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THE NEWS FROM BRUNER’S BROOD – FRIDAY, JUNE 14, 2024 - 1000 YEAR ANNIVERSARY, HAMRE LUTHERAN CHURCH

Hi, everyone! I trust that all is well with you, your family and that music continues to fill an important role in your community and family. For those of you who have recently liked and followed my artist page, I thank you publicly for your interest and kind support. Updates will continue to be made on my website, including this article I’m presenting. As I wrote back in late May, 2024 is a special local anniversary with my principal employer, the Norwegian Lutheran Church, and my family’s home congregation in the Hamlet of Hamre. This latest article is for both my Facebook pages and website at www.trentbruner.com. The majority of accounts available are in Norwegian, so I will present short overview of this four day celebration on the Island of Osterøy, which had “Past, Present, Future and Celebration” as its theme from May 23-26. Thursday, May 25th opened with a presentation by researcher and former Norwegian broadcaster Jørn Øyrehagen Sunde titled, "From Christian Rights in 1024 until The National Proclamation of 1274”, which covered the first centuries of Norwegian church history, when the Church of Norway was founded and the right to freely practice the Christian faith was proclaimed, ending human sacrifices to Viking gods. The second part of the evening featured a concert by Bergen Baroque (Barokk) under the leadership of harpsichordist Hans Knut Sveen. Their concert included various church repertoire from the Middle Ages to the Renaissance and was organized into three parts with music from these various periods. Their instrumentation during this evening included harpsicord, cello, violin, flute, wooden recorder and a solo singer. To conclude the first evening, the Alvidt Manger Singers, whom I conduct, were part of the Thursday night evening vespers and evening song service with Pastor Ida Greve. This women’s choir, positioned around the altar, participated with congregational singing, biblical hymns and other musical parts of the church liturgy from this historical period. Pastor Greve shared a devotional from Matthew 7 on “The Wise Man who Built His House Upon the Rock” as the evening’s sermonette, which concluded the theme of day one: The Past. Friday, May 25th was another presentation on Norwegian church history from Bergen church historian Gunnar Danbolt. The theme of “European church history and its influence on Norway up to the 1500s” had much information, photos and history with church, art, music and cultural influences presented along with historical background that placed the time frame before the Reformation. This was followed by a concert with the Osterøy Community Choir (Jon Flydal Blichfeldt, conductor and pianist).  This sixty voice choir was placed around both sides of the altar to not only accommodate the choir’s size, but upon further background from Blichfeldt, it represented a traditional music practice of choirs singing to either each other and/or to the congregation for a church service and concert of an earlier time. The choir’s one hour program was a blending of church and gospel music from Norway and beyond, which received an instant standing ovation from the audience. This concert fit well into the theme of day two: The Present. Saturday, May 25th, had the theme “Future” as the focus. This was also declared as “Childrens Day” with Christian children’s artist Bjarte Leithaug (vocal and acoustic guitar), the Valestrand Childrens Choir (Miriam Mjelstad, leader) and local band (Haldor Mjelstad, keyboard: Edit Vedå, drums: and Roger Birkelund, bass), which had over 200 people in attendance, with many being families with children and grandchildren. In addition, an outdoor mini concert with the Osterøy School Brass Band and other children’s activities took place around the church property. Local church historian Kristoffer Foldøy gave free tours of the church at various times through the day to local residents and visitors from afar of all ages. A quiz time for children and adults alike was also organized at the local elementary school, located near the church. Sunday, May 26th had the theme of “Celebration” as the focus. Over 300 people attended the 11:00 am church service with Bishop Ragnhild Jensen, the Dean of the local Diocease, Leif Endre Grutle. Local pastors Astrid Marie Haugland and Ida Greve participated in assistant roles while Ivar Mæland, my fellow cantor, played organ and led the musical arrangements for this service. With help from Silje Solberg on hardanger fiddle, Regina Forthun as soprano vocalist, the Ytre Arna Community Choir (Bjørn Bergmann, conductor) and a brass quartet from the Haus Brass Band led by Jon-Vegar Sole Sundal (trumpet and cornet), with Merethe Kristin Rogde Lone (cornet), and Sandra Mjelde and Belinda Midtun (low brass). This inspiring service provided a focus on the future direction of Christianity while remaining relevant to the times of today and its historical roots at the same time. Artist Martha Kløve Juuhl, composer Sverre Eftestøl, church custodian Gaute Røsland, ushers Maria Sandal Vevle and Catrina Raknes, parish leader Bjarte Aarland and Kjersti Toppe, Norwegian cabinet minister for Church and Family Affairs, also participated for the service. I served as the sound man for the entire event between the church building and the local meeting house by the main road. I am thankful as well for the help from fellow musician and audio technician Jon Martin Skauge for this help and expertise with the audio part of the celebration. A video of the Sunday morning service is being edited and prepared through the father and son team of Atle and Håkon Hevrøy for future release as this article is being posted. In other words, it took a team of people to make the celebration work and much administration work led by Ingevig Alida Larsson. These events do not happen on their own. Everyone needed to (and did) do their work and duties to the best of their ability, which was needed for this event to succeed. After the service, Osterøy hosted a large outdoor church coffee time under a large party tent with speeches from local, regional and national dignitaries, as well as from local church board members and our church warden, Linda Gripsgård Lunga. With the help of additional volunteers from Osterøy, the event came to a perfect conclusion after 4:00 pm local time when all was torn down and packed away. The rains waited until all was packed away! A historical display was available for viewing throughout the celebration with photos of archive and museum artifacts from various museums in Bergen attracting many visitors. In closing, my family and I wish you a good summer holiday and a very musical one where possible. Until next time, see you somewhere down the musical trail! Musically Yours, Trent

 

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