Elementary and secondary school ended in Knjazevac and at the moment he study the Faculty of Law, University of Belgrade. Music deals than in 1998. year, on their own initiative and with the support of friends. Also he is one of the founders of Orchestra Brass band “Barka” in which he began playing bass. Awards and honors: Awards at Guca Competition in 2006. year, the award for the best original Guca music in 2011., the best Guca Brass band in 2012, as well as awards for world best international band at the Guca Trumpet competition in 2013. year. With the Orchestra Brass band “Barka” successfully wins many competitions in Eastern Serbia, since 2009. year. From individual award, he won the best bass musician in front of the trumpet players in Eastern Serbia. Collaboration: Under the direction of Professor Darko Dimitrijevic successfully working on the new CD for the music band of Sanja ilic.

Ivan Milenkovic was born in 1983. in Knjazevac. Elementary music school ended in Knjazevac. Secondary music school in Negotin. In elementary school, his first musical direction was harmonica, and later musical direction trumpet. After he ended secondary school, Ivan has began playing with Orchestra Brass band “Barka”. Awards and Recognition: With the Orchestra Brass band “Barka” successfully wins many competitions, except in Serbia, in many cities and countries around the world and he won many awards. The greatest awards are on the Trumpet Festival in Guca. In the category Youth Orchestras: second place twice time, and one time first place. In the senior category, he won “The Golden Apple” award for the best band and award for best performed folk dance. At the international competition he won award for best Brass band.

Milan Stanisic was born in 1986. in Knjazevac. He finished secondary school, technician for  construction, in Knjazevac. Music deals since 1995., when he began playing drums. With a Orchestra Brass band “Barka” starts cooperation since 2009. year. Awards and Recognition: With Orchestra Brass band “Barka” performed at many music events in Serbia, Europe and worldwide. With the orchestra has won many awards in Guca Trumpet Festival: Award for etno playing in 2011., award for the best brass band in 2012, award for best international brass band in the world in 2013. From individual award he won award for the best drummer in the pre-competition in Trumpet Festival in Eastern Serbia in 2012.

Mladen Velickovic was born in 1987. in Knjazevac. He finished secondary school, technician for  construction in Knjazevac. Music deals start in 1998., when he began playing in the Orchestra Brass band “Barka” from Knjazevca. With the orchestra has performed in many musical events and festivals in Serbia. Awards and Recognition: With Orchestra Brass band “Barka” won many awards in Guca: In the category Youth Orchestras: 2004. and 2005., the second place, in 2006. he won the first place. In the senior category: 2011. get the award “The Golden Apple” for the best brass band of 2012, and the award for Best performed round. At the international competition he get award in 2013. for the best brass band in the world. From individual prizes awarded for the best tenor in Eastern Serbia in 2001.

Dejan Dimitrijevic was born in Knjazevac in 1984. year. After he finished secondary school in Knjazevac, Dejan continued their education in Nis, on Faculty of Mechanical Engineering, Department of Transportation, where in 2007 he received the degree of traffic engineers. Music starts practicing in his fifteenth year. He finished elementary music school, in the class of Professor Dobrivoja Krstic. Dejan later switched to tenor and started playing in the Orchestra Brass band “Barka”. Participate on all competitions in Guca since 1998.  Dejan won many prestigious music awards. He has performed in concerts all over Serbia, Europe, and in festivals in Asia and Africa.

Serbian History Trumpet Tradition

Serbian History Trumpet tradition
Dragacevo, which used to be a rural region, experienced strong economic and general educational and cultural development after 1950, and mostly in the first decade of the 21st century, first of all thanks to the Trumpeters Festival.

The capital of modern trumpeting – Guca, is relatively small, and the trumpet was first played as far ago as 1831. Before nearly two centuries Milos Obrenović ordered the establishment of a “Principle’s Serbian band” in Kragujevac, and that the first brass band be led by Josip Slezinger (1794-1870), a man from Sombor, who in those times was the first musically literate expert in Serbia. “Oberlautar” Mustafa, a man who played the violin and “zurle” (zurna), was until then amusing the Serb ruler and his entourage “and was amusing also even foreigners who did not have much understanding for Turkish music”. Immediately upon his arrival in Kragujevac he started to organize the band. Since he lacked in skilled musicians, he asked the Principle to arrange that young man from among the population be found, who have talent and will to do this job. Milos promptly ordered that each county delegates five young men. And, so it started. Although it did not always run smoothly, they learned to play the new “golden” instruments, by playing the round-dances and songs which they knew and were familiar with them, but learning also everything that maestro J. Slezinger was teaching them in the then Serbian capital Kragujevac.

