Better than Eurovision

We were driving around Skania, looking at churches and castles and stuff and hit Dalby just after 3 pm. There were lots of young people rushing into the church, we thought there might be a wedding or something. But it was a choir, rehearsing for an evening recital.

About 25 young people, men and women, were practicing a gospel-sounding song that I had never heard before. They were so enthusiastic and the director, a very young man, was so energetically pulling sound from them and weaving an amazing song that we sat, fascinated. After a short deliberation over coffee we decided to skip attending the church service in Lund and instead go listen to this choir.

We got there early, but there was already a line. We managed to get seats rather far in the front, I was actually able to see the score, as I was just behind the elbow of the conductor. The choir, called Mixtum, presented a very varied program: Entire choir, women's choir, men's choir, solos, duetts, quartet, accompanied at various times by organ, piano, flute, guitar, djemba, tambourine - or just a capella.

They started with some standard Bach and a bit of Mozart and Purcell, then they sang a song that one of the conductors, Henrik Dahlgren, had composed. He arranged much of the gospel songs they sang later on in the program. My absolute favorite was the one we had heard during their practice: Days of Elijah, by Robin Mark. They were singing without a score, focused completely on Dahlgren, who was playing them like an instrument: louder, softer, repeat, modulate up, modulate back down. He had the whole church clapping along to the very catchy rhythm.

They closed with Ernst Toch's Geographical Fuge which was just hilarious! Time had just flown by, they had presented for over an hour and a half - and as the other conductor said: Hey, we could sing for 2 more hours if you would sit still for it. I believe her, they were so enjoying singing.

Much better than the songs of the Eurovision, and I'm so glad to see young people making music instead of just pushing buttons on a machine.

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