It is a late fall evening in October, and about 70 Youth Exchange Program (YEP) members who are interested in music have gathered for the season’s first choir practice at Brunstad.
YEP has a choir tradition. Here, the participants can freely express their joy of singing and music. The goal of the choir is to awaken the joy of singing, develop musical talent, sing encouraging songs, and not least, practice for performances at YEP’s gatherings.
“Be a raisin!”
This instruction comes from Benedicte Kyllevik (age 20), who is one of the choir directors. The Stavanger girl shows the choir how to warm up the face muscles, lungs, and body before starting to sing. “Be a raisin! Pretend you are sitting on a moped,” Benedicte shouts, while demonstrating enthusiastically on her face.
This evening’s practice is devoted to listening to sound files of the different choir parts and passing out the music for the choir’s first song, “Se Gud sin sønn” (Behold, God’s Son), which they plan to perform as the finale of YEPs Christmas concert.
One of the choir members is Janne H. Handersen (age 22) from Bergen. She says she loves singing and especially enjoys singing with others.
“I think musical challenges are exciting, for example when we sing in different parts. Hearing how good it sounds when everyone sings their part really motivates me to practice and participate. I am also looking forward to standing there at the Christmas party and performing what we have practiced,” she says.
The choir is divided into four voices. A little ways into the practice, the four groups each go off and practice their own part. When the choir reconvenes after a half hour, you can already hear the harmonies of a four part choir.
“I believe in this choir, and am really looking forward to a music-filled fall and winter together with all of these songbirds,” smiles a satisfied director, Benedicte Kyllevik.