The Savannah Children’s Choir is pleased to welcome 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,” says Roger Moss, co-founder and executive director of the Savannah Children’s Choir.
Ms. 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. Co-Founder Roger Moss stated, “Ms. Wooten’s contributions to SCC as a conductor and mentor have been truly immeasurable. 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 the Savannah Country Day School from 2001 to 2014. 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 including 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.
Ms. 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.
Ms. 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 the 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. Ms. Roos’s 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.
Ms. 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 Masters 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,” Ms. 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.”
Ms. Roos is currently performing in Europe and will join the Savannah Children’s Choir to begin its fall rehearsals in August.