The European Estonians Choir (EEC)
The European Estonians Choir (EEC) was established in the summer of 2007 at Sangaste Castle in the south of Estonia. The forerunner of the choir was the Estonian Mixed Voice Choir in Germany established in 2003 who, after participating successfully in the Estonian National Song Festival of 2004, asked Estonians from other European countries to join them in order to form a new pan-European Estonian choir.
Singers come from 14 different nations: Austria, Belgium, Estonia, Spain, the Netherlands, Luxembourg, Kazakhstan, France, Sweden, Germany, Finland, Great Britain, Switzerland and the Czech Republic. At present, the choir is preparing approximately 150 singers to take part in the 26th Estonian National Song Festival in 2019.
The EEC has participated in the last two Estonian National Song Festivals (in 2014 as one of the select choirs). They have also taken part in Estonian cultural events in Belgium, Germany, Luxembourg, The Czech Republic, Great Britain, Canada, USA, Sweden, Finland, the Netherlands and Estonia.
In the autumn of 2016, the EEC gain its first experience of an international competition at the Interkultur Choir Festival ‘Canta al Mar’ in Calella. Other participants wondered how was possible for a choir which only rehearses during a few weekends each year to compete at such a festival? For people who are unable to exist without singing in Estonian and who are prepared to sing for long days and nights, it is very simple. The oldest member of the choir is 70 but with her youthful energy, she is a wonderful example to everyone. Her granddaughter also sings in the choir. The choir boasts several families with members from several generations and there is no need to fear for the future as over 100 young people sing in the European Estonian youth and children’s choirs.
The EEC has also given concerts together with well-known Estonian musicians such as Olav Ehala, Ivo Linna and Antti Kammiste, Jaanus Nõgisto and Tõnu Timm and the band, Curly Strings. The choir also enjoys a longstanding successful collaboration with Haaslava Male Voice Choir from Estonia.
The EEC’s conductors for 2018 are Kalev Lindal and Elo Tammsalu-Schmitz.
The EEC’s accompanist is Aita Sibul who works in Germany as a piano teacher.
The president of the EEC is Mare Rahkema and the manager and assistant conductor is Anneli Aken.