Faculty of Medicine MU’s Advent Concert for Body Donors

This year’s reverence for body donors took place in the form of a small gathering at the Department of Anatomy of the Medical Faculty of Masaryk University. This year, students and others were able to express their respect and gratitude by joining the virtual concert. In the two-hour recording, you will hear 37 amazing compositions!

20 Dec 2020

The third annual reverence for body donors was not possible in its usual format. This gave rise to a new format for the event and moved to the largest concert hall - the Internet.

Musical performance has always been a part of the reverence gathering, organised by the Medical Students’ Association of the Faculty of Medicine, Masaryk University, in cooperation with the head of the Department of Anatomy FM MU. While listening to the music and speeches of the speakers in attendance, visitors can, with contemplation, respectfully thank all those who had decided to become a volunteer donor of their body for the purpose of teaching future doctors and medical staff.

It is essential for every doctor to have knowledge of the anatomical structure of the human body. Medical students acquire the most of this vital knowledge in practical anatomy lessons, studying embalmed human preparations.

The idea of a virtual concert arose due to this year’s unprecedented situation, whereby, students and teachers of the Faculty of Medicine MU could not meet in person, at the Chapter Hall of the Augustinian Abbey in Mendel Square in Old Brno. We published an invitation after the gathering, attended by the Head of the Department of Anatomy FM MU, MUDr. Marek Joukal, PhD and the Vice-Dean for Student Affairs Mgr. Jana Fialová, PhD. The Medical Students’ Association was represented by its’ new representatives - Klára Dolinová, the president and Natálie Srbová, the vice-president. Foreign students were represented by Deelan Heetain Vadher.

Within five weeks, 29 performers and music groups sent us their recordings. The two-hour concert includes compositions by students of our faculty, several choirs, and even future applicants and several graduates. The youngest performer is the son of an assistant professor at the Department of Anatomy FM MU, RNDr. Michaela Račanská, PhD. We respect all those, who without much time to prepare, and certainly without the use of professional recording studios, took their musical instruments and recorded compositions of their favourite composers, all while under the emergency state.

People who took part in the concert:

Maxim Ipati, sisters Eliška and Nina Ocetková, Eliška Čermáková, Radoslav Martoš, Václav Mikloška, Jindřich Hochman, Mária Glacová, Anna Kundelová, Adéla Dvořáková, Jiří Račanský, Jan Olšar, Eliška Jandová, Gloria Brunensis Women’s Chamber Choir, K dur Choir, Branislav Marko, Karolína Levíčková, Alex Brijo Sebastian, Samuel Mihálik, Lujza Sladká, Patrik Polakovič, Andrea Jonáková, Renáta Nevelöšová, Beáta Šimovcová, Tomáš Sláma, Patricie Sehnalová, Barbora Rybnikárová with her sister Daniela and her friend Zuzana Velická, the band iAKOB, Barbora Divoká and an acapella group, DNA, featuring doc. Mgr. Václav Brázda, Ph.D. from the Department of Anatomy FM MU. 

Individual compositions and short speeches of the attendees can be found on this link.

Some participants also added reasoning behind sending their recordings:

Tomáš Sláma (a student of the first year of General Medicine study programme at FM MU) says: “I joined the virtual concert for a simple reason. I can't imagine learning anatomy purely from books. However, without people willing to donate their bodies, there would not be many other options. That's why I wanted to thank all the donors at least in this remote way.”

Eliška Jandová (student of the first year of Dentistry study programme at FM MU): "I am grateful that there is something like this happening at least in the online space.”

Karolína Levíčková (student of the third year of General Medicine study programme at FM MU): "I am sending my recording as the least I can do to express my respect for all body donors because without them we could never become good doctors."

The K-dur mixed choir states: “We are honoured to be able to help raise awareness about the fact that each of us can contribute to the education of future doctors. We are joining to express great respect and to thank all donors and their families. The best way we know to express our gratitude is with music. Hopefully, our singing can bring happiness, peace and joy to your homes."

Gloria Brunensis, the Women’s Chamber Choir, recorded their composition during the first wave of the coronavirus pandemic this spring. "We are glad that our voices can be heard at this concert in honour of the body donors, thanks to whom more and more doctors are being educated. More than ever, this year, in particular, we have all realised the importance of the dedicated work of doctors and medical students. We want to include our entry in this concert under our Advent initiative #pomocizpevem (#helpbysinging). We had several concerts and international competitions planned for this year but, unfortunately, we could only hold a few rehearsals, so we are singing at least online. We are holding a Christmas concert, which both our fans and people in retirement homes will be able to listen to in order to make the difficult moments, spent far from their families, more pleasant. Also, to meet our initiative #pomocizpevem, during the concert, our listeners can contribute to the reconstruction of the Hospice of St. Elizabeth in Brno” (more about the initiative on this link).

To make it more interesting, we add a cheerful song from the travels of the "medical" band iakob. One of the members, MDDr. Filip Hromčík, explains their involvement in the concert: “We are grateful for this very pleasant initiative. Our "medical" band has a strong relationship with our alma mater, considering we all graduated from FM MU. We chose a song from our travels. In the high mountains of the Himalayas, we tested our abilities and even what we remembered from lectures about altitude sickness. Looking up to Everest, we were perhaps closer to body donors than to the Department of Anatomy. That's why we chose our song from the trekking in Nepal.”

As part of the tribute to body donors, we would also like to share information about the beautiful idea of ​​building a tomb for body donors at the Central Cemetery in Brno. For this purpose, the Medical Student’s Association has established a fundraiser, which you can join by making donations to this transparent account: 2901871435/2010.

Let all the compositions sent for the concert on this day and in the future help us commemorate the noble donors who donated their bodies for the educational purposes of future doctors and medical staff. We also devote the concert to those, who are considering donating.

We wish you a wonderful musical experience.

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