The annual International Organ Festival in Gothenburg (Sweden) also has a ‘small organ festival’ with a specific offer for young people. In 2023, besides organ-building workshops for school classes in the city library, this also consisted of an organ camp.
From 13 to 15 October, 22 children aged 8 to 15 gathered on the island of Tjörn for all kinds of activities around the organ. It started on Friday with a visit to the great organ in the Konserthuset in Gothenburg. Then the camp was set up on the island. On Saturday, there were workshops and organ lessons in small groups in different churches on the island with different teachers. On Saturday evening, there was a Do-organ building workshop with Lydia Vroegindeweij (the Dutch founder of Orgelkids).
After the organ was built, the children were first given the opportunity to explore sounds. In a kind of question-and-answer game, they took turns playing a line. This was followed by the task of coming up with a short story in small groups and telling it in sound in about 1 minute. The children came up with very creative stories and pulled out all the stops on the organ. For example, as in a story about a skeleton that came to life. By playing with all stops closed, you could mainly hear the rattling of keys and abstracts, thus depicting the rattling of bones.
In this video, you can see excerpts from this part of the fun organ camp.