Vocational education program Choral Conducting (education program code – 3321205) – choir singer, choir master specialities;
One of Riga Cathedral Choir School’s main missions is to care for the continuation of the Song Festival tradition in subsequent generations; therefore the conducting department has always had a special role in the school. The conducting department has already proved to be one of the most significant sources of new choral conductors in Latvia. At the Conducting department’s core are the Choir class graduates who continue to improve their capabilities in conducting in secondary school and often start working as choir masters in a variety of musical collectives. Their professional skills are often tested and confirmed in a variety of National competitions.
As the number of students gradually increased over the years, the creation of secondary school mixed choir in 1996 was a very significant point in providing a full and wholesome training for the conductors in training. The choir consists of students from Choral Conducting and Vocal music departments. The choir provides a great opportunity for both the conductors and choir singers starting from 1st year of high school. Although performing in concerts is not a priority of the Mixed Choir of RCCS, it has had many bright performances.
The students and graduates of the Choral Conducting department have proven themselves as the ensurers of the continuity of the Song Festival movement tradition – skilled musicians, choir masters, conductors and principal conductors (Kaspars Adamsons became the principal conductor of Song Festival in 2013, becoming the principal conductor of the Student Song Festival earlier in 2010), as well as true professionals in choir singing. The awards our students and graduates received in the preceding Song Festival’s Choir Wars clearly proved RCCS’ contribution in the upbringing of a new generation of choral conductors:
- Grand Prix to the choirs SŌLA (artistic director Kaspars Adamsons, conductors Rudolfs Bacans, Jekabs Jancevskis) and KAMĒR… (artistic director Janis Liepins, conductors Aivis Greters, Vilhelms Vacietis)
- 1st place to the choirs MASKA (conductor Janis Ozols) and SWEDBANK (artistic director Arturs Ancans, conductors Jurgis Cabulis, Matiss Tucs)
The graduates of RCCS sing in the Latvian Radio Choir, The State Choir Latvia. The versatile knowledge acquired in the school allows the graduates to assert themselves in other musical areas as well – such as the guys from the vocal group Cosmos, the singer Gunars Kalnins, the organists Una Cintina and Janis Pelse, the actors Ieva Plavniece, Zane Dombrovska and Uldis Silins, the poet Marts Pujats, the members of such bands Instrumenti, Latvian Voices and Framest to name a few.
Among the teachers of Conducting department are the principal conductors of the Song Festival Gints Ceplenieks and Martins Klisans.
Choral Conducting program includes private lessons in conducting, score playing, piano and solo singing as well as group lessons in choir studies and choir literature, creative practice, music theory, solfeggio, harmony and polyphony, Latvian, foreign and modern music literature and, of course, singing and conducting the training choir.
Programme manager – Gints Ceplenieks.