From Alexander’s orchestra seminar in Sarpsborg, Norway 18. – 20. of March 2016

Playing together with their big idol

Text to picture: ORGANISING: Alexander Rybak organising the youths at the seminar. To the right Sarpsborg Youth Orchestra’s conductor Maria Dahl. (Photo: Johnny Helgesen)

Source: Sarpsborg Arbeiderblad 19.03.16. Text and photo: Johnny Helgesen. Translation : TessaLa, revision by Anni Jowett

70 children and youths are playing this weekend together with their idol, Alexander Rybak, at Sarpsborg Scene.

When we strolling in the back door on Saturday noon, the tones of Fairytale meet us. The same tones accompany us out nearly three hours later. For three days, the Sarpsborg Youth Orchestra, which is also a part of the municipal culture school, has a seminar with Alexander Rybak. It all ends with a concert on Sunday evening.

Using the same concept in many countries

– A three day seminar before it ends with a concert on Sunday. It is a laborious weekend you have planned?

Alexander Rybak orchestra seminar Sarpsborg March 2016
A standard concept: Alexander Rybak has a standard concept he uses for these seminars. (Photo: Johnny Helgesen)

– Yes, but I like it this way. This is a concept I’ve used in many countries. Recently I have been to Baku in Azerbaijan, Manhattan and Texas in USA. The concept is always the same, but the age groups may vary slightly so I have to adjust it a little bit. I don’t have younger participants than I have here in Sarpsborg. For the youngest, I’ve simplified it a bit, says Rybak.

Has a big respect for the youth.

– Why did you start with this concept?

– It started a while after the Eurovision victory in 2009. It was no longer that cool to arrive in  a limousine two hours before a concert and just be a superstar. I’d rather put something real into it. I have a big respect for children and young people who spend a lot of time on their talent. The concept takes energy, but it also fills me with a feeling that I am doing something great in life. But it is not a perfect plan before a concert. The last two or three days before a concert I should keep quiet. I do the opposite, I talk and talk, says Rybak.

Will show how fun it can be to play violin.

– What can the audience expect at the concert on Sunday?

– It is a good level for everyone involved, and I’m excited. The audience may look a bit more at the orchestra and the movements there. We have worked with that the movements should go simultaneously and in the same direction. Just some small funny details. Otherwise, I have the pianist Stefan Zlatanos with me . I’ll play solo a lot, and I will show how much fun one can have with a violin.

The concert on Sunday is at Sarpsborg Scene at 17.00 .

Hoping for recruitment

Alexander Rybak Sarpsborg orchestyra seminar march 2016
Youngest: Benjamin Skoglund (6) (t.l.) and Emil Bjørnstad (5) were among the  youngest at the seminar, and they had  great time with Alexander Rybak. (Photo: Johnny Helgsen)

Sarpsborg Youth Orcehstra’s conductor , Maria Dahl, says to SA that she hopes this kind of seminar will increase the recruitment to string instruments.

– There is more than just football and hockey in Sarpsborg, she says.

She has worked with Alexander Rybak previously, and Rybak doesn’t deny that she is the reason why he comes to Sarpsborg.

The dream that came true.

Two of the participants at the seminar were Louise Mandji (9) and Nora Livnea Rønning (11). Both of them were very pleased. Louise has played together with Rybak once before, but still learned some new things like that everyone should move the bow in the same direction simultaneously.

– That was something I hadn’t thought about before.

For Nora it was an old dream that came true.

IDOL: Louise Mandji (t.l.) and Nora Livnea Rønning got to play together with their big idol Alexander Rybak. (Photo: Johnny Helgesen)

– I saw Alexander Rybak first time when I was six-seven years old. At that time I didn’t play any instrument, but I found him so stylish that I already then started to dreaming about playing together with him. My mother plays the cello, and now I also play it too, tells Nora.

Wants to try something new.

– This makes me want to try something new. It really inspires me. It’s one of the older youths at the seminar, Birk Lindahl Davidsen (14) from Fredrikstad, who says this.

– It’s a very funny programme. Usually I only play classical music, this is something totally different, he says.

– Do you learn something new?

– It’s more correct to say that I learnt how to play Rybak’s music. It’s funny and it gives me urge to practise more, says Davidsen.

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