Hello! I am Mavzuna, a current United World College Maastricht student from Tajikistan. I more than happy that I got the chance to volunteer at this amazing cultural foundation and for me it is exciting to be working with the other internationals in order to make our events to be pleasant for everyone who’s attending.
While volunteering at ‘Meet Maastricht’ I have been lucky enough to attend in the most interesting and tailor-made cultural events happening in Maastricht in collaboration with experts from cultural institutions in Maastricht and at the same time had fun while meeting new people. One thing that I really like about Meet Maastricht is that through the offered guided tours, cultural and historical workshops, it brings all the locals, international students and tourists to break the gap between them. It is impressive for me to see how this foundation is needed, liked, and appreciated by the communities in Maastricht and many more internationals.
One of the events that I really much enjoyed along with our participants from Meet Maastricht was the evening in which Jazz Maastricht and the Theater aan het Vrijthof joined the forces with the Philharmonie Zuidnederland to present a concert where jazz and classical meet like never before.
Right after the audience took their seats, the concertmaster welcomed the guests, gave a short speech about the night’s program and along with the audience welcomed Conductor Dmitri Liss, virtuoso Italian jazz pianist Stefano Bollani and many more amazing musicians from Philharmonie Zuidnederland with a round of applause. Chief- conductor Dmitry Liss took his cue and performed Gershwin’s swirling Girl Crazy, together with Prokofiev’s exciting Romeo and Juliet and iconic jazz pianist Stefano Bollani, premiered the Concerto Azzurro.
Overall, the concert was like a truly magical experience for the audience and the Meet Maastricht participants were lucky to get the chance to meet and greet with Aurora Cano Soto, viola player at Philharmonie Zuidnederland and know more about her career and life as a musician at philharmonie.
Another week, another blog post from our UWC volunteers! Today, you will have the chance to read Marianna’s reflection on her favorite activity.
”I know that usually the first isn’t the best, but the first event I got to attend happened to be my favorite one. That day, as usual in me, I was late to the meeting point in which I would start my first tour guide experience around the center of Maastricht. When I arrived I was nervous since I had to be quick while registering the people in order to start the tour in time. Fortunately, I managed to get the names of the people attending the tour and didn’t forget to take my camera with me, which allowed me to start taking photos since the very first moment.
Lucy, the tour leader, took us in a walk around the city center by places that I barely had visited nor heard about. Along the beautiful and important places we visited, I had the opportunity to converse with such interesting and diverse tour members. They were mostly expats, tourists and University students who wanted to have a different view of the Maastricht that’s often portrayed. What I found in that experience was unique. I discovered the hidden history of a place that seemed strange for me and that experience helped me to feel closer to it.
As I had only spent 2 months in the city when I started volunteering in Meet Maastricht I was not familiar with the context and the relevance of the place until I participated in that tour. Maybe that’s why it is so special to me. I will never forget all the nice people I had a chat with, in which we shared our experience as foreigners who miss home but are learning to love their new one. Also, every time I walk by the places we visited such as the Vrijthof, Maastricht University and the Marres museum, I remember all the details and fun facts Lucy told us about it.
After we finished the tour, I warmly said goodbye to all the attendants and closed the tour in a fresh and dark afternoon. Lucy took me to drink some coffee and she told me more stories and curiosities about Maastricht that surprised me and made me know more about Dutch culture. I have had more opportunities to join different activities that I found amazing such as a Vlaai workshop or a Brouwerij tour, however I got fascinated by that calm and fun walk around the center that, even though seems small, has a lot of things to discover.”
Since October 2018, we are very happy to welcome three amazing students from United World College in our team. Abigail, Mavzuna and Marianna are part of Meet Maastricht during their CAS programme. You will have the chance to get to know them better via our blog posts!
Here is Abigail’s impression during these months of volunteering in our foundation.
- Hello Roxanne. Thank you for this interview! Let’s start with you and your role in Philharmonie Zuidnederland.
- Hello! My name is Roxanne and I am from Maastricht. I lived and studied here and I am working for the orchestra for five years now. I really like the company as we are trying to be an orchestra of 21th century with developing new things. I am working for two different departments: for marketing and for education. I really love the department of education as we play many concerts for children and schools. This gives you a lot of energy, when you see how the children respond to the music. For the marketing department, I work for projects which are not like the standard ones, but something new, either artistically or aimed to another audience.
- Can you tell us a little bit more about Philharmonie? The goals and the mission of the organization and some basic information?
