A voice for unforgettable days

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Von: Veronica shame

She can be romantic, but she can also let the rock tube out. Birgit Kröcker finds the right songs for every occasion – and also creates her own versions. © p

With her singing she always hits the right note – whether at weddings or at funerals. Birgit Kroecker from Offenbach turned her talent into a career and has been booked as a singer throughout Germany for more than 20 years.

Offenbach – The hairbrush as a microphone and then singing in front of the mirror: “I used to do that all the time as a child. Of course nobody took it seriously, including me,” says Birgit Kröcker with a smile. But when she sings Nena’s “Lighthouse” in front of a friend, she is totally enthusiastic about her voice. At the age of 17 she gave her first concert with modern church music in her parish – and shortly afterwards was booked for her first wedding. “In Speyer,” she remembers. Thanks to word of mouth, more orders keep coming.

But the singing remains a sideline for the time being. “I have completed a very solid training as a wholesale and retail clerk, worked for twelve years in the administration of the Frankfurt University Hospital,” reports the Offenbach resident. But she continued to train her voice, completing classical singing training with an “aging Swiss opera diva”, who was extremely strict. “She got the maximum out of me, taught me to sing in all situations. I am very grateful to her for that. I even managed four octaves back then.” She then continued her education in the genres of pop, rock, jazz and blues for three years.

After her maternity leave, her husband encouraged her to start a new career – and to devote herself entirely to singing. “I quit my job in 2004, had many sleepless nights, I’m a security-loving person.” The courage should be rewarded. Hardly a weekend goes by when she is not booked for weddings, baptisms, private parties, birthdays, fairs or funerals.

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The repertoire of the 52-year-old is almost inexhaustible, new songs are constantly being added. “I try to always be up to date. And if I don’t have a song in my repertoire but they want it, I rehearse it.” For example, a bridal couple wanted a title by the Danish band Volbeat – in Danish. Another couple loved Mallorca hits, wanted “For Eternity” by Mickie Krause, which in its original version is hardly suitable for the church. “I made my own calm version of it with my pianist, and everyone was happy with that.”

As a Catholic, she can understand that church weddings are often stricter when it comes to the choice of music. “But sometimes there are too many regulations that make it really difficult for the bridal couple,” she complains. “Nobody has any outrageous ideas, they just want to experience an unforgettable day.” In their view, some songs are unfairly vetoed, while others are played as a matter of course.

Like Leonard Cohen’s Hallelujah. “Anyone who deals with the text will notice that it is the song that is farthest from the church,” says Birgit Kröcker with a smile. After all, it is the song that is most often played at weddings – and also takes first place on your list of the most sung songs, followed by “Unser Tag” by Helene Fischer and “All Of Me” by John Legend.

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Hallelujah is also unbeaten at funerals. But “Ave Maria” is also one of the most important songs on this occasion, which is a special concern of her. “When the mourners tell me afterwards that my singing has given them comfort, it means a lot to me.”

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Good knowledge of human nature is the most important thing for her in her work, with the knowledge of what is appropriate in which situation – from the song selection to the clothes to the performance. “If customers book me several times for different occasions, that’s the best confirmation.” She travels throughout the Rhine-Main area and beyond, with or without a pianist – depending on the package booked.

So she got through the Corona period quite well. “Then I stood in front of the window singing, that’s also possible.” At the same time, she discovered her second great passion and since then has regularly been helping out at the Schäfer animal welfare organization. Does she actually like all the songs she sings? “No,” she admits, “but as a service provider I have to be professional.” She hardly ever listens to music in her private life either. “Except for Ed Sheeran…”

By Veronica Schade

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