The Little Big Stars
The Little Stars or "Zvjezdice" choir from Zagreb, Croatia are cultural ambassadors for the European Union and one of the top performing choirs in the world. They are visiting America to promote peace through musical performance and cultural exchange.
"Zvjezdice" choir, made up of 43 girls aged 10 to 18 have appeared last night, December 12, 2003 at the Croatian Church in Astoria, Queens. "Zvjezdice" along with conductor Zdravko Sljivac has performed since 1985 including occasional musical projects with great Croatian superstar Ruza Pospis Baldani and many others.
The concert started formally with "Alleluia", Mozart's "Ave Maria" and continued with a spirited, phenomenal artistic range in "Annen Polka" by Johann Strauss. They included "Stabat Mater" by Pergolesi and "Oci Joj Gorski Izvori" by Josip Magdic. Second portion of the concert included Croatian Christmas songs such as "Svim na Zemlji Mir Veselje", "Veselje Ti Navjescujem" and "U To Vrijeme Godista."
With popular "Radujte Se Narodi," the Croatian audience broke in and even took over with "new" conductor Father Robert Zubovic. This scene produced lots of giggles on girl's part. This was followed by all time favorite "Tiha Noc" with first verse sang by the choir in a beautiful high tone along with their superb soloists, followed by the audience in our usual informal sing along, sometimes off key, but from the heart. This broke the ice. The girls received standing ovation and numerous formal acknowledgements from various city officials. Gratefully we bought their two CD's "Zvjezdice Jubilej" and "Croatian Christmas Songs".
Accompanied by organ player Eva Kosir, the concert continued with Croatian songs from different regions. "Lijepa Anka" from Samobor, "Po Prigorju" vicinity of Zagreb, "Lepo Nam Je Zagorje Zeleno" from Hrvatsko Zagorje, "Zbira Junak Deklice" from Podravina, "Svekrvice" from Baranja, "Moja Diridika" from Slavonia, "Izasla Je Zelena Naranca" and "O, Mladi Mornari" from Dalmacia.
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 is member associated with the choir.
"Zvjezdice" traveled all over Europe and 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!