Herning Boys Choir was founded in 1949, making it one of the oldest in Denmark. The choir has been under the direction on Mads Bille since 1984. He takes his inspiration from the style and repertoire of choirs trained in the English Cathedral tradition. The choir sings music from every century including major works by Bach, Handel, Haydn, Mozart, Faure and Elgar. Contemporary composers also feature and the choir has both premiered and commissioned several new works. Over the last 30 years the choir has grown in reputation and has become one of the most prestigious boys and men’s choirs in all Denmark.
Concerts and touring
Alongside singing the weekly services in Herning Church, Herning Boys Choir has toured extensively. It now gives about 25 concerts a year at home and abroad. The choir has performed in all Denmark’s 10 cathedrals. It has toured around eastern and western Europe, the United States of America and Australia. The choir has performed in St Paul’s Cathedral, London, Notre Dame de Paris, Washington National Cathedral, Berliner Dom, Grace Catherdal, San Fransisco, the Sydney Opera House, St Stephan’s Dom in Vienna and Carnegie Hall, New York City.
The choir has worked for many distinguished visiting conductors including Sir David Willcocks, John Hiccocks and Miltiades Caridis and has an ongoing relationship with Dr Christopher Robinson. In 2012 the choir hosted the 19-year-old conductor and composer Alexander Prior. The choir gave the premiere of his ‘En ny himmel’, a large choral work written specifically for Herning Boys Choir. In 2013 and 2017 the choir performed Haydn’s Creation with the Choir of St John’s College, Cambridge under its Director, Andrew Nethsingha.
A life in song
Herning Boys Choir consists of 50 boys and young men trained from the age of 8 or 9 in choral and solo singing, piano playing, sight-singing and aural awareness at the Jutland School of Singing.
For many of the singers, their years in Herning Boys Choir and the Jutland School of Singing mark the beginning of a professional career in music as singers, teachers and conductors. Many continue their study at conservatoires in Denmark, notably the Opera Academy at the Danish Royal Opera and abroad. Since 2001 members of the choir have taken part in productions for the Danish National Opera, including solo boy roles.
The choir has recorded a number of CDs and regularly broadcasts for Danish TV and Radio. In 2009 the choir and Mads Bille were portrayed in a documentary ‘En stemme for livet’ (A Voice for Life’)