Notes from the Lowlands - August 2015

E.V.A. ambassador for The Netherlands, Joep Hopstaken, singer in dutch vocal groups VPS KeK and ZiPPA, reports from the Dutch vocal delta.
Vocal Dane Drain
Every year a growing number of young Dutch choir directors is participating in Royal Academy of Music in Aarhus/Aalborg, Denmark (RAMA) where they will be trained to introduce nordic choir singing in the Netherlands and facilitate other developments.
Danish music professor Jesper Holm, has moved this summer 2015 from Copenhagen to the south part of the Netherlands. Jesper Holm has accepted to be a dutch resident for two years where he, among other activities, has started a jazz vocal group called The Jazz Box.  Auditions are running as we speak.
Festivals to be mentioned in 2015 are
1.      Sunday 27th september 2015 Den Bosch Goes A cappella (dbga) in Rosmalen, a little village near a small southern city Den Bosch (not far away from where Jesper Holm resides by the way).
2.      31rst of October 2015 BALK TOP Festival. National organisation for singers in rhythmic choirs and vocal groups BALK organises once every two year a national festival BALK TOP Festival in Rotterdam where selected groups can perform in categories (Direct Mics, Small en Big Vocal Groups, Youth Choirs, Popchoirs) with different quality levels. For the first time is there also a competition for the best original arrangement.
Information is found elsewehere on this site: Information/Festival Map
BALK the national organisation for singers in rhythmic choirs and vocal groups, counts 400 choirs and vocal groups as member. BALK has a new leading director since october 2014, Pepijn Lagerweij, who is an ambitious and experienced but still young choirdirector and definitely a Vocal Jog supporter. BALK will remain its freshness. I hope he will be able to continue the removal of the barriors and dikes for international influences.  Chairman of BALK will remain Hans van den Brand from the Fontys Conservatory Tilburg.
The Junction At this very moment dutch vocal group The Junction is performing in Vocalmente Italy. We are very excited about their first CD that will be presented the 25th of september 2015. (postponed until October 18th official release in Paradiso Amsterdam).
Bob Stoloff will give workshops in 5 weekends between October 2015 until April 2016 in Rotterdam. Scat singing and Vocal Improvisation. Visit his site for more information. 
Keep eating notes, they’ll improve your health. Greetings from Joep, a squeaky old fellow from VPS KeK and ZiPPA, The Netherlands

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