RocHoir was formed out of necessity to offer a choice to today’s preschoolers and elementary school students. Our goal is choice, and our mission and social responsibility is to make that choice possible. We are a necessary response to today’s society, in which twisted perceptions of musical, moral, and social values are predominant.
The name RocHoir came from a play on English words ROCK & CHOIR. By merging these two manners of musical expression, we unite different musical and cultural values in order to promote rock culture, which is based on the philosophy of bunt and critical thinking. Singing is the foundation of our ROCH CHOIR, but we also engage in the education of new generations regarding popular world culture through different workshops and other educational audio-visual content.
The idea to form the first Serbian children’s rock choir was actually born in an elementary school in Belgrade. The choir of Ivo Andrić primary school was performing on a jubilee anniversary of their school, under the conductor’s baton of professor Jovana Obradović. This performance was followed by a lot of media attention due to the interpretation and the repertoire itself. Not only the local media talked about this (Rock radio, Nocturne Magazine, TV Prva, and many other digital news stations), but also foreign internet portals from all over the world – from Brazil and USA, to Germany, Spain, Poland... all the way to Japan. They wrote about the phenomenon of a school choir that performs songs by famous rock/metal bands, and often did they regard these interpretations as excellent accomplishments. Even the biggest heavy metal portals, like Metal Hammer, Metal Injection, and Metal Sucks, were intrigued by these performances, and even the world-renowned metal band MANOWAR shared the video of the choir performance of their composition Heart of Steel on the band’s official Facebook page. Numerous guest invitations followed – from Rock radio on Media & communications fair, opening ceremony of the Sports fair, international ecology and science gatherings, to collaborations with well-known domestic bands Samostalni Referenti and Ničim Izazvan.
The conductor Jovana Obradović, encouraged by all this, gathered a group of very young and talented musicians who supported her idea and accepted to be a part of the RocHoir mission.
Jovana Obradović was born in 1979 in Belgrade, where she graduated on the department of Music pedagogy of the Faculty of music in 2004. The same year, she finds employment as a professor of music in the Ivo Andrić elementary school.
During the next 13 years, with her students, she wins over 80 awards on municipal, city, and country level competitions, in the categories of solo, chamber, and choir singing – on competitions Zlatna sirena, Demus, Repulička smotra horova. Her students mainly won 1st prizes and special awards. They had also shown notable results on the Republic festival of children’s musical creating Fedemus – children composers, and thus from September 2007 she becomes a member of the elective jury of this festival at Belgrade Children’s cultural center.
Since 2009, aside from composers and soloist, Jovana also works with and prepares the members of her school’s choir who sing back vocals in the studio, within the Fedemus festival, for music compilations published by PGP-RTS..
From 2012 to 2017, she was engaged as an assistant conductor in the children’s choir Horislavci in Belgrade, which, in 2008, became the children’s choir of the Opera of National theatre in Belgrade
With her school choir, she has held many performances on television and radio shows, new year’s programs, national and international festivals, international congresses, important gatherings (jubilee of the Olympic committee and jubilee of Boško Buha theatre), and music videos by well-known Serbian punk and pop bands.
From 2010, Jovana is an associate of the Publishing house Klett – as a reviewer of five music culture textbooks (from 4th to 8th grade elementary), as an author of methodical handbooks for teachers (music culture for higher grades), and as an author and creator of music textbook set presentations.
Jovana’s motto is – If you can dream it, you can achieve it!
Adrijana Živanović was born in Belgrade, 1993. Ever since she was a child, music has been a big part of her life. At the age of 8, she entered music school and began to play the violin. Throughout her education, she won several 1st and 2nd prizes in national competitions for violin and solfeggio.
When she was 10 years old, with Jovana’s support, who was her music teacher in elementary school, she began to sing and compose actively. The result were many 1st prizes on the city competition The Golden Siren in the category of solo performance or small vocal ensembles; two 1st prizes for best composition on the national festival Fedemus; numerous television appearances and studio recordings; Adrijana represented the country of Serbia on international children’s music festivals Zlatno Slavejče in Skopje and Radost Evrope in Belgrade.
