The Savannah Children’s Choir welcomes Maaja Roos as its new Jean Faircloth artistic director. A veteran of choral conducting, music education and musical theater, Roos brings decades of experience with her to the Savannah Children’s Choir.
"We are thrilled to welcome Maaja Roos to the Savannah Children's Choir. Maaja brings a proven world-class artistic vision and furthers our mission of excellence in choral performance and music education," said Roger Moss, co-founder and executive director of the Savannah Children's Choir.
Roos succeeds Janet Wooten, who has served as artistic director since 2016. Wooten was the Savannah Children’s Choir’s first Jean Faircloth artistic director, and led the choir through a number of exceptional experiences, including trips to Ireland and France.
“Wooten’s contributions to SCC as a conductor and mentor have been truly immeasurable," Moss said. "She has created a legacy that we will carry on as we continue to mold our children into responsible, creative and confident leaders through a world-class musical education.”
Originally from New York, Roos arrival in Savannah is a homecoming, having served as choral director at Savannah Country Day School from 2001-14. During her time at Savannah Country Day School, Roos led her choir on concert tours of Spain, France, Santa Fe, Boston, New York and Atlanta. She secured opportunities for students to include the distinct honor of performing at Lincoln Center and Carnegie Hall.
While in her role at Savannah Country Day School, Roos founded Savannah Youth Sings, an annual celebration of choral music for young singers of every socio-economic and schooling background. During her tenure, they performed to benefit the victims of the Japanese Fukushima nuclear disaster, followed by the earthquake in Haiti.
Roos began her career in New York public and private schools, including the Brearley School and the Nightingale-Bamford School, where she served as head of music for 10 years. Her Nightingale-Bamford choir toured England and Italy, earning the top prize of Silver Medal at the International Choral Festival in Rome.
Roos was asked to form the International SIPA chorale at Columbia University, where she served as an adjunct professor and additionally was a visiting professor at St. Paul’s Girls’ School in London. She worked as a music instructor at Savannah College of Art and Design, and most recently took the Deerfield Academy choir and orchestra on tour to South Korea and Hong Kong. Roos’ academic choirs have been invited to perform at the American Choral Directors Association conference. She has conducted at numerous choral festivals, presiding over 2,000 singers at Estonian song festivals.
Roos herself is an accomplished concert pianist, and has recorded for NPR, WNYC and WQXR. She studied chamber music and conducting at the Juilliard School, and holds master's degrees in music performance and music education from the Manhattan School of Music. She is certified in Kodaly, Orff and Dalcroze teaching methods, and is fluent in French, German and Estonian.
“I have spent my career empowering children through music,” Roos said, adding, “I can think of no better place to continue this work than at the Savannah Children’s Choir, in my adopted home city of Savannah.”
Roos is performing in Europe and will join the Savannah Children’s Choir to begin its fall rehearsals in August.
About the Savannah Children’s Choir
Founded in 2006, The Savannah Children’s Choir is a nonprofit, community supported choral organization whose mission is to unite, mentor and transform Savannah’s children into responsible, creative and confident leaders through excellence in choral performance and music education.
Designed for K-8 students, the SCC delivers weekly music education to auditioned members in one of four choirs: Discovery, Apprentice, Prep and Premier. The SCC is known for its annual summer camp program held in July. This program pairs talented instructors earning advanced degrees in music education and related fields from top colleges and universities across the nation with children in Savannah.
The Faircloth family has endowed the artistic director position in loving memory of Jean Faircloth, a longtime supporter and ambassador of the SCC.
The choir is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit community choir administered by a volunteer board of directors. For more information, or to donate go to savannahchoir.org.