About the choir

Tallinn Children’s Choir, the predecessor of Ellerhein Girls’ Choir at Tallinn Centre for Extracurricular Activities Kullo, was created in 1951 by Professor Heino Kaljuste (1925-1989), who conducted and developed the choir until the end of his days. Since 1970, Tiia-Ester Loitme started to work with the choir as second conductor and she was head conductor of the choir from 1989 to 2012. The choir was renamed Ellerhein in 1969, on the 100th anniversary of the Estonian Song Festivals. Over the years, Ellerhein has become a choral studio, which includes Ellerhein Preparation Choir, Ellerhein Children’s Choir and Ellerhein Girls’ Choir. Apart from giving concerts, all singers receive training in vocal, solfeggio, and harmony classes. The choir uses the relative Kodaly system when learning new repertoire.

In June 2012, Ellerhein celebrated its 60th birthday with a grandiose concert in Estonia Concert Hall.
Since 2012, the position of head conductor is held by Ingrid Kõrvits. Ülle Sander is the choirmaster and solfeggio teacher, Egle Veltmann the vocal pedagogue, Kadri Toomoja the pianist and Sigrid Leppmets the manager of the choir.

The choir’s repertoire consists of both classical and contemporary choral music by outstanding composers from all over the world.
Ellerhein has been successful in many international choral competitions. In spring 2012, the choir took part in the International Choral Competition “Ave Verum“ in Baden, Austria and received Second Prize Gold Level. In April 2013, the choir obtained II place in the youth choirs’ category and Ingrid Kõrvits received the prize for Best Conductor at the International Choral Competition “Tallinn 2013”. In July 2013, the choir took part in the 31st International Choral Competition of Cantonigros in Spain where they won III prize in the female choirs’ category and II prize in the folk music category. After the festival the choir gave several concerts in Andorra, Madrid, and Burgos thanks to the Estonian Embassy in Spain. In September 2013, the choir took part in the festival Choral Crossroads in Limassol, Cyprus. Girls choir Ellerhein was singing at the MustonenFest 2014, performing music written by John Tavener with chamberchoir Collegium Musicale, conductor was Andres Mustonen. In July 2014, Girls choir Ellerhein won Grand Prix’ at the 53th Seghizzy international choir competition. In February 2015 Ellerhein performed Johann Sebastian Bachs grandiose piece“St Matthew passion” at MustenonFest in Israel. The same year the choir took part in the performance of H. Berlioz’s “Requiem” and Nargenfestival with Estonian National Symphony

Orchestra, Estonian National Male Choir and Youth Choir of Tallinn Music High School, conducted by Tõnu Kaljuste. In 2016 the choir took part in the concert series “Kuula: valgusest imelist juttu…” with Estonian National Male Choir and Youth Choir of Tallinn Music High School, conducted by Mikk Üleoja.

In the season of 2016/2017 the choir celebrated its 65 years of activity.

In 2017 the choir was involved with two concerts of MustonenFest. The first was the performance of F. Liszt’s “Dante Symphony” with Estonian National Symphony Orchestra and Youth Choir of Tallinn Music High School. The second performance was J. Bardanashvili’s “Askhava le Benami” with cantor Israel Rand and organist Piret Aidulo, conducted by Andres Mustonen. In 2017 the choir performed “Estonian Calendar Songs” by Veljo Tormis with Estonian National Male Choir in Tallinn and Tartu. In the 15th International Choir Festival Tallinn 2017 Ellerhein Girls’ Choir achieved the I place in the category of folk music and the I place in the category of equal voices choirs. Girls’ Choir got the highest points of all in the competition. In 2017 Ellerhein had three concert trips to Germany, Spain and Berlin. In Germany choir took part in Festival Kissinger Sommer 2017 and had beautiful concerts with The Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie Bremen and conductor Paavo Järvi. In Spain Ellerhein took part in 11th World Symposium on Choral Music in Barcelona. In Berlin choir had performances with Estonian theatre Theatre NO99 performing Felix Mendelsshon „A Midsummer Night’s Dream“. February 2018 Ellerhein Girls’ Choir had concert tour to Isarel in MustonenFest Tallinn-Tel Aviv where they were 2 weeks and had 13 successful concerts in different Israel cities with the collaboration of Israel Symphony Orchestra, Jerusalem Symphony Orchestra and The Israel Camerata Jerusalem.

Ellerhein Girls’ Choir is part of Tallinn Centre for Extracurricular Activities Kullo.