The girls’ choir, the Roden Girl Choristers, was founded in September 2000. Yearly, it gives approximately 20 to 25 concerts at a semi-professional level. To be able to sing at this high level, a thorough education is required.
This dynamic group of girls, under the leadership of artistic director and conductor Sonja de Vries, has already gained a sound reputation. The purpose of the Roden Girl Choristers is to give concerts at a high level and, by doing so, to be a reference point for all girls’ choir singing in the Netherlands. The choir consists of around 25 to 35 girls aged 8-18 years. The choir is part of the Stichting Koorschool Noord Nederland (The Northern Netherlands Choir School Foundation).
Education and inspiration
During the course of their training young girls are prepared for an audition as chorister. Individual voice formation results in a unified choir sound within which each choir member can strike up with self-confidence. A self-confidence which furthermore is strengthened by the social cohesion of the group. Founded on Anglican principles, the choir is inspired by the clear, taut, open sound idiom of the British boys’ and girls’ choirs. Also, in relation to repertory choice, the Anglican choir tradition is an inexhaustible source of inspiration. Study trips to the United Kingdom, with master classes by fellow choir directors, are a regular occurrence. Exchanges with fellow choirs from the UK, such as that of St. John’s College, Cambridge and the University Choir of St. Andrews also contribute to the musical formation of the choristers.
The next study trip is in the diary for 2019 with concerts and evensongs in several beautiful cathedrals.
The choir produces music at an elevated level and has a place on the most important concert stages in the whole of the Netherlands and abroad. With around 20 concerts a year and concert trips at home and abroad the Roden Girl Choristers reach large amounts of enthusiastic listeners. The choir has made radio and television recordings for the Radio 4, IKON and EO Dutch broadcasting corporations
The choristers contribute to large choir and orchestra productions, such as Carl Orff’s Carmina Burana and Mass of the Children by John Rutter. Johan Sebastian Bach’s Matthew Passion under the inspiring direction of Reinbert de Leeuw in 2016 was a particular highlight. But also the intensive collaboration with the Dutch Bach Academy (de Nederlandse Bach Academie) (a.o. Peace Concerts and Johannes Passion), a Christmas concert with Wishful Singing and performances of the Matthäus Passion with NPU under the direction of Johannes Leertouwer are valuable experiences.
The choir’s permanent accompanist is organist Sietze de Vries.