Vladimir (Vlado), a pianist, singer, and conductor is known in Europe and in the Midwestern U.S. for his work as a piano and voice teacher, choir director, and a versatile minister of music in several churches. He has recorded a number of sacred albums in Serbian, his native language, as well as albums featuring a family mixed quartet and two in English.
Vladimir was born in Belgrade and grew up in Novi Sad, Serbia, one of two children of Dusan and Jovanka Lorencin Slavujevic. Music was important in their home because of his mother's numerous activities as an amateur musician. As a volunteer, she served as the pianist, organist, and choir director in the Novi Sad Seventh-day Adventist church and was always singing in their home.
This exposure to music led both children to love music and pursue study of it from an early age. Vladimir started piano lessons at age seven and within three years won first place in a competition for his age group at his music school and, in the following year, represented his school in Hungary, a neighboring country. He studied music for six years in a music grade school, where he studied ear training and music theory as well as piano.
He attended a music high school, where he started voice lessons and took six to eight music courses in each of his four years there. He took part in two voice competitions and was the regional winner in the second and a finalist in the national young musicians competition in Zagreb, Croatia (formerly Yugoslavia). While attending music high school, he simultaneously attended another general education high school. After graduating from both schools, he completed an associate degree in physical therapy and then worked as an assistant in that profession for two years.
In 1983, Slavujevic decided to continue music study and became a piano major at Newbold College in England. At the time of the college's centennial celebration in 2001, he wrote about his experience at the college in its centennial book:
I will always treasure my first day as a student at Newbold. I arrived at the college around noon. After getting lunch in the cafeteria, unpacking in my room at Keough Hall, and getting acquainted with the campus and buildings, I began playing on the old piano in the boys' dorm. Dean John Matthews approached me asking if I would be willing to play the piano for evening worship that day in Moor Close.
Being a piano major, I accepted his invitation, which I have never regretted. As soon as worship was over, about a dozen students came up to me to show their appreciation for my piano playing. I was thrilled. I never experienced any loneliness or rejection throughout my time as a student, which was a big blessing.
He was a member of and vocal soloist with the choir in his five years at the college and also sang in a mixed quintet and male quartet. The choir, under the direction of Eivind Keyn, performed frequently on campus and in England and toured in twelve European countries.
During his years at Newbold he also completed a licentiate teacher diploma in piano at the Royal Academy of Music - London (LRAM) in 1987, and another in voice performance at Trinity College of Music - London (LTCL) in 1988, the same year he graduated from NC with a B.Mus. (awarded through Andrews University). He completed a third diploma in voice instruction at Trinity College in 1991.
Slavujevic accepted a position at Tyrifjord SDA Academy in Norway in 1988, where he taught music for the next eight years. During that time he toured with the choir and vocal and instrumental soloists, giving concerts in numerous countries in Western and Eastern Europe, from northern Russia and Scandinavia to southeast Europe. He also recorded an album featuring the school choir, orchestra, three vocal groups, one instrumental ensemble, and some soloists. Two albums of live worship programs given by the school male octet were also produced.
After leaving the academy in 1996, Slavujevic traveled to the U.S. and enrolled as a graduate student at Andrews University. He sang in the select choir, the University Singers, under Stephen Zork, and was an occasional soloist with them. He completed an M.Mus. in choral conducting in 1998 and was selected a member of Phi Kappa Phi, a national honor society. In 2005 and 2006 he was listed in two different Marquis Who's Who publications.
From 1998 to 2008, he taught piano and voice at the Salvation Army Arts and Music School in Michigan. During that time he was also an adjunct voice teacher at AU and Lake Michigan College and directed the choir from 2007 to 2009 at the Village SDA Elementary School in Berrien Springs, Michigan. Since 2008, Slavujevic has taught piano and voice at the Citadel Dance and Music Center in nearby Benton Harbor, a position he still holds.
He has also filled many roles as a minister of music at several Protestant churches since 1998, serving as pianist, organist, and conductor of choral groups at all age levels as well as handbell groups and orchestras.
When Slavujevic heard that the vast majority of small SDA churches in Serbia, Bosnia, Herzegovina, and Montenegro (all in southeast Europe) do not have keyboard players, instruments, and song service leaders, he decided to help them. Together with his mother Anica, he volunteered to record five albums with a total of 143 favorite songs from the local SDA Church Hymnal. The Slavujevic family organized the purchase and distribution of CD players to over fifty SDA churches. These congregations can now use these five albums with their six hours of sacred music to sing to the glory of God in their churches and homes.
Additionally, in the past decade he has recorded two solo albums in the Serbian language and two featuring the Slavujevic Family Mixed Quartet (himself and his mother, father, and sister) and two in English. He, his wife, daughters, and sister give free concerts in the Lake Union Conference that feature singing and testimonies.
Slavujevic has been featured on 3ABN television as a self-accompaniedsoloist and has recorded live fifteen songs in this setting. A highlight for him was performing in this manner at the 2010 General Conference Session in Atlanta, Georgia, on a Saturday evening in the main auditorium, the Georgia Dome. A recording of this performance was broadcast on the Hope Channel in December 2011.
Source: Information provided by Vladimir Slavujevic, September 2011; One hundred Years at Newbold College, 1901 - 2001, Helen Savage and Ruth Taylor, compilers and editors, 142, 143. Citidal Dance and Music Center website.