Conductor Javier Busto spent a weekend on the island and learnt about the choir programmes of Cabildo de Tenerife. The Basque composer paid a visit to the students at the Choir School, gave a master class in the course on Choir Direction and took part in a rehearsal of Auditorio de Tenerife Young Choir, thus giving his support to the plan of action for choirs established by the Tenerife 2030 strategy.

Except for the Basque Country and Catalonia, the support to choir singing in the rest of Spain is very low or non-existent; that’s why what’s happening in Tenerife, the public interest, is very important”, stated Busto at the end of his visit. “I was surprised at the excellent attitude I’ve seen at this auditorium. I’d be pleased to come back, it’s a real pleasure to work with people who want to work”, he added. 

His stay in Tenerife started on Friday with a visit to three groups of the Choir School, paying particular attention to students aged between 13 and 15. He was delighted with the experience. “They have wonderful energy, I was very happy”, Busto said.  

The following day he gave a three-hour master class at the fourth session of the Choir Direction Course of Tenerife Choir Network, where he took Kanta, kanta, dezagun, his own arrangement of a popular Basque song. 

Finally, he attended the Sunday rehearsal of Auditorio de Tenerife Young Choir, about which Busto said “it’s wonderful, well-trained and disciplined”. “I’ve been able to do what I’d planned and for a director, getting to do what he’d prepared for a group is great, as you can see their response”, the musician reflected.

Busto was concerned about the lack of an official popular song book in the Canaries and encouraged the attendees to make new arrangements of the music from the islands. In his opinion, “people don’t know much about music but when a choir sings well, they perceive something’s happened. Provoking that “something” in the audience is fundamental”. 

The director and composer highlighted the work done by Roxana Schmunk, (director of the Choir School and the Young Choir, and coordinator of Tenerife Choir Network), with the students: “This choir is very well trained in emotions and that’s not easy to find”.

Cabildo de Tenerife runs three programmes for choir singing: the Choir School, which includes four groups aged between 6 and 25; Tenerife Choir Network, a project encompassing 16 groups whose aim is to create a common platform to bring together and promote choral activity on the Island; and Auditorio de Tenerife Young Choir, set up in 2016 and directed by Roxana Schmunk. This group won the Canaries Choir Competition in 2017 and were awarded two prizes at the Festival Coros de Verão in Lisbon 2017.