We were happy to accept Hanna and Chris' invitation to a special kind of music event at the Bavarian Music Academy at Schloss Alteglofsheim, where four rock bands from the Rentner-Rock project demonstrated their skills.
The Renter Rock project was launched by Bernd Schweinar, the artistic director of the Alteglofsheim Music Academy, at the beginning of 2012 and in the context of the former music teacher Josef Winkelmayer and Prof. Dr. Wolfgang Wiegard implemented. Today Prof. Dr. Wolfgang Wiegard is a member of the band "Gray Earls Music Ltd.", which opened the start of today's music evening in the style of the 60s and 70s in front of a sold-out hall in the music academy.
Conversions from a former medieval moated castle
Alteglofsheim Castle, located approx. 12 km south of the gates of Regensburg, was created through various renovations from a former medieval moated castle. The original owners of the house from the Eglofsheimer family were mentioned in documents as early as the 12th century, so one can speak of a centuries-old history of the construction of today's Bavarian Music Academy. After several changes of ownership in the Middle Ages, which also included the bishops of Regensburg, the moated castle was expanded into a magnificent aristocratic residence in the late Baroque style through renovations and additions, especially in the 17th and 18th centuries. The mighty keep, which impressively shapes the silhouette of today's castle, dates back to the 14th century.
When the Free State of Bavaria acquired the baroque palace in 1973, it was far from clear that the Bavarian Music Academy would one day be located here, which was only founded in 1989 by a resolution of the Bavarian Council of Ministers. Between 1992 and 2002, considerable funds were invested in the renovation and conversion of the castle, so that the seminar area, the administration and the management area could be created. A total of around 28 million euros were invested. With the purchase of the former farm buildings in 1991, a modern guest house could be set up, and with the new construction of the concert hall, which expanded the building complex into a four-wing complex with a large inner courtyard, the function of the music academy could then be realized in 1999. Today there are 105 beds available for guests of the academy. After the completion of the rehearsal and concert hall and the renovation of the castle park in the third construction phase, the entire facility was handed over to the tenant “Zweckverband Musikakademie Schloss Alteglofsheim” in 2003.
Music is much more than just a leisure activity
Since then, the Alteglofsheim Music Academy has focused its musical training on the areas of popular music, new media and music education, which are taught in the form of courses or seminars. The focus of the activities is particularly on teacher training in the context of media innovations and modern musical forms of music and literature as an important part of what is offered in the academy courses. Practical accents are also set for educators in the primary school segment and preschool educators. The range of instruments on offer will be expanded even more in the future.
For many people, music is much more than just a leisure activity. Music can connect, contribute to cultural exchange and thus understanding and tolerance, it promotes group dynamics and the ability to work in a team, not to mention the fact that you can simply listen to it. Who doesn't fondly remember their own youth in the school choir or music lessons, even if the instruments available didn't really correspond even remotely to their own interests at the time? Oh dear... recorder again today. But guitar or maybe drums, that would have been it!
This is how the first student rock groups came into being, a motley bunch of “different people” with a more or less professional approach to the topic, hardly any knowledge of music, a lack of practice rooms and always too little money for the necessary equipment. Only a few have enough stamina, ideas and luck to establish themselves and position themselves for years. For most rock enthusiasts, at some point they have to clear their eyes on the reality of life, hang up their guitar and dedicate themselves to their job and career. Only a few people are able to combine music and work.
How good that the Alteglofsheim Music Academy's pensioner rock project has found a real opportunity for rock musicians who haven't had a guitar, bass or drums in their hands for many years. Rock music has always been a healthy elixir of life, even if mainly in the area of listening, occasionally attending a live concert or festival, perhaps even with the children? But to pick up your once beloved instrument again? This requires courage and courage. It should be much easier, because now, at the "set" age, at least the necessary resources are less of a problem.
Reaching retirement age in particular opens up previously unimagined opportunities for leisure activities, even for absolute beginners. So it's no wonder that the pensioner rock project also includes musicians who only started learning to play the electric guitar after they retired. And how proud is it to be able to be on stage for a number of simpler pieces after just a few months. So much for ideas and thoughts about the pensioner rock program.
After the first publications in the media, the first “musicians” quickly arrived and made their interest in the project clear. The first formations were formed, dissolved and re-formed. Interests and styles should at least harmonize a little. Little by little, the first, more solid communities were formed, which found themselves reflected in the musical styles of their time. The ages of those involved are between the late fifties, the oldest musician, a drummer, is a proud 78 years old.
Meet at the music academy for a rehearsal together
At least once a week we meet at the music academy for a joint rehearsal, which also puts gentle pressure on those involved to practice constantly. In addition to the rehearsal date at the academy, some of the musicians in the project have also started taking private music lessons, which creates both an incentive and a challenge, new goals and tasks in which everyone involved can grow individually and also measure themselves. Project generated.
What a highlight it is for every musician when, after months of practice and self-control, they are finally allowed to perform in front of an audience. In front of a sold-out house in the hall of the Bavarian Music Academy, because the Pensioner Rock project has now become established and is also being accepted by the enthusiastic music audience. It's no wonder that, despite life experience and everyday routine, some musicians are noticeably nervous so shortly before a performance. Which is also true for some members of the Gray Earls Music Ltd. formation. which, as opening acts, to put it in modern German, offered a colourful mix of well-known songs and melodies, which were partly due to language constraints, according to Prof. Dr. Wolfgang Wiegard in the explanatory breaks, had preferred to have new, German texts. A colourful program that received due applause from the listeners. By the way, as the evening progressed, the new version of Status Quo's catchy tunes increased to a standing ovation.
As Theo Hartogh, Professor of Music Education at the University of Vechta, so aptly commented in an interview for the magazine "Die Welt": Music doesn't have a specific effect like a medication or a tablet, but when you listen to or play music, it has a personal meaning have, this increases well-being. This can even be measured by the endorphins in the blood."
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