About

Published on January 31, 2014

Roosevelt College Choir comprises about twenty young and enthusiastic singers, brought together by their studies at University College Roosevelt (UCR). The choir was founded concurrently with UCR in 2004 and is currently conducted by Andrew Wise.

Andrew Wise

The British conductor, pianist and composer Andrew Wise lives in Gent, Belgium. He studied musicology in Cambridge where he graduated with a first-class masters degree. He followed the post-graduate course in piano and conducting at the Royal Academy of Music, London with Hamish Milne and Maurice Miles, as well as master-classes with John Carewe, Lucas Vis in Amsterdam and Helmuth Rilling in Stuttgart. He started his career as repetiteur at the Netherlands Opera in Amsterdam and was soon invited to be chorus master at the Netherlands Travelling Opera based in Enschede, where he worked for four years.

From 1994 to 1997 Andrew was chorus master at the Flemish Opera in Antwerp, and from 1998 to 2003 chorus master of the Royal Danish Opera in Copenhagen. He appeared as guest conductor with the Danish Radio Choir, the Flemish Radio Choir, chamber choir Carmina (Copenhagen), Tivoli's Koncertkor, Onafhankelijk Toneel Opera (Rotterdam), Glyndebourne Touring Opera, Den Anden Opera (Copenhagen), het Valerius Ensemble, and Opera Zuid. He was chief conductor of the Hoofdstad Operette (Amsterdam) in 1999/2000. In 2002 Andrew Wise was invited by Kent Nagano to assist him with the preparation of Wagner's Die Walküre with the Göteborg Symfoniker, and subsequently also with the production of Das Rheingold in 2005. This has led to further engagements as an orchestral conductor, including Die Zauberflöte and Don Pasquale with the Alden Biesen Festival Orchestra (Belgium) in 2004, and regular invitations to conduct at the Swedish National Orchestra Academy in Göteborg. He was conductor of the Middelburg Chamber Choir from 2005 to 2008. From 2008 to 2011 he was conductor of Cantabile-Gent. He is now conductor and artistic director of the Dutch Handel Society (De Nederlandse Händelvereniging), based in Hilversum (NL). In September 2016 he was appointed conductor of the Roosevelt College Choir in Middelburg (NL).

As a pianist he performs as a soloist, in chamber music and as a lied accompanist as well as working as a vocal coach. He teaches at the vocal department of the Antwerp Conservatory, where he is responsible for preparing the singers and giving the oratorio class. He is also staff pianist specialising in vocal and cello repertoire. Important projects in 2016 include: Just Kurt & Marlene in Paris with Penelope Turner, soprano (crossover concerts centred around the music of Kurt Weill.

Andrew has been active as a composer since the year 2000, in the main writing vocal music. He has written a number of choral works, a song cycle on poems by W.H. Auden, a one-act opera, and many choral and vocal arrangements.

For more information about Andrew, visit his website.

Roosevelt College Choir

Roosevelt College Choir comprises about twenty young and enthusiastic singers, brought together by their studies at University College Roosevelt (UCR). The choir was founded concurrently with UCR in 2004 and is currently conducted by Andrew Wise.

All members are in the choir at least one academic year, during which they follow the Choir Course. This training programme includes sight-reading lessons taught by Mrs de Jong and vocal lessons provided by the conductor.

As UCR’s official choir, the ensemble enhances academic events, including the opening of the academic year and the graduation ceremony. Next to that, church services and independent concerts form a significant part of the choir’s activities.

The group’s repertoire includes the whole range of classical music, from Byrd to Brahms and from Des Prez to Pärt. Recently, the choir has also been perfoming works of contemporary composers like Knut Knystedt, Henning Sommerro and Hans Leenders.

Some of the choir’s highlights include the performance at the Four Freedom Awards in Middelburg (2012), and the Christmas concerts together with St John’s College Choir (2012) and Clare College Choir (2011).

In the summer of 2013, the choir’s very first CD “Call for Freedom” was released, featuring ‘spirituals’, songs conceived by slaves on American plantations between the seventeenth and nineteenth century. Click here to order the CD.