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Eikanger inspire the next generation of musical vikings

Eikanger's 'Holiday Play' scheme has been inspiring the next generation or two of new Nordic brass band superstars...

Eikanger
  Former principal cornet Jane Westervik brought along her 9 year old daughter Ingrid

Norwegian champion Eikanger Bjorsvik has not only been working hard on their preparation for their forthcoming debut appearance at the British Open Championship at Symphony Hall next month, but also on inspiring the next generation of young Hordaland players at the annual summer camp.

It was the 21st time that the band had run the event — one that sees over 100 children from 30 different schools in the Bergen and surrounding areas enjoy four days of music making and fun at their own 'Feriespel' or 'Holiday Play' scheme.

Important

Based at Knarvik where Eikanger-Bjørsvik is situated, the initiative is a low cost supplement to the various different summer camps and schemes run by the Norwegian Band Federation, with spokesperson Viggo Bjorge telling 4BR how important it has become.

"We are keen to add something extra to the summer attractions for children in our area — one based on music making and plenty of fun.

We are as an organisation very aware of the importance of being strongly involved in educational and motivation programmes for young players, who are already becoming such an important part of the future for local and regional banding."

50 adults

Viggo revealed that over 50 adults linked to Eikanger were involved as conductors, tutors, activity co-ordinators and even kitchen staff for the youngsters aged between 7 and 19 — and all giving up their time free of charge.

"It's a great way to keep the band together and to maintain links to former players and friends, old and new," he added.

"The young players were divided into three different bands, based on age and experience. The music was challenging with the aim of helping the players develop their skills and aspirations."

Jane was a truly wonderful player who has inspired so many youngsters with her playing over the years, so to see her here this year with Ingrid was a delightViggo Bjorge

A future principal cornet

One of the great joys this year was to see former Eikanger principal cornet player Jane Westervik bring along her 9 year old daughter Ingrid (above) for her first taste of 'Feriespel'.

Jane was one of the founders of the initiative in 1998, with Viggo adding that it was a thrill to see that special link connected once more.

"Jane was a truly wonderful player who has inspired so many youngsters with her playing over the years, so to see her here this year with Ingrid was a delight."

The event was rounded off with a special concert under conductors Kjetil Djønne, Ben Hirons and Agnes Maria Fjermestad, with the very appropriate 'Circle of Life' by Elton John bringing things to a rousing conclusion.

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Rob Nesbitt

BSc, PG Cert. Ed.
Cartoonist , illustrator, writer