Sample: Studánka by Ilja Hurník
Jan Jirásek: Sanctus
CD sample: Czech and Moravian Christmas Carols by Jan Jirasek
Jitro Czech Children's Choir

Jitro is an award-winning choir from the Czech Republic. The choir tours regularly in many European, Asian and American countries. Jitro takes part in international music festivals and cooperates with philharmonic orchestras. Choir is a complex institution with a membership of around 450 young singers ranging between 5 and 19 years of age. MORE INFO

Czech Children's Choir Jitro

Jitro, hlavní oddělení sboru
Jitro ("Daybreak"), main choir

Jitro, award-winning choir from the Czech Republic, was set up in 1973 by Josef Vratil. Since 1977, it has been directed by artistic director and chorusmaster Jiří Skopal. The choir tours regularly in many European, Asian and American countries, and takes part in international choral competitions. Jitro is a complex institution with a membership of around 350 young singers ranging between five and 19 years of age.

For 35 years Jitro has been admired all over the world for its tonal brilliance, superb intonation, distinctive rich blend of sound and energetic vitality. Jitro is today seen as one of the best children’s choirs anywhere in the world. Many golden awards and absolute victories have been bestowed on the choir by international juries. The list can begin with the prestigious European contests in Llangollen (Wales, United Kingdom, 1988), Nantes (France, 1989), Lecco (Italy, 1990) and Neerpelt (Netherlends, 1996) and finish with the recent World competitions.

In 2003, at the International Songs Festival in Olomouc, Czech Republic, the choir competed in six categories against 171 choruses from around the world and earned six Gold Medals and absolute victory (scoring even one hundred points - twice). The choir took part in the Fourth World Choir Games 2006 in Xiamen, China in July 2006 and competed with four hundred choirs from all over the world. Jitro received three gold medals and one silver medal, which attests to the continuing excellence by Jitro.

America’s love of Jitro was re-born when the choir was invited to sing at the National Convention of the American Choral Directors Association in San Antonio, Texas in 1993. Standing ovations were given by thousands of professional American conductors in the auditorium. An official response from Dr. J. B. Haberlen, ACDA President, “Our ACDA members will long remember your concerts, as they were a major highlight of the 1993 convention.” The excitement in this select audience of choral conductors and their sustained applause attest to this fact. Professor Doreen Rao of Toronto University commented, “Are you aware that you have just changed forever the character and style of all American choral singing?”

Jitro Choir makes over 100 appearances annually and has sung with other renowned choruses, including the American Boys’ Choir. Jitro has performed with the Bavarian Symphonic Orchestra, the Milano Symphonic Orchestra and Pardubice Philharmonic. They have performed in prestigious concert halls in Prague, Chicago, Hale, Strasbourg, Philadelphia, Houston, Washington, Baltimore, Tokyo, Bern, Barcelona, Paris, Fukushima, Dortmund, Toulouse, Atlanta, Ithaca, Penn State University, Avignon, New York, San Antonio, Dallas, Oklahoma City, Hong Kong, Basle, Hiroshima, Madison, Indianapolis, Cincinnati, Naschville, Osaka, Xiamen and many many more.

Artistic director and conductor Professor Jiri Skopal, Ph.D. is associated with the the Czech Girls' Choir (Jitro) since 1977. In 1982, he also formed a boys' choir. Professor Skopal has been a teacher, professor and the head of the Department of Music at University of Hradec Kralove. He has also published essays and choir education textbooks. Professor Skopal is the recipient of numerous awards and honors, including his selection by the American Biographical Institute as "Man of the Year" in 1993, honoring his outstanding musical accomplishments. In the year 2000, he was the very first person to be awarded the prestigious prize "Primus Inter Pares" by the City of Hradec Kralove for his outstanding contributions to the regional culture. Professor Skopal works with accompanist Michael Chrobak on many artistic activities for the choir, including the development of their repertoire.

Preparatory choirs

of the Czech Children's Choir Jitro
Jitricko (
Jitricko ("Small Jitro")

Jitricko is part of the Czech Children’s Choir Jitro, and for its singers also the last stage before entering the main concert choir. It consists of young singers ranging from 11 to 14 years, who already practice with the main choir. Its repertoire includes both monophonic and polyphonic songs from Gothic and Renaissance era to the creation of present authors.

Vlci maky (
Vlci maky ("Poppies"), 4th-5th class of elementary school

Vlci miky is a preparatory choir of the main concert choir Jitro. Children have regular rehearsals twice a week. Vlci maky are singing in joint concerts of all preparatory departments and also have their separate performances.

Skrivanek B (
Skrivanek B ("Meadowlark B"), 3rd class of elementary school

Preparatory department Skrivanek B is designated to choldren attending 3rd class of elementary school. During regular rehearsals once a week singers can deepen their knowledge of music theory, intonation and improve singing skills and performance skills.

Skrivanek A (
Skrivanek A ("Meadowlark A"), 2nd class of elementary school

Children from 2nd class of elementary school are singing in Skrivanek A department once a week. Singers gradually become familiar with the basics of music theory and intonation, receive basic singing skills, develop their performance skills and expand their repertoire of folk and artificial songs. Important activities for children in this choir is motivation and sensitive creating of relationship to music.

Svetlusky (
Svetlusky ("Fireflies"), 1st class of elementary school

Children at Svetlusky choir gradually penetrate into the mysteries of music and handle basic song repertoire. Through games children learn the basics of singing techniques and intonation. Through musical activities can handle elementary basics of music theory and gradually build up the basic repertoire of children's songs.

Broucci (
Broucci ("Small beatles"), preschool children

The youngest department Broucci is designed for preschool children. Through games children penetrate the secrets of music, learn many nice songs and try to master the fundamentals of voice training.

Jitro choir teachers (in alphabetical order)

Mgr. Veronika Benesova
Bc. Lucie Cerna DiS.
Assoc. Prof. Michal Chrobak
Mgr. Lucie Gregorovic Farova
PhDr. Helena Karnetova
Veronika Kladivova
PhDr. Ludmila Kroupova, PhD.
Bc. Veronika Nemcova
Lenka Plasilova
Prof. Jiri Skopal, PhD.
Mgr. Jiri Skopal, PhD.
Kvetoslava Skopalova
Mgr. Miroslava Smolikova
Pavla Stratilkova DiS.
Mgr. MgA. Marketa Stefanikova
Filip Tesar

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