Finally we are in Finland! Our hosts are members of Luritus Choir and they kindly accepted us in their homes.
On Monday 25th September 2017 we had a concert at Nurmo High School where we first had a voice opening and rehearsal. Our programme consisted of three parts – firstly we sang some Slovene folk songs like Planinska, Vipavska, Dajte, dajte, Škrjanček poje, the second part was consecrated to sacral music for example Gloria tibi Domine, Down in the river to pray… And in the last one we sang popular English songs such as the Beatles’ Michelle. Although the acoustics wasn’t the best we did a great job. Later on we sang at Seinäjoki Lyseo with the same repertoire. We were also awarded with some free time in the city centre where we went and grabbed something to eat and headed our way to Squash & Bowling Center. We spent an hour bowling with our Finnish friends who took us back to their homes where we tried sauna and jacuzzi. We found it quite fascinating that every family has its own sauna. Some of them even two!
We had an early start on Tuesday, 26th September and met up with other choir singers. Finnish students prepared a quiz, which checked our knowledge of Finnish music. Did you know that the famous song Hollywood Hills was written by a Finnish group Sunrise Avenue? We also listened to many other catchy songs. We were kindly offered some Finnish sweets – Fazer’s milk chocolate, samijakki etc. The majority of us did not like the taste of sweets, but the chocolate was delicious!
At school we also had a concert for highschool students and later on we performed in a modern called Lakeuden Risti, designed by a famous Finnish architect Alvar Aalto. Because of the acoustics it was the best performance so far, having sung mostly spiritual music. The concert was meant for older people, whose reaction really moved us, we even got standing ovations. We were very content because we brightened up their day. The organiser of the exchange Hanne Orrenmaa is a conductor, who travels around the world and teaches children to sing and love music. Her goal is a peaceful world and this is why she loves so much Imagine by John Lennon. The song speaks about equality, harmony, unity of all nations. She wanted to record us singing this song which she will use in her YouTube video. In the video there will be also records of children of other nations. Having successfully recorded the song, we headed to the forest with our hosts, where we ate traditional sausages and had a fun competition in pronouncing sentences in Finnish and Slovene. A day packed with activities passed quickly and eventually we felt exhausted, so after a short walk to the parking lot we went straight to our Finnish homes. We fell asleep immediately. /Barbara Kobal, Klara Pogačar, Marta Novak/