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April 7, 2023

'Music is a profession, a job, and fortunately, people from Zwolle are increasingly recognising that'

He is a producer, conductor and arranger. Bouke Ansing lived almost all his life in Friesland but moved to Zwolle to study Music Teacher Education. The end of his student days is in sight, and his finals performance is getting closer as a result. With a concert with 50 of his closest music friends, Bouke crowns his period at the ArtEZ Conservatoire in Zwolle. "I want to go big" 

When he does something, he does it well. He has always been a controller, Bouke says. Combining this with his love for music, the student soon found out that he could earn money from this. "With friends, I founded the ArtEZ Poporkest during my student days. That was a big hit, and it still is." He was also involved in the Dutch Student Jazz Orchestra and participated in the Summer Orchestra Netherlands.

From score reading to musical leadership

An entrepreneurial attitude has always been in Bouke's mind. And fortunately, during his studies he was given enough space to further develop this skill. "At one point I very consciously decided to add an extra year to my studies. I wanted to discover things, to undertake. And that was possible. They saw that it made me very happy." Within the music teaching profession, Bouke's main interest was conducting. "And then the skills you learn during the course come in very handy. For example: being in front of large groups of people and musical leadership. I also learned a lot about music theory and how to read and arrange a score."

Making music together

With With a Little Help from my Friends in Theater de Spiegel in Zwolle, he closes his student days at ArtEZ in a big way. With his final project, Bouke shows how he has developed personally and musically, and how important it is to work together. "If I may quote Hendrik Jan Bökkers: 'Making music is mainly about having fun'. But joking around by yourself is a bit boring anyway, so I gathered 50 of my closest friends to show how beautiful it is to make music together." Bouke describes it as an orchestral journey with friends accompanied by pop, funk and soul music. "Conducted by me. And meanwhile, I tell great stories and anecdotes."

He always had a penchant for big productions, says Bouke. "Visitors are inspired with an energetic performance from which love and passion radiates. Even the people behind the scenes are friends of mine." So who he definitely wanted to have there was Johan van Loo. The fact that this sound engineer also works at ArtEZ, characterises the strength of the commuity within the Conservatory. "I also know from Johan that he can handle such a big production," says Bouke. Whether he is nervous about showing his final work? "It does keep me awake sometimes," he admits. "But partly also out of enthusiasm. Of course, I also think: have I thought about this and this? But once we are playing in the theatre, you can't turn it back anyway. What happens, that happens."

Impact on Zwolle

One of Bouke's long-term goals is to create a better music climate in Zwolle. In particular, his involvement with Het Gilde Live Zwolle Foundation, where he promotes live music as a producer of musical projects, and the ArtEZ Poporkest contribute to this. "Music is a profession, a job. And it's nice to see that Zwolle residents are increasingly looking at it this way." What his plans are for after graduation? "This summer I'm going to produce the Young Metropole Orchestra," Bouke explains. "Eventually, I hope one day to be able to make big, professional productions. Even crazier and more artistic, because I think I can still learn a lot about décor and lighting, for example."

What he wants to impart to students? Simple: that success stories do not necessarily come from students who graduate within four years. "By that, I mean that you should take the time to explore your student days and, in my case, muddle along professionally. What do you enjoy doing? After all, your student time is a bit of a playground where you can try out a lot and have few obligations. Enjoy that and, above all, feel no rush."

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