The Utrecht Student Choir and Orchestra (USKO) is one of the largest and most well-known student music ensembles in the Netherlands. The main objective of the USKO is to encourage students in the practice of and love for music. At present the choir and orchestra consist of about 130 members, mainly students at Utrecht University and Hogeschool Utrecht. The USKO occupies a unique place within the Dutch music world because of the combination of a relatively large choir and orchestra, the youthfulness and enthusiasm of its members and the high quality of the performances.
The works of J.S. Bach play an important role in both the history and the present of the USKO. Shortly after the foundation of the USKO in 1945, a tradition was started of performing three of Bach’s greatest works in a three-year cycle: the Mass in B-minor, St. Matthew’s Passion and St. John’s Passion. In January, the rehearsals of that year’s Bach piece start with a rehearsal camp. After several concerts in the Netherlands, the Bach project is completed with an international tour. For over 70 years now, the music of J.S. Bach has formed the heartbeat of our choir and orchestra.
Besides the Bach repertoire the USKO performs two other programmes each year. In these concerts, we aim at presenting a varied (classical) program. In recent years we performed music of well-known composers like Mozart, Beethoven, Verdi, Brahms and Britten.