The Rotterdam Student Orchestra (RSO) is celebrating its one year anniversary with a jubilee concert on March 16th. “The jubilee concert will entail a small complication of the pieces we have played during our first year”, explains Coen Huisman, conductor of RSO, “it will include classical pieces of Mendelssohn but also several American broadway pieces.”

One year ago the Rotterdam Youth Orchestra was transformed into a true student orchestra, the RSO. “I believe this choice was highly appropriate, a student city like Rotterdam needed a student orchestra”, says Huisman a conducting student at the Conservatory Rotterdam


The first year of RSO has not been without struggles. The transition from youth to student orchestra has been especially hard for the management of RSO. “No transitions will ever go flawlessly”, says Ande Oey concert master of RSO and violinist. One of the challenges was the changing of conductors. “I feel now that the orchestra is finally started to get solid ground beneath its feet after the change in conductors”, says Oey smiling.

Startup year

Huisman has been the new conductor of RSO for about a month and a half. “I see the first year of RSO as a startup year and now we are ready for the future”, emphasizes Huisman. Sander Verkade a third year medicine student and cellist agrees. “We have grown tremendously last year, we now have to continue this growth.” Not just the quality of music has improved, “we have also grown much closer as a group”, adds Floor Paalhaar a pre-master care management student and cellist.


In addition many concerts at locations such as the Lion’s Club, De Doelen en Strijen, RSO also organized two weekend trips. “Those weekends were sometimes too much fun, but I absolutely think back on those as one of the best things that I experienced with RSO last year”, says Verkade. “Besides an orchestra and playing music, I made many new close friends since I joined RSO”, says Paalhaar.

Big future plans

RSO wants to further grow into a worthy student orchestra. “If it were up to me, within a couple of years RSO will have claimed its place in Rotterdam as well as in the national student music scene”, says Huisman. This year, RSO will not only be playing more concerts but will also go on tour in Italy this summer.


The jubilee concert will take place on Saturday the 16th of March at Erasmus MC. Tickets be reserved through: They can also be bought at RSO’s rehearsals which are every Monday from 19:00 till 21:00 and take place at the Erasmiaans Gymnasium.

More information can be found on the RSO Facebook-page or NdB