The year of Aeterna
Lux Aeterna, eternal light. With two board members who have stuck around from the previous academic year, this is the most experienced starting board in the past 20 years. How useful that experience is remains to be seen, as the year is nothing like previous choir years.
After a year and a half of silence, the choir is eager to sing and what could be more fun than collaborating with another choir? Together with Belgian youth choir BEvocaL, the LUK performs a beautiful concert in St Michael’s Church, concluded by a joint work: One Voice. Delightfully romantic.
“Hello, I’m calling with bad news…”
As much as Aeterna would like corona to cease to exist and as vigorously as we adhere to measures, the creature lurks around the corner at every activity. During the autumn months, the university test centre becomes an almost weekly appointment and the contact-tracing phones in koorkot are rarely idle.
Fortunately, most activities go on without a hitch and when we do have covid in the choir, our activities organiser Hanne comes up with an original online activity.
The Muted project has been on the agenda since the summer of 2020. Compositions written by young, creative composers for the post corona world. Of course, when the time finally comes to perform the project, corona stirs up trouble.
New corona measures for amateurs allow concerts but not rehearsals. Eager to sing and convinced that it can be done safely, a creative choir member comes up with a solution: creation moments. The audience experiences the work-in-progress and gets explanations from the conductor and composers.
Muted‘s compositions are written specifically for this moment: the middle of a pandemic, the top of a corona curve, the moment when proximity takes on a radically different meaning. Everyone – listeners and singers alike – are sitting far apart, behind a mask. The measures are not a limitation, but define the music and the concert experience.
We perform three creation moments and four concerts in the Muted series, and each starts like this: “I am SO happy to welcome you here tonight at this creation moment/concert of the Leuven University Choir”. The president’s speech the choir has had the pleasure of hearing as many as seven times, but each time the words were absolutely heartfelt. For our president Elfie, Muted is the proud highlight of the academic year.
After two years of pandemic, covid finally forces its way into koorkot. Remote meetings, team building outside and a good dose of self-mockery are Aeterna’s chosen weapons. A few weeks later, they perform a satirical act at LUKkelpop – our free stage: Positive vibes.
Jauchzet dem Herrn
On this special schlager evening (read: cantus the LUK way), just under 200 members, former members and former conductors gather in the university halls to sing their way through the LUK’s 53-year history, led by three charismatic presidents.
The crowd that turns up at the spring concert would have been criminal a few months earlier. It is a delight to be able to sing again in front of a well-filled church. Meesters der Misdaad is the first “normal” concert since corona. The slightly less “normal” theme is criminal composers who have written wonderful choral works despite their dark personal lives.
Our treasurer Matthias is happy that the choir coffers are being filled again and our secretary Caroline is also happy that she no longer has to provide CO2 meters, alcohol gel, hundreds of signposts and mouth masks.
Fremd in die Fremde gehn
The choir trip goes abroad again for the first time in two years, to the beautiful Germany! Trip organiser Karel takes us on a wonderful journey full of (choral) schlagers, halbe Liter and Brezeln. We will enjoy bustling Berlin, pretty Potsdam, timeless Torgau and dreamy Dresden.
on behalf of Aeterna
Elfie Van Rensbergen (president)
Caroline Vanhoof (secretary)
Matthias Cruypelinck (treasurer)
Karel Aerts (trip organiser)
Hanne Van Winckel (activities organiser)
Kevin Hendrickx (conductor)