RUAMJAI   /   KIRSI KAUNISMÄKI-SUHONEN   /   CV

Ruamjai was founded in 2000 when a group of young singers that had outgrown the children’s choir Vox Aurea decided to pursue the art of making touching vocal music in good company. Sanna Salminen (nee Kivinen), the voice trainer and vice conductor of Vox Aurea at the time, began leading the choir. For the first ten years Ruamjai was a mixed youth choir according to international classifications (16-25 yrs) and hence filled an important place in the national choral music scene.

 

To begin with Ruamjai concentrated diversely on the folk song traditions of different countries. The choir’s repertoire was made up of especially Bulgarian, South African and Thai songs that lead Ruamjai to perform at the Kaustinen Folk Music Festival and teach numerous workshops all around Finland. The interpretation of early music grew to be another strongpoint of Ruamjai’s music. Classical music began to play an increasing part in the choir’s repertoire and Ruamjai reaped awards already on its first competition abroad in 2004.

 

During Iina Karjalainen’s period as conductor (2009-2015) Ruamjai grew to be an ambitious young adults’ choir with a fearless and skillful grasp on various kinds of choral music. Coming second in the TV programme Finland's Best Choir increased the choir's reputation and brought a crescendo in the amount of perfomances and new singers aspiring to join Ruamjai. The interpretation of the work of composers from our own ranks, Olli Moilanen and Santeri Kaipiainen, became a significant part of the music of the choir.

Kirsi Kaunismäki-Suhonen took on the post of the conductor of Ruamjai in autumn 2015 and has since led the choir to a new, even more ambitious direction. Recognition from various competitions and choir reviews has brought the choir new audiences, and Ruamjai has tried the limits of choir music with different adventurous projects, such as the making of a live soundtrack to a Finnish film classic, The White Reindeer.

Trips abroad

2017 Riva del Garda, Italy

2013 Stockhom, Sweden (co-operation with Plica Vocalis Choir)

2012 Bratislava, Slovakia

2009 South Africa

2005 Thailand (co-operation with Wattana Wittaya Choir)

2004 Prague, Czech Republic

 

Competitions and awards

2018 Culture award of the Finnish Cultural Foundation, Central Finland Regional Fund

2017 Grand Prix award in international choir competition In... Canto Sul Garda in Riva del Garda, Italy, along with the following acknowledgements:

- Gold certificate, level seven, and first place in the Folklore category

- Special award for "multifaceted singing culture, diversity of programme, and living with the rhythm"

- Second place in general mixed choir category A1 and Musica Sacra, with gold certificate, level four, in both

2017 One gold stamp and special award for the best performance of a specific work (Suomalainen by Eero Koivistoinen, to the poem by Jorma Etto) in the chorus review at Tampere Vocal Music Festival

2016 First place in the choir review of the Finnish Entertainment Choir Federation (Viihdekuoroliitto), and a special Grand Prix award for an outstanding performance 

2012 Slovakia Cantat: 4th place, silver certificate in the adult mixed choir series

2011 Finland's Best Choir (YLE), 2nd place

2011 Restaurant Sohwi's Culture Prize

2008 Youth Choir of the Year (YLE)

2005 Tampere Vocal Music Festival, Special Acknowledgement for ”defending human dignity, bravery, high artistic quality and interpretational accuracy” for the piece About People and Loneliness (composed by Sanna Salminen)

2004 Young Prague Choir Competition, 1st place, gold certificate in the chamber choir series

 

Recordings

2019 Vuo EP

2018 Kulo EP

2014 Talven taika (The Magic of Winter) CD

2008-2010 Recordings for the primary school music text book series Soi (Sanoma pro)

2009 Recordings for the music library of YLE, Finland's largest broadcasting company

2008-2009 Recorded radio concerts on Christmas and Mother's Day (YLE)

2008 TV-programme: Ostarin joulu (YLE)

2007 Shared Heart - Yhteinen sydän CD

2003 Häät (A Wedding) CD together with the drum group Wolandoo

 

Productions

2018 Live performances of the movie The White Reindeer at the Midnight Sun Film Festival, Sodankylä

2017 Live performances of the movie The White Reindeer in collaboration with Kampus Kino

2016 Creating a live soundtrack to the Finnish movie classic The White Reindeer at the Arctic Heat Film Festival

2015 Something About Finland, a dance performance accompanied by choir music in collaboration with the dancers of the Jyväskylä Educational Consortium

2014 I wish I could sing, I wish I knew how, in collaboration with the poetry group Sana-Sepot (The Poem Smiths)

2012 Soundtrack to the award-winning short film Of Your Wounds (directed by Nicola Piovesan, composed by Kairi Kosk)

2003 ja 2006 musical interpretation of Llibre Vermell de Monserrat, a medieval script, together with early music ensembles Yr Awen and Fiamma Lucente

2002 Häät (A Wedding), a performance combining South African and Ingrian Finnish wedding music traditions together with the drum group Wolandoo

2001 A project built around the traditional music of the South African Pedi Tribe: passing on the oral tradition lead by teachers Motjatji Tladi and Eunice Mphelane, a workshop at a conference of the Finnish Music Education Society and performances at the Kaustinen Folk Music Festival

 

 

 

© MUSIIKKIYHDISTYS RUAMJAI RY 2015

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