Listen Up! is a singing group which wants to be active in spreading the gospel. The name "Listen Up!" shouts that an important message is coming: the message of God's love for all people, the story of salvation, the Good News. The word "Up" especially points to the desire of the singers to give God the glory, the vocalists' thanks for being able to praise God in this way.
Listen Up! sings a-capella, which means without instrumental accompaniment. The voices of the vocalists are the building stones for the characteristic sound of the music. The attention is focused on the texts of the songs.
The five man/woman strong formation includes: Luk Brazle, Vero Dijkstra-Hofman, Scott Raab, Iris Sjouke-Huyghebaert and Rob Sjouke. All have a musical background varying from intensive song lessons and vocal experience to the conservatory with classic ballet as training. The members of Listen-Up! have found each other in the Church of Christ of which they are all members. They want to use their creative God-given talents to be tools for Him. By initiating and carrying out projects they create evangelism opportunities.
Listen-Up! has been active for almost 10 years, but has an interesting history. Next to music and texts they composed and wrote themselves, they also sing established arrangements from various different genres. In this way, every performance becomes a living composition which every listener can enjoy.
Born in Leuven, Belgium, in an American family as as the oldest of five children, Luk began his singing career van the moment of his birth in 1978: he sang at bedtime, wash times, and during the rest of the day. His musical parents encouraged him to follow afterschool piano and music lessons. Luk especially loves singing with his family. Luk moved to the United States when he was 15 years old. During high school and university Luk sang with a chorus, in musicals, and with a small a capella group. Luk likes to sing and play (guitar) all sorts of music, from the Beatles to contemporary Christian music.
Luk studied theology at Harding University and liked it so much that he studied another two years to get his Master's degree in Missions. During his studies he found Holly, the woman of his dreams, whom he later married. Because Luk missed Belgium so much, he and Holly decided to move there. Now Luk and Holly live in Ghent with their sons, Gideon and Isaak. They hope to be an encouragement and help to the churches of Christ in Flanders and the Netherlands.
You can still hear Luk singing every day during bedtime and wash times, but usually you can hear him singing for his God. God gave Luk a talent and Luk was happy when Listen Up! asked him to share his talent with others by singing with Listen Up!.
e-mail Luk : Luk Brazle
Music is a big part of the life of Veronique Dijkstra. She actively followed music lessons from 6 years after her birth in 1972. Piano and recorder were the instruments that received the most attention. Reading and writing music went together with learning to read and write at school. At 12 years old she began playing French horn by the local band and, in time, playing with a youth orchestra and the band became accepted and natural parts of a weekly schedule. Singing in an interdenominational youth choir was added a few years after.
After leaving the Netherlands to live for a few years in England, she stopped playing the instruments and devoted herself more to singing.
Even as a little girl Veronique loved to sing. Before going to bed there would be at least an hour of singing and all the songs from the "repertoire" would be rehearsed. Her love for singing is what eventually brought her to Listen Up!.
Veronique's true alto voice has a warm rounded form that harmonizes beautifully with the voices of the other members of Listen Up! Among other things, her years of musical training help to contribute to the characteristic sound and "color" of Listen Up!
e-mail Vero : Veronique Dijkstra
Born in 1962 in San Antonio, Texas, USA, you might think that Scott Raab should be a cowboy. And, although he loves country music, it is music in general that excites him. His family (four brothers and a sister, together with mom and dad) are also musical. Singing was just a part of life at home.
Scott has always sung in choirs, from church choirs, to choirs at school and university. He also played in various music groups. Music styles varied from pop to rock to classical church music and madrigals. But wherever he goes, he wants to sing.
Scott became a christian when he was seventeen through the love, concerned care and teaching of his best friend at school. From that time on he has wanted to use all he does to praise and thank God. That is why he is so pleased to find a group of people who also love singing as much as they love God.
Scott is trained as a high school English and German teacher, but from the moment that he first came to the Netherlands (1981) he was won for the Dutch and the Flemings. Thatęs why he came with his family in 1991 to Europe to work with the church of Christ.
Scott has been married since 1984 to his best friend, Shirley Walker, and they have two sons, Stephan and Sean. They live in the Belgian border community of Lanaken, just over the border from Maastricht. He has worked since 1991 as evangelist for the church of Christ in Maastricht and also works together with other Dutch-speaking churches in the Netherlands and Belgium.
e-mail Scott : Scott Raab
Born in 1965, in Roeselare, Belgium. Growing up as the last of the litter in a musical family of ten (six brothers and three sisters), it was very normal to sing at home in every possible voice - soprano through bass. Her voice always went naturally above the soprano part and therefore she always sang the high tenor voice.
After following music school(theory and singing lessons) in Flanders, she sang in a Madrigal choir and in choirs organized for special occasions. Iris is trained as a beautician and pedicurist.
When Iris married Rob Sjouke it was quickly evident that they both wanted to combine their conviction that Jesus is their Savior with the practice of their mutual hobby (singing). After finding two others who also had this wish, Listen Up! was born.
Rob and Iris live with their three sons (Nathan, Joel and Sem) and new daughter (Jedida) in Haarlem.
e-mail Iris : Iris Sjouke
Born in 1966 in 's Gravenhage in a family of four children (three sisters), his interests were on the creative side from early on in his life. Drawing, singing, dancing and being crazy were "normal" for him.
When he was nine he became a "singing sailor" in the well-known boys choir –Haags Matrozenkoor”. At thirteen he auditioned for the ballet section of the Conservatorium in Den Haag and was accepted.
After succesfully completing his ballet training, he became a dancer in the Northern Ballet Theatre in Manchester, Engeland. The Royal Ballet of Flanders in Antwerp was his second employer, where he also performed in a musical, before finishing his ballet career with the National Ballet in Amsterdam.
After studying to become an activity coordinator, he worked as coordinator of a community center for the Salvation Army. Currently Rob teaches in the public schools in Haarlem.
Rob is married to Iris Huyghebaert and has three sons and a daughter.
e-mail Rob : Rob Sjouke