Tuesday, January 29, 2008

What is "Mărţişor"?

"Mărţişor" (pronounced mar-tse-shore) Multicultural Ensemble is a group of students from Waterloo Collegiate Institute, Ontario that performs various traditional music and dance.

It started in 2005 at the initiative of Mr. Damian, the computer engineering teacher and two students of Romanian origin, Andrei Balulescu, violin, and Mihai Nica, clarinet. They started by performing Romanian carols at the school's Christmas concert.

Today, this group performs Russian, Macedonian, Serbian, Gypsy, and of course Romanian music. The members of the group come from very diverse backgrounds, as well: Chinese, Russian, Romanian, Persian, Mexican, Kenyan, Afghanistan, etc.

The group's first major performance was at the "Music Unite" fundraiser concert for the KW Symphony orchestra. CTV and local newspapers covered our performance. Since then, full house is an expectation, and standing ovations at the end of the concert are almost regular.

In 2007 the group had its first annual concert. "Shevchenko" dance ensemble and Kevin Budd, pan flute player from Toronto were invited as guests. Almost 400 people enjoyed the evening. The OMNI TV and Jurnalul Romanesc journal covered this event on more than one occasion. Later on the "Agenda Romaneasca" newspaper started reporting on our activities.

That same year the group started its own web-site: martisor.ca where you can hear a sample of our "Music Unite" concert.

In 2008 we got our facebook page, and also a blog.

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