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Stadtsingechor zu Halle
The history of the Stadtsingechor dates to 1116 when the Canonical Augustinian Monastery of Neuwerk was founded outside the city gates. Since then, the combination of concurrent school and musical education of boys has played an active role in Halle. In 1565, during the Reformation, the parish schools of the city merged to form the Lutheran Gymnasium. Its school choir, later called the ‘Stadtsingechor’, had the task of performing polyphonic music in the three main churches (Unser Lieben Frauen, St. Ulrich and St. Moritz). The choir also supported the choral singing of the community and would sing daily in front of the houses of the residents. In the 17th and 18th centuries, the Stadtsingechor performed regularly under the direction of outstanding cantors and organists such as Samuel Scheidt, Friedrich Wilhelm Zachow, who was the teacher of Georg Friedrich Händel, and Wilhelm Friedemann Bach. After the dissolution of the Lutheran Gymnasium, the Stadtsingechor transferred to Francke Foundation in 1808, where it is still located today. About 90 active singers sing as cultural and educational ambassadors for the city. If the singers are suitable candidates, they have the opportunity to be admitted to the music division of the Latina August Hermann Francke secondary school from the fifth grade onwards.
At the heart of the choir‘s work is the cultivation of sacred music, especially works of the Central German musical tradition. In this context, the choir regularly performs motets in the Marktkirche in Halle and the Merseburg Cathedral. Longstanding cooperation links the choir with the Handel Festival Orchestra and the Staatskapelle Halle. Boys‘ soloists regularly take part in productions of the opera house in Halle. The Stadtsingechor also takes part in the annual Handel Festival in Halle. In recent years, the Stadtsingechor has toured Germany, various European countries, China and the USA. In January 2018, the choir accepted an invitation to the Vatican, where, among other things, it participated musically in a vesper celebrated by the Pope. In 2014 Clemens Flämig took over the duties as choir director.