History of Guca Festival
The traditional Dragacevo trumpet – its cult kept alive for nearly two centuries regardless of political and social considerations – has with time become world-renowned. It is owing to the trumpet that the name of Serbia has resounded worldwide, in all the continents. Some orchestras, when they appear on stage, whether for official competition national dress, the authentic and indigenous dances and other folk inspired elements, coupled with music, have become an integral part of national gathering.
The virtuoso music performers, the trumpet players to the paradox and make the story more authentic – are for the most part fully self-taught. They play by ear and quite spontaneously, relying on their musical memory; they play from the heart and soul, and their music reaches out to listeners precisely for this quality. The Gucha Assembly of Trumpet Players continues to grow year after year: today, this musical feast of recognizable national skills is more popular, more diverse and bigger than ever before.
The first Dragacevo Assembly of Trumpet Players was held on October 16, 1961 in the yard of the Church of Sts. Michael and Gabriel in Gucha. Initially, it was a very modest Assembly – almost subversive for the prevailing political circumstances of that time. However, the Assembly gradually grew and expanded its, one might say, magical influence, and over the past ten or so years has become the folk remained its key symbol and raison detre, it is no longer held solely for the trumpet players. It grew into an Assembly of toastmasters, painters, song “Sa Ovcara I Kablara“, marks the beginning of the festival each year. Some church music festivals notwithstanding, the Assembly of Trumpet Players is the best know event of this kind extending uninterruptedly for 43 years and attracting guests and musicians alike from every continent. Trumpet players and folk song and dance groups from around the world deem it a great honor to be invited to the Assembly, and the number of v visitors increases with each coming year. The record was set in 2002, when Gucha hosted in excess of 300.000 visitors.
With considerable experience in organizing Assemblies, today the traditionally hospitable Gucha has earned its place on the map of world music festivals, inviting high interest from ethno music lovers, and deservedly so. As an internationally recognized trumpet capital, and a singular corner of positive energy, a place with accumulated joy, gaiety and spontaneity, coupled with the piercing yet gentle sound of the trumpet, Gucha is a place of catharsis of the heart and soul while the festival lasts. All this is more than enough to attract visitors to Gucha each Mexico , Spain , Greece , Denmark , China and many other close or distant countries. The names of Boban Markovic, Milan Mladenovic, Ekrem Sajdic, Elvis Ajdinovic, Fejat and Zoran Sejdic have carried the glory of the Serbian trumpet across the world. Some 600,000 visitors are expected at the next, and 50th Assembly. That would be very impressive indeed, would it not?