The Choral Academy is a new project on professional choral singing which develops Estonian and Finnish artists’ work communities from the viewpoint of team learning. It also improves their prerequisites for international top-level choral singing under the supervision of top professionals. The project participants are the Estonian Philharmonic Chamber Choir, chamber choir Tampere Cappella and TAMK.
The Choral Academy received spearhead project funding from the Finnish Cultural Foundation’s Pirkanmaa Regional Fund. The funding was published on 14 May 2021. The project is administered by Tampere University of Applied Sciences, an expert in team pedagogy and team development.
The Choral Academy is for choral professionals. One of its objectives is to develop a model which raises the choral community from a skilful and professional freelance level to an international top level. Tampere is a natural place for the project as the chamber choir Tampere Cappella is located there. It consists of freelance professionals who also perform in many other music and theatre productions. TAMK provides comprehensive education for new professionals, develops working life and cooperates actively with the Estonian Philharmonic Chamber Choir (EPCC). EPCC is one of the best-known and most valued professional chamber choirs. The choir coaches of the project are members of EPCC.
New international operations model and team learning
The project is unique. It is the first choral academy in Finland and an equivalent model is not used in other countries either. The project follows the example of Tampere Orchestra Academy which is a cooperation form of the Tampere Philharmonic Orchestra, TAMK Music and Tampere Conservatoire. The Choral Academy responds to the need for developing skilful but part-time freelance choir communities operationally, socially, productionally and artistically towards economically sustainable and internationally interesting professional choirs.
Development from a good professional level to the top level is inspiring because development steps become shorter and operation has to be considered in a diverse manner. The project develops working life by combining operational and artistic development of the cultural field with the research viewpoint.
A key objective of the Choral Academy is to establish how the choral community best develops to a top-level team. TAMK is well-known for its top-level team pedagogy competence. TAMK’s Senior Lecturer Timo Nevalainen works as a team pedagogy specialist in the project. Tampere’s international profile as a choir city will develop along with the project.
The project will also develop freelance choir singers’ international contacts and working life skills. This has an effect on their employment, which is especially important these days.
Workshops and concerts
During the project, coaches selected among the Estonian Philharmonic Chamber Choir will organise workshops for Tampere Cappella members in the season 2021-2022. Tampere Cappella will also visit Tallinn to learn about EPCC. In 2022, the project will culminate in an event which includes a team learning and artistic development seminar as well as a concert of the Estonian Philharmonic Chamber Choir for which members of the Choral Academy were able to apply through an audition.
Developer of the Choral Academy and Senior Lecturer Markus Yli-Jokipii
markus.yli-jokipii [at] tuni.fi
Hanketta rahoittaa Suomen kulttuurirahaston Pirkanmaan rahasto, joka myönsi Kuoroakatemialle Kärkihankerahoituksen 2021.
Markus Yli-JokipiiSenior Lecturer
Viron Filharmoninen kamarikuoro
Kamarikuoro Tampere Cappella