Géraldine Focant

Born in 1971 into a family of teachers, musicians, and music lovers, Géraldine Focant very early entered the academy of music in Soignies. This musician with multiple talents, who plays piano and flute, also received an organist training at the academy of Mons and studied at the Higher Institute of Music Pedagogy in Namur, after which she learned music therapy. She has taught music in schools and academies and held the position of organist in Soignies. Her musical studies and internships with Gabo Ugrin (Hungary) and Mark Deller (Great Britain) gave birth to her passion for choral singing, and her skills in music education led her to direct different choirs with a very varied repertoire: early music, musicals, world music. Since 1990, she directs the Children's Choir of Hainaut, which performs in Belgium and abroad.

Géraldine FOCANT
I created my choir twenty-five years ago, when I began my musical studies. It started in the small village where I lived. It then had a dozen choristers. I lead this choir on a voluntary basis. I have another job on the side. Every morning I work as a secretary for my husband. The children’s membership fee is used to purchase their uniforms, scores, etc.

Most often, we work in a schoolroom. We put chairs around the family piano. I can sometimes get a room in a school provided I spend half an hour before and after practice, installing and tidying the chairs.

My situation is quite representative of the situation in French-speaking Belgium. There are two worlds: on one hand, some great choirs attached to schools, on the other, volunteers. The advantage of my situation is that it gives me absolute freedom. I work two hours a week on Friday afternoons, and an additional five days each summer to work on artistic expression.
Géraldine FOCANT /