- The orchestra only exists for five years as it was a merger between two smaller orchestras. Since 2013, it is officially the Philharmonie Zuidnederland. We have one of the biggest orchestras in the Netherlands with 109 musicians and 35 staff members. We are playing in the province of Limburg, Brabant and Zeeland. As the CEO of the company is always saying, it is 25% of the complete surface of the Netherlands. So it is really quite big area. That means that the musicians should travel a lot: it is possible that one Friday they have a concert in Maastricht and on Saturday they have to be in Zeeland which is quite far. But at the same time it is nice as there are a lot of activities connected to the region. So we have, for example Carnaval concerts, but we also have open air events. A lot of them are attached to the city or the province. I think what the orchestra wants to achieve is to be an orchestra of 21th century. Not an orchestra only for people who can afford to go to the concerts, but an orchestra for everyone who lives in the South of the Netherlands. We want to offer concerts and other programs where a lot of people can feel comfortable with. Also a variety of different activities: the orchestra can be relevant for business events but at the same time for children or for students.
- So, your audience is quite broad and everyone can participate?
- Yes exactly, that’s what we try to achieve. But I think we still have way to go. We definitely do a lot of interesting things . If someone is really a fun of a big orchestra with Russian music, he/she can come to the Philharmonie. But if you really like to go to a concert in a different location, as last year’s ‘‘West Side Story” in Vrijthof, you will also find something that you will like, for sure.
- And for you, which is your favorite project?
- There are two things that firstly come up in my mind: first, it is the West Side Story because the orchestra was playing in the stage of Andre Rieu live. It was really nice to work on it and in the end they were 8000 visitors which is way more than we expected. If you are in charge of the marketing of the project, it is really cool to see all these people there. Another project that I really like is a collaboration with Double Trouble. They organize a lot of student parties and we worked together with one of their DJ’s. He made music together with the orchestra and we played in one of the Double Trouble events. It was very cool to combine electronic music with classical music.
- Do you have any new projects coming this year?
- This year, we will have an event on April which is going to be called Music and Food. I think it sounds already really good. We are not sure yet what it is going to be, but it will be in a different location. In Maastricht, it will be in Complex. There will be music and food and actors from Toneelgroep Maastricht. I am really looking forward for it, because it is also something completely different, the participants will see the orchestra in a completely different way, you can eat something while listening to music which is also really nice.
- Where can someone find more information about the events?
- Always in the website. I think it is the best place. Of course, we have brochures in the city and advertisements via flyers, but mostly via the website.
- How can students participate in case they are interested in doing their internship within the organization?
- At this moment, we do not have an open vacancy. But if someone applies for an internship, there is a big chance that it would be possible to do it with us. It can be in the marketing department or another department. We collaborate also with the University and the Conservatorium providing lectures and presentations about the orchestra. It really needs cultural entrepreneurship skills for working in the orchestra. So, it is not only open to people with Arts and Culture background. You also have to be interested in how orchestra is working as a business. It will be very nice with us to continue having these meetings and talks with students.
- Do you have specific discount for students for your events?
- Yes totally. We have student discount ticket. If you are younger than 30, you can buy a ticket for only 10 euros. It is not only for last minute concerts, you can also buy it already for an event that it is happening in a couple of months. You can buy it in the ticket desk of Theater aan het Vrijthof with just your ID.
- Which is your ambition and your dream as an employee of the Philharmonie?
- What I would really like to achieve is to search for concerts that really fit a younger audience. But also come up with an identity that matches the target group, something that fits students of 21st. What I would also like to achieve is to organize another open air event with a DJ and the classical orchestra. It is a really nice combination, classical and electric music are alike and they can inspire each other, in my opinion.
- That’s sound amazing indeed. Good luck and thank you again!
- Thank you!
(pictures by Philharmonie Zuidnederland and Meet Maastricht)
Hello Maastricht lovers,
Autumn is here and our program ” Autumn in Maastricht ” has already started!!! We would like to thank you for joining our events and supporting our ideas. In Meet Maastricht, we love photography! That’s why we organize once more a photo contest for all of you, amateur and professional photographers. This year, we warmly invite you to share with us your favorite spots of Autumn in Maastricht. Maastricht is so marvelous during autumn! Take your smartphones and your cameras, go for a walk and let us discover this autumn’s beauty through your eyes!
For this contest, we are very proud and happy to cooperate once more with Museum aan het Vrijthof. But let’s have a look at all details and info about the contest as well as the prize of this year!
These are the rules:
- Be creative and take a picture of a spot in Maastricht, which represents the theme: Autumn in Maastricht.
- Upload it to your social media (Facebook, instagram, twitter etc.) with the hashtag #meetmaastricht
- The deadline is 01.11.2018. After that, we are going to upload all photos in our FBpage for being available to the public (in case you do not agree with the re-posting of your pictures, you can contact us and we will eliminate you from the competition). After that, the 10 most popular pictures will be sent to the final judge (details below).
- All pictures will be uploaded with credits to their owners.
- And of course this will not come without a prize! The famous Maastricht photographer Guy van Grinsven is going to select the final winner and the photo will be displayed in Museum aan het Vrijthof.
