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Itä-Suomen yliopiston kuoro Joy

Itä-Suomen yliopiston kuoro Joy ry (Joy-choir) is a mixed choir established in 1969, approximately 70 singers strong. The choir is comprised of students from a wide variety of fields, exchange students, and people already in working life. From 2014 onward Joy-choir has been recognized as the official choir of UEF, representing the university. The choir’s director is Matti Makkonen.

Our choir’s repertoire has over the years included a variety of music both from Finland and elsewhere. The repertoire has both traditional choral music, folk, and spiritual songs as well as rock music and film compositions. The choir has also recorded five albums, offering music for varying tastes.

Joy-choir has concerts regularly and has also performed abroad, for example in Italy, Russia, USA, and Serbia. In 2016 and 2018 Joy-choir hosted in Joensuu their own invention of National Student Choir Gathering, with the intent of assembling choirs from around the country to sing together and to get to know one another.


Matti Makkonen


2022 –

Matti is an all-rounder in music, who has performed as a cellist and conductor both in Finland and abroad. Makkonen has graduated as a cello and music theory teacher at the Kuopio Conservatory, in addition he has studied choir and orchestra conducting.

Huba Hollókői


Spring 2022

In the spring semester 2022, Joy-choir was lead by conductor-violinist Huba Hollókői. Huba has worked with several leading orchestras, such as the Radio Philharmonic Orchestra, the Netherlands Philharmonic Orchestra, the Residentie Orkest and the Holland Ballet Orchestra. Hollókői has completed a degree in symphony and opera conducting at the Sibelius Academy.

For the first time, Huba and Joy collaborated in autumn 2019's grand project, Carmina Burana, which was performed at Joensuu Arena.

[Picture: Zsófi Raffay]

Mari-Annika Heikkilä
2017 – 2021

Music educator Mari-Annika has a master's degree in music at the Sibelius Academy and the Karlsruhe University of Music.

Heikkilä has accomplished with excellent grades an A-level degree from singing with the instruction of Petteri Salomaa in 2013. In 2018 she completed choir conducting B-level degree from Sibelius Academy, likewise with excellent marks. Currently, she is studying the A-level course with Heikki Liimola and Jani Siven as her instructors.

Mari-Annika, or simply Mannika for the choir, is an inspiring and supportive superwoman full of energy. She keeps calm even in challenging situations and leads the choir with confidence from rehearsals all the way to concerts.

Helena Hulmi


1984 – 2017

Techer of music, Director Cantus Helena Hulmi has been surrounded by music ever since her childhood, and has completed the degree of Master of Music from Sibelius Academy. In Joensuu she worked as the University of Eastern Finland’s teacher of music from 1984, and conducted Joy-choir alongside her work until 2017.

Previously she has been the director of, among other things, Joensuu boys’ choir, vocal group Sonetti, and UEF staff choir. Hulmi received the highest honorary title given to choir directors, Director Cantus, from the President of Finland in 2013.

Active groups and ensembles originating from Joy-choir


Picture: Jyri Keronen
A quartet which quickly gained public recognition, Kvartsi is a quartet of four young men offering to their audience versatile quartet enjoyment without forgetting the most important feature of men’s quartets: drinking songs and serenades. Kvartsi constantly refreshes their repertoire and finds the most peculiar arrangements to add to their performances alongside the group’s original works.

“Better than coffee in the morning”

The Lowbirds

Picture: Maija Joensuu