For the very last time Music4all Haren: ‘More fun than the Jostiband’

For the very last time Music4all Haren: ‘More fun than the Jostiband’
For the very last time Music4all Haren: ‘More fun than the Jostiband’

For more than 12 years, Dirk Dijkstra and Martine Slager have worked with heart and soul on a unique music project. Young people with disabilities from Groningen, Haren and Eelde-Paterswolde made music with students from the Zernike College. It will stop after the last performance on March 2. The spirit is gone.

Dirk Dijkstra stopped as rector of the Harens Lyceum, then still Zernikecollege, 12 years ago, a name that Dijkstra and Slager still use a lot out of habit.

Martine Slager is also retired, six years ago she stopped teaching Dutch at the same school. Dirk (chairman) and Martine (treasurer), together with Marinus Verkuil (musical director), form the board of the Music4allHaren foundation.

Music4all is a unique music project. Since 2013, students from the Harens Lyceum and young people with disabilities have been singing and making music together in a choir every week with the support of students from the Prince Claus Conservatory. This results in a performance for sold-out audiences.

‘It just doesn’t work anymore’

Now the passionate former education people are quitting: “It just doesn’t work anymore. The dynamics have not returned after the lockdowns during the corona period. Finding enough children from the school is a problem.” Dirk and Martine think it is because children have more part-time jobs.

Especially in the evenings, because supermarkets are open longer. After Corona, students had left school or were in their senior year. The students at the conservatory have less time because they find their studies more difficult. People with disabilities also appeared to have more choices.

Rehearsals started annually in December and a spectacular performance was given to a sold-out crowd in June. The people with disabilities, people with an extra talent, Slager says consistently, came back several years. One of them is Sander (a son of Dijkstra), who was born with Down syndrome. Sander has participated every year.

Contact with colleagues

Some students also participated for years: “For example, Stefan van der Meulen and Joep Melis, who then went to the conservatory and then participated again. Or Sanne Wijnja, who is now in the musical direction.” Eric Luth, music teacher, made arrangements with Dutch lyrics to world hits by, for example, Tina Turner or Elvis Presley.

Dirk and Martine will not only miss the organizing, but also the contact with former colleagues. All former participants are invited to the final performance. King’s Commissioner René Paas and his predecessor Max van den Berg have promised their arrival.

Frank den Hollander and Peter de Haan, known as Rooie Rinus and Pé Daalemmer, are also participating again. People are very happy about that, because there is no other duo in Groningen that knows how to express music that connects so well. There are still 50 tickets available: .

Pain in the heart

Dirk and Martine quit with a heavy heart: “Finding new board members is difficult. It takes so much time and many shy away from it. It’s volunteer work.”

The current headmaster Albert Noord allows them to use the entire school on Fridays from 4 o’clock, for which they express their gratitude: “So much music is done there, really great. And of course all the Haren entrepreneurs who supported us.”

Martine: “It’s such a great bond with all those volunteers. I went to school every Friday afternoon. But on March 2, I will be proud, even if we finally sing our anthem ‘We remain friends’.”

Dirk: “I will miss it enormously and my son Sander even more. He looks forward to it every time. Yes, I’ll shed a tear, I think.”

The article is in Dutch

Tags: time Music4all Haren fun Jostiband


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