Vaput, women's choir in Jyväskylä, Finland
Female choir Vaput - 111 years of singing
Vaput is an active amateur choral group singing a wide-ranging repertoire from sacred music and folk music to contemporary songs. The choir is based in the City of Jyväskylä in Central Finland.
The choir was born in an era when women still needed, at least in theory, a permission from their husbands to take part in this kind of activity, and in an era when most cultural activities were held in Swedish. Vaput is the oldest Finnish speaking - and singing - women's choir still active today. Vaput is not, however, in any way old and tired. There are new, challenging projects going on all the time which keep the choir young!
The director Mrs Ulla Kotamäki is a professional music educator. The choir works as part of an adult education institute of the Settlement of Jyvälä, Jyvälän kansalaisopisto. At the same time the choir is an independent registered association.
The choir has performed in several countries. The latest performances abroad were competitions in Italy in 2011 and in Spain 2017. Vaput brought home silver points.
A CD, Sydämellä, Vaput, was published in 2012. The CD contains Finnish songs especially composed for Vaput during a period of about 100 years.
Within the choir there are smaller performing groups. The oldest of them is Lauluyhtye Tuulantei. The choir and/or its smaller groups can be ordered to perform, see contact information of Ms Hilkka Heikkilä below.
Vaput organises several concerts each year alone or in cooperation with others. As Covid-19 is affecting choirs Vaput has had to cancel concerts and reorganize practices into smaller groups. Singing with masks has been challenging but not impossible. Anyway, the power of song leads us even through Covid!
Every First of May Vaput organizes a coffee concert. Even the name "Vaput" refers to the First of May (Vappu in Finnish). Throughout the history of Vaput, the choir has performed in the Vappu Day. Since 1955, that performance has been a coffee concert, a non-formal occasion of home baked cakes and plenty of singing. Year 2020 was an exception, and as the Covid-19 restrictions continue also in 2021 the Vappu concert had to be cancelled the second time.
If you know enough language to sing with us in Finnish - and if you can sing! - you are welcome to join Vaput after a short singing test.
Membership fee for Spring 2021 of the Vaput Association costs €34 (€68/year, students and unemployed -50%). The course fee of the Jyvälä Adult Education Institute is €58 per semester.
Please don't hesitate to contact Vaput! Send a message to the chair and vice conductor of Vaput, Ms Hilkka Heikkilä, heikkilahilkka() gmail.com.
Pages in English were written by Ms Outi Raatikainen, oraatikainen() gmail.com.