Academic Male Choir of Tallinn University of Technology

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Academic Male Choir of Tallinn University of Technology


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The Academic Male Choir of Tallinn University of Technology (TAM) has been active since 1945. Nearly 100 men sing in this chorus, the majority of them being students, faculty or alumni of the university. The chorus, with its high musical standard and active social life, has a diverse repertoire, which ranges from classical masterpieces to the classics of easy listening, marching and college songs.

Without doubt, TAM belongs to highest top of Estonian choirs. TAM has worked closely with the Estonian National Symphony Orchestra (ERSO), orchestra of the prestigious theatre “Estonia”, the Concert Orchestra of the Estonian Radio, and the Estonian Border Guard Orchestra. TAM has also contributed to enriching Estonian music, as many new pieces have been ordered for the choir from numerous Estonian composers. The rector of Tallinn University of Technology, Andres Keevallik, who is an honorary member of TAM from 2003, even claims that the choir is the crown jewel of the technical university.

TAM has released many audio cassettes, 13 CDs, 5 DVDs and a video cassette about the choir’s tour to the Republic of South-Africa. In 2005, the national television channel — ETV — released a documentary film about TAM. The chorus has also taken part in various competitions and has been awarded with many prizes around the world.

In recent years TAM has been on tours in Sweden (2011), Finland (2010) Norway (2008), South Africa (2006), Georgia (2006) Korea (2002), Russia (2000), USA and Canada (2000), New Zealand and Australia (1998) and also in Latvia, Lithuania etc.

In addition to the popular Christmas Concerts in the medieval Kaarli Church — the biggest in Estonia — TAM added a spring concert series to its program tradition in 2001. These concerts have developed into large stage shows, where in addition to singing, men are able to show off their acting and performing skills. TAM has spiced those shows up by adding other exciting elements, such as non-traditional arrangements and guest soloists.

TAM at present is a vibrant organization that is always looking ahead to the future. The choir has 5 core values, which help to keep its goals clear. Two are directly related to concerts: they focus on each singer giving his best for the audience and also the quality of singing. Two are linked to fraternal spirit, focusing on academic traditions and being organized. The fifth is keeping it light with a positive attitude towards everything, which fosters all of TAM’s activities.

In 2003, the Fund for the Academic Male Choir of Tallinn University of Technology was established as a part of the Estonian National Culture Foundation. The Fund pays a stipend to TAM members and supporters who have helped TAM to develop its core values.

The Academic Male Choir of TUT is the founding member of the Estonian Male Choirs Association. It’s conductors are Peeter Perens and Siim Selis. All in all, the choir has provided 67 years of challenge, entertainment and pleasure for the singers, their families, and the public at large.

Estonia

The Republic of Estonia lies in Northern Europe, in the northeastern part of the Baltic Sea region. The population of Estonia is about 1.3 million people, amongst them ca 1 million ethnic Estonians and a Russian-speaking minority. The capital of the Estonia is Tallinn.

The Estonian language belongs to the Finno-Ugric language group and is closely related to Finnish. Estonia itself lies on the same latitude in Europe as central Sweden and the northern tip of Scotland. In North America, the middle latitude of Estonia passes through the Labrador Peninsula and southern coast of Alaska. However, due to the influence of the Atlantic Ocean and the Gulf Stream, the weather in Estonia is considerably milder than the continental climate characteristic of the same latitude.

From 13th to the beginning of 20th century, Estonia has been a part of Germany, Denmark, Poland, Sweden and Russia, and has also been independent. Estonia gained its independence in 1918, but peaceful development could last only for 20 years. In 1940, troops from the former Soviet Union occupied Estonia, abolishing its independence and establishing the Soviet order. A year later began the German occupation. In September 1944, the German fascist occupation was once again replaced by the Soviet occupation. In 1991, the people of Estonia restored their nation’s independence and democracy. In 1994, the last troops of the Russian army were finally deported and the Second World War had come to its end for Estonia.

Estonia today is the fastest developing country in the Baltics. Estonia is a member both the European Union and NATO (North Atlantic Treaty Organization).

The term “the singing nation” expresses well the Estonians' identity that has united the nation in struggle for national independence and democracy till 1918 and during the period of the Soviet Occupation (1941-1991).

Out of the many things, music is one the best that Estonia has to offer to the world. The media has half-jokingly called music the most powerful “export article”, the most significant trademark of a small state.

Republic of Estonia

Area
45 215 km2
Population
1.3 million
Capital
Tallinn (approx. 400 000 people)
Currency
the Euro
Larger cities
Tartu, Narva, Pärnu
Closer major cities
Helsinki (~85 km), St Petersburg (~395 km), Stockholm (~405 km)
Length of the day in summer (June)
19 hours
Length of the day in winter (December)
6 hours
Highest temperature
+35.6°C / 96 °F (Aug 1992)
Lowest temperature
-43.5°C / -46.3 °F (Jan 1940)
Highest point
318 m (Suur Munamägi)

Singing Nation

The tradition of song festivals, which are very much alive today, was founded in 1869. It was both a musical and political event, where the foundations to the further national awakening program were laid out. During the period of the Soviet occupation, a song festival was the only chance to publicly demonstrate that Estonians still felt strongly about their identity and belonging together.

In 1988, with the Song Festival as a role model, the so called Singing Revolution began, when hundreds of thousands of people gathered in the Song Festival Grounds to make political demands and sing patriarchal songs.

Concerning the Song Festivals there are two beliefs in the Estonian conscience. The first one says that in 1869 a nameless country folk sang themselves to a European nation and the other, the latter, confirms that Estonians sang themselves their independence.

The biggest joined choir that ever sang on a Song Festival was 24 500 people. The latest XXV Song Festival was held in Tallinn, July 2009 and next will be held in 2014.

Tallinn University of Technology

In 1918 an Estonian technical institution (Special Technical Courses) was initiated in Tallinn. Next year, this school became the Tallinn Technical College. Programs were offered in mechanical, electrical, civil and hydraulic engineering, shipbuilding and architecture.

In 1936 the Faculty of Technology of Tartu University was transferred to Tallinn Technical College, thus establishing Tallinn University of Technology (TUT) in 1938.

TUT offers its students, employees and graduates possibilities to develop and express themselves in the field of culture as well. There are outstanding amateur art activities collectives working in the university: several choirs, folk-dance group, brass band and student theatre.