Music, uniform, Homeland – the values of the military artist

Who knows today about the band children?!! It is a forgotten tradition when children 12-13 years old lived next to units and did military service just like adults. Well, such a child of the soul of the army was our hero, who in time became a reliable soldier and even a brave officer with a love for books and music. Lieutenant-Colonel Sergiu Holban, head of the Presidential Orchestral of the National Army, remembers step by step those difficult but interesting years.

Sergiu Holban

Every musician from an early age attends music school. After graduating from middle school, I heard about a military orchestra, which has a child band members. I really liked the idea and I told my parents. My mother did not argue, contrariwise, she was happy. The bandmaster Leonid Petrenco listened to me and he told me that I will be part of the military orchestra starting on September 1st. The adaptation period was very difficult, I was fulfilling the same missions as a soldier on time. After overcoming them all, I loved spending time there so much that I didn’t even want to go home sometimes. We were ten band children – ten musician conscripts and other twenty professional soldiers. It was a very strong orchestra.

– Where did you spend your ‘childhood’ as a band boy?

– I went to Odessa, St. Petersburg, and the villages of the Republic of Moldova.

After seven years, deprived of his natural childhood, young Holban was still thinking if he really wants a military career. But it was certain that he wanted to be a musician. And then he received a proposal to be an employee of the military orchestra. It was hard to refuse, in special he has known that they hire only the best ones.

The years that followed were like the musical „The Beetle’s Flight”, written by Rimsky-Korsakov, sometimes more active, sometimes more poignant, at a moment right on the scale of existence. For the Presidential Orchestra, the question was: to be or not to be, so that in the end it would become a representative orchestra, leaving the orchestra in second place Ministry of Internal Affairs.

A commission was formed from great musicians and composers, who granted us this status of Presidential Orchestra and of course followed the decree of the President of the Republic of Moldova, Mircea Snegur.

Clarinetist Sergiu Holban has dedicated himself to his role in the orchestra, being confident and proud that he can contribute to a good image of the army and the country. Moreover, he felt honored to morally support the soldiers on the battlefield in 1992.

– I participated in various concerts with „Doina Armatei” group, which was formed recently. I remember that one of the days the separatists surrounded us. We were dressed in finery and had white scarves around our necks. The guards thought we were soldiers in the Special Force Battalion. We had to explain the situation, and they urged us to leave as soon as possible, not to be seen by Cossacks …

His talent as a military artist tested over time also brought appreciation. In 2012 he earned the title of „Honored Artist”. Today he is a manager of the Presidential Orchestra, yesterday he was the head of the orchestral group, having the experience of second bandmaster.

– Yeah … The second bandmaster’s experience! Until then, I was part of the team, and now I lead it. It’s not easy at all, but we strive to be good.

– What do you like most, managing or playing the clarinet? This, beyond the administrative work you have?

And one, and another. However, leading has a special charm, it is an extraordinary pleasure.

– What thoughts do you go to concerts with?

– Cultivating patriotism and love of nation is the main goal of our developments.

– Do you see the artist as a motivating factor for the military?

– Obviously, this is also our goal.

Lieutenant-Colonel Sergiu Holban is the bee of the Presidential Orchestra, taking care of the working conditions for artists, of the possibilities to participate in various events, festivals, including international ones. In this case, it is natural to sacrifice the clarinet. „Everything has an end,” he confesses. At the same time, any end is a new beginning. He will certainly be at the expense of one of his daughters.

– Not the older girl, but the younger one is thinking of going to „Ciprian Porumbescu” high school. He will choose the violin or the piano, I don’t know, we’ll see.

– The military artist’s job involves Saturdays, Sundays, and mornings, so far away from the family. How do you overcome this?

– Hard, of course. We also work on holidays, but the wife is understanding. We strive to recover during the week.

Artist, bandmaster and manager Sergiu Holban has soothed and boosted hundreds of thousands of hearts at the same time for 25 years. Without him, the Presidential Orchestra would certainly have been different. But with him the Presidential Orchestra remains unique and representative.

November 2014

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