Nikolai Doctorov teaches kaval and manages the child’s orchstra at the “Anton Strashimirov” School, Varna
The education includes:
- Tone production
- Positions of the upper and the lower hand
- Familiarization with the note durations
- Teaching all the bulgarian kinds of folk music with their respective measures 2/4, 5/8, 7/8, 9/8, 11/16
- Musical ornaments
- Slow melodies
The school has a representative orchestra which gathers the 4-th and 5-th grade’s students in the school. The instruments played are kaval, bag-pipe, rebeck and mandoline. The orchestra performs plays from different bulgarian folk areas. The complexity of the plays is adjusted depending on the proficiency of the players. Amongst the authors which plays are performed are Hristo Todorov, Radoslav Danov, Hristo Popov, Vesko Lichev, Dimo Jelev, Nikolay Doktorov.
General information about ‘Anton Strashimirov’ Primary School
‘Anton Strashimirov’ school – Varna was established in 1972. In the time of its existence, many of the former pupils of the school have achieved excellent results in many different areas while competing in numerous Olympiads and competitions. Being guided by highly skilled and proven masters they have conquered a lot of national and international scenes and audiences.
Later in in 1993/94 the board of trustees decided to start a new initiative and bring some traditional bulgarian folk instruments and music to the school. At the very beginning of the initiative the folk classses were optional but later on, due to the ever increasing demand they were made full time and specialized folk profile was formed. An opportunity was given to the talanted pupils, up to 8-th grade, to streamline their efforts and develop unique skills while playing the instruments of their ancestors. We can now proudly say that after their succsessf graduation the pupils will be able to continue their folk music education in the ‘Konstantin Preslavski’ Humanitarian High School in the city.
The results of the initiative are more than encouriging. The pupils advance their knowledge in music theory and improve their practical skills while playing. The sound of backpipes, rebecks and mandolines and the voices of young singers have been determining the new image of the school for over nine years. The preservation of the Spirit of Bulgaria gathers the generations of pupils and teachers and they come together to form the school’s representative choir, orchestra and vocal groups.
A fair assessment of the success of the initiative are the numerous live performances and the contests that the pupils have taken part in. They showed excellent results on the national and international stages and have received a lot of ovation. A lot of TV and radio broadcasts have been realized with the young musicians as well.
One of the first achievements is the perfomance of the child’s ensemble on the Fourth regional musical folk holiday “Opheus’ Spring”. In May 1999 on they just grabbed the firs reward on the “Young musical talents – Marin Bonev” contest and had also one second and two third prizes.
In April 2000 pupils of the school have been rewarded with first, second and third prizes at the Sixth national contest of Folk Music.
The next year we have been given four individual first prizes, two second prizes, a first place for a Folk Orchestra and a third prize for Vocal Group.
Our bag-pipe orchstra was invited at the International bag-pipe festival that took place in Balingen, Germany in October 2000. In April next year the same group represented the school at an youth musical fest in Belfore, France.
Remarkably successful was the year 2002, when the school was rewarded with the “Principal of Varna’s special prize” at the 8th national child’s folk contest. Six more first places and multiple second and third places in different areas of the contest were judged to the school as well.
On the Second national contest “Orpheus Spring”, that took place the same year, a first grade girl from the school was rewarded with a special prize and was given the opportunity to record her performance in the studio of the National Radio of Bulgaria. With the help of the board of the trustees of Anton Strashimirov School the shools folk ensemble released its first CD in 2002.
Teachers and pupils will remain true keepers of the Bulgarian folkore and traditions in the name of the next generation.