Fronting the three choirs that make up the Leioa choral school is the conductor Basilio Astulez who is ably supported by the pianist Itziar Bilbao and by Garbiñe Abendaño who is responsible for vocal technique.
Born in 1975, he holds a degree in Fine Arts from the University of the Basque Country, with further musical studies in Vitoria-Gasteiz. He trained as a conductor on the courses organised by the Basque Choral Federation, as well as by attending other courses and seminars in Spain and Europe, working with conductors such as J. Duyick and J. Busto, amongst others.
In 1994 and 2005 he taught Choral Singing at the Alegría-Dulantzi Music School in Alava and conducted the local female voice choir Aiala Abesbatza. Between 1996 and 2004 he also conducted the Alaitz Abesbatza choir in Vitoria-Gasteiz, with whom he won numerous first prizes both at home and abroad, with one of them being the 2000 National Grand Prix for Choral Singing. In 1999 he founded the women’s chamber choir Vocalia Taldea, which has also won international awards (Tolosa, Torrevieja, Maasmechelen, Arezzo, Cork...).
He has taught Choral Singing at the Municipal Music School in Leioa, where he founded the Leioa Kantika Korala youth choir in 2001, La Kantoria young women’s choir in 2005 and the SJB mixed-voice choir in 2007. This young choral school is attended by more than 100 singers between the ages of 9 and 20, and has already been honoured with numerous awards in Spanish and European competitions (Tolosa, Torrevieja, Gorizia, National Grand Prix...).
He has conducted these choirs on 10 album recordings and on numerous international tours both in Europe and in the Americas, as well as collaborating with major soloists, orchestras, conductors and ensembles.
In 2008, he was awarded the special prize for the best conductor at the 47th C. A. Seguizzi International Choral Competition in Gorizia, Italy, for his work conducting the Leioa Kantika Korala choir.
In 2009, too, he received the special award for the best conductor at the 38th edition of the "Florilège Vocal de Tours" in France, for his work conducting the Vocalia Taldea chamber choir.
He currently teaches Choral Conducting for schools, universities and several choral federations throughout the country (Basque Country, Asturias, Murcia, Malaga, Alicante...) and he is often called upon to sit on the jury at competitions and hold courses and seminars on choral singing in Spain and Europe.
She has studied guitar, piano, singing and music teaching at the conservatoires in San Sebastian and Bilbao. She has taken part in castings for opera and zarzuela and has also held a large number of recitals as a solo performer.
She has been teaching choral singing and vocal technique at the music school in Leioa since 2004. Garbiñe supervises individual voice training for the school’s three choirs, as well as holding a choral workshop for adults and coaching several youth choral singing groups.
Born in 1981, she has studied music at the Higher School of Music in Bilbao, being awarded a Bachelor’s Degree in Piano Performance, whilst at the same time graduating in Business Management and Administration from the University of the Basque Country.
In 2004, she joined the Municipal Music School in Leioa as a piano teacher and became a member of the Kantika Korala choir as its accompanying pianist. This signalled the start of her involvement in several choral gatherings and festivals both at home (Basque Country, Catalonia, Andalusia, Asturias, Madrid...) and abroad (Mexico City, Italy, Latvia and Lithuania).
She has collaborated as accompanying pianist on courses held by the Basque Choral Federation, working with the conductors J. Busto, B. Astúlez and C. Pavese, amongst others.
She teaches piano at the music school in Leioa and accompanies all its choral ensembles on the piano.