“TAJCI” Concert Sunday, March 17,2013 – Photos

Tajci – A Croatian pop superstar,  who discovered a deeper meaning and value of life  performed  a Concert Special at 2PM this Sunday,  March 17, 2013,  at Sts. Peter & Paul School, 409 Elk Street.   Tajci entertained and inspired all who attended in the musical drama “I Thirst – the Crucifixion Story”  that was good for all ages and was open to all faiths.   The performance  had extra meaning with Holy Week and Easter coming up soon.

To begin the program Tajci”s husband, Matthew Cameron,  gave a few words of introduction and Jim and Anita Reitz  said a few words  of  Tajci performances.

Songs, performed by Tajci and her group and her sister Sanya on the flute, listed in the program flyers  included:    I Heard the Voice of Jesus         Take Up Your Cross       Via Dolorosa           O Sacred Head Surrounded              Silently             Jesus,  Remember Me           Stabat Mater             Eli, Eli            I Thirst           I Put My Life Into Your Hands              Pieta               Were You There          I Do Believe                  and other wonderful songs not listed in the program flyers that were handed out before the performance.    (Tajci quite often varies the song selection.)     Tajci’s young son’s were even included in her program singing along with her group and  they began their owns songs before the group joined in to sing with them.   A couple of the songs they sang were:    This Little Light Of Mine and   What a Wonderful World.   Participation from the audience was requested by Tajci and Fr. Greg Hammes was volunteered with the help of  Fr. Arul.     He performed and sang “God is an Awesome God ”   with the group.      Father Arul walked on stage near the end of the concert and thanked Tajci and her group for coming to our small town to give us her tremendous concert presentation.    Tajci’s husband and sons joined Tajci and her group for the final song.    Tajci invited all to view and purchase if wanted some of her DVD’s and CD’s  that were setup on tables in the school  entrance and at various places.     

Tajci and her family and concert group stayed to visit with the congregation for a while after their performance.       

Click on the photos for an enlarged view:

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Tajci tells the story that she has always been drawn to music that tells a story.   So, when Johnny Baalonging (now deceased) asked her to do a program at St. Bernard Catholic Church during Lent of 2001, her first instinct was to put some songs together to tell the story of Christ’s Passion.   As she began to compile and arrange the music for what would become “I Thirst” – The Crucifixion Story,  she couldn’t seem to find all the songs that she felt were needed to tell the story fully. 

  Her sister Sanya had moved to Los Angeles from Croatia the previous year,  so she invited Sanya to join her in composing some new music for the project – to create songs that would bring them closer to the events of that day twenty centuries ago.    To help them feel the story through the eyes of  Mary,  they wrote  “Silently”  — a song about the thoughts of a mother as she stands quietly, even as she sees her Son pass by on His final, tortured journey to Calvary.

For “Eli, Eli”  they used the exact Aramaic words that the Scriptures tell us Christ uttered as He suffered on the Cross.    They composed music for Andrew Youngblood’s poem “I Thirst” to create the calmness and solemnity of a chant.  Tajci wrote the music for “Stabat Mater” while driving to Seattle, performing  it for the first time two hours later at a Mary’s Story concert.

Her sister and she worked and rehearsed in the evenings.   Tajci’ son, Dante,  was only a few months old at the time,  and she remembered his eyes would open wide every time Sanya played her flute.

They first performed ” I Thirst”  at a small prayer gathering in Orange County, California on March 17, 2001.   Tajci’s husband’s mother was visiting them from her home in Kokomo, Indiana, and as Tajci sang the words to “Silently” she noticed her mother-in-law sitting in the pew, wiping away tears.  There was a palpable sense of emotion in the room as they sang,  then on “Eli Eli”  they could hear someone in the audience crying.   When they finished that first performance, no one moved.   There was absolute silence for many moments.   Some of the people who were there that day,  later told that they had found themselves at a place they had never been before – brought so close to the Cross they felt the event almost physically.   When the silence was finally broken,   Tajci knew something in the depths of her soul had changed forever,  and Easter morning would never be the same for her.

It was several years of life on the road and a few hundred concerts later that the director and cinematographer Jack Gorton saw Tajci perform “Silently” and proposed creating a television special of a concert.     On April 5, 2004,  at Santa Rosa Parish in Los Angeles she took another walk to the Hill of the Cross and filmed it with Jack’s dedicated and very talented crew of people.    Over the summer Tajci and her group worked long hours many days and evenings to bring her first DVD to completion.   The scope of the project grew as they worked.    It was a family affair.   In Croatia,  her mom spent many nights gathering photographs and footage for the documentary, and her dad dug out the 8 millimeter home movies he had made when she was a toddler.   Back in Southern California,  there were some long hours in the edit bay.   Finally the DVD was completed.  Tajci hopes it will do for all who purchase her DVD’s or CD’s what it did for her and her family – strengthen our faith, bring us together and move us a step closer to our Lord. 






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