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Nordic Folk Song Brings Meaning for Today
Nordic Folk Song Brings Meaning for Today
Posted on 01/12/2021
The oldest known Nordic folk song brings meaning for today through the A.C. Reynolds High School orchestra.

By: Benjamin Rickert
BCS Communications Dept.

The oldest known Nordic folk song brings meaning for today through the A.C. Reynolds High School orchestra. Students recently chose to conclude their fall semester’s work with a virtual performance of "Drømte mig en drøm," a somber piece about equality and justice written in the vicinity of 1300 C.E. Students recorded themselves playing instruments in different locations due to COVID-19, and worked with strings teacher Ms. Ashlee Booth to combine their video clips into a group performance.

“The ancient Scandinavian text can be translated as ’I dreamt a dream of equality and honest measure,’” said Booth. “I thought that the context of it was perfect for what’s going on in America right now.”

Reynolds High orchestra students perform from different locations during the COVID-19 pandemic.Booth’s students ultimately selected an arrangement of the song provided by the Danish String Quartet, a group well-known for bringing classical, Danish, and Scandinavian music to a string setting. All 18 students in the class were represented in the combined online performance, and the video presentation included details of the song’s history and meaning.

“It’s important for students to have a space to process what’s going on in the world around them through the arts,” Booth said. “This past year has been really tough, from coronavirus to social justice issues. Every single day they’re living through a historic event. This is really important for their emotional and mental health.”

During the pandemic, Booth has encouraged her students to find community, camaraderie, and solidarity with one another as they musically collaborate, whether in-person or online. While the recorded folk song challenged the group to think differently about their year-end performance, Booth hopes those larger lessons occurred along the way.

“I reminded my students throughout the semester to understand that creation and artistic practice is not necessarily about the product, but about the process of discovering and creating, as well as that sense of connection,” she said.

Booth has taught strings for four years, and is in her first year working with students at A.C. Reynolds High, A.C. Reynolds Middle, Cane Creek Middle, and the Martin L. Nesbitt, Jr. Discovery Academy.

Special thanks to the Danish String Quartet for sharing this arrangement with A.C. Reynolds High along with permission to perform and post it. Learn more about the quartet on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, and their website.

Buncombe County Schools is in the process of reviewing its website to ensure compliance with Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act and Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act. Buncombe County Schools does not discriminate on the basis of sex in its education programs or activities and is required by Title IX of the Education Amendments Act of 1972 and federal regulations to not discriminate in such a manner. This requirement extends to admission and employment. Inquiries about the application of Title IX and its implementing federal regulations may be referred to the Title IX Coordinator and/or the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights in the Office for Civil Rights at the U.S. Department of Education. The Title IX Coordinator's contact information is: Shanon Martin,, 828-255-5918, 175 Bingham Road, Asheville, NC 28806.

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