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Proclamation of the 50th anniversary of the Jaroslav Ježek Conservatory and College

In 2008 fifty years will have passed since the Jaroslav Ježek Conservatory and College came into being. It was an act of due consideration. At that time developing musical trends were already in full swing from what we have been able to trace since the birth of jazz and this was accompanied by the rise of mainstream media due to the advent of the recording industry and moving pictures. These inventions, and music being no exception, historically changed the state of our civilization in a global fashion and in an exceptionally short time. In addition to this, real artistic impulses emerging from the heart of jazz have been encapsulated by popular music since the very beginning and this music has been transforming the contributions of jazz into unpretentious entertainment with the goal of becoming a universal and uniform musical language. It was necessary to start systematically promoting the criteria of value, especially in a country which had been well-known in those times when almost nothing was known about other expressions of its national existence. This was the central motif of the founding of a new artistic school of new quality. It had to find new working methods and ways of pedagogical communication, often with adult students, while simultaneously promoting the criteria of quality.

It was not easy to work under the conditions as a visiting teacher at various elementary schools - and rarely in appropriate rooms - in the afternoon, but thanks to the efforts of capable teachers good results were regularly achieved on an annual basis and graduates of the school started to come into their own in practice without any trouble. Today there are hundreds of these students. A long-lasting existence under an obscure abbreviation LŠU-KPP-SÚS, which actually meant the People´s School of Art, courses for working people, and specialized vocational study, helped found the basis of new pedagogy in the field, where an abundance of experience did not exist. From the very beginning the personality of Jaroslav Ježek stood as an artistic and human inspiration. He entrenched himself in a homespun musical tradition of serious music for he admired the expression of American jazz and he recognized in it features of the musical language of the 20th century. He transformed these impulses into his own musical language and he entered the history of our pop-music as a modern impresario. He dazzled us with his attitude to music. When the school had finally managed to attain the status of conservatory at the end of 1980s, and subsequently the name of this impresario had been accepted in the title of the school, a new era of the school’s existence began. It was necessary to permanently link Czech musical traditions with trends originating in the heart of a wide range of popular modern music. It is, in particular, the ability of the individual to critically perceive everything which originates in the field and to be as well-informed as possible in order to react in an original and most demanding creative way. It is evident in Ježek´s music that the challenge need not be boring. In the situation where a great number of musically gifted people are still being born, people who have an inclination to balance their self-confidence with sensibility and their creativity with responsibility, Ježek´s example still resonates.

Today, with the school located in its own building, we gaze at the future with hope and new pedagogical and artistic ambitions, and we believe that the cumulative value of our work will forever be more interesting for a community of schools with a similar focus at an international level. In any case, we need not change the objectives formulated at the inception of the school fifty years ago. We would like to promote artistic and human values not only within ourselves but within a wide range of Czech artistic schools which set similarly demanding goals.

We are sure the era in which we have been living in needs our work. We also support education in the field of pop-music for according to the ancient Greek Democritos “education is an honour for happy people and a sanctuary for the unhappy.”

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