History of the Serbian Trumpet Tradition

History of the Serbian Trumpet Tradition

Almost two centuries passed by, there were many outstanding military brass bands and band leaders from the regiments and divisions. However, only in the mid 19th century were the foreign musical and cultural influence getting stronger; they can be identified at the beginning of the new era in the folk music of Dragacevo and were particularly strong in regard to trumpet music and homophonic multi-part singing , i.e. in singing “na bas”. How the brass bands were emerging we heard from spontaneous statements of modern Dragacevo musicians. It is known in Dljina that their oldest trumpeter “was a guy named Cebic who was playing before World War I… And he himself inherited it from the past times. “In Goracici the first orchestra was founded by the Davidovic brothers from Dragacica “probably sometimes about the times of World War I, and this band included only four musicians”. Also, the story goes that “in Rti the band leader and first trumpet was Milisav Kostic–Tralja, and his today’s heirs are trumpeters playing in the Srecko Obradovic orchestra”. And so we come also to the trumpeter Desimir Perisic from Goracići and the winning orchestra at the First Festival in Guca in 1961.

The songs are usually based of two-bar motives and melodies, mainly of two part structure consisting of 4 to 5 tones.

All around the globe, at all meridians, on all continents, most probably also on the Antarctica, it is known that Guca and Dragacevo are famous for trumpet music. The trumpet can be heard, loudly and gently, also in the biggest cities of the world and recordings of the trumpeters’ music have reached the outer space, where the cosmonauts were amusing themselves.

With all the other flags, the Dragacevo Trumpeters Festival’s flag has been flying since 2000 also on the highest mountain peak of the world, Mount Everest, on the Himalayas (8,848 m). It was placed there by the first Serb – a man from Dragacevo, Dragan Jacimovic from Puhovo.

To say it in modern language, Dragacevo Trumpeters festival is one of the most famous Serbian brands. And… trumpet music took for the world from the villages of Dragacevo, via Guca. Via Dragacevo Trumpeters Festival at which, for full five decades, the blessed musicians – the golden Serbian trumpeters – gathered in flocks.

Dragacevo, which used to be a rural region, experienced strong economic and general educational and cultural development after 1950, and mostly in the first decade of the 21st century, first of all thanks to the Trumpeters Festival.

The capital of modern trumpeting, Guca, is relatively small, and the trumpet was first played as far ago as 1831. Before nearly two centuries Milos Obrenovic ordered the establishment of a “Principle’s Serbian band” in Kragujevac, and that the first brass band be led by Josip Slezinger (1794-1870), a man from Sombor, who in those times was the first musically literate expert in Serbia. “Oberlautar” Mustafa, a man who played the violin and “zurle” (zurna), was until then amusing the Serb ruler and his entourage “and was amusing also even foreigners who did not have much understanding for Turkish music”. Immediately upon his arrival in Kragujevac he started to organize the band. Since he lacked in skilled musicians, he asked the Principle to arrange that young man from among the population be found, who have talent and will to do this job. Milos promptly ordered that each county delegates five young men. And, so it started. Although it did not always run smoothly, they learned to play the new “golden” instruments, by playing the round-dances and songs which they knew and were familiar with them, but learning also everything that maestro J. Slezinger was teaching them in the then Serbian capital Kragujevac

Almost two centuries passed by, there were many outstanding military brass bands and band leaders from the regiments and divisions. However, only in the mid 19th century were the foreign musical and cultural influence getting stronger; they can be identified at the beginning of the new era in the folk music of Dragacevo and were particularly strong in regard to trumpet music and homophonic multi-part singing , i.e. in singing “na bas”. How the brass bands were emerging we heard from spontaneous statements of modern Dragacevo musicians. It is known in Dljina that their oldest trumpeter “was a guy named Cebic who was playing before World War I… And he himself inherited it from the past times. “In Goracići the first orchestra was founded by the Davidovic brothers from Dragacica “probably sometimes about the times of World War I, and this band included only four musicians”. Also, the story goes that “in Rti the band leader and first trumpet was Milisav Kostić–Tralja, and his today’s heirs are trumpeters playing in the Srecko Obradovic orchestra”. And so we come also to the trumpeter Desimir Perisic from Goracići and the winning orchestra at the First Festival in Guca in 1961.

