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Stay in Band, Kids!

Stay in Band, Kids!

“Stay in band, kids!” It’s something I’ve heard my entire life and definitely something I’ve whole-heartedly embraced as I’ve grown up. Many of you know that I’m a total band/music freak and I’m not afraid to geek out and share that with people. Throughout my life, there have been many benefits from being a crazed band kid, and I’ve found many other benefits (as well as band kids) here in Uppsala.

I immediately made over twenty new friends upon showing up to a nation’s band rehearsal (a “nation” here in Uppsala is a student club/organization, each one having its own building, restaurant/pub, activities, gasques, choirs, bands, etc…). I decided to attend the “Hornboskapen Orkester’s” rehearsal one Tuesday evening, never having played any of the instruments that this “orchestra” was comprised of (only trumpet, trombone, euphonium, tuba, percussion, and piccolo are allowed), yet I was welcomed with open arms (and beers all around) and was a part of that band family within minutes of showing up!

Before this, I had attempted to make a friends (or at least acquaintances) by spending time at the nations casually dining and drinking with the other American students and mingling with international and Swedish students. However, as previously warned, most Swedes are pretty reserved and difficult to warm up to initially, and us American folk from Loyola had made a total of zero non-Newman Institute related friends in the three weeks we’d been here.


(They had me recruiting more members after only attending two rehearsals!)
(Preparing music to play for the gasque attendees as they march up the stairs in couples.)
(Hornboskapen playing at the gasque)

Thanks to my staying in band since 5th grade and going to that first Hornboskapen rehearsal, I gained even more band kid friends (oddly enough – it seems that band kids even on the opposite side of the world have the same sense of humor, making it incredibly easy to fit in right away and feel at home). Additionally, I get to attend rehearsals each Tuesday night (7-10pm, playing everything from “The Circle of Life” in the Lion King to old Swedish folk songs. The thing I found most ridiculous about this Hornboskapen band was that rather than water bottles by most musicians’ feet, there are bottles of beer instead! Obviously, the drinking culture here is incredibly prominent and laid back.) as well as the famous gasques hosted by the Snerikes Nation for free! These gasques are pretty fancy- attendees must dress up in formal suits and dresses and the evening includes a three-course dinner, dancing, singing, drinking, toasting, mini-theatre, and even clubbing afterwards. These 12 hour ordeals are exhausting, but Swedes sure know how to throw a great party

So all in all, stay in band kids. You won’t regret it.

(From the perspective of Hornboskapen members as we are playing at the gasque)
(Marching to Uppsala University as a nation before the gasque festivities begin!)
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