Little Stars shine BIG in New York City for the second time
By Katarina Tepesh
Croatians from the New York City welcomed for the second time the "Little Stars" or "Zvjezdice" choir from Zagreb.
With their glorious voices and strict discipline, the talented "Little Stars" are cultural ambassadors for the European Union and one of the top performing choirs in the world. They are again visiting America to promote peace through musical performance and cultural exchange.
"Zvjezdice" choir, made up of 43 girls aged 10 to 18 have appeared on December 17, 2004 at the Holy Family Church located at 315 East 47th Street in Manhattan.
The concert started formally with "Alleluia", proceeded with Franz Schubert Kyrie and Credo from Mass in G major, followed by sacred works by Ivan Lucacic, "Oci Joj Gorski Izvori" by Josip Magdic, Mozart's "Ave Maria", phenomenal artistic range in "Annen Polka" by Johan Strauss, Pero Gotovac and "Stabat Mater" by Giovanni Pergolesi.
Second portion of the concert included Croatian Christmas songs such as "Svim na Zemlji Mir Veselje", "Veselje Ti Navjescujem", "U To Vrijeme Godista." and "Radujte Se Narodi." Followed by all time favorite "Tiha Noc" sang by the choir in a beautiful high tone along with their superb soloists.
This special concert was also a 50th birthday celebration for conductor Zdravko Sljivac, who leads "Zvjezdice" since 1985. After standing ovation, each "Little Star" received a red rose, compliments of Wanda Radetti, public relations director of Istrian and Italian events.
Julliard String Quintet and organist Bozica Tudjen accompanied this joyous concert.
The large modern church of "Holy Family", perfect for musical concerts, was less then half full due to wrong address listed on the internet and Croatian newspapers. Several Croatians were searching for the "right" church near the United Nations.
The "Little Stars" performed on Long Island on Saturday and were welcomed to the Croatian church on Sunday. With every seat taken, the Croatian audience was treated to an hour-long concert, including with "new" conductor Father Ivica Majstorovic during the song "Radujte Se Narodi."
The founder and conductor of "Zvjezdice" Zdravko Sljivac carefully select the talent. Choir pre-admission requirements are indeed stringent, requiring the highest personal dedication and professionalism of choir member candidates. Every candidate is required to maintain excellent school grades for as long as they are member associated with the choir.
"Zvjezdice" traveled all over Europe and Cincinnati, Pittsburgh, Cleveland, Los Angeles and Chicago. Now they have added more stars with the spirit of love and peace to the glorious Christmas decorations all over New York City - the greatest city in the world!