At the same time, she sang in the local church choir and the choir of her music school.
In 2017 she got a master’s degree in violin on the Academy of Arts in Novi Sad, but states that singing is still her greatest love.
Aleksa Ocokoljić was born in Belgrade in 2000, and is currently a student of the electrical engineering high school.
At the young age of 6, he went to a Whitesnake concert with his father, and ever since then he has been infatuated with the sound of guitar. He entered an elementary music school the very next year, and later he continued to perfect his playing by frequenting schools that specialize in rock music.
Since the age of 10, he’s constantly been performing as a solo accompanist or as part of the school’s orchestra, with Jovana’s assistance, who was his former music teacher in elementary school. Aside from many competitions, Aleksa has also played on a couple of international choir festivals in Belgrade, Rimini, Prague, Salzburg, and has been a part of television and studio recordings as a member of the school ensemble. He is widely known as “the guy with the guitar”.
Janko Simović was born in 2002 in Belgrade, and is currently a student of the geodetic high school.
He received a guitar as a gift for his 5th birthday, and that was love at first sight. Aside from going to a music elementary school, with Jovana’s assistance, who was his music teacher at the time, Janko has been playing actively on many performances since he was 10 years old. As a vital part of the school’s orchestra, Janko has performed on many choir festivals both in Serbia and outside of it, as well as many television recordings. Upon graduating from music elementary school, he began to take an interest in playing bass guitar.
Though a successful athlete, he sees his future in the unbreakable bond he has with music.
Mateja Zeljković is the youngest member of our band – he was born in 2004 in Belgrade, and is currently a senior student of elementary school and elementary music school.
He fell in love with the guitar when he was 5, upon hearing his father play Stairway to Heaven by Led Zeppelin. At the age of 8, he entered music elementary school, and won 1st prize on the national review the same year. In the following years, he continued to win many awards in this field, but at the same time he won 1st prizes on the city level in the fields of chemistry and mathematics.
When he turned 10, he started singing in the school choir held by Jovana, a music teacher at that time, and the following year he joined the school orchestra as a guitarist.
Musicality isn’t the only artistic talent that Mateja possesses – he expresses himself beautifully through fine, visual arts as well.
Jana Milenković was born in Belgrade in 1998. She is currently a senior year student of IB systems and of music high school. Multitalented since a young age, Jana describes herself as a scientist at mind and an artist at heart. In accordance with this, during her education she has won multiple national prizes in the fields of solfeggio, theory of music, but also mathematics, physics, and chemistry.
Aside from entering an elementary music school, at the age of 8 she began actively performing and creating music, with the assistance of Jovana, who was her music teacher in elementary school. As an elementary school student she has won many 1st prizes on the city competition The Golden Siren in the solo performance category, two 1st prizes for best composition on the national festival Fedemus, and she represented Serbia on the international festival of children’s music Zlatno Slavejče in Skopje. One of her compositions from that period tells about the immense love towards music, and has been included in the 5th grade music education textbook as an example of children’s creativity.
With all this, since the age of 10 Jana has been performing with the school choir as an independent accompanist or as part of the school’s orchestra, because she enjoys music the most when she’s expressing herself through playing.
Đorđe Đuković was born in Belgrade in 2002, and is currently a freshman student of the secondary school of mechanical engineering.
Like many world-renowned musicians, Đorđe learned to play percussions by himself. His talent was seen by a teacher in lower grades when he was only 8 years old, because during classes he’d constantly perform various rhythms with his hands on his classroom desk. From that moment on, he became a member of the school orchestra and has played on all performances, both in school and outside of it – among others on international choir festivals, numerous manifestations, and television recordings.
Though he is an up-and-coming football player who’s already achieved many acknowledgements, Đorđe’s love towards playing grows with every passing day, and he will soon start his musical education.