We were so happy to feature Bree who presented her project titled, Norske Sanger Prosjekt, at our event on April 2nd!  Norske Sanger Prosjekt was co-winner at the event!  Read more about Bree’s project below:

Project Description

Oslo residents are invited to participate in a project to learn Norwegian folk songs, Norwegian rounds, and songs *inspired* by the folk tradition. The group will also have the opportunity to speak together in both Norwegian and English about Norway and life in Oslo.The conversational aspect of the project will have both a formal component, in the form of a non-compulsary language café before the class each week, and an informal component in the form of the connections and meetings among participants in the weekly classes. The project will be comprised of Norwegians, immigrants who have come to Norway for various reasons of some level of choice (love, work, study) and immigrants with refugee background. (A more or less balanced number of each). The project will be either free for all participants, or very affordable, and free for those who apply for scholarship. (Depending on how much funding received).

The project will run for one year, divided into two semesters: Autumn 2017 and Winter/Spring 2018. At the end of the first semester the group will perform about 5 of their songs at a concert shared with one of the choirs I direct. (Dagsangerne på Sagene, for example). At the end of the year, in June, the group will put on a concert for the Oslo community (for example at “Sentralen”) where they will 1. Perform all the songs they have learned in their time together, 2. speak about their experience with the project and 3. speak about their life in Oslo.

Each week schedule:
3:30-4:45 Non-compulsory language café for group members to meet beforehand. The group leader (myself) will participate in these cafés for the first few weeks to help get it going.

5:00-6:00 Norwegian songs course:
1. 10 minutes of warm-up and singing technique
2. 50 minutes of learning songs (rounds, unison songs, two- and three-part songs).

If I am able to generate enough interest for two groups, there will be one daytime group, (1:30-3:30, for example) in addition to the early evening group. In this case, the two groups would come together several times throughout the year, as well as for their performances.


Why does this idea matter to you and to the city of Oslo?

This idea matters to me because I feel strongly about the reasons listed, and because I feel I am able to contribute to the community through my love for group singing, and my experience and ability leading singing with people of varied experience levels. This idea matters to Oslo because:

1. Many Norwegians living in Oslo want to have personal contact with people who have immigrated from other countries, and with people with refugee background, but do not know how to make these connections.

2. People who have moved from other countries also want contact with Norwegians and opportunities to speak with Norwegians, but find it difficult to make these contacts themselves. Many people living in Oslo who have come from outside Norway believe that Norwegians aren’t interested in meeting new people, or that they are prejudiced towards non-Norwegians. I have experienced this to be untrue, and in my choirs and my previous Norwegian Songs courses, have seen how people of varied backgrounds become connected, love to sing together, and love to hear about each other’s varied experiences of life both inside and outside of Norway.

3. Singing is an amazing way to connect with people. You don’t even have to talk, you connect and harmonize and feel a kinship with the people you are singing with, even when you know very little about them.

4. Norway has an abundance of beautiful folk songs and learning them is a unique way to connect with and share Norwegian culture.


How will you use this microfunding?

I will use the micro-grant funding to use a number of solid days of work in January and February to get the project up and running. In that time I will:

1. Contact organizations that can help put me in contact with people who will want to be part of the project (Red Cross, Asylmottak, SAIFF, international organizations, Norwegian learning centres, etc)
2. Spread the word about the project (Facebook, Posters, flyers, Emails, contact with my choirs and singing groups as well as other choirs, contact with organizations such as the ones named above, etc).
3. Apply for more funding (Oslo kommune grants, Eckbos-legat, and possibly others I don’t yet know about).
4. Research and learn more about Norwegian songs and singing traditions, increase my Norwegian songs repertoire.
5. Find a suitable location for the project to take place. (Sagene Samfunnshus, where I do a lot of my work already, is a very good option, and a very community-oriented place, but may not be available at the times I am planning the project for.)


What elements of community or sustainability will be addressed with your idea?

1) Integration into the Oslo community
2) Diversity
3) The arts being open for everyone, regardless of ability or financial situation
4) Bringing people together on a regular basis over a long-ish period of time
5) The group will meet at the same location each week
6) The group will come together because of several shared sentiments: 1. love for and/or interest in Norwegian songs. 2. A desire to sing with others. 3. A desire to connect with people with different backgrounds from themselves.
7) As well as having differences, the people who come together in this project will share many similarities as well, such as at least one third of them being from a similar background, their interest and or love for singing, their interest in Norwegian culture.


How do you contact the project?   Visit her online at http://silverkingsinging.com, via email at info@breeswitzer.com and on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/SilverkingSinging/ 🙂