‘I had never sung before, but when I once joined the Asser Mannenkoor during a rehearsal evening in De Schulp, I was immediately ‘seized’ by it. Singing in a large group… If it goes well, it sounds so beautiful. It actually made me emotional. Yes, I was sold and have now sung in the choir for five years’.
According to Wim Art. The 71-year-old former journalist, living in Ravenswoud near Appelscha, can no longer imagine life without singing in the Asser Mannenkoor, which is celebrating its centenary this year. The choir is therefore busy rehearsing for the big anniversary concert in the Grote Zaal in De Nieuwe Kolk, where the 100-year celebration will take place on Saturday 5 November.
More members again
Wim Kunst has been part of the choir for five years, which today has over forty members. There were once a hundred. ‘Then you are talking about some time ago, but we have had new members recently. The aim is eventually to sing with around fifty or sixty men.’
The choir practices every Thursday in the neighborhood building De Schulp in Assen-Oost. Now more intensive than usual, with the anniversary concert just around the corner. Art only enjoys it, because singing has become his passion and life. ‘When I retired, I made a little list of what I wanted to (continue to) do. Keep doing sports – I play tennis on TV Amelte – keep using my brain – I became vice-president at Stellingerwerf College in Oosterwolde and took a Spanish course for four years – and started doing something I can’t do. At least, which I had never done before’.
I was sold
It turned into art painting and singing. Art, smiling. ‘Gerrit Eerland, former councilor in Assen and an acquaintance of mine, turned out to have been singing with Asser Mannenkoor for years. He invited me to visit De Schulp. And yes, when I first walked in, I was sold. And I didn’t expect that. Neither do the people around me. ‘To sing? You? An old hipster in choir?’ So yes! It just makes me very happy. In addition, there is great variety, we also have a wide repertoire. A mix of modern music and classical male choir repertoire. From Metallica to Russian folk songs.’
The theme of the whole evening’s anniversary concert is ‘Forever young’. It has a double meaning. Art: ‘Because singing keeps us young, vital and happy, but we also offer young Asser talents a stage this evening. Such as singer/songwriters Christy Boer and Adam Drong and the youth choir at Koorschool Drenthe.’
The ‘big night’ is fast approaching. Art smiles. The choir members are on edge, but are also ‘bloody nervous’. ‘We are now putting the finishing touches on it and you can imagine we want to make this a real happening, to appropriately celebrate our 100th anniversary with the public.’
Asser Mannenkoor saw the light of day on 8 June 1922 and is therefore a hundred years old. To add luster to this milestone, the anniversary concert on Saturday 5 November at De Nieuwe Kolk in Assen.
The anniversary concert starts at 20:00 and Asser Mannenkoor lets the audience enjoy an almost completely renewed and fresh repertoire. In addition to the choir itself, there is also a focus on young Asser talents. In addition to the choir, the following performances can be seen:
• Singer-songwriter Christy Boer
• Singer-songwriter Adam Drong
• Bombari youth circus
• Dancers from Danskwartier (Assen and Zuidlaren)
• Koorschool Drenthe’s youth choir
• Jan de Roos (piano), Inge Muntendam (violin), Mark Hidding (various instruments)
• Actors Dick van Veen and Wil Pieëte
• Golden Men (part of Asser Mannenkoor)
The performance is led by the director Marjan Vesseur from the theater group MV from Assen. The musical direction of the choir is in the hands of conductor Marco Warta.
Tickets for the concert cost 17.50 euros (including intermission drink) and can be purchased at www.dnk.nl or at De Nieuwe Kolk’s box office.
Would you like to participate?
Asser Men’s Choir rehearses every Thursday evening from 7.30pm in De Schulp on Buizerdstraat in Assen. Do you want to find out if singing is also something for him: come and take part in a rehearsal.
For more information: www.assernenkoor.nl or mail to firstname.lastname@example.org . Or call Fons van Tol, 0592 420360.