Are you excited??? So are we!!
We are looking forward to see your photos!
Meet Maastricht team
- Hello! Would you like to introduce yourself? Who are you and which is your role in CODE043?
- My name is Gerard, I am 29, I live here in Maastricht and work in CODE-043. My role is to guide people who apply here for budgets, for projects or for their plans in generals. I am looking to expand my services to the young adults here in Maastricht by hosting network events, creating workshops and seeing what else I can do for CODE043.
- Wow, good luck. Can you tell us a little bit about CODE043? How and why did the organization start and which was the mission back then?
- CODE-043 exists about 12 years now. At that time, the government of Maastricht wanted to spend an amount of budget for young adults in Maastricht and see what would these young adults do with it. They thought it would be a nice idea to create an organization which is mainly focused on funding young adults in Maastricht and help them implementing their ideas. This is how CODE043 started.
- Is it only for Dutch-speaking young adults or internationals can participate too?
- It is basically for everyone, also international students and young adults. We are hoping we can reach them both.
- What kind of projects do you usually support?
- It is very broad,basically everything is possible. The most important is that the project is organized by young adults between 12-25 years old, the project is beneficial for Maastricht, especially for other young adults and students. Something that is very important also is the social impact of the project, it should be beneficial for the society.
- If some students want to participate and apply with a project, which is the procedure?
- The main way to apply is through the website. You can find the link and start your own project with a very easy process. After that, you will see what you need in order to start the project, what info you need and how you should think about the finances. But you can always call or send an email or even just come by in the office.
- This is very helpful! For the new academic year and as new project manager, what are your plans?
- We have different projects. We now start with INKOM. It is how we can be noticed and search for new volunteers. We will be there in the Info Markt and in the Night at the Museum. We have also some projects with UWC staff: a workshop that we host with almost every school in the city. We will teach UWC staff how to talk to students about subjects as drugs. There is also a conference coming with the theme ‘’Safety in schools’’. The government of Maastricht wants to make sure that every teacher knows about organizations in the city related with young adults safety. CODE043 will be there. We will do the hosting with alcohol-free cocktails and probably be in charge of the matching corner to make sure that all teachers and organizations will find each other.
- When is the conference?
- October. Also in October, we will start with CODE events support. They will be networking sessions. Every month, we will host one night and try to get everyone together: for example the young adults who are busy with projects or have applied for a project will meet all together. In October, we will organize the kick-off session, a party in which everyone is invited. I am really trying to figure out what else we can do for young adults and students to help them with their projects, but also in terms of getting them in touch with people or organizations where they can get other budgets or subsidies. I want this night to be a moment that they can ask me or other people where they can go and then we will provide them with information and solutions. Maybe, I will have to do some research but it will be solved. I also want to do the workshops during these nights so whatever people will need, they can tell me during these sessions and I will try to come up with ideas.
- So is this one of your ambitions for the next academic year?
- Do you have any other idea or ambition which you would like to succeed from September? Something that you have in your mind and you really want to work with?
- Yes this is a very good question and I actually have! This project is planned basically for half a year. So, it is a trial period. And the CODE events support is one of those things. What I really want to do in this project is t to make sure that CODE043 becomes a safe space for young adults and students. A place where you feel safe enough to come by, to ask about everything you need, but also to get help and coaching. I love these workshops as I think it is very important to realize what you want in your life, to get out of your comfort zone and to challenge yourself. I would love to be part of this process and have a role. One way is these network events, workshops where I can do coaching. But mainly what I want is that people will get the feeling that CODE043 is a safe space.
- It is very important for Maastricht as many students are coming, they have ideas but maybe they don’t know how to implement them or they are afraid that they will be rejected. It is very important that they have this chance!
- And where can they find information about your events?
- Best way is via our website. We have all information there about the projects, all events that they are going on. You can also get to now us, the people who work here. But something also I recommend is our FB page. It is the easiest way for all our event. It is also important for everyone interested to know that we will be present in INKOM, in the Info Markt on Monday, probably with a fun activity. Also, in the Night of the museum, we will be there with a very funny big interactive game. I definitely invite all people to come by and get to know us.
- Thank you very much it was a pleasure!
- Thank you too!
Hey hey fellow Meet Maastricht lovers 🙂
It has been such a crazy month full of great adventures and various cultural, artistic activities. Well… luckily the month is not over yet so we have 3 more amazing events planned for you! Check out on our website or Facebook page and book your spot already 😉
As Meet Maastricht, we have been trying to organize different kinds of tours and all of them have received really lovely feedback so far. It is all thanks to our dearest team member and an expert on history, but more specifically on Maastricht, Lucy. Last Sunday, she took us to a unique experience as always.
