TEN SING: One of the most important and yet underrated institutions in Norwegian music turns 50!KKV has had the pleasure of producing an anniversary album featuring ten artists with Ten Sing backgrounds.

This list of artists constitutes just a fraction of all the musicians, producers, songwriters and not least artists who have come out of the Ten Sing environments across Norway:

Bjørn Eidsvåg, Sigvart Dagsland, Solveig Slettahjell, Silje Nergaard, Rune Larsen, Bjarte Hjelmeland, Marthe Wang, Ellen Andrea Wang, Beate Lech and Mari Tesdal Hinze.

Several members of the band have the same background: Markus Lillehaug Johnsen (guitar), Snorre Kiil Saga (bass), David Wallumrød (keyboards), Bjarne Gustavsen (piano, synths) Bjørn Sæther (drums) and Kjetil Steensnæs (guitar).

The list of songs is, in good Ten Sing tradition, a mixture of Norwegian, English, hits, hymns, gospel, and new and old songs: “Som et barn” (Like a child), “De umulige” (The impossible ones), “For those tears I died”, “Fix you”, “Vi kommer til deg, du vår Far” (We come to you, our Lord), “Another day in Paradise”, “Lean on me”, “Fields of gold”, “Midt i mørket” (Deep in the dark) and “Føtter på fjell” (On solid ground).

The album has been produced by Markus Lillehaug Johnsen and recorded in Kulturkirken JAKOB in Oslo in June by Martin Abrahamsen. Release concert will be celebrated during Spekter – the Norwegian YMCA and YWCA’s outdoor festival at Kalvøya on 11 August.

At an “Up with people” concert in Hamburg in 1967 Kjell Grønner, a pastor at KFUM (Norwegian version of YMCA), came upon the idea that would have much impact on Norwegian music for decades. The next year the idea was launched at the TT Teenager Jamboree in Sandefjord, Norway. This was the start of the Ten Sing (Teenage Singing) movement.

Working with the Norwegian YMCA and YWCA, Grønner started Ten Sing in the Norwegian city of Bergen, basing it on the American Sing Out choirs (“Up with people”) which the MRA (the Moral Re-Armament movement) had initiated in 1965. At about the same time Sigurd Osberg and Holm W Holmsen started the choir Crossing in Asker (town near Oslo) based on the same pattern (they had attended the Up with People show in Njårdhallen in Oslo in 1966), but while Ten Sing in Bergen presented an entertainment show with “meaningful songs”, the Crossing put “rhythmic hymns” on their repertoire. The Norwegian YMCA and YWCA then started “planting” Ten Sing choirs across the country. This became the Ten Sing movement which later was strongly influenced by the youth rebellion and Jesus movements of 1968. The choirs and bands were to be led by the youths themselves (with skilled guidance and courses given by leaders). Young people just into their teens were given artistic leadership responsibilities. Aided by resources provided by the Lutheran Evangelical Church of Norway (the state church) the youths had access to instruments, practice venues and equipment, and enjoyed the trust of artists and composers. This is how Ten Sing and the marching band movement became perhaps the most influential and important recruiting grounds for Norwegian singers and musicians over the last 50 years.

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