For many years, I have been fond of Slovenianness: the melody, simplicity of sound and expression –
the features our folk songs are based on. A great desire to preserve old folk songs and the joy of singing contributed to establishment of a group of folk singers in February 2006. Singers who like this genre of music and have a respectful attitude towards it came together under the name Taščica. The first members of the group were: Anica Bračič, Darinka Pahler, Lidija Šprah, Edita Peršuh, Klavdija Vindiš, Sonja Olup and Majda Vake, the leader and originator of the ensemble.
The mixture of different vocals gives a special charm to our performance of old folk songs, which were sung by our ancestors and are now almost forgotten. Stanko Vake enriches our vocal music by a diatonic accordion accompaniment.
Our repertoire is very rich and includes a large range of Slovenian folk songs, which have been released on 2 CDs.
In 2016, on the 10th anniversary of our singing and being a part of Culture and Art Association Rače, I issued Booklet 2006-2016, which includes our musical journeys at home and abroad with Slovenian compatriots and foreigners. We also marked the anniversary with a concert.
We are especially proud of the fact that we are the first group in our association, which has already sung across the ocean, and in 10 different foreign countries: Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Austria, Hungary, Germany, Sweden, Switzerland, France, Argentina (Buenos Aires and Mendoza) and Australia. At the same time, we have 35 to 40 performances a year in Slovenia as well. From our beginnings on, this means more than 450 performances altogether.
In 2014, we had 10 concerts in Buenos Aires and Mendoza for our Slovenian compatriots in South America. We were also invited to the radio show Okence v Slovenijo, whose editor-in-chief, Mirko Vasle, introduced us to all Slovenes worldwide. The ambassador Tomaž Mencin warmly received us at the Embassy of Slovenia, while Ph.D. Rok Fink wrote an article about us in the newspaper Svobodna Slovenija.
In Mendoza, 1300 km away, we gave a concert for which we received a special praise from Ph.D. Božidar Bajuk, which was a great honour for us. Among other things, he wrote: “Thank you for the Slovene language and songs that you brought to us, your compatriots. Without Slovene word, a thousand-year-old culture of ours cannot exist.” Special thanks for our successful South American tour go to the Keržič couple (Mara and Milan), who organized everything and welcomed us into their home.
At the invitation of the priest Ciril Božič, my son Stanko and I prepared a concert of folk songs in the most remote country and continent, Australia, on March 31st 2019. We performed in a packed Slovenian hall in the Slovenian Catholic Mission of Sts. Cyril and Methodius Church. The event was unforgettable; all present had teary eyes as the music revived their memories about Slovenia. After the programme, the vicar honoured us greatly with the words: “Your contribution with Slovenian songs is a noble and commendable gesture. You have come so far and made so many Slovenian compatriots happy for which you deserve our deepest thanks and God’s blessing.”
It is interesting that 7 days before my arrival in Australia, I had an interview with Tanja Smrdel, which was broadcast on the Slovenian show Radio SBS Slovenian on Sydney and Brisbane Radio and Television Broadcasting House, so that it was heard all over Australia.
We experienced many beautiful things, but at the same time, overcoming long distances by plane (16 hours and 16,000km to Buenos Aires and 24 hours and 26,000km to Australia) was a great effort and above all a financial cost.
Several Slovenian radio stations invited us as their guests in the shows: RTV Slovenia, RTV AS, SIP TV, Polka majolka, TV Madžarska, Radio Maribor, Radio Prlek, Radio Ptuj, Radio Murski val, Radio Šmarje pri Jelšah. Domestic and foreign newspapers wrote about our work and achievements: Nedeljski dnevnik, Poročevalec, Obrtnik, Ptujski dnevnik, Slovenski časopis Porabje (Hungary), Svobodna Slovenija (Buenos Aires), and local news in Monošter, Budapest, Sweden, Croatia and Australia.
An important fact is that the ensemble Taščica preserves old folk Slovenian heritage in the homeland and abroad. We will continue to revive folk tradition amongst Slovenes at home and abroad respectively.
The leader and founder of the group is Majda Vake.