The 100 boys and girls that now make up the Tivoli Youth Guard are the current face of a tradition stretching back to 1844, when the world’s first youth guard was formed as a “Lilliputian Military”. After Tivoli opened successfully in 1843, its founder, Georg Carstensen, decided to give himself a Tivoli Boys Guard as a birthday present for Tivoli’s second season – and so it came to pass.
Today the Tivoli Youth Guard is a year-round music school for boys and girls aged 8-16 who have passed the entrance exams. The Drums and Fifes and the Tivoli Youth Guard Band are elite youth ensembles in their fields, while the Colour Guard specialises in the military tradition surrounding the Tivoli Youth Guard. At the same time, all sections are the foundation stones of the schooling and upbringing that the boys receive during their time in the Tivoli Youth Guard.
Like Tivoli itself, the Tivoli Youth Guard is well-known in many parts of the world. The Guard regularly travels abroad to represent Tivoli and Denmark through music and parades. The uniform of bearskin hat, red jacket and white trousers form a visual icon that instantly symbolises much of the good that Tivoli and Denmark represent.
After Tivoli opened successfully in 1843, its founder, Georg Carstensen, decided to give himself a Tivoli Boys Guard as a birthday present for Tivoli’s second season – and so it came to pass.
We hold auditions every June, and we need about the same number of children as those who are leaving. That means about 15-20 children a year. The Tivoli Youth Guard includes children from very diverse social and ethnic backgrounds – and from 2015, we will also start accepting girls!
There are always more applicants than we have room for, so if you don’t get in it’s no failure on your part. But it’s a feather in your cap if you do.