The history of today’s Vocal Group started in September 2002, although the idea had sprung from enthusiastic music lovers much earlier. They had been longing for a ‘band’ playing light music for a long time, where not only a cappella works but popular and jazzy music could also be part of the repertoire.
So this was the predecessor: the “Coffee Choir” – and its members played important role in the Veszprém
City Choir as well, who got their first sample of the Java Jive flavour (“… I love coffee, I love tea…”) at
Europa Cantat Festival in Herning, Denmark in 1994 with the leadership of Robert Sund. The Coffee Choir used
to entertain a great audience with Swing-Swing Band at Saxophone Café for years, settling vocal light music
in our town. The venture took wind rapidly, and more and more people appeared at the rehearsals, so the
occasionally working Coffee Choir gave its place for the Vocal Group that rehearsed regularly while trying
to maintain the “café” lightness.
The Vocal Group gives a great opportunity for its – usually secondary school and university aged – members to belong to a community where happiness and cheerfulness are in centre, and helps those younglings as well, who would like to test themselves in testing and playing music with others even without any previous musical knowledge.
The Group celebrated its 10th birthday in its family circle in 2012. They remembered the working days and the joyful celebrations of the decade. There were two regular programmes that didn’t match any of the two categories, because they are both real celebrations but work was essential, too: the late autumn two-day rehearsal camp and the other, the Zánka Singing Holiday organised every summer since 2003. In the past decade 100 girls and 40 boys got engaged with the particular branches of choir singing, where Handel’s and Leonard Cohen’s Hallelujah (the latter known from Shrek), Bárdos’s Dana-dana and the Zulu Siyahamba can live peacefully together.
The Vocal’s name was slowly learnt in and around the city; they gave performances at the opening concert of the Vivace International Choir Festival, the International Music Day, Christmas concerts and the traditional season final Family Concerts. The strict professional board of adjudicators acknowledged their improvement and standard with a higher and higher rank at the qualifiers of the Singing Youth Choir Festival – the Laudable Golden Degree, the latest.
During the short concert trips everyone collected unforgettable memories. The first one led to Vranov, Slovakia, then to Transylvania and Belgium, to Galanta and Kaposvár and then to Nyíregyháza and Szatmár county. Concerts, success, lifetime memories and a decision: if the young singers stay in Veszprém, they apply to the City Choir. The others apply to other choirs in different places where they move to because of their jobs or studies – the former Vocal Group members can often be seen in different choirs around the country. As our conductor, Ágnes Erdélyi once said, “We train the small and the young of the choir family not only for ourselves but for music.”