For more information, contact:
Debbie Blanchette, 207-896-5874, email: newswede@...
Boston singers at Swedish Colony Midsommar
This midsummer, June 21 - 22, Stämbandet members are very excited
about traveling to New Sweden, Maine, to participate in the Swedish
Midsommar festivities. It is the farthest north the group has traveled
to perform, and for many it looks to be a little bit like "being back
home" for the holiday. On Saturday, the group is singing by the
Maypole, giving a concert at 2:45 PM at the Baptist Church, and even
contributing a couple of dance tunes at the dance Saturday night! They
are featured during the 1:00 PM Sunday program.
Founded in 1978, Stämbandet is an ensemble of twelve singers from
Scandinavia with a reputation for excellence both as an a cappella
ensemble and a World Music vocal group. Presenting songs rarely heard
outside of Iceland, Norway, and Sweden, this captivating vocal band
often breaks into six- and seven- part harmonies sung in six
languages. Led by Allen LeVines, musical director since 1985,
Stämbandet performs a wide range of a cappella folk traditions unique
to Scandinavia, including "trall" - singers imitating fiddlers playing
dance music - a practice that has been compared to scat singing.
Stämbandet's cultural contributions have rarely been placed in
perspective, for even within Scandinavia there are few vocal ensembles
solely dedicated to the preservation and performance of traditional
Nordic song. American-influenced "pop" styles have taken over and
continue to dominate not just Scandinavia, but virtually the world. So
it is especially significant that in the United States Stämbandet
exists at all, where it is the only group of its kind -- not only
striving for performances of high artistic merit, but carefully
researching the music's origin and history, thereby introducing to the
public many other facets of Scandinavian culture.
The long term commitment of the singers has helped ensure Stämbandet's
cohesiveness of sound and cultural identity. Almost all of the
vocalists were born in Scandinavia.
“...the singer's voices are pure and clear, and the songs are of a
folk tradition that sounds fresh and new to American ears.”
- Guy Van Duser, Rounder Records
“Stämbandet moved in sparkling harmonies from soft to loud, brightly
busy to darkly elegiac.”
- Scott Alarik, The Boston Globe
While Stämbandet's repertoire includes music from all five Nordic
countries (Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Iceland and Finland), the
performances in New Sweden will focus primarily on Swedish music, with
just a taste of the others added to the concert program. Each small
province in the Nordic countries has its own costume, and the
performers dress to reflect their own particular heritage.
The Midsummer performances in New Sweden will be the conclusion of
Stämbandet's 29th season, and a very fitting one as that. One of the
founders, a Swedish immigrant, is still singing with the group, and
several others are members of long standing. All the singers are very
much looking forward to celebrate the 30th Anniversary as an ensemble
during the 2008 - 2009 season!
The schedule of Midsommar events is at MaineSwedishColony.info. For
more information, contact Debbie Blanchette, 207-896-5874, email: newswede@...