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Emily Grossman

#239. Judging the High School Talent Show

April 27, 2006 at 10:30 AM

Secretly, I think I’ve always wanted to be the one who decided the fate of young hopeful artists and musicians, bestowing gifts, prestige, and highly coveted popularity upon my chosen ones. Being asked to choose the winners of a talent show–well, let’s say I’ve finally tasted a hint of that power, and I liked it. Oh yes, would you believe such power was granted to me this evening? (Wait for a moment while I bask in local smugness...) However, once the reality of being called upon to judge began to sink in, I realised what an awesome responsibility fell on my shoulders. More than anything, I wanted to be fair and unbiased, and have the wisdom to make good choices. I hoped it would be an easy decision.

The show began, and the musicians took the stage. One by one they came round, like a line of show horses treading circles in a ring. By the fifteenth guitar solo, I began to worry I wouldn’t be able to tell one from the other enough to make a decision. Even my copious notes were becoming redundant. In that case, I would have to either go by the applause meter or best outfits. ...What was I being reduced to? Is this really how stars are made? By wardrobe and audience appeal? Where was the show-stopping talent?

Tonight’s decision ended up being clear-cut, after all. Tonight’s best performance came from an exchange student from Greenland who played a folk song from her homeland. I had never seen nor heard anything quite like it before tonight. I cannot explain it, only that it ended far too soon, and when she was finished, I wished she would play it again. None of the other songs made me wish this.

From Søren Basbøll
Posted on April 27, 2006 at 12:33 PM
I am glad to hear this. I guess that her teacher is or was Hanne Quist who has been very active in making children play the violin at the little music school in Nuuk, the capital. Is it indiscrete to ask for the players name? I just like to know what is going on in the tiny world of classical music in Greenland.
From Kelsey Z.
Posted on April 27, 2006 at 3:59 PM
Emily, will you come judge my highschool talent competition???? ;) I 100% gaurentee that I will be the only violinist there and on top of that you might be able to differentiate between guitar solos becuase some people actually have a drummer, or a bass player to help them with their 3 chords of strumming. ;)
The only thing is, you'd have to come and sit through a week of that....
From Emily Grossman
Posted on April 28, 2006 at 4:01 AM
Soren, her name was Ivy Brandt, but I wouldn't be surprised if she was self-taught. Her ability appeared to be purely natural. She was a guitarist/vocalist.

I didn't know Greenlanders spoke Inuit and Dutch.

From Emily Grossman
Posted on April 28, 2006 at 4:02 AM
Kelsey, you have a week-long talent show? Goodness, I thought three hours was long enough!
From Kelsey Z.
Posted on April 28, 2006 at 4:28 AM
Every lunch break, for 45 minutes for a minimum of 5 days running! There's nearly 2,000 students at my school though.
From Søren Basbøll
Posted on April 28, 2006 at 5:22 AM
Thank you for the response. From her name I would guess that she is from the Disko Bay, but of course, people are moving.

The two languages spoken in Greenland are inuit and danish, not dutch, although there were some dutch whalers a few hundred years ago. You can see it on the names of some islands in just the Disko Bay area where island is called 'ejland' instead of the danish 'ø' (as in my name).

From Pauline Lerner
Posted on April 28, 2006 at 7:34 AM
Emily, can you tell me the name of the Greenland song? I'd like to learn about the musical traditions of Greenland. All I know is Da Greenlandman's Tune, which is from Shetland. Can anyone can give me some good advice on learning about Greenland traditional music?
From Emily Grossman
Posted on April 28, 2006 at 9:20 AM
Ah, Soren, my mistake Dutch and Danish are definitely two different things.

I'm not intentionally leaving the slashes out of my O's. I don't know how to get them there. I've looked all over my keyboard. S@ren? S%ren? S*ren? Hm.

Pauline, I was rash and threw out the program, so I don't remember the name of the tune. I'm going to have to introduce myself to that girl before she leaves here. I'll let you know if I find anything out.

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