Brief History of Vaput
Vaput is the oldest Finnish speaking women's choir still active today. The choir was officially founded in 1910 but it had actually started already in 1906.
At those times the language of the "cultured people" in Finland was Swedish. There was very little existing choir music in Finnish, especially for women. Vaput did a lot of work to change the situation by commissioning and publishing new choral works in Finnish.
The name "Vaput" refers to the First of May, called Vappu in Finnish. The small group of the singing women that gradually grew into a proper choir performed to the public every First of May. It is a tradition that has continued ever since. Since 1955, every First of May there has been a non-formal coffee concert with home-baked cakes and plenty of singing.
Ms Alli Hannikainen 1910-1917, music teacher
In 2017 Vaput took part in an international choir competition in Spain and got silver points. Vaput also celebrated Finland100 with several concerts. One of them was in the Pyhä-Häkki National Park. About 600 people took part in the event.
In 2016 the song group Tuulantei published a Christmas CD.
In 2015 Hilkka Heikkilä, the vice conductor of Vaput, was chosen the vice chair of Suomen Naiskuoroliitto, The Finnish Association of Women's Choirs. The conductor of Vaput, Ulla Kotamäki works in the Music Committee.
Vaput published a CD named "Sydämellä Vaput" in 2012. It contains choral pieces especially composed for Vaput. The oldest songs originate from 1917 and the youngest ones from the 100-year competition held in 2010. The CD can be ordered from the choir, price €10 + postage (VAT 0%), email oraatikainen at gmail.com.
Vaput took part in the international choir competition in Verona, Italy, in 2011. The choir got a silver trophy.
Vaput was awarded the title of Women's Choir of the Year in 2010 by The Finnish Association of Women's Choirs. This was the third time in the history of the choir.
In 2009, Vaput announced a competition of new works for female voices to celebrate the 100 years of singing in a Finnish speaking female choir. The winners of the competition were printed into a booklet which can be bought through Naiskuoroliitto for €12. The CD Sydämellä, Vaput was born partly from this material.
In 2010 Vaput got the Jyväskylä Prize awarded by the Association of Jyväskylä. An exhibition of the history of the choir was held in the Craft Museum of Finland presenting the choir through dresses, decorations, photos, recordings, scrapbooks etc.
For those who understand Finnish, there is a publication Vuosisadan kuoromatka - Vaput 1910-2010, the story of Vaput in 362 pages.