The Student Union Choir of the University of Turku (TYY Choir for short, established in 1987) is a mixed choir of approximately 60 singers from all the faculties and even outside the university. In August 2016, Elisa Huovinen started his work as the choir’s conductor.
The choir’s repertoire mainly consists of a wide variety of a cappella songs. The choir can be found performing in Turku as well as other cities many times throughout the year. Traditionally, there is a quartet concert in January, a spring concert right after May Day (Vappu) and an advent concert in December.
The TYY Choir has participated in many venues outside of Turku. The choir represented Finland in the international choir competition in Coleraine, Ireland in 2006. The competition could not have gone any better as the choir won in the category of mixed choir and was given the award as best choir. In addition to this, Slavonic Tractor, a group of choir members, won in the female choir category and the Kanske quartet won in the Light Entertainment category. In addition to going abroad, the choir has also toured in Finland making connections with other Finnish choirs and also hosting reputable international choirs in Turku. The TYY Choir has two times participated in the student music festival in Turku, organised by Tomu, the Student Music Association of Turku. In spring 2008, the choir visited Stavanger, Norway where the Nordic student music festival was held (NSSS, Nordisk student sångar stämma). The choir held a concert at Madlamark Church and then performed Carl Orff’s Carmina Burana together with 23 other choirs at the gala concert.
Over the years, the TYY Choir has established its position as a keeper of a cherished academic singing tradition at the University of Turku. Included in its long-established repertoire are university songs as well as drinking songs. The choir has earned its place as an important part of University of Turku and Student Union celebrations, such as the TYY annual ball. There are also many small groups in the choir’s circle whose performances have become favourite numbers at private functions as well as business and community celebrations.
The TYY Choir has released five albums. The latest was the Christmas album Valoa (‘Light’), released in November 2008, which features pieces by, among others, Sibelius and Mozart. The 2004 album Pikavuaro Turkku (‘Express Bus to Turku’) depicts the theme of longing through the songs of Heiniö, Kuuskankare, Poulenc and Pärt as well as the poetry of Heli Laaksonen. This unique album’s content includes songs with and without words as well as both spoken and sung poetry. The choir was in the recording studio in 2002 when Juoma janon sammuttaa (‘A Drink to Quench Your Thirst’) was released, an album of drinking songs arranged for a mixed choir. The second album, Pelkkää ilmaa (‘Nothing but Air’), including J. Karjalainen’s songs for a mixed choir, was released in autumn 2001. The TYY Choir released its first album Calme des Nuits, in 1997. This album included music of the English, French and Russian romantic era. In spring 1999, Yleisradio gave Calme des Nuits the honour of best non-professional choir album of 1998.