Sunday, 21 April 2024

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Our student wants to popularize classical music

Our student, Bálint Magyar, is studying to become a trumpet teacher, but he is also a member of the Stundets' Union of the National University of Public Services. We also asked about his musical life, his studies and his dutie at Stundets' Union of the National University of Public Services of University of Szeged Bela Bartok Faculty of Arts.

How did you become interested in playing the trumpet?


It all happened in elementary school. When we were first graders, the art school came to inform us that there was an opportunity to play an instrument. They also demonstrated it and what I really liked was the trumpet. My godfather also happen to be a trumpet player, he plays in the Hódmezővásárhely Helyőrség Band, so that's where the idea to choose the trumpet initially came from. After that, I attended art school, where we first had to play the flute for a year to learn the basics, and then came the trumpet.


– Is your godfather your role model who inspired you in this field?


Yes, I went to their concerts a lot when I was little, and I also watched many other performances in Kistelek, which is why I wanted to play music. Before starting secondary school, one of my teachers told me that there was an opportunity to study the trumpet at a higher level in Szeged, so I applied to study at Vántus István Gyakorló Zeneművészeti Secondary School, where I had spent four years, before coming to University of Szeged Bela Bartok Faculty of Arts.


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What is that you like most about playing the trumpet?


The best thing is that it relaxes me and also I can bring some joy to others. Music is a means of expression that can be used to convey experiences to the audience from which they can draw strength. I have experienced many memorable moments. One of the greatest experiences was that I was accepted to Szeged’s Vántus Secondary school, which years I loved. Since [the secondary school] is in the same building as the University, I could see what the university life would be like later.


– How many of you are currently learning to play the trumpet at the faculty?


Currently there are fifteen trumpet players. The atmosphere therfore is really family-like. At the beginning of each year, there are joint inhalations, which is the same as the warm-up for athletes. At these occasions, everyone is doing the same routines, which is always a great experience. There are not many places in the world where such joint inhalations are done, but here in Szeged, we have developed this ritual.


– What style of performances do you usually play?


We generally play classical music. In Szeged, only this type of music is taught at the university, so we play all kinds of pieces; works of Baroque, Romantic or twentieth-century composers.

It happens at competitions that contemporary music is also on the list, but this is quite rare, since classical trumpet pieces are more typical.


– How do you see the reception of classical music these days?


The group that listens to classical music is very much on the verge of dying out, for some reason young people are less and less interested in this type of music. The world has gone in such a direction that there are many genres of music, and of course not everyone needs to listen to classical music, but there are still such groups. I was very surprised when it turned out that I have many acquaintances who are not musicians, but they do listen to classical music and go to such concerts, but it can be stated that the majority prefer contemporary pop music. People would be surprised if they knew how simple the structure of today's music is. If we examine a Mahler symphony o the other hand, we can observe how complex and serious the structure is, and we can discover a lot of interesting things in it. We also study these at university, since we have a course where we analyze such works.


– How frequently do you perform, and which are the most memorable?


Playing music in Szeged Dóm is a great experience, but we often go to different places to perform with the trumpet department. We have many performances with the brass band from Kistelek, we went to many places with them, for example we took a tour in Italy when I was fourteen years old. Later, we went to Russia with the university band, right in the first semester when we became university students. The University of Szeged Bela Bartok Faculty of Arts has very good opportunities to offer in this regard, because every year we get to go abroad. Last year for example we went to Transylvania, Korond, where we played at the award ceremony of a competition. Later in october 2022, we spent four days in Prague. Smaller and also bigger performances are expected this semester, and the graduation concerts will take place at the end of the spring semester. We will give a concert with the brass band of the faculty at Magyar Zene Háza at the end of the semester.


– In addition to playing music, you also teach. How much do you like this part of your music career?


I really enjoy teaching from the aspect that when I start teaching a child in the second or third grade, a whole process starts where I accompany and teach him how to play the instrument. It can give positive energy when the children show that they love what they do and that it is my success and work to see where they have developed. I am currently teaching ten students at the Elementary Art School in Kistelek, where I also attended.



What are your plans after receving your diploma?


After the diploma, my teaching practice will begin, which is also good because we are in the same building as the conservatory, so we know the young students we will be teaching. After that, I want to study as a conductor, so there's still a lot to do.


What are your long term goals regarding music?


Eventually, I would like to find a place where there is a brass band and where I can also teach. I would like to participate in as many inland and foreign competitions as possible with the orchestra. It would be also great to get as many people as possible to get to like wind music, because there would be a need for it. However it should be popularized a little more all over the world, because there are many professional bands, but they are not very well known at this moment. I also like it when they play wind music on some kind of electronic basis, it would be good to make this genre widely known, especially to young people. They would be more accepting of wind music if we dressed it up in a modern outfit, but this is still the part of a distant plan in the future.


– In addition to playing music, you are also a member of the Stundets' Union of the National University of Public Services of University of Szeged Bela Bartok Faculty of Arts. How did you get there?


When I finished my first year in Szeged, the then actual president of Stundets' Union of the National University of Public Services of University of Szeged Bela Bartok Faculty of Arts. contacted me to ask if I would like to add color to student life in general. At the conservatory, I was the president of the Student Government for two years, so I kind of knew how to organize community life. I like to be active, Szeged is quite a big city, we organize many events, so I like to do it.


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What are your duties at Stundets' Union of the National University of Public Services of University of Szeged Bela Bartok Faculty of Arts?


We do several types of work, I manage the social media sites, and we help students how to apply for social support or apply for a scholarship, but we try to find a solution to any problem as soon as possible. We also organize various programs and events that enrich student life, one of the biggest events is the freshman camp, which we organize together with University of Szeged Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences. My biggest task so far has also been related to this: I organized a camp competition, where I had to coordinate three hundred people. Based on the feedback, I managed to come up with good tasks. Fortunately, following the Covid period, a great community life developed on our faculty.


What events can be expected in the spring semester?


Our big, upcoming event is II. Spring Welcome Ball, which is organized jointly by four faculties at the József Attila Study and Information Center of University of Szeged. We will have quiz nights, and what is always a great success is the faculty’ goulash-kettle party, but organizing the next freshman camp will also be a serious task. In addition to these, we are preparing smaller and larger events every week. We are trying to organize several programs that may be important for musicians, such as instrument exhibitions and various music workshops. Among these, I would like to highlight the one related to physical posture, which was popular in the previous semester.


With all these, do you still have some free time?


If I have some, I usually stay at home and try to have some me time, like watching some series or a movie, but it's rare. Most of the time I am organizing something or participating in some project, also in university events. There are plenty of opportunities for students at University of Szeged. I have never been bored, I always spend my time usefully.

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