In the Netherlands, in the mid Eighties, when the first courses for children’s choir conductors were given and it became evident what you could do with children’s voices, Marijke van Klaveren soon felt the need to start up a new children’s choir. And she did just that in 1990 when she started the Singing School of South Holland with just 12 children. She consciously chose to start with singing lessons so that they could first develop the necessary musical skills needed. In 1993 the real children’s choir could begin with 17 children. Pioneer, Marius Borstlap agreed on the chosen name of The Hague Children’s Choir.
From the start, Marijke van Klaveren was busy giving courses all over the country, including the Children’s Choir Management course at the Royal Academy in The Hague. In 1998 the road to a more professional set-up started, the most obvious steps being the appointment of Caro Kindt (now Director of the New Amsterdam Children’s Choir), the opening of a division in Zoetermeer and the appointment of Director, Silvère van Lieshout. After Zoetermeer came Gouda and then in 2005 a division was opened in Amsterdam, a good enough reason to change the name to Kinderkoor Academie Nederland (The Dutch Children’s Choir Academy). From 2002 onwards this is the name that was used for the national training course for children’s choir conductors.
The ever increasing growth meant that a reorganisation was necessary. This involved shedding the Gouda division, making the Amsterdam division an independent organisation that continued under the name of the New Amsterdam Children’s Choir and the merging of the divisions in Zoetermeer and The Hague. Cassandra Feith, having fully completed her training, joined the team as a teacher, conductor and Manager. This resulted in a flexible, compact organisation where the newly released energy could be put to good use by further developing the range of courses on offer and expanding the choirs.
In 2011 a new phase was introduced with some rebranding so that we could fit in with social developments such as continuing to develop individually and internationally. That led to a further name change in 2012 when the Academy of Vocal Arts came into being.