A VUKoor Timeline

Steven Pemberton, CWI Amsterdam

Version: 2022-12-01.


2020: VU-Koor 65 years

A celebration that didn't happen

65 years mug


Two failed attempts to start a choir, once under AJ de Graaf, and then Henk J Smit


A male choir is formed to celebrate 75 years VU under Simon C Jansen

Enthusiasm to keep it going.

Becomes ~40 members. Very few women!

What we now know as ACC was called SAUL. The choir was called SAUL-koor.

Rehearsals in the Westerkerk 17:00 Wednesdays


Rehearsals move to Keizersgrachtkerk, and then the gym of Woltjersgymnasium, 17:00 Tuesdays

Committee has 3 members

Money comes from contributions and "Civitasraad"

The conductor is paid per rehearsal, and is not an employee


New conductor Reinhardt van Randwijk

Choir grows to 140 on paper, 80 at rehearsals

Very strict, no coffee break during rehearsals, so that no one can slip out!

Bigger repertoire
Mostly religious works

1964 Conductor becomes employee of VU


Koorweekend introduced

Repetitor added
   Bernard Winsemius  1965 - 1972
   René  Eckhardt 1972-3
   Leo van Doeselaar 1973-77

VU Lustrum 1965: Johannus, then Carmina

Very formal:

    Committee is elected
    The committee positions have Latin names
    They wear ribbons
    There is a failed (too expensive) experiment to have a choir uniform

1968 Kamerkoor is created as a sub-choir. To be a member, you also have to be a member of the main choir.


1970(Until 1988, choir members are legally children if they are under 21)

Rehearsals move to Goede Herderkerk

Capella Amsterdam splits off and becomes professional choir

An LP is recorded

A portable pipe organ is built for the choir (apparently still at ACC)

The choir has moved with the times and become less strict


Rehearsals move to Balletzaal Uilenstede (still Tuesdays 17:00)

SAUL changes its name to ACC

SAUL-koor renames briefly to ACC-koor and then to VU-Koor


Sam ten Velden takes over

Rehearsals still in Balletzaal

More modern repertoire

Committee is 6 people

Kamerkoor has died, but is resurrected by Sam 1976; it gets its own committee; still double membership

1977 Sam leaves because of other commitments


Huub Kerstens takes over

Repetitor Cor de Jong 1977 - 1985

Rehearsals in Kerkzaal 17:00

Very Modern and NL music
Still no selection for entry

No elections for bestuur

Recordings of concerts start
Concerts have free clothing choice

A Koorkrant is started for communications (continues until 1995)

Choir performs in Holland festival for 3 years
Broadcast on Radio Denmark 1982

Choir has a stall at the Uitmarkt (until amateur groups are banned in the 90's)

1980 Kamerkoor double membership ends


Sam ten Velden is back

Rehearsals in Kerkzaal of hoofdgebouw Tuesdays 17:00

20th Century music

The choir also commissions some pieces

Film Momento


1985 first celebration of a lustrum (30th); jubileumboek

Promo video, and LP as VU gift

1985 Repetitor Piet Hulsbos -1988

1988 repetitor Abigail Lumsden - 2004

1988 Age of majority becomes 18 (from 21)


I join the choir



Rehearsal in Kerkzaal

1990 second celebration of lustrum, with an open podium and jubilee book.

1993 Open podium introduced at choir weekends

1995 - Internet, marks the end of Smoelenboek and Koorkrant


1994 and 1995 Düsseldorf

1995 Prague (also on TV)

2005 Italy (they come here, but not enough are able to go there)

2007 Normandy




The first digital photo of the choir, 2002Prestatiebeurs is introduced, choir shrinks

1997(?) VUKoor becomes a course of the Griffioen

1997-12 Choir sings at opening concert of Griffioen

1998-01 Rehearsals move to Griffioen, still Tuesdays 17:00

1999-09 In a (successful) attempt to retain membership, rehearsals move to Mondays 19:30. Members stay longer, quality improves.

2004-06: Abby Lumsden's last concert
2004 - 2016 Hans van Beelen new repetitor


50th anniversary event: Scratch Carmina at Griffioen

Many old members of the choir turn up for the day

The first chair speaks

2005 50th event


A Piece written for us, Lotichius - A Native American Story

2009 Oct Sam 25th; Double CD Best of

2012-01 Sam afscheid, Carmina


Annemiek van der Ven new conductor.

As a result of world financial crisis, VU sees Griffioen as a financial risk; makes it independent.

But Griffioen sees VUKoor as a financial risk, so...

2013 VUKoor becomes a society

2015 - Krista Audere fills in for a season

2015 - Jan Aukes leaves after 38 years membership

2016 - Hans van Beelen leaves; Jacobus den Herder starts as repetitor - 2022

2017/8 - Takashi Mizumoto fills in for a season

2018 - Klassifest in Paradiso

2019 - Amadeus in Delamar theatre.


2020 Covid 19 hits

A small group of hardkoor diehards keeps the choir alive with online rehearsals and lectures.

Zoom rehearsal


Annemiek van der Ven takes leave to follow a course of study.

Dody Soetanto fills in.


March: First live concert since December 2019, Verdi Requiem in Concertgebouw. Many choir members get Covid as a result.

September: New repetitor Jelena Popovic

Annemiek van der Ven announces she won't be returning; Dody becomes new official conductor.