deCHORALE was founded at the initiative of Lodewijk De Vocht. In 1916, he transformed the female choir Constance Teichmann into the mixed Chorale Caecilia Choir. Following a series of noted performances, this choir acquired great national and even international recognition. Aside from the major classical works, also modern compositions by, amongst others, Stravinsky, Honegger, Milhaud, Kodaly, and Schmitt were part of its regular repertory.

On his 80th birthday, after more than 50 years as choir conductor, Lodewijk De Vocht decided to put down the baton. A large number of choir members wished to continue the tradition and founded the New Cecilia Choir of Antwerp, under the capable and skilled direction of Frits Celis.


In 1971, Frits Celis passed the direction of the choir on to his colleague Frans Dubois, who continued the further development of the New Cecilia Choir with, amongst others, the annual performance of Bach’s St John Passion.  After a decade of intensive effort and after once again regaining its top ranking with more than 130 singers, the choir resumed its familiar name Chorale Caecilia and in 1988 adopted the name Royal Chorale Caecilia.


Since 2002, the choir has performed under the direction of Paul Dinneweth. From the very onset of his mandate, Paul opted to adopt a dynamic and innovative approach, maintaining adherence for the historical foundations of this legendary oratorio choir, without losing sight of, and maintaining respect for, the historical fundamental principles that are the foundation stones of this legendary oratorio choir. With innovative artistic leadership, he has succeeded to lift deCHORALE to a very high level of excellence, selecting in the first place a wide and challenging repertory: 'The Creation' by Haydn, various Requiems (Mozart, Brahms, Duruflé and Lloyd Webber), 'King David' by Honegger, 'Mirror of Perfection' by Blackford, 'St Matthew Passion' by Bach, 'Carmina Burana' by Orff, the 'Coronation Anthems' by Händel, the 9th Symphony by Beethoven, the 2nd  Symphony by Mahler, De Vocht’s Choral Symphony ...


Paul Dinneweth emphasises the importance of ongoing choir schooling, voice screening and voice production for all members of the choir, under the guidance of vocal coach Kristien Vercammen. The permanent and committed accompanist, Peter Maus, further supports the choir with intense rehearsals with the aim of raising the choir’s performances to even greater heights.  Consisting of more than one hundred wholly committed and enthusiastic performers, deCHORALE hence occupies today its rightful and unique position within the Flemish choir world.





Messe solennelle



St. Paulus church





Ethernal Light






Missa solemnis

W.A. Mozart


St. Paulus church


Standonklaan 104, 2610 Wilrijk