THE PASTOUREAUX CHOIR

The Pastoureaux choir consists of sixty boys, aged seven to fourteen, whose voices range from soprano to alto. About twenty teenagers and adults support the choir by adding tenor and bass sections. About twenty members of the Pastoureaux form the Cantate Group, which develops additional skills for the keenest children, enabling them to tackle more complex or distinctive works.
The Pastoureaux choir has gained exceptional experience and an international reputation through over 1,000 concerts performed in Belgium and on international tours (the four corners of Europe, North and South America and Japan). Meeting their always-enthusiastic audiences helps them build and strengthen their skills.
This experience has included singing alongside José Van Dam and being guests of the Belgian royal family. Pastoureaux soloists have sung at the Théâtre Royal de la Monnaie in Brussels and the Opera Company of Brooklyn in New York.
Musical development and collective spirit are at the heart of the Pastoureaux project. The choir members meet twice a week to practise in their individual sections or in partial ensembles. The full choir, including children and adults, rehearses one or twice a month.

Repertoire
The Pastoureaux repertoire is huge. It includes not only works by the great classical masters (Bach, Handel, Haydn, Mozart, Schubert, Mendelssohn, Franck, Saint-Saëns, Fauré…) but also those of earlier (Schütz, Pachelbel, Allegri…) and later composers (Gershwin, Poulenc, Britten…), not to mention several lesser-known works from the Middle Ages and the Renaissance. The choir has successfully recorded several CDs, including Mozart’s Coronation Mass and Solemn Vespers, the Christmas repertoire and the concert repertoire. Their latest CD, entitled Around the World, gathers together a wide range of folk songs the Pastoureaux have picked up on their many travels.

Festivals
The Pastoureaux are often invited to take part in major music festivals in Belgium. Highlights have included a concert tour for the Festival des Flandres, a production of Benjamin Britten’s opera The Little Sweep, the recording of the Llibre Vermell de Montserrat (Diapason d’Or) for the Festival de Wallonie and finally a performance of Pergolesi’s Stabat Mater at the Musicales de Beloeil. Abroad, the Pastoureaux have distinguished themselves at a number of children’s choir festivals, such as Poznan (Poland), Lake Como (Italy) and the World Peace Choral Festival in Vienna (Austria), where they had the honour of sharing the legendary Musikverein stage with the Vienna Boys’ Choir.
The Pastoureaux on film and television

In recent years, the Pastoureaux have regularly been asked to take part in films and television programmes.
In 2009, they filmed a memorable scene with Kad Merad for the film “Protéger et Servir” and took part in a studio recording for Lara Fabian. In 2010 they were invited to the RTL-TVI studio to sing “Oh Happy Day” with Natasha St-Pier and to perform Schubert’s Ave Maria, which drew a tear of emotion from the programme’s guest of honour, Jean-Claude Van Damme.
In 2012, the Pastoureaux filmed several major scenes with Robin Renucci for the television film “Le Silence des églises”, broadcast on France 2 and RTBF. One of the choirboys even played a leading role.
In 2013, the voices of our young soloists sang Allegri’s Miserere in the film “La Marque des anges” with Gérard Depardieu and Joey Starr.
Finally, 2017 brought the great adventure of the first Eurovision for choirs. Belgium was one of the first countries in Europe to take part in a new variant of Eurovision at the initiative of the European Broadcasting Union (EBU), which wanted to organise a European choral competition. To represent Belgium, RTBF (Musiq’3) contacted the Pastoureaux, who will thus have the honour of representing our country among eight others (Germany, Austria, Denmark, Estonia, Latvia, Slovenia, Wales and Hungary as well as Belgium). The first “Choir of the Year” competition will take place in Riga, Latvia, on Saturday 22 July 2017, with live television broadcast on 3 and radio on Musiq’3.