S:T JACOBS VOKALENSEMBLE
S:t Jacobs Vokalensemble is a mixed choir consisting of ca 40 singers from Stockholm area. Despite its youthful name, “SJUK” consists of members between the ages from 20 to 32. The majority of SJUK’s concerts and activities are held in the church of St Jacob (Saint James) and in the Stockholm Cathedral.
The choir seeks to give special and diverse performances on stage that are still firmly directed in Swedish choral tradition. We believe that classical choral singing can develop in a modern and interesting direction without losing its unique qualities. Since it was founded, the choir has been conducted by Mikael Wedar, highly experienced in teaching choral singing – e.g. at Stockholm’s Musikgymnasium.
S:t Jacobs Vokalensemble has weekly rehearsals, participates in Sunday services a number of times a year, gives concerts both in its own right and in collaboration with other musicians. The choir seeks to give special and diverse performances on stage that are still firmly routed in Swedish choral tradition. We believe that classical choral singing can develop in a modern and interesting direction without losing its unique qualities. The choir has received international recognition on several occations. In the autumn of 2012, the choir competed in the very honourable International Harald Andersén Chamber Choir Competition, a prominent competition held every third year in Helsinki, Finland. The choir managed to attain 3rd price. In November 2013, the choir took part in Tolosa Choral Contest in Basque Country, Spain. Out of five possible awards St Jacobs Ungdomskör won all of them and thus qualified for the European Grand Prix in Debrecen, Hungary 2014, where SJUK was awarded 1st price. More recently, in the summer of 2015 the choir was honoured to be invited as a hosting choir to the World Youth and Children’s Choir Festival in Hong Kong, China.
MIKAEL WEDAR, conductor
Mikael Wedar was educated at the Royal College of Music in Stockholm. He has earned degrees in conducting, piano and vocal singing. Since the year of 2012 he is employed as church musician in the parish of Farsta in Stockholm. During 2003-2011 Wedar was employed at Stockholms Musikgymnasium teaching choral singing.
He has worked as an organist and choir conductor since 1995. Throughout his career, Wedar has been working with some of the most notable choirs in Stockholm, among them Eric Ericsson Chamber Choir and the Swedish Radio Choir. In 2007 Wedar founded St Jacobs Youth Choir (St Jacob’s Ungdomskör), and has since then been its Artistic Director and conductor.
Within the choir, Wedar strives to build the organisation in all its structures: social, educational as well as musical. In doing so he has created a group that grows from its members, a “singer-driven-choir” not a “leader-whipped” one, where the individual singer and his or her voice and personality is the fundamental piece of which the sound and spirit of the group is formed. Wedar’s philosophy is to include the members of the choir in all aspects of the making of a performance - from repertoire to “walk-on/offs”. He also invest great value in being a director with great awareness and perceptiveness to ideas and initiatives that comes from within the choir – creating a unique experience for both singer and audience.