Two choir girls were accepted into the second year of the Berlin support programme for young ensemble conductors – Johanna Mielisch in the “Classical Choral Conducting” course and Rebecca von Amsberg in the “Jazz Choral Conducting” course. At the final concert on 29 February 2020 in the Georg Neumann Hall of the Jazz Institute of the UdK Berlin, Johanna conducted “Tourdion” by Pierre Attaignant (1494-1552) and Rebecca “Drück die 1” by Alexander Zuchowski in an arrangement by Bernd Hofmann.

About the project:
Those who play in an orchestra or sing in a choir have usually had instrumental or singing lessons for years. But what does it mean to lead an orchestra or a choir?
Together with the Berlin Senate Department for Education, Youth and Family, the Landesmusikrat Berlin e. V. has launched a new programme that gives pupils the opportunity to find answers to precisely this question. In the multi-part training they acquire the musical, organisational and social skills they need to lead an ensemble and take on musical responsibility.
(Source: Programme note for the final concert 2019/2020)

The programme was initiated by the State Music Council and initially started in the school year 2018/2019 with a focus on classical music and about 30 participants. In the school year 2019/2020, the focus on jazz/rock/pop was added. This time around 80 students took part in the four areas of Classical Orchestra Conducting, Classical Choir Conducting, Big Band Conducting and Jazz Choir Conducting. They could not apply for this themselves, but had to be nominated by their school or music school.

Senate conductor Thomas Duveneck emphasised at the final concert of the second year, which was convincing with a high level of performance, that the project would certainly be continued in the coming years and would continue to be financed by the Senate Department for Education, Youth and Family. The background to the initiative is the lack of music teachers in Berlin’s schools and the attempt to inspire qualified young people to study school music through the support project. After the award ceremony, Carl Parma, Chairman of the Federal Association for Music Education (BMJ), asked the young musicians who among them wanted to study music and received numerous responses. When asked which of them wanted to study school music, there were far fewer, but still a few! Prof. Dr. Andreas Ickstadt from the Institute for Music Education at the UdK Berlin, who is currently the head of the BA/MA teacher training programme for primary schools, invited all of the school-leavers among them to apply for a teacher training programme as early as March/April 2020.