Workshop Belt it out!, a part of the Benčić Youth Council project, was held in collaboration with the choir VING (Vocal and Instrumental Non-formal Group). The guest leaders were Tajana Josimović and Maja Bolić, and the topic of the workshop were the choirs – what are choirs, what kind of choirs exist, with an emphasis on activist choirs.
It is a workshop of inter-generational singing about trans-generational issues. The aim of the workshop was to expand children’s knowledge of choral singing, introduce them to the different warming up and vocal exercises, in addition with the metaphorical meaning of the word “voice” – in the sense of having a voice and expressing your opinion in a democratic civil society.
It was a two-day workshop and it took place in the space of Filodrammatica in Rijeka. Additional guests at the workshop were other members of VING, Tea Juretić and Sebastian Demark.
On the first day of the workshop, Tajana introduced us to different types of choirs. From the school, church and mixed choirs to Croatian klape. After that, by listening to different music we got to know various activist choirs from all around the world who sing and at the same time, through the selection of songs or their original songs, express their opinion / position on a subject, from urban planning to human rights.
After the “theory“, we went on to practice. We prepared our bodies by stretching and warming up, and our voices through different vocal exercises and games. Maja led us professionally through the whole process and listened to us intently. Then we chose a song by the band Colored program (Obojeni program) called “Thank you” (Hvala) and went to work.
The translated lyrics (in free form just for understanding the context):
I would never, never give to anyone
My body now to take
I will not give my body; I will not give my body
Because I will need it!

I would never, never give to anyone
My head now to take
I will not give my head; I will not give my head
Because I will need it!

Here he comes,
Here he approaches.
In this struggle, a lot of blood,
He hopes, he will be first.
He hopes, he fights.

I would never, never give to anyone
My soul now to take
Dark souls all in me
Because I will need it

I would never, never give to anyone
My smile now to take
I will not give my smile
Because I’ll need it!

Here he comes,
Here he approaches.
In this struggle, a lot of blood,
He hopes, he will be first.
He hopes, he fights.

I would never, never give to anyone
My words to write books
I do not want books; I do not want books,
Because I’ll need my words!

I would never, never give to anyone
My songs to make records
I do not want records; I do not want records,
Because I’ll need songs!

Here he comes,
Here he approaches.
In this struggle, a lot of blood,
He hopes, he will be first.
He hopes, he fights.
We have analyzed and interpreted the song together, and then learned to sing it. For the end of the first day, we sang it on the balcony of the Filodrammatica because an integral part of the activist choir is singing in public, directly to the citizens and passers-by.
On the second day of the workshop, the children decided to shoot a video for the song we have learned. After warming up and rehearsing the song, we recorded the audio clip.
After that, the children gave their suggestions for the music video and we decided to record it according to the verses. After consultation, we started to shoot, and for the end of the workshop, we sang the song on the Corso, the main street in Rijeka, for our fellow citizens.

Number of participants: 8
Location: Association Prostor Plus, Filodrammatica, Korzo 26, Rijeka