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Youth choir The Dutch Nightingales consists of boys and girls between 7 and 20 years old that travel the world to sing. Its members live within the wide vicinity of Oosterhout, a small town in the south of the Netherlands. Before joining the concert class, prospective choristers enter a training group, in which qualified teachers prepare them for their life as a Nightingale. The balanced but continuous inflow of newly trained singers ensures a constant quality, which accounts for the choir’s good reputation both within the Dutch borders and far beyond. The Nightingales’ distinctive sound is partly due to the presence of 3rd altos (boys undergoing a voice change), which lends a particular charm and colour to the many four and five part pieces.

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The Nightingales have their own choir school. Here young singers are trained in vocal and auditory skills before being enrolled in the concert class. They start out as ‘sparrows’, proceed as ‘titmouses’ and conclude their preparatory training as ‘finches’. After one or two years they enter the part rehearsals. The training class rehearses once a week. The concert choir rehearses twice a week.

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The Nightingales’ extensive repertoire includes both sacred and secular music. It ranges from motets, chorals and spirituals to songs from musicals, pop songs and songs that were taken home from other countries. It is a good custom to add local music from visited countries to the repertoire. The choir performs in more than fifteen different languages.

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