Danish Boy Choir Costumes

Figure 1.--Danish choirs, like many German and other Scandinavian choirs, often wear sailor suits. This is, however, a fairly modern tradition dating only to the period after World War.

Many countries of Western and Central Europe have a long tradition of church boys' choirs dating back to the medevil era. The historic tradition is associated with the Catholic Church. Since the Reformation, the countries of northern Europe, including Denmark have developed their own choral traditiins.

Boy choirs in Denmark, like the choirs in Catholic countries, have traditionally been associated with churches. I have little informatin, however, anout the choral tradition in Denmark.

Danish choir uniforms have varied. One of the most popular styles since the end of World War I has been the sailor suit. This is in part because choirs in pre-War Germany sometimes wore military unifoms. After the War, the terrible suffering caused a reaction and it was not acceptable to most parents to dress children in army uniforms. The sailor suit, however, was long accepted as a boys' wear. Thus many choirs chose the sailor suit.

Information is available on one Danish choir. The Copenhagen Boys' Choir was established in 1924 and the Copenhagen Municipal Choir School in 1929. In 1953 the first senior class was established and as from 1973 the elementary level as well as the senior school has been open to girls, who receive a musical education similar to that of the boys. In 1972 the school moved to its present location in Valby. The choirboys are all pupils at the COPENHAGEN MUNICIPAL CHOIR SCHOOL, Sankt AnnŠ Gymnasium, which, every year, recruits musically talented pupils after their second year at school. The vocal training and the aural training is an integrated part of the normal school curriculum. Sankt AnnŠ Gymnasium is also the domicile of Sankt AnnŠ Girls' Choir and Sankt AnnŠ Youth Choir. The boys sing at the services in the Copenhagen Cathedral and after their substantial musical education they form the actual concert choir. Since 1932 the Copenhagen Boys' Choir has given nearly 700 concerts in the Cathedral on Friday evenings during Spring - and Autumn seasons. The choir has performed all over Denmark and abroad under the chief conductors Mogens Woldike, Niels Moller, Per Enevold, and now Ebbe Munk, and also performs regularly with the leading Danish orchestras, and with celebrated conductors and musicians such as Ernest Ansermet, Benjamin Britten, Rafael Kubelik, Birgit Nilsson, Nicolai Gedda, Andrew Davies, Michael Schonwandt, Leif Segerstam, Wladimir Ashenazy, Tamas Veto and Sixten Ehrling.

Figure 2.--.

Some information is available on individual choirs:

Christopher Wagner


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Created: November 2, 1998
Last updated: November 2, 1998