For the past 37 years, Minot, N.D. and Skien, Norway have held “Hands Across the Sea” through a Sister City relationship that includes annual voyages by both communities to keep the Scandinavian cultural heritage alive across generations of North Dakotans. The Hands Across the Sea program is especially important to connecting the younger population directly to Norwegians and the modern Norwegian culture. That’s where Minot State University comes in.
In May 2019, the Minot State University choir will travel to Norway for 12 days in May 2019 to perform at a variety of venues, such as Skien Cathedral, the school system in Notodden, and a joint concert with a men’s Shanty Choir, while taking in Norway’s rich musical traditions – and, of course, Norwegian food, museums, fjords, and people. The trip is primarily being coordinated by Telemark County in Norway.
Of particular note, the MSU students have been invited by the Skien city council to participate in the official Syttende Mai (Norwegian Constitution Day) city celebrations, and will also spend a day with Rauland – University College of Southeast Norway, MSU’s partner school. The choir will also get the opportunity to record in the Notodden Blues Center’s music studio.
So far, 27 MSU students have signed up for the tour. A fundraising concert will be held on Friday, November 9, 2018 and is entitled “We Remember You – In Memoriam: Our Veterans & The WWI Armistice of 1918.” For more information on the concert or the program, click here.