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 is a secular women's choir with 18 enthusiastic members. Directed by Alexandros Kavvadas the ensemble stives for perfection in vocal technique and choral sound. The ensemble sings an extensive repertoire ranging from religous to secular and from classical to popular music..
Vocal Ensemble Kerkrade was founded in 1976. From 2005 to 2016 it was directed with great enthusiasm by Louise Deal, until she handed over the baton to director, organist and singer Marcel van Westen. Whether singing music from the Renaissance or contemporary compositions, the ensemble stives to convey atmosphere and style of the music with an emphasis on textual interpretation, dynamics and musical expression.
Vocal Ensemble Kerkrade's musical highlights include participation in the Dutch Choir Festival in 1996 (resulting in a promotion from B to A classification) and in 1999 (first prize with honour), and winning the Limburg Choir Festival in 1997. In April 2000 Vocal Ensemble Kerkrade performed in Prague including an impressive concert at former concentration camp Theresienstadt. In 2004 the choir participated in a performance of the Carmina Burana in Maastricht (Netherlands). The ensemble was also part of a performance of Biber's Missa Salisburgensis to celebrate the 900th anniversary of Rolduc Abbey, Kerkrade (Netherlands).
In 2006 Vocal Ensemble Kerkrade again participated in the Limburg Choir Festival, obtaining a first prize with honour in the division Women's Choirs. This resulted in a place in the national finals which the ensemble won. During the Laureate's Concert of the Dutch Choir Festival in 2008, open to choirs from all divisions nationally, Vocal Ensemble Kerkrade was awarded a third prize .
Several major musical projects were organised to celebrate the 900th anniversary of the St Lambert Parish in Kerkrade (Netherlands) in 2008. Vocal Ensemble Kerkrade performed Rossini's Petite Messe Solennelle with Men's Choir Beeker Liedertafel and Mixed Choir Vivace from Weert (Netherlands).
In September 2009 the ensemble organised a concert trip to Rome where, in the Frizian Church, it performed the world premiere of the Missa Trinitas by contemporary Japanese composer Kentaro Sato.
The first professional CD by Vocal Ensemble Kerkrade was recorded in 2010, produced by Red Button Recordings. The double-CD called VEKsclusief was presented in 2011 to celebrate a double anniversary: Vocal Ensemble Kerkrade's 30-year existence and its 15th anniversary as a women's choir. Also in 2011, to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Dutch National Choir Organisation, Limburg province, Vocal Ensemble Kerkrade recorded the CD Kopstukken. The VNK received the CD with the Best Programme Award, the Audience Prize and the second prize overall.
Vocal Ensemble Kerkrade performed live in local radio programme L1 Culture Café and in a Saturday Morning Concert from the Mirror Hall of the Amsterdam Concertgebouw, broadcast by national radio station Radio 4 in 2008.
Vocal Ensemble Kerkrade performs regularly with other choirs and ensembles including Men's Choir St Lambert, Men's Choir Chèvremont 1912, Church Choir Sint Caecilia Kerkrade-Centre and the Kerkrade Symphony.
Het goede doel
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.