Her singing experience was not worth mentioning when Janna Barel came to study in Wageningen in 2007. But all it took for this student to jump into the bandwagon was an open rehearsal of the Wageningen Student Choir and Orchestra (WSKOV). 'Four singing voices. That sounded great!'
Its choir members have to study and put together an evening programme with music from contemporary composers within one and a half months. This year's theme is 'Magic Woords'. Barel: 'The music is fantastic; the programme is full of magic, unusual rhythms and rare sounds. Some of the music pieces appear to be rather vague at first, but everything falls slowly into place.'
The NSK is known for its rigorous and ambitious projects. Barel was therefore quite nervous at the audition. 'The decision to join took me that far. For the audition, I practised singing in front of friends and house-mates, but to sing for people who judge you on your voice and ability to sing was more formidable.' Barel was still feeling apprehensive even during the first few rehearsals. 'Do I really belong here? Am I really good enough?' she asked herself. But that's behind her now. 'I knew that it would be rigorous, but I hadn't expected it to be so convivial as well.'
Performances are given throughout the country, so there is no reason to miss them. Concerts will be held from 19 February to 15 March. Tickets are available at www.nskk.nl.