The Candomino choir is a youth choir from Espoo, Finland. It was founded in 1967 by organist and conductor Tauno Satomaa, who conducted Candomino until 2005. Since then, Esko Kallio has been both the conductor and the musical director of the choir. Candomino consists of 30 young singers. Candomino has triumphed in both international and national choir competitions by performing a broad repertoire of music, ranging from pieces from the Renaissance period to contemporary music. The choir’s latest rankings in choir competitions are the 2nd prize in the chamber choir category at Tallinn’s international choir competition in 2019 and two golden stamps acquired from the Tampere Music Festival in 2019. The choir has a discography of over 20 albums, and it has performed many premiere concerts of the works written by Finnish composers. In 2014, Candomino was chosen as the youth choir of the year by YLE, the national broadcasting company of Finland.
The Conductor Esko Kallio
Esko Kallio (b. 1974, M. Mus.) began playing the piano at the age of five at the Espoo Music School (nowadays called the Music Institute Juvenalia). In 2004, Kallio completed his degree in Choral Conducting at the Sibelius Academy with distinction, after which he has continued to hone his skills in various master classes in Finland and abroad. Kallio received the Young Conductor’s Award in the International Leevi Madetoja Male Voice Choir Competition in 2000 and the Young Conductor’s Prize at the Tampere Vocal Music Festival in 2003. In 2015, he was chosen as the Conductor of the Year by The Finnish Choral Directors’ Association.
Esko Kallio has worked with and conducted numerous professional and amateur choirs both in Finland and abroad. Contemporary choir music from the 2000s has been a particularly prominent feature in his repertoire, and his interpretations of musical works by composers of his own generation have won him critical acclaim. Mr. Kallio has also taught choir conducting at the Sibelius Academy and in various master classes, for instance at The Liszt Academy of Music in Budapest. In addition to Candomino, Kallio is the conductor of the Helsinki-based choirs Jubilate and Suomen Laulu.
CandoMini was founded in 2013 and consists of 35 singers between the ages of 10 and 17. The music educator Viena Kangas has conducted CandoMini since its foundation. The choir has triumphed in many choir competitions. CandoMini won the golden stamps at the Canta Al Mar choir festival in Spain in 2016, the golden stamp and the special prize for children’s choirs at the Tampere Vocal Music festival in 2017, and both the children choirs’ category and the Grand Prix at the Claudio Monteverdi International Choral Competition in Venice in 2018. In addition to competing, CandoMini has performed around Finland and recorded an album called UNI in 2016.
The Conductor Viena Kangas
Viena-Leena Kangas (b. 1988) studied children’s music education in Metropolia, Helsinki, and completed her degree in 2015. After graduation, she has worked with different choirs and studied choral conducting in various classes and at the Sibelius Academy’s Open University. Kangas was awarded the conductors’ special prize at The Canta Al Mar choir festival in 2016. In addition to CandoMini, Kangas conducts the female choir Kupliva and is a board member of both The Finnish Choral Conductors’ Association and Nuorten kuoroliitto.
The Training Choirs for CandoMini
The CandoMini Training Choirs are aimed at singers between the ages of 7 and 13. Founded in 2016, the singing groups introduce children to choral singing and teach vocal techniques through play and functional exercises. Children without any musical background can join Training Choir I. Training Choir II is for young singers who have some musical background and aspire to join CandoMini. The training choirs cooperate actively with CandoMini and perform annually with other choirs of the association.
The Conductor Emmi Saulamaa
Emmi Saulamaa (b. 1990) is finishing her Master’s degree in music education at the Sibelius Academy. During her studies, Saulamaa has focused on conducting, vocal pedagogy and improving her own instrument, which is her voice. Nowadays, she works with the CandoMini Training choirs, Helsingebygdens kör, the female choir Helmi, Chamber Choir Dimus and sings in the Vocal Ensemble of the Sibelius Academy.
Saulamaa sang in Candomino from 2010 to 2016. Candomino has had a great impact on her musical identity and it has also led her to study music and work as a conductor.