top of page
MAVS shadows

Five free birds. Five feathered voices that merge and take the audience along in their flight. That's MAVIS. "Love is a thing with feathers" is a performance that pays homage to nature, love, and music in its most pure simplicity and beauty. With the Young Composers Program, MAVIS supports young creators in writing vocal music.

PROGRAM 2024/25

MAVS shadows

A varied a cappella program takes the listener on a journey through the history of vocal music. Clear Renaissance music engages in dialogue with close harmony and romantic pop music. Resident composer Hans Helsen rearranged the music as needed to tailor it to our songbirds, seamlessly blending all styles and genres. The result is a unique, extremely diverse, and colorful program accessible to both seasoned and inexperienced listeners of all ages. Step into the polyphonic forest. Experience MAVIS from the branches and fly along to the love for music that also connects our songbirds.

"Love is a thing with feathers" is performed entirely a cappella and is a one-piece program without intermission (approx. 70 minutes). Upon consultation, the performance can be shortened for schools, aperitif concerts, festivals, or other circumstances where a customized solution is needed. If programmed in a vocally friendly space, no sound reinforcement is necessary. In other circumstances, reinforcement is negotiable with the additional engagement of the ensemble's own technician.

Love is a thing with feathers

Love is a thing with feathers

MAVS shadows


Preparation in the Classroom

Students, under the guidance of their classroom teacher and with the support of an introductory booklet provided by MAVIS, engage in vocal music composition.


Masterclass Session 1
Vocal Composition

Hans Helsen, renowned choral composer and resident composer of MAVIS, visits after the initial preparatory phase for a masterclass in vocal composition to coach all participating students. Following this masterclass session, students finalize a first complete version of their piece.


Masterclass Session 2
Reading and Feedback Session

MAVIS visits the academy/conservatory for a reading session of the written works. In this session, students gain a better impression of how their work will sound. The feedback in this session is oriented towards artistic and vocal practice. What works well and what doesn't? What are the strengths and challenges for a choir?



MAVIS selects pieces from all compositions written as part of this project and presents a concert with these pieces. If desired, a combination of student compositions and other vocal music from MAVIS's program can also be arranged.

Young Composers Program

MAVS shadows
bottom of page