“Helsinki is a place where kids can enjoy hobbies and develop”
For many Helsinki residents, the traditional Christmas concert by Helsinki Cathedral’s Cantores Minores choir for boys and young men is part of the festive season. Most tickets for the concert were snapped up as soon as they went on sale in September.
Elias Evgrafov, 10, of Helsinki is now in his fifth year of singing with Cantores Minores. The A choir rehearses three times a week, in addition to which it gives many performances. There are several performances a week during the busiest period, just before Christmas.
“Practices can sometimes be hard, but performances always leave us with a good feeling,” says Elias.
The support of school and family is important.
“We support and encourage Elias. His teachers have also been very understanding,” says Elias’ mother, Olga Evgrafova.
A boys’ choir with a long tradition
Cantores Minores was established in 1952. Each year, almost 500 4–25-year-old boys sing and study with the choir, for which more than 3,000 boys in total have sung. Boys are admitted to the choir from its many applicants on the basis of auditions.
Elias became interested in singing when very small.
“We noticed this and thought that it was a gift that should be developed,” says Olga Evgrafova.
A safe, eventful city
The ten-year-old’s life is filled with school, friends and another hobby, water polo, in addition to choir singing. Elias loves Helsinki.
“This is a quiet town with lots of parks and playgrounds for children. It’s a place where kids can enjoy hobbies and develop. My favourite spot is Aleksanterinkatu as Christmas approaches – its Christmas lights and shop windows are great.”
“I hope that Helsinki continues to be a safe city which is good to live in. Lots of different kinds of events to enliven the city would be great. And free online access should be available everywhere,” Elias suggests.
Text and pictures: Heta Ängeslevä