The songs are usually based of two-bar motives and melodies, mainly of two part structure consisting of 4 to 5 tones.
The vigorous folk round-dances from the western regions are characterized by occasional pauses of the leading trumpets, with the basses taking over the leading tune of the leading trumpets, highlighting the basic harmonies. Also, we will notice that southern folk dances are usually characterized by oriental music, in the so-called “aksak” rhythm. This is especially emphasized with the “performance” of the drummer, who expertly combines larger “cukan” (right hand) strokes with those of the thinner stick (left hand, on the edge of the drum, skillfully stressing the changes of double and triple meter in the specific rhythmical formulas and combinations (8/8; 7/8; 9/8 etc.), especially in the characteristic dances – songs called “chochek”. Then, spontaneously and ravishingly, genuinely enjoying in the music, dance only those who truly know how to do it. In the eastern region a big number of folk dances of the “Batrna” (ancient dance) type and “Stara Vlajna”, i.e. “Timocka Rumenka” or “Svrljiski laskavac”, are preserving the genetic features of the Vallah or Serb Hora dancing, when the dancers are crossing their hands and holding each other by the belt. And all Serbian songs and dances have up to five tones, while Vallah melodies are more diversified and with an occasional alternation of the slow parts with the usually faster refrain. Singing with trumpet accompaniment is gaining in popularity nowadays here with us. Like the first folk trumpeters from the times of Milos, contemporary ones are also mainly autodidacts having keen hearing, and are playing a huge repertoire of songs and dances by heart, and by the ear, improvising their interpretation spontaneously and from their soles and hearts. With the first orchestras, their members evolved as musicians and their number was invreasing. At the beginning the orchestras had five musicians, and the contemporary orchestras usually have up to ten musicians (three to four ”B” trumpets, three bass flugelhorns, one bass trumpet – helicon or euphonium, and, finally, snare drum and large drum with cymbals. Three regions clearly identified themselves by the style of their music, and are today three famous centers with the best trumpeters in Serbia today. Although the trumpet is not as deeply rooted in our people like the vocal music tradition, the fact is that those active in the field of culture have four decades ago broke the ground for trumpet music in tiny Guca. Since then, like awakening from a dream, trumpet music grew very quickly in those areas of western, eastern and southern Serbia in which the trumpet seed probably had already been thrown and did exist, and it also woke up during so many decades in the center of sumadija, where its seed was for the first time thrown in the far away year 1831.

Ivan Milenkovic trumpet player

Ivan Milenkovic was born in 1983. in Knjazevac. Elementary music school ended in Knjazevac. Secondary music school in Negotin. In elementary school, his first musical direction was harmonica, and later musical direction trumpet. After he ended secondary school, Ivan has began playing with Orchestra Brass band “Barka”.

Awards and Recognition: With the Orchestra Brass band “Barka” successfully wins many competitions, except in Serbia, in many cities and countries around the world and he won many awards. The greatest awards are on the Trumpet Festival in Guca. In the category Youth Orchestras: second place twice time, and one time first place. In the senior category, he won “The Golden Apple” award for the best band and award for best performed folk dance. At the international competition he won award for best Brass band.

Milos Velickovic trumpet player

Milos Velickovic trumpet player

Milos Velickovic, Brass band “Barka”, Knjazevac

Milos Velickovic was born in 1984 in Knjazevac. Milos finish secondary school for machine technician in Knjazevac. With music he deals since 1996, then began to play the accordion with keyboard. He forming Orchestra Brass band “Barka” from Knjazevca, in the 1998. year, when he started to play the trumpet. Awards and Recognition: With Orchestra Brass band “Barka” he has performed at many events, festivals in Serbia, in many cities and countries around the world and won many awards.

The biggest prize was in competition in Guca like the youngest band: 2004. and 2005.,  second place, and in 2006. he won first place. In the senior category: 2011 he won “The Golden Apple” award for the best band in 2012 and the award for Best performed round. At the international competition: 2013. his band get award for the best Guca Brass band. Collaboration: He has cooperation with many famous musicians and composers, and had the honor to be with orchestra “Balkanika” of composer Sanja Ilic.

Ivan Kostic trumpet player

Ivan Kostic was born in 1983 in Nis. He finish secondary school for machine technician in Knjazevac. Actively start to playing piano from 1997. Forming Orchestra Brass band “Barka” from Knjazevca, in 1998. years, he began playing the trumpet. Along with tenor horn, he playing acoustic drums and percussion.

Awards and Recognition: With Orchestra Brass band “Barka” performed, except in Serbia, in many cities and countries around the world, where he won many awards. The biggest prizes won in competitions in Guca: In the category Youth Orchestras: second place twice time, and once first place. In the senior category, “The Golden Apple” the best band award for best performed folk dance. At the international Guca Trumpet Festival competition: the best band. Collaboration: The music band and Orchestra Brass band “Barka” has cooperation and joint appearances with orchestras ”Balkanika” Sanja Ilic and “Black and White World” by Dejan Pejovic.