Well, what was I expecting when trying out for Florakören? Probably practice once a week during the semester and a nice concert at the end. I had only sung in a choir during high school back in Germany, which is already a couple years back and that’s basically how things were done there. So when I joined Florakören last September I was pretty surprised about what I had gotten into: It’s an amazing community, which is about more than a weekly practice together.
My Swedish was (and unfortunately still is – so excuse me writing in English, otherwise it would read like a text from a second grader) pretty basic, and I hadn’t been singing for quite some time, so I was really nervous when I came to the audition. Also, I was worrying about the choice of my song; Amy Winehouse, really? Fortunately the other girls felt pretty much the same way and some nice Floramembers calmed us down. And obviously, it was just the best feeling when I read my name on the list afterwards: I had made it as a second Alto, and my Finnish singing adventure could begin.
What would I have missed in the last months without Flora… Learning a lot of beautiful songs of course, but also a trip to Tampere, some new friends and an introduction into Finnish-Swedish culture. It means a lot to me, as a foreign student in Turku, to have the chance to experience all this: singing Swedish songs, tasting Finnish dishes and making „local“ friends. As an exchange student abroad, you easily meet some German, Spanish, or French guys who are on an Erasmus exchange as well, whereas it is sometimes a little hard to get to know the locals – well, not if you sing with Flora :). However, my highlight of the last semester was definitely the Christmas concert in the beautiful Åbo domkyrka – I have to admit that in the end I almost had to cry a little when the whole church stood up and we sang the last tunes by heart. Really, really moving.
Now, one semester is already over and some new Flora members took over our places as the “new ones”… quite many new songs are waiting to be learned and festivities are waiting to be celebrated and we’ll see how my own, personal challenge of only speaking Swedish during practice works out… Anyways, I am looking forward to this spring semester!
Hälsningar från Clara, andra alt i Florakören