Meet our students: Gijs van Oosterhout

Meet Our Students Gijs_van_OosterhoutWho? Gijs van Oosterhout (20)
Zegge, the Netherlands
Tenor Sax (Jazz)
Played with the Codarts Pop Orchestra in the old Luxor Theatre

You’re doing the study programme of the Jazz Department, but tonight [22 March 2018] you’re part of the Pops Orchestra…
“That’s true, but I am no stranger to the pop genre. I play in several cover bands and in the Funkanizers, a real festival band that plays a mix of funk, rock and hip hop. The entire wind section of the Pops Orchestra is from the Jazz Department. We are part of the Codarts Big Band and we rehearse and perform all year. I joined them in my second year, but recently, at the start of the second semester, I gave up my place to someone else. There are only so many positions in a big band and everyone should get a chance. Now, for the Pop Orchestra, I make a one-time comeback, since all this was arranged a long time ago. It’s a very cool project. The orchestra also has a classical string section and it’s wonderful to produce beautiful sounds together with them. We also play funky pieces; then everyone is groovin’ together!”

Looking back at the past 3 ½ years, was it all you had hoped for, as a former student of the HAVO/VWO for Music and Dance?
“Absolutely! I’ve learned so much here about music and I’ve met so many people. That’s important to me, because after all you make music together with other people. My idea about what I want to do in the music world hasn’t really changed during this time, but it has become much clearer. You have to form a musical opinion, find out what you really like. Here at the WMDC we also have the Pop and World Music study programmes – I really like that. Jazz is my home base but I try to make it sound modern and to make crossovers with other genres. And here I get all the room I need to do so.”

Tonight, you will be performing at the old Luxor Theatre. Is that a first for you?
“It is, although I have played large venues before. For example, at the Young Art Festival in Beverwijk and the Into the Woods Festival in Amersfoort, with the Funkanizers. And recently we did the Melkweg in Amsterdam, so yes, we get those feet of the ground everywhere, ha ha.”

What is your favourite spot in Rotterdam?
“The first thing that comes to mind are bars… I don’t live in Rotterdam. I really only come here to go to school. Sometimes we go out for a drink. I like De Machinist, and the Witte de Withstraat is always a nice place to go. BIRD? Sure, I go there sometimes. But at night I am usually either performing or rehearsing. No, I’ve never really considered moving to Rotterdam. At home I can rehearse as much as I like – we live in a detached house – and if I have a gig somewhere, I can borrow my parents’ car. In 2017 I had 113 gigs, so it’s nice to have your own transport and not having to rely on trains or buses.”

Codarts to me is…
“… a springboard into the world of music. Here I am laying the foundation of my career.”