Before I get to pictures of the coolest choir room ever, let me tell you about the rest of my day.
I woke up late (YES!) and enjoyed a wonderful breakfast that Anders had prepared the night before. Then he picked me up so we could visit his school, the Hannige Cultural School. I will not go into detail here about the infrastructure of the system, but the basics are this: The government subsidizes 90% of the system in which his school operates. It is a music academy that employs 20 full-time teachers to teach lessons and ensembles in music to students after their “regular” school lets out at 2:30 pm each day. Their taxes range from 28% to a high of 33% depending on local and regional rates. Wow, that’s high!
Oh, by the way, did you realize that the average American pays around 26% of their income in taxes? Hmm. . . I think I would personally pay an extra 2%-7% to have a fully funded cultural infrastructure. Of course it is not that simple. The truth is they get much more for their tax dollars than us. But, off my soap box and back to describing my day (I don’t need a bunch of emails!).
Here are some pictures of the Hannige School and Cultural Building:
After visiting the school we headed to City Hall so I could climb the tower and get a view of the city!
Unfortunately, it was closed for the winter. So, I had to get another view. Also good, but not as high!
The next stop was the Royal Academy of Music. This is where Anders went to school and is the most prestigious music school in Sweden, and one of the best schools in the world for singing, and choirs in particular.
Okay, here is where the subject of this post comes in to play. I have never seen a cooler rehearsal space than this. Check it out first from the outside. . .
Fortunately, I got to go inside and sit in on a rehearsal with conductor Fredrik Malmberg, on of the foremost experts in choral music in all of Scandinavia.
How good is he? Let’s put it this way, before him in this position was Anders Eby (whom I met last night) and before Prof. Eby was Eric Ericsson, perhaps the most iconic choral conductor ever (along with Mr. Robert Shaw). So, he’s kind of good. He is also extremely nice, and allowed me to sit in to listen to a rehearsal of music by J.S. Bach and Sven-Eric Bäck. Great choir, and a great director. Tomorrow I get to sit in on a conducting masterclass lead by Prof. Malmberg.
Prof. Malmberg introduced me at the beginning of rehearsal. After rehearsal ended, one of the students asked me again where I was from. I told her, Lindsborg, Kansas. She said she knew someone from there, a guy named Nick Carlson. Wow, small world.
It was yet another great day in Sweden. I am both sad to leave and happy to see my family in a few days!