Chor.LEBEN – re:mix / Folge 1 "Susan, how to found a choir?"

The project: Vocalband (Nds) emerged from the initiative TOGETHER! Chor.Leben, the German choir youth. In the Chor.Leben podcast, Susan Lahesalu tells, among other things, exactly about the founding of the vocal band in Lower Saxony.  

In the first season of the "Chor.Leben" podcast we talk to choir founders from the TOGETHER! - Chor.Leben project of the German youth choirs, which aims to found new choirs nationwide that focus on participation and diversity. In the podcast they talk about the hurdles and the sense of achievement, about their methods and how they can also be integrated into other choir projects.

The Vocalband 

In 2021 new “vocal bands” / youth choirs with young people from different social backgrounds will be founded in 12 federal states as part of a model project. The members of each choir will be involved in the founding process and rehearsals. The focus is always on an open, outreach character: looking for ways to address young people with their interests in a targeted manner in their living environment. Because by singing together in a choir, young people can experience a community in which the origin, social conditions of the family or an academic background are not important, but rather their own actions - whether in singing with the body's own instrument or in realizing their own ideas. The methodology, quality and impact of the project work are continuously scientifically monitored. The aim is to use the knowledge gained about concrete choir work with young people to define recommendations for action for music social work in the youth choir area in order to bring about new initiatives and movements in civil society. Thus, this project is infinitely scalable, so that the founding of numerous other socially diverse “vocal bands” and thus the opening of the choir scene for more cultural participation can be promoted in concrete terms. This project, initiated and coordinated by the German Youth Choir, is financed with the help of funds from the German Youth Brand Foundation and Aktion Mensch. With additional funds for the individual projects at the state and municipal level, it is important to carry the choirs beyond the initiation phase.

Who is addressed?

In the north of Lower Saxony, under the professional direction of Susan Lahesalu, a vocal band with boys (between 12-19 years) is founded, which offers young people access to cultural participation and guarantees the possibility of holistic musical personality development. The group should see itself as a place of democracy learning and youth participation, where the young people get to know their own voice and take on organization and personal responsibility. An intercultural exchange with a choir in Estonia is planned, which enables the young people to experience choral singing as a lived and sung musical diversity (e.g. Singing Festival 2022), as is a cooperation with an NDR project planned for Christmas 2021 under the direction of Michael Zlanabitnik planned.