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Click here to visit our page for the July 2010 return visit of Dalaviolinisterna to Cornwall.

PYSO visit to Sweden  
25th August - 3rd September 2009

At the time of the trip in August 2009 the PYSO players had been playing together for 2 years with almost no change in personnel, and we were on very good form with a well established repertoire. We chose to travel to Sweden, because music has a central part in Swedish cultural life, with many young people learning string instruments and an exciting culture of folk violin playing that seems woven into the fabric of society. We wanted to share music-making with other young musicians and experience the wonderful culture, landscape and wildlife in Scandinavia. 

The trip was successful in every possible way, and the PYSO players made strong friendships with their counterparts in DalaViolinisterna, who will be visiting us here in Cornwall in August 2010.

For the main part of the trip we all stayed with families in or around Borlänge, in Dalana in Central Sweden.  The week included rehearsals and several concerts shared with DalaViolinisterna and their energetic director Eva Unosson in local churches, as well as concerts in schools.  We were able to take part in many activities typical in this area.  Our players spent a day in a Swedish school, experiencing some very different and refreshing learning environments to those here, and we all spent good lengths of time in the hills, enjoying the woods and swimming in the lakes and learning folk songs – it was idyllic. 

Our hosts were unbelievably generous to us and we really can’t thank them enough.  For seven days we indulged in our favourite activities – making music, eating, swimming, learning, making more music, and making friends, all in the most beautiful surroundings.  This was a trip which I’m sure we will all cherish for ever.

Concerts we played whilst in Sweden

Wednesday 26th August   Klacken school concert
Saturday 29th August  Concert in Gagnefs church
Sunday 30th August  Concert in Stora Tuna church
Monday 31st August  Eikslund/Hushagen  School concert
Tuesday 1st September   Concert at Betel church in Gagnef
Wednesday 2 September
  Nordiska Musikgymnasium  Stockholm


Quotes from some of the PYSO players...

"I really enjoyed playing in the really nice churches over there and also in the school and college to some kids that haven’t listened to classical music before.  I liked how some of them really got into it.
Spending time with the Swedish lot was loads of fun.  They were so nice to us and we have all made close friends because of the trip.  My [host] family were amazing!  The countryside is really nice and I'm so happy we had a few days to spend in the forest and by the lakes.  The journeys were good as I have never been abroad before - it was all such a new thing for me.  It made the whole PYSO closer as friends.”

"One of the most inspiring things I did in Sweden was to visit my partner's school.  It was a special music school where they have space to practice, intense tutoring, lessons in singing, notation and composition.  I loved playing 'Snowscape', which sounded very eerie in the Gagnefs Church which was white and so open.  I think it was a great trip, where everybody came together and had such fun."
"Here are some of my favourite memories of our trip to Sweden.  For one night we went to Spansan, which was out in the country, and we all slept in little summer houses; we had a camp fire on an island and ate chocolate and bananas.  Getting up early in the morning and swimming in the cold freshwater lake just outside our host's home.  Dressing up in national costume and playing Swedish Jigs which I now know by heart!  Cycling around the town and on open big empty flat roads, and over two floating bridges.  Having a day in Stockholm.  We did lots of concerts and it was fun playing with our Swedish partners."

"Before we left on the overnight sleeper from Penzance to London Paddington I had mixed emotions as I didn't know what to expect in Sweden. But I needn't have worried as Sweden was GREAT!!! I enjoyed everything about the whole trip as it was exciting, funny and worthwhile experience both for playing and getting to know a lot more people.  I also got to know PYSO players a lot better as I had only been in PYSO for a few months beforehand.

My favourite part of the trip was when we stayed in log cabins on the Lake.  We had a camp fire that night across on the other side of the lake which we got to by boats.  We toasted bananas with melted chocolate inside.  The following day we all went swimming at 8:00am in the morning - the water was FREEZING!!!!!  But it was fun because we got to catch fish on the lake and go out in the boats, also to jump in and out of the sauna and into the lake.

I now can't wait to see DalaViolinisterna again."

(Tim adds: ‘Water doesn’t usually freeze at 15 degrees, but to some people it seems colder than it really is!’)



It's not every day you get to do this! Concert performed at Stora Tuna church, shared with our hosts DalaViolinisterna, who are playing in this photo.
The outside of the Church. Jump!




We took our violins everywhere, even to the lakes... ...but not our cellos (photo of cellists taken by another cellist!).




 A snippet of what we sounded like...


We ate and drank well!  








DalaViolinisterna practicing at Gagnefs Church... ...and all of us playing to our audience.

 Another impromptu short clip (24 seconds!).  This is DalaViolinisterna practicing their routine...


The same day we went cycling...
...including over some floating bridges. One of the bridges from the distance.




Another concert, this time at Betels Church, Gagnefs. Getting around!




At Falun copper mine (this was actually our first day). Underground at the mine.  Just like Cornwall!




Traditional Swedish horses at the Grannas factory, Nusnas.




How the horses are made! Our poster.




Farewell photo at Borlange station. Stockholm!






The accommodation in Stockholm for our last evening in Sweden was booked at the Castanea Old Town Hostel, located on one of the Old Town's narrow and cobble-stoned streets.

Below: Stockholm Old Town

Click here to visit our page for the July 2010 return visit of Dalaviolinisterna to Cornwall.

A major part of our fundraising effort, the 'All Cornish Summer Raffle',
was drawn at our concert in Penlee Park
on 20th August 2009.

A very big 'Thank You' from all of us, to everyone who supported us
by giving prizes and everyone who purchased tickets.

The money raised made a very real difference to our trip to Sweden.

Click here for details of prize-winning tickets.