The first late night opening in Sønderborg’s shops is tomorrow Friday the 29th. Most of the shops in central Sønderborg will be open till 10pm (unlike normal closing at 5pm).
The streets will be lit by oil lamps and two live bands will be walking around in the streets. The jazz bands Blæserbanden and the local Bosse4Brass will roam the streets playing groovy vibes. Michael Vogensen will play at Rådhustorvet from 6.30pm to 9.30pm.
Several of the shops will have special offers, events or competitions during the evening.
Danfoss Orkestret, though not an orchestra technically, is a 38-man brass band that is quite well-known in this area. Towards the end of March we had written with information on how to get tickets to the Danfoss Orchestra Spring Concert. Did you check that out? I really hope you did.
The music selected for the spring concert was mainly British, with some famous ones such as Yellow Submarine and When the Saints Go Marching In, to some unknown songs to us. There was also one Danish song, keeping everyone feeling involved.
But on to the exciting stuff. During the concert we had a congo line brass band making its way onto the stage, a ‘disorganised’ abandonment of the stage and, last but not least, a conductor in a kilt. And, yes, he confirmed that the rumours about kilts is true! We even had a bagpipe and drum group join and close the show with the orchestra.
I did not know what I was expecting, but I was certainly not expecting this. What was missing in quality (and that was not much), was more than made up for in enthusiasm, fun and just sheer joy of the players (and the audience). I now know exactly why tickets are said to be grabbed within hours of being made available to the public. The standing ovation the orchestra received at the end was more than well-deserved.
December is as close as ever and after local volunteers went around Sonderborg city centre to put up 125 small Christmas trees in the streets the time for lighting is upon us. All the Christmas lights around the streets and the big Christmas tree in front of town hall will be turned on this Friday the 25th of November.
The programme looks like this:
- 16.00 a performer playing Christmas songs in front of town hall.
- 16.30 South Danish Girls’ Choir will sing
- Around 16.35 the Christmas parade will start from Georg Hansens Vej and make it’s way towards the centre
- 16.50 Julemanden (Santa) and all the elves(?) will arrive with Sønderborg Garden at town hall
- Everybody sings a Christmas carol, the vice mayor will give a speech and finally light the big Christmas tree.
During December the local business association has more plans.
- November 27th 12-17 Christmas food, workshop and customs at Sonderborg Castle. Free entrance(?)
- December 3rd 10-16 Christmas at the Dybbol Mill – hot beer with honey, Christmas tree anno 1864 and more
- December 3rd 12.30-15 a jazz band will play in the streets
- December 4th 10-16 Christmas at the Dybbol Mill – hot beer with honey, Christmas tree anno 1864 and more
- December 4th at 15 Stig Rossen, Denmark’s most famous opera singer, will sing at the Town Hall Square
- December 10th 11-14 a jazz band will play in the streets
- December 10th at 12 it’s Claus Lykke the “Christmas Rock Pirat” and his dog (so I’m guessing it’s more for kids)
- December 11th at 12 dancers will perform at Rønhave Square
- December 15th 15-17 a jazz band will play in the streets
- December 16rd 15-17 a jazz band will play in the streets
- December 16th to 19th the big Christmas market will be open on the Town Hall Square
A month ago Michael had written about a cross-cultural Middle Eastern/Arabic influence concert happening at Alsion on our first weekend here to be preceded with an ethnic bazaar. This seemed to be an event that would hit the right spot for us so decided to venture out for our first concert in Sonderborg.
The ethnic bazaar consisted of a variety of performances, from African dancing, to ballet dancers and Middle Eastern music. There were also some musical instruments and accessories for sale, and three girls giving out a tasty (Middle-Eastern?) meat-filled pastry (though I am sure they could have easily asked people for a donation or a small fee and people would not have questioned that!).
As the bazaar came to a close it was then time for the main concert. As I expected from musicians of their calibre the music was of high standard and the performers, particularly Goldschmidt, seemed to be really enjoying themselves.
Coming from the (mostly) prim and proper theatre audiences in London it was a relief to also see an audience participating and feeling at home in the theatre. It seemed that the audience was also not your typical concert-going crowd, so kudos to the organisers for getting them into the theatre and the performers for interacting with them successfully.
However I do think that maybe this audience felt a bit too much as though they were in their own living room! The chatting and walking around the (seated) theatre to chat with friends was a constant occurrence throughout the performance, as were phone calls and calls to catch people’s attention.
This did not completely mar my first experience of theatre in Sonderborg, however! The music was excellent and I would definitely pay to go see the performers again…maybe with a different audience, however, that would allow me to appreciate the music a bit better!