Vocal Ensemble Kerkrade
"There are moments of almost heavenly perfection.
A spectacular ensemble that plays with the music."
VNK Limburg about the CD Kopstukken (2011)
Vocal Ensemble Kerkrade, established in 1967, has a special place in Kerkrade, the City of Sound. Since 2017 the choir is directed by the inspiring conductor Alexandros Kavvadas. The choir performs a broad range of choral literature, from Renaissance to contemporary music by composers from the Netherlands and abroad.
Some of the choir's highlights are:
In September 2013 Vocal Ensemble Kerkrade enjoyed a masterclass by the Japanese director Kentaro Sato and in March 2014 the choir worked with Jetse Bremer, who spontaneously wrote a composition for the group - which was performed in the prequel to a concert by the Dutch Chamber Choir in the Parkstad Limburg Theatre in Heerlen. In 2014 Vocal Ensemble Kerkrade was one of the organisors and a participant in a masterclass with the Dutch Chamber Choir.
In 2016 Vocal Ensemble Kerkrade celebrated its 40th anniversary, having operated as a women's choir for half of its existence. Highlight of this jubilee year was an exciting Christmas concert in Parkstad Limburg Theatre in Heerlen. The anniversary programme also included a project with contemporary composer Joan Szymko.
2017 was a year of transition due to a change in director, but in 2018 the choir was once again fully active under musical leadership of Greek director Alexandros Kavvadas. Vocal Ensemble Kerkrade proposed an entirely renewed programme with exciting concerts in the Limburg area.
In 2019 the women's choir took part in the Choir Festival Limburg, resulting in a first prize in the A category and a second prize in the festival as a whole. This score entitles VEK to the accolade "NKF Excellent Choir 2019-2020".
Unfortunately, early 2022, Alexandros moved to Brussels and for a few months Vocal Ensemble Kerkrade was directed by Paul Voncken. From September 2022 onwards, Patrick Vaessens is the new conductor.
Vocal Ensemble Kerkrade also looks forward to co-operations with, among others, the Symphony Orchestra Kerkrade, Vocal Ensemble Canto Rinato, the Organists' Association Kerkrade and Wind Ensemble Helicon.
The good cause
Vocal Ensemble Kerkrade financially supports the battle against breast cancer. From each concert ticket sold € 1 is contributed to the Stichting Pink Ribbon, a fundraising organisation which aims to increase awareness of breast cancer nationally and internationally. During concerts the members of Vocal Ensemble Kerkrade wear a "pink ribbon", the symbol of the fight against breast cancert.