Oslo Chamber Choir to perform at MSU, Hostfest

Hakon Nystedt

The Oslo Chamber Choir, one of Norway’s leading choirs, will be artists-in-residence at Minot State University with events from Friday-Sunday.

The choir will present a free masterclass and open rehearsal on Friday in Ann Nicole Nelson Hall at MSU. Participants will have the opportunity to sing with the 24 professional singers under the direction of Hakon Nystedt. They will also discuss their commitment to Scandinavian folk music and their choral repertoire.

“I’m excited because I’ve seen them in rehearsal and I know the joy of what they do is so present, and I think it’s partly because they’re so connected to their repertoire. I’m eager for the students to be able to be in proximity to one of the world’s leading ensembles and maybe experience an awakening to what choral music can be,” said Emerson Eads, director of Choral Activities and assistant professor of music at MSU. He said the first time he listened to the choir was on a radio show while he was driving. He had to pull his car over because he was so overwhelmed with emotion from the music.

Nystedt said his hope for the audience is to feel a personal, emotional connection to the music and for the space to not feel formal like many traditional choral performances do. He wants the audience to connect “from heart to heart.”

MSU has also announced the Oslo Choir Apprenticeship Program, which will send a choral scholar on an all-expense paid trip to Oslo to assist the choir for two weeks prior to its June 2024 concert.

“I want to reiterate the fact that it takes a village. From our major sponsors and all the volunteers who are housing and transporting these singers, this would have been utterly impossible,” said Eads. “What a dream, to live in a place with such generosity of spirit and such a strong connection to their heritage, art and music,”

The choir will perform at the Norsk Hostfest at Reykjavik Hall from 2:30-3 p.m. on Saturday.

The choir will give a full-length concert on Sunday at Ann Nicole Nelson Hall at MSU at 3 p.m. Tickets for the full concert are on sale at the MSU website.

“This concert is going to be absolutely life changing. This isn’t going to be the choral concert you think it’s going to be. It’s not going to be choristers with folders singing on risers. It’s going to be singers that perform a type of music that has never been tasted here before in Minot,” said Eads.


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