Beek en Donks Mixed Choir

Beek and Donks Mixed Choir founded on 1 October 1950. By Wim v.d Elsen, Jan Leenders, Jan Meijer.

In the fifties the clergy was still in charge in the Brabant village communities. A mixed choir (boys and girls, men and women together in one club) was not possible. The parish priests of Beek en Donk would only give their approval if the four initiators would make sure that the ladies would leave the rehearsal fifteen minutes earlier than the men.

The first chairman was Wim van den Elsen who held this position…

Beek and Donks Mixed Choir founded on 1 October 1950. By Wim v.d Elsen, Jan Leenders, Jan Meijer.

In the fifties the clergy was still in charge in the Brabant village communities. A mixed choir (boys and girls, men and women together in one club) was not possible. The parish priests of Beek en Donk would only give their approval if the four initiators would make sure that the ladies would leave the rehearsal fifteen minutes earlier than the men.

The first chairman was Wim van den Elsen who held this position until 2 March 1982, assisted by Jeannette de Jong (secretary), Marietje van Balkom (treasurer) and the board members Jan Leenders and Jan Meijer.  After 31 years as chairman Wim van den Elsen was succeeded in 1982 as chairman by Lambert van Balkom with the assistance of Herman van den Boom (secretary), Louk Roozen (treasurer) and the members; Mieke van Grinsven, Ai van der Putten, Maria Huibers and Wim Swinkels.

The first member was Mr. J. Meijer

The first patron was Mr. René van Asten until his death in October 1986. Since 1989 Mr. Rob van Thiel is our highly appreciated and active patron.  

We started under the leadership of the first conductor, Jan Leenders, who was succeeded after a short time by Jan Lammers. After the death of Jan Lammers in December 1972, Jan Heesakkers took over as conductor. It was Jan Heesakkers who in 12.5 years brought the choir to its present level. Since Jan Heesakkers' departure on July 9, 1985, the choir has been under the inspiring leadership of Jacques Merkx. On 1 October 2010 the baton was taken over by Mr Fred Vonk.

Since June 1, the piano accompaniment is in the hands of Mrs. Jeanette Seijkens who was preceded by Mrs. Loes Maessen and the gentlemen pianists Theo v.d. Weijer, L. Brons and Ad v. Gorp.

Over the years the choir has worked its way up to the highest superior division and won various prizes at competitions. In June 1983, for instance, the first prize was won at an international four-day competition in Culemborg, where the then conductor Mr Jan Heesakkers won the conductor's prize.

Various trips have been made in recent years;

In 1968 an eight day concert tour through Czechoslovakia with concerts in Prague, Mariënbad and Karlsbad. 

In 1972 and 1973, concerts were given in various German cities, and the choir has kept several friendships with exchanges back and forth.

Highlights were the 1978 Eucharist in England's largest Roman Catholic Cathedral in Arundel, and 1987 and 1999 participation in the choir festival in Lindenholzhausen, Germany. Amongst a large number of famous choirs, the Beek en Donks Mixed Choir did not cut a bad figure.

Fixed annual activities are the performance in May in the church of Handel during a celebration and a choir festival with two other choirs.

An annual highlight to look forward to is the Christmas concert, which is often performed in conjunction with a string quartet or harmony.

Contact

Address:
Pater Vogelsstraat 29
5741JE Beek en Donk
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