Farewell to Monica Damen as head of the Vocal department

8 February 2023

After almost 10 years of working for the Vocal department of the Royal Conservatoire, Monica Damen says goodbye to the Conservatoire on 9 February.

After studying history at the University of Amsterdam, Monica started as production manager at the Groot Omroepkoor in March 1986. From August 1991, she was manager of the Groot Omroepkoor and also deputy director of the Muziekcentrum van de Omroep until July 2013. When the Royal Conservatoire was looking for a new head of the Vocal department, Monica didn't have to think long. After many years of working with singers in broadcasting, she was interested in getting to know the educational side of things and using her knowledge and experience for the study programme.

This led, among other things, to the creation of the Masters in Ensemble Singing, and other components of the curriculum were also strengthened through collaboration with people in the field. This has resulted in projects with directors, conductors, the Netherlands Chamber Choir, the Orchestra of the Eighteenth Century and the Schönberg Ensemble. Through her experience in a large music production organisation such as the Muziekcentrum van de Oproep, Monica contributed to the professionalisation of the vocal department.

She has worked tirelessly for students and teachers, organising regular consultations and listening to what is desirable or necessary. She has also worked to increase the transparency of educational processes and to clarify procedures. During countless concerts, project auditions and project performances, Monica's presence has been of great value. Through her dedication, commitment and tireless energy, she has made a significant contribution to the development of the Vocal Department.

On behalf of the Vocal department,
Gerda van Zelm