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Students by the hundreds!

This post is the fourth of five in a series that outlines key components of an Arts Midwest World Fest residency. Arts Midwest World Fest presents international musical ensembles in intensive week-long residencies in smaller Midwest communities. Its purpose is to foster an understanding of and appreciation for global uniqueness and differences. The residencies consist of school concerts, workshops, and outreach activities, and culminate in a public concert. This series will follow the Unni Boksasp Ensemble from Norway as they visit five Midwest towns during their second and final tour with Arts Midwest World Fest.

Educational Workshops

Each residency week, the Unni Boksasp Ensemble conducts as many as a dozen workshops. A large percentage of the workshops are in schools and we’re grateful to the schools who invite the ensemble in. Upon arriving to each workshop, the ensemble must quickly assess each audience noting size, age and any other characteristics—such as if the students are all music students for instance—that determine exactly the direction the workshop will take. Some workshops include deeper discussions of the instruments, while others include more time for questions and answers. All the workshops include a generous helping of Norwegian music and a chance to sing along with the ensemble.

Unni Boksasp ensemble performs at St. Joseph's School in Pierre, SD. All photos by Eric Young Smith.
Unni Boksasp Ensemble at St. Joseph’s School in Pierre with students filling the gym floor. All photos by Eric Young Smith.

Unni shows her zither to students at Jefferson Elementary School.
The group at Jefferson Elementary, it felt almost like a house party with the students and ensemble gathered closely in the classroom. Unni’s showing them her zither—an instrument that not many children know of.

Kenneth and a fellow percussion enthusiast at the Discovery Center workshop.
Kenneth has an amazing collection of percussion instruments. Students love to hear them and talk with Kenneth about their favorite sounds.

Guro demonstrates her Hardanger fiddle for 5th grade students at Kennedy School.
Guro demonstrates her Hardanger fiddle for 5th grade students at Kennedy School.

We thank our dear friend Barb Wood and Short Grass Arts Council for another wonderful week in Pierre!