Meet our students: Martien de Vos

Codarts_Bachelor_Orgel_Martien_de_VosWho? Martien de Vos (22)
From? Ooltgensplaat, the Netherlands
Study? Organ, Classical Music
Year? Fourth
What? Is multiple (first-)prize winner of organ concourses. Her latest award was First Prize at the concourse of the Stichting Groninger Orgelland.

How did you come to the organ?
“My older brother was taking lessons on an electronic organ. I would hear him improvise, thinking: I want to do that too! But after one lesson I already quit. One year later, when I was 9, I started anew, and then I liked it. At the time, I took lessons with an amateur player who lived in our village – he had a daytime job as a bus driver. A few years later – by now I was in secondary education – I started taking lessons with Paul Kievit in Middelharnis. Since I was 13 I’ve been the organ player in the village church of Ooltgensplaat in Goeree-Overflakkee, in the province of South-Holland. Initially I was coached by an experienced organ player, later I could do it on my own. And yes, you almost have to be a churchgoing person to come in touch with the pipe organ. All the current organ students at Codarts have had a Christian upbringing. And Church Music is part of the Organ curriculum here.”

Codarts doesn’t have its own pipe or church organ.
“No, although there is an electronic organ. That is indeed quite something else. A pipe organ is much heavier to play and when you play it, you are much more in contact with the sound. For the weekly main subject and improvisation classes we always go to a church in Delft or Schiedam. Or to the Hoflaan Church here in Rotterdam. All other subjects – and there are quite a few as the study programme is very broad in scope – are taught here at school. Also the minor Harpsichord I took and the minor Choir Conducting I’m taking now.”

You are already – or rather: still – working as an organ player.
“Yes, I’m still the organ player for the Dutch Reformed Congregation in Ooltgensplaat and also for the Dutch Reformed Church in Mijnsheerenland and the Open Hof Church Pendrecht in Rotterdam. I hope to one day become the organ player of a big city church, for example in Dordrecht, Breda or The Hague. And perhaps I will study to become a carilloneur. In any case I want to do go on doing a Master’s following my Batchelor’s, perhaps in combination with a different study. Because although there is a shortage of organ players, you have to do other things beside: teaching – which I also learned here – accompanying choirs, conducting… I haven’t yet really made up my mind about all that.”

What is your favourite spot in Rotterdam?
“Well, I’m still living at home in Ooltgensplaat, but when I’m in Rotterdam I like being in the Open Hof Church Pendrecht, in the Charlois neighbourhood. They have a wonderful organ. According to my main subject teacher Bas de Vroome it is even the finest organ in Rotterdam. Like I said, I am the organ player of this church but I also go there to study. It’s always nice and warm there, ha ha… And I like the restaurant in the Codarts building at Kruisplein, for meeting other organ players and musicians.

Codarts to me is…
“… a place where I can develop myself into a broadly oriented organ player.”