The 58. Dragačevo Trumpet festival, mostly known as the Guča Festival, has continued its tradition and ran from August 9 to 12 featuring an assembly of true and unique trumpet music held every year in Western Serbia.
Since the first Military Trumpet Orchestra was formed in Serbia by the order of Prince Miloš Obrenović in 1831, it became very popular and was often used to finally become a part of culture and tradition. The first Dragačevo Trumpet Festival was held on October 16, 1961 in the courtyard of the Holy Archangel Gabriel church in the center of Guča, with orchestras from Dragačevo only and the winner of the first festival was Desimir Perišić. On that occasion theofficial festival anthem was chosen the traditional song “Sa Ovčara i Kablara”, which is performed every year by over 200 trumpeters and is a trademark of Guča Trumpet Festival.
The Karic Foundation has become a part of that tradition for the past twenty years and together with Guča Municipality andthe Union of Architects of Serbia, called for a tender for an art sculpture “Dragačevo trumpeter” in 1998.
Our distinguished sculptor Velimir Karavelić, won the contest, the sculpture foundry of Zoran Kuzmanović casted the sculpture and the Karić Foundation financed both casting and refurbishment of the town square in Guča.
The solemn unveiling of the monument was on August 23, 1998 by Milanka Karic, the founder and the president of the Foundation at that time, in the presence of numerous officials, and on that occasion she said:
“… Dragačevo Festival in Guča gathers dozens of trumpet orchestras and hundreds of thousands of people, and wherever they go around the world they are greeted and admired, but the sound of trumpets nowhere spreads and echoes like in Guča across Dragačevo fields andmeadows. The trumpet’s there for welcomes and goodbyes, for joy and sorrow, for lullabies and for waking up. ”
This year’s Trumpet Festival was rich in cultural and artistic program supported by the Karic Foundation, because we have recognized our place in the idea and the program of the festival.
On the first day of the council, besides many exhibitors and at the invitation of the Lučani Municipal Library, Karic Foundation with its rich publishing activities, took part in the Festival books fair which attracts more and more visitors year after year.
Every event, small or large, in this part of Serbia is accompanied by the sound of the trumpet, but in addition to this symbol, other traditional values, such as traditional songs, dances and costumes of Dragačevo region, have been represented, too.
The actor Tomislav Knežević, Dragačevo native, as a scriptwriter and director very carefully selected artistic elements of this region and performed a recital named “The Artistic Program of Serbia 1914-1918 Suffering and Glory“.
Given that the Karić Foundation has been granting a lifelong retirements since 1996 to the soldiers of the Serbian liberation wars, we have recognized and supported this project as well.
The representative of the Karic Foundation delivers the statuette trumpeter to the best trumpet player of the Guča Festival every year.
So far, the winner announcement was attended by: Sreten Karić, Olivera Karić, prof. Dr. Dragoslav Dević ethnomusicologist, artist Bora Dugić, Mirjana Karanović, Oliver Katarina, etc. For almost a decade Dragomir J. Karić has been awarding the trumpet statuette to the winner in the company of his friends, many diplomats, as well as with his grandchildren Janićije, Aleksandar and Konstantin on behalf of the Karić family and the Foundation.
This year, Mr. Karić congratulated Stefan Mladenović from Vranje, as the best trumpeter of the 58. Guča Festival and on that occasion he said: “In four days, Guča and Serbia were visited by half a million fans of trumpet from the region, as well as from faraway Australia, the South African Republic, America. Guča once again proved that it is a true Serbian brand, and that the trumpet is a symbol of the Serbian hospitality whose magical sound spreads around the world. There is no Serb nor a foreigner who hasn’t taken a photo by the Trumpeter monument and didn’t show the precious symbol of Serbia to the whole world. The Karić Foundation is credited with the construction of this monument, while our late brother Sreten Karić is responsible for the landscaping of today’s Guča.”