Pueri Cantores Foederatio Helvetica

Singknaben der Ursenkathedrale Solothurn

The roots of the “Singknaben” – originally the Chorales – reach back to the time of the foundation of the St. Ursen monastery in the year 742. With a rich tradition of more than 1200 years, the “Singknaben” is the oldest choir in Switzerland and one of the longest established in Europe. During the early centuries, the mission of the boys’ choir was to sing the Latin Mass in a single voice.

Today the choir consists of more than 60 choir boys and young men. The choir’s repertoire covers the whole range from Gregorian hymns, motets, cantatas, masses and spiritual songs, and right through to folksongs from Switzerland and many other countries. The choir boys and young men sing the works of the old masters of choir music such as Monteverdi, Schütz und Bach with particular enthusiasm, but also enjoy classic, romantic and contemporary choir music. In addition, plenty of time is found for forays into the world of gospel, jazz or even pop music.

The boys and young men come from a range of schools and vocations. They invest between 3 and 4 hours every week for singing. During this time they work on the pieces in the individual voices, practice with the complete choir and carry out voice training under the direction of professional vocal teachers. At Andreas Reize’s suggestion, a soloist group was formed in which the particularly talented singers learn to take on soloist roles. For several years now, the choir has successfully cooperated with the “solotuttithurn” Centre of Music and the music pedagogue Isabella Steffen-Meister, where from their earliest childhood, children are introduced to music.

The return for the relatively high level of personal effort is above all the pleasure derived from the high quality of the music, but also the camaraderie and the active annual programme with its many highlights. In spring, the choir boys attend a singing camp where they prepare the concert programme for the autumn. In addition to the singing, adequate time remains to enjoy each others company, play games and have fun. Prior to the autumn holidays, the full choir gives the premier of its concert programme and soon after they are off on tour. In recent years a wide range of European countries have been visited, also including more distant lands such as the Czech Republic, Finland, Latvia, Estonia, Lithuania, Poland, Russia and Hungary, as well as the USA.

For the young singers such trips offer the opportunity to experience other cultures and peoples and at the same time to gain self-confidence and experience of life. Finally at Christmas, Advent songs are sung and the performance of the Christmas oratorio from Johann Sebastian Bach has already established itself as a tradition. If sufficient energy remains a spring programme is rehearsed, something on the lines of the Requiem from Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart or the Johannes Passion by Johann Sebastian Bach.

Diary Solothurn

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Andreas Reize
Brüggmoosstrasse 17
4522 Rüttenen
Tel +41 32 622 60 35
Fax +41 32 622 60 35
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Nourdin Khamsi
Hälegärtlistrasse 7
4515 Oberdorf
Mobil +41 79 728 44 39
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Alexander Stingelin
Schmiedestrasse 4
4512 Bellach
Mobil +41 79 137 11 04
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