About this project
Twelve young voices are shouting, “We’re going to Sweden!“ We invite you to share the excitement.
The Seattle Lilla Spelmanslag is a group of young musicians who play and perform Nordic folk music. The musicians are children from ages 8-18 who come from many cultural backgrounds. Our unique group is not just about performing -- it is also about placing the music in its home culture, working with tradition bearers, practicing good musicianship, and sharing music as a way to build cross cultural friendships. And that is why we are excited to be planning our first overseas tour in Sweden!
About Our Tour
We have been working hard for the last four years, building our repertoire and performance skills. Now, we are ready to take our talents on the road! We have been invited to play at folk music festivals in the Swedish villages of Nås and Bingsjö, some of the best-known festivals in Scandinavia. We have also scheduled numerous concerts in different venues that will plant the seeds of friendship and reciprocity via our music, and place us within the tradition’s home culture.
We have spent the past year cultivating a relationship with the Malung Lilla Spelmanslag, a parallel group of young musicians living in or around Malung in western Dalarna. We have developed an email pen pal program, and shared tunes with one another. We are looking forward to homestays when we visit, and to studying and performing together! As a team, both groups will study together with tradition bearers such as legendary fiddler Kalle Almlöf, and will play several concerts together.
For our young fiddlers, many of whom have Scandinavian roots, this tour is an unparalleled opportunity to connect with renowned Swedish fiddlers dedicated to perpetuating Nordic traditions. The partnership will ensure that centuries-old folk traditions live on, in Scandinavia and in the Pacific Northwest. What a great way to pay tribute to the many Swedish immigrants who made this area their home!
Sharing The Benefits
When we return to Seattle, we will give a public concert, showcasing the new tunes we have learned from our friends in Sweden. We will also teach a workshop at the Northwest Spelmansstämma, an annual gathering of Nordic musicians in Washington state, in September of 2013. This enables us to share the amazing things we have learned – both tunes and teaching techniques, again illustrating the unique connections between Seattle and Sweden.
We have set a Kickstarter goal of just $7,500. Funds raised on Kickstarter will be used for our most immediate and largest cost, airfare. Without that, we can't make it there! However, the actual cost of the trip is well over $25,000, so we appreciate your every pledge - to our goal and beyond.
What do you get in return? Well, besides our undying gratitude, you get some unique and amazing rewards. Where else can you receive a private concert in your home by the Seattle Lilla Spelmanslag? In addition, by funding us, you are funding a piece of the future of Nordic folk music in the United States, helping us to inspire kids and keep the tradition alive. These young people are poised to carry their music with them as they move into adulthood, wherever they may land. This tour will give them a cultural framework, and build bridges and friendships for their futures as musicians.
You can follow our progress right here on Kickstarter, where we will have regular posts from our family, not just leadership, but parents, the kids themselves, and even some guests that we consider part of our extended community. We hope that you will give generously, and ask your friends to do the same to support this terrific group. Stay tuned (pun intended) and share the adventure!
Risks and challenges
Of course, it is a risk to travel with children at any time. The children traveling will have all been in the group for two years minimum when we travel, and we feel we know them and their families well. We have built a strong community with a lot of parent involvement, and that has helped.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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