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News Release: Boston singers at Swedish Colony Midsommar

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  • William Duncan
    News Release For more information, contact: Debbie Blanchette, 207-896-5874, email: newswede@maine.rr.com Boston singers at Swedish Colony Midsommar This
    Message 1 of 1 , May 30, 2008
      News Release

      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@...
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