Kjetil – from Norway to Russia

Kjetil Aamann from Norsk sangerforum (NO) visiting the Interregional Conductors’ Association of Children and Youth Choirs of North-West region in Russia (RU) in July 2019.

“The cooperation between Norsk sangerforum and the Interregional Conductors Association of Children and Youth Choirs of North-West region in Russia has been strengthened with the help of the Peer-to-Peer training programme offered by ECA-EC. 

I, who am staff member of Norsk sangerforum, traveled to Gatchina (St. Peterburg region) to learn more about the activities that take place there. During a week in Gatchina, I was given the opportunity to help organize the Choral Laboratory of 21st century, a large project, where conductors, composers and accompanists from Russia, Finland, Belarus and Kazakhstan got together in three parallel summer academies for workshops. master classes, mentoring, performances and networking.

The activities took place in the conservatory in Gatchina, which has good facilities for such a summer academy. More than 140 participants worked together from morning to late evening every day. A large number of lecturers, teachers and mentors shared their skills and knowledge, and there were also concert performances, many of them “atelier concerts” similar to what you may experience in singing weeks and EC festivals. 

 The summer academy in Gatchina is a yearly tradition, and has proven to be an important arena for choral professionals. Although most of the participants come from Russia, it is also open for foreign participants. 

Peer-to-Peer training is an excellent opportunity to exchange ideas and learn about similarities and differences between two organisations. While Norsk sangerforum mainly is an organisation that focuses on creating frameworks for local activities in choirs, the Conductors Assoc. of North-West is an organisation that focuses on producing activities, such as festivals, competitions and, of course, these summer academies. A lot of what I learned from the week in Russia, I can use in my daily work at home in Norway.

The international network that make up ECA-EC is important for their members. Both the Interregional Conductors Association of North-West Russia and Norsk sangerforum has developed activities for their members based on ideas picked up from other organisations in the network, and given them their own regional flavour.”


(1) Jacek Sykulski (PL) was one of the teachers at the Summer Academy.





(2) Conductors who participated in the Summer Academy also was offered training in vocal group techniques.





(3) As part of the staff exchange, I led a workshop presenting Norwegian choral music.



Kjetil Aamann

Norsk sangerforum