Fred and Gunnel Sjöberg performing at the Peace Concert (©INTERKULTUR)

The Concert for Peace and the double baby birth

How the Artistic Director of INTERKULTUR and Conductor Fred Sjöberg became a double grandfather during the “Concert for Peace” at the European Choir Games.

European Choir Games 2015

“It was July 7, the day of the Concert for Peace to be performed at the European Choir Games. Early in the morning, around 5:40 am I received a message from my daughter in Sweden: ‘Okay, we’re going to the hospital today…’. I was pretty excited, but the more when three hours later I received another message by my son saying: ‘Okay, we’re going to the hospital today…’ So, that was exciting!

Then, I was in the middle of the dress rehearsal for the evening, and we were just practicing the concert’s theme song ‘Power of the Dream’ with all participating choirs, my wife called me from behind with her phone in the hand and shouted: ‘We’ve got a grandchild, and her name is Sophie!!”. What an amazing moment, and it really touched me, because it just happened when we were rehearsing this emotional song “Power of the Dream” for the evening.

Later it was time to perform the concert. We had a beautiful and very touching evening in the Magdeburg cathedral. I was still happy about the whole day when I checked my phone after the performance. I saw four of five missed calls by my son. And after the concert I called him and he said: ‘Tonight at 7.40 pm we had a son, that shall have the name Nils’. I was left speechless. Again, on the same day and again when the music played in this concert that means so much to me, I became a grandfather with my second grandchild. It was so unexpected and unbelievable, that I have no words to describe what I felt.

You should know that it was only the second performance with my choir and the ‘Requiem for Peace’ and at the premiere concert last year in Sweden, unfortunately it happened that my mother passed away. Now, when I conducted it for the second time, two new lives were given to my family. This is one of the rare moments in life that I will always keep deep in my heart and mind.”

Note: Emelie (Fred and Gunnels daughter) and Jimmie Petterson are the parents to Sophie and Frida and Kristoffer Sjöberg (Fred and Gunnels son) are parents to Nils.

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