The tickets were sold out from weeks before and I would like to thank personally to everybody participating despite the very freezing, snowy weather, I guess it added more “mystery” to our tour that we would like to call “The Mysteries Tour”. 🙂
Lucy has taken us to the places in Maastricht we have never been before and I can genuinely say that it was such a time we have lived the moment to the fullest… We have walked around everyone in the city, stopping almost every 3-4 mins to listen to another story. The monument that you pass by every day and not pay attention to can have a spectacular and intense background story that you would be amazed. This is how our participants and I felt like. A gate or a building or a writing on a wall can have their own stories and reasons as to why they have been placed there in the first place and what was the idea of these people composing them.
Day by day, we learn more about Maastricht and its hidden secret beauties and we grow this feeling where we bond with the city more. If you also having the same feeling, then Meet Maastricht team is more than satisfied to achieve what was meant to be our goal. 🙂
See you in our next activities!
Photo credits: Buha Buhu
Catch you later,
Hey hey fellow Meet Maastricht lovers 🙂
I am back with amazing news! This Friday, our 20 participants had the chance to be part of a very exclusive show at Complex, organized by the Philharmonie Orchestra.
The name of the show Music & Fashion” refers to a really unusual concept that people do not come across every day. It was such a unique experience for me as well as our participants. What would be the reason for that?
First of all, I have been to a couple of nights organized by Philharmonie before, and every time they were able to surprise and amuse me. They had a combination of classical music and film night in September where it awakened various feeling in me, in my opinion the Philharmonie is a genuine connoisseur of classical music! But what is even more captivating is that the composers are able to create a mixture of classical music and film or as in that show, classical music and fashion in a harmonical way.
A normal fashion show includes models catwalking through the stage as they display their clothings, contrary to ordinary, this music & fashion show took us to another dimension where the composer was telling us a story with the classical music of the orchestra combined with dancers dressed in kimonos.
We have observed a theme of “disconnection” with the combination of kimonos (a piece of clothing which one is able to give shape in any way he desires), the fluctuations in the rhythm of the dancers from slow to fast and vice versa hand in hand with the orchestra, dancers coming out from the audience and connecting in maritime language consisting of some terms such as “alfa and romeo”. All in all, it was a mesmerizing and sensational chaos full of outstanding colours, movement of bodies, different usage of clothing and classical music symphony in compliance with everything!
In the end, we had the chance to meet the composer of this beauty and ask him as many questions as we liked. He told us the whole story from his perspective; about how he came up with the idea, how he thought about every detail and what was the reasoning behind this combination. We were certainly impressed by his mode of thought and our participants expressed their experience and feelings through interpreting what they have witnessed during the night. 🙂
Fashion and Music- The Splendid Couple!
Thank you everyone for joining the event and stay tuned for our upcoming activities…
Catch you later,
Hey hey fellow Meet Maastricht lovers,
We have prepared a variety of fun events for you in March, and Tiny Towns was definitely one of them. 🙂
This Sunday we had the chance to discover the “Tiny Towns” in Maastricht. But what exactly are these Tiny Towns? Well, they are three different scale models of Maastricht, situated in concealed areas in Maastricht. Let’s go through the details of the tour.
The meeting point was indeed Centre Ceramique, but why would we have the meeting there? Because to everybody’s surprise (including me), the first scale model of Maastricht is actually placed there! The model itself was utterly magnificent where we were trying to figure out what used to be in the places as we know before and what historical artefacts have been preserved for more than a hundred years.
Thanks to our lovely tour guide as well as our beloved team member of Meet Maastricht, Lucy, we had the chance to listen to the stories by an expert about how these models were constructed, what did they consist of, what was the reason behind them, how did they contribute to the society and cherish the history as for our present frame of mind and point of view with regard to the past, what were the reactions received after the display of the models and many more subjects!
The second place we have been to, the Malt House, has not merely showed us a different model, but it also had an entrancing atmosphere with a smell of “history”! 🙂 Lucy has taken us through those old times with her excellent guiding skills and the way she puts emphasis on the details.
Everyone seemed to enjoyed their time and they did not hesitate to ask several questions to the guide at the same time. 🙂
The third place where the last model is situated is somewhere I believe no one would have any idea of! Personally, it is a street I pass by almost every day and I was shocked by this hidden beauty. As much as I would love to share the photo, I don’t want to spoil the amusement for the next participants. 🙂 In the end, the tour has furthermore taught us the importance of paying attention to what are we surrounded by. Maybe a sunset or the structure of a church…. the nature and artefacts have been going hand in hand throughout centuries to create this loveliness.
Thank you everyone that joined us for the “Tiny Towns” on Sunday. 🙂 Don’t worry if you missed the tour, we are going to organize it in the upcoming months for sure! Have a look at our upcoming events on our Facebook page and don’t forget to sign up to our Newsletter. ❤💖
-Catch you later, Yaren