4/9/2020 – Revista Melómano


©Beatriz Montes

At the beginning of October 2018 I was driving when I received a call. On the other side, someone with an accent and a very special sympathy invited me to work with a youth choir in Andalusia. The offer was attractive for many reasons: I could choose the music, it was a training program for which I already had very good references and it involved working with young people trained both vocally and musically. I was summoned to be responsible for holding the Christmas meeting of that year at the end of December. I was used to doing this type of work both in my choir “El León de Oro” and in my years of teaching at the Conservatorio Superior de Música de Asturias (Oviedo, Spain) and therefore, since it was a vacation period, I accepted the offer. But I did not imagine that what I was going to find there would fascinate me the way it did. The energy, musical quality and eagerness for knowledge of these Andalusians enchanted me and a climate of mutual empathy and creativity was created that has led to my commitment as the titular director of this magnificent artist nursery.

The ANDALUSIAN PROGRAM FOR YOUNG PERFORMERS is formed by two musical groups, the YOUNG ORCHESTRA OF ANDALUSIA (OJA) and the YOUNG CHOIR OF ANDALUSIA (JCA). The age of the members of the ANDALUSIAN PROGRAM FOR YOUNG INTERPRETERS ranges from 16 to 32 years old in the case of the choir. Participation in the ANDALUSIAN PROGRAM FOR YOUNG PERFORMERS, either through the YOUNG ORCHESTRA OF ANDALUSIA or the YOUNG CHOIR OF ANDALUSIA, aims to be a path of academic prestige, which is accessible to students from conservatories and schools of Andalusian music to approach the world of symphonic or choral music for the first time in a professional way, with all the guarantees of quality and musical excellence. The past year 2019 we commemorated the 25th anniversary of the project, developed by the Junta de Andalucía. This project has an important background in the Andalusian Baroque Choir, which was a seed of great professional singers and there was a vocation to culminate in a professional choir.

From my personal experience, I consider that through these meetings with expert conductors and specific teachers, young musicians are ready to make the professional leap into the world of symphonic, chamber and choral music. The climate that is created in these work periods is magical. In addition to the challenge of preparing an important repertoire to expose it to the public there is the necessary coexistence of a large group of young people selected from all the enormous geographical variety in Andalusia. Not only is it possible to complement the orchestral and vocal training of the young Andalusian musical values and to shorten the distance between the end of the formative stage of the musicians and their subsequent incorporation into active professional life, they also have personal experiences and experiences that will accompany them for the rest of their lives and will serve them for their future artistic life.

At the moment the YOUNG CHOIR OF ANDALUCÍA is in an expansion phase. We have new auditions ahead of us to form a new staff for the next two years. As a novelty, we have included the possibility of participating in the selection for the Contratenor voice mode, in addition to the four usual types of voice. The number of annual meetings is usually two for the Andalusian Youth Choir, but hard work is being done by those in charge of the team, led by Manuel Ferrand, to make them three. These are usually held during holiday periods or within the framework of a festival, cycle or stage of special relevance. In addition to the invited teaching team, which is mainly made up of professors of recognized national and international prestige from the different vocal specialties, we always introduce new specialties. Lately we are putting special emphasis, in the case of the choir, in everything related to the corporal conscience.

Among the work proposals designed for the new phase of the JCA, we want to highlight the Missa Solemnis by Beethoven in the next season of subscription of the Orquesta de Córdoba, as well as participation in various Andalusian festivals and in unique heritage spaces along with outstanding soloists or in collaboration with instrumental groups specialized in the interpretation of historical music, such as the Baroque Orchestra of Seville or the Young Baroque Orchestra of Andalusia. A unique program around the figure of Federico García Lorca, the preparation of Renaissance, Baroque or opera repertoires, participation in national and international contests, recordings or the performance of chamber music concerts and joint programs with the Andalusian Youth Orchestra and professional choral groups are some of the projects proposed for the next seasons of the Andalusian Youth Choir.

There are many examples of the great work that is being done, which shows that a good approach, in a context of rigor and love for what is well done, results in a fantastic fertility that shows the enormous musical talent of this wonderful land.

Marco Antonio García de Paz, Main Conductor of the Young Choir of Andalusia (JCA)