Written by Kragerø Jentekor/Maren Olava Ask Knutsen
Found by Venche Mellemstrand. English translation by Tessa Lande. English revision by Lillian Llewellyn
Friday 17th of February at 17:00 we arrived in the church for rehearsal. After several weeks of practicing it was finally time for the weekend we all had been longing for. We were curious about how it would be, how Alexander Rybak was as a person, and his opinion of our choir. Rybak was delayed due to the traffic, and we therefore had time to calm down, warm up both body and voice, and in addition check through our songs. When the time was 19:30, the door opened and Alexander Rybak wandered in. “Hello!” he said and waved to us.
As most girls we giggled a bit in the beginning, but Alexander is a person who is not shy at all, and after a while it felt like we had known each other for quite a while. Several times during the first rehearsal on Friday evening he said “You are really clever!”, “This will be good!” and “Wow, I get speechless!”. After about one hour with rehearsing, we were done for the evening, and we went for pizza in the sacristy.” All the girls and Rybak! There was a good atmosphere and Alexander made sure that he spoke to all of us. He is really a guy who involves everyone.
On Saturday morning it was time for rehearsing again, and we kept on for many hours only with breaks for food, buns and soda. Alexander seemed very impressed by our choir, and our clever conductor Robert! Later that evening, several of the girls in the choir, took Alexander and the pianist Jan for a walk around the city of Kragerø, to show them the city we live in. At the end we all concluded with that Kragerø is a small, cosy town with some special names on the places here. (F.ex they found the name on the little bay in the middle of the city, “The Appendix”, funny.)
On Sunday we woke up to sunshine and cloudless skies, and everything indicated that the day would be nice and the concert a success. We had a dress rehearsal at 15:00, and everything went on track. We were very satisfied. The time passed in a hurry and suddenly we saw a queue outside the door! Everyone was excited, and a bit nervous. Again Alexander showed that he was a person who was used to being on stage and down to earth. He easily calmed down a bunch of 15 girls. We went on stage and had the best time ever!
After the concert the whole choir was exhausted, and some left pretty fast. But Alexander stood by the entrance and signed autographs and took pictures with everyone who wanted to. Both us in the choir and the parents were impressed with the patience and the energy he had. When all people had left, the choir also had to say goodbye to what had become our new buddy and “big brother”.
From the concert we have incredible good memories and a lot of knowledge. Alexander taught us how to perform, gave us advice about what we could do with different songs and how to be more confident on stage. Before the concert, he quietly told each and every one of us about our strength in the choir. He told that some were good in performing, someone knew the text on every song by heart, and someone had a strong and beautiful voice, and someone had a lot of self-confidence.
He really is a guy that managed to get the best out of everybody, and I think all the girls in the choir, agree that this was a great weekend, and that we all got to know a person who really taught us a lot. Both musically and socially.