Welcome to Zangvereniging "Vriendenkring" Steyl
Some 135 years ago, on 4 July 1883 to be exact, a male-voice choir was born of the then "St. Sebastian" shooting club in Steyl. The old documents tell us that the choir was founded by men from the age of eighteen onwards, who sang marches when the shooting club marched out. Soon enough, some of them liked the singing better than the shooting, and this was how "Vriendenkring" (circle of friends) was born.
At first, it was just a little get-together led by the church organ player singing songs at the local pub after High Mass on Sundays. Soon, however, these singers felt a greater need to achieve both from a musical and organisation point of view. It was not long before the closed "Vriendenkring" developed into a fully-fledged association, which at the end of the previous century established numerous relations in its own region as well as in the neighbouring border region.
"Vriendenkring" is our town's oldest choir; its history closely connected with the history of the Steyl community in which "Vriendenkring" has always been a binding force. During the first half of its existence, the choir regularly welcomed great numbers of musical and choral societies, which were only too happy to attend the Steyl festivals, which were always well-organised. Such an event already took place at choir's first lustrum (fifth anniversary) in 1888.Through the years, many successful performances in the choir's own village, in the region or across the German or Belgian borders could be recorded in its annals.
The choir performed surprisingly well in several competitions and festivals. After World War II, the choir regularly gave concerts which attracted considerable attention and which featured T.S.O. (the Tegelen Symphony Orchestra) and well-known soloists
This way "Vriendenkring" made a substantial construction to the development and flourishing of Steyl and Tegelen's musical life.
Among a surprisingly great number of musical and choral societies (Steyl alone has as many as 10 choirs and bands!), "Vriendenkring" has always managed te retain its own special character, with an atmosphere that continues to attract young singers.
Through the years, "Vriendenkring" has also acquired an excellent reputation for its powers of organisation.
Both the executive committee and the members have taken many initiatives in many different fields, which contributed to strengthening mutual relationships.
Chronology of the youngest history:
|1972||Concert trip to Norway|
|1979||Concert trip to Israel|
|1980||Release LP "Singing across Israel"|
|1983||"Royal Medal" award from Her Majesty Queen Beatrix "Gold Plaque" award from the Associated Dutch Choirs Direct television transmission of "Missa in Hon. Sti.Servati"|
|1984||Concert trip to Italy combined with audience with His Holy Pope John-Paul II|
|1989||Presentation of our Christmas CD|
|1990||Concert trip to Portugal|
|1995||Concert trip to Finland|
|2000||Concert trip to Ireland|
|2005||Concert trip to Spain|
|2010||Concert trip to Slovenian|
|2015||Concert trip to Germany|
|2019||Appointment of our choir-master Jan Mertens|