KTH's staff choir welcomes new members

Published Sep 09, 2019

Hi Helena Soluna Berggren, who leads KTH's staff choir, what is the best thing about singing in the choir?
"You will be happy, get wonderful new energy and a hefty dose of endorphins. Singing together also conjures up a wonderful sense of community.”

Helena Berggren has worked for many years as a singing teacher, choir leader and songwriter with a background that includes latin, jazz and World Music, among others. Photo: Marianne Norén

KTH's staff choir was formed in the spring of 2019 and was so appreciated by the members that it is now continuing throughout the autumn. The choir welcomes all employees of KTH who like to sing together with others and to join this choir, you don’t need to be a regular singer or to read music. Singers at all levels can join, from professionals to complete beginners.

Some twenty employees from different parts of KTH came to this autumn's first rehearsal on 2 September. At the moment the choir consists of a steady base of last semester's "regulars" and the members come from a number of different countries. Now the choir hopes that even more people at KTH will realise how much fun it is to sing in a group and dare to come and try.

The instructions are given in English so that everyone can keep up with them. The choir meets every second Monday, immediately after the end of the working day and rehearsals take place on the KTH campus in "Sing-Sing" which is a large and airy room with fine acoustics.

Helena Soluna Berggren on the selection of songs that the choir will sing during the autumn:

Here are a selection of songs that the KTH choir will sing during the autumn:

  • Wonderful tonight (Eric Clapton)
  • I can't stop loving you (Ray Charles)
  • Shosholoza (South African song)
  • Lemma Bada (song from 13th century Andalusia)
  • Ai si eu ti pego (Brazilian hit from 2012)
  • You Raise Me Up (Josh Groban)
  • Vals från Norra Råda (Swedish folk song) 

"The idea is to get a bit of everything, some English pop songs, some Christmas songs, but also folk music or World Music from other cultures and languages, because these songs often inspire expression and emotion rather than perfection - it's the people's music. It also feels valuable in these global times that we share each other's cultural expressions.”

To KTH employees who like to sing, but are perhaps hesitant about daring to try the staff choir, the choir leader says:

“This is the choir for you! I always encourage people to dare to sing something wrong and make a fool of themselves That’s how to get rid of tension and also strengthen your vocal cords. And I usually say that the best mix is one with both beginners and those with more experience. The beginners are often, once they lose the uncertainty, a bit like wild horses on green pasture and they can inspire the more experienced to dare a bit more, while the latter keep the ship afloat with their experience and hitting the right notes. For me, development is the goal, not perfection.”

We will sing together on these dates: 16/9, 30/9, 14/10 will be at another place, 28/10, 11/11, 25/11 and 9/12

A few words from members of the choir:

"When I saw that KTH was going to start a choir, I didn’t hesitate for a second to join. Besides meeting colleagues at KTH to sing together and that it is fun to sing and that we know the health benefits of singing. So after a stressful day at work, the stress disappears. The stress is sung away and you feel calm and full of joy. You always go home with a smile and with a song in your head."

Margita Nilsson, administrator at HR, Joint Operational Support

"Singing makes you happy. We sing a fun mix of songs from all corners of the globe. It’s great to meet people at KTH that you otherwise do not meet."

Carina Lagergren, professor of applied electrochemistry at the School of  Engineering Sciences in Chemistry, Biotechnology and Health (CBH)

Text: Marianne Norén

Facts about KTH's staff choir

The choir meets on Mondays on even numbered weeks at 16:30-18:30 throughout the autumn.

Place: KTH campus, Sing-Sing on Lindstedtsvägen 30

If you want to try it, just show up.

The choir is an Erasmus+ arrangement and is tasked with facilitating integration, creating meeting places and contributing to lifelong learning. Being in the choir is free of charge.

If you have any questions about the choir, you can contact Anna Hellberg Gustafsson annahg@kth.se , Erasmus coordinator at Joint Operational Support, (GVS).

Page responsible:Marianne Norén
Belongs to: Current
Last changed: Sep 09, 2019