Unfortunately one of the PULSE participants in South Africa had to go back to Norway. Luckily a former PULSE participant was happy to come back to South Africa and join the PULSE team in Johannesburg.
The new/old PULSE participant is Lisa Laila Gontarek who was a PULSE participant in 2015-2016 (PULSE3). Lisa grew up on the island Karmøy in Norway. She has a bachelor’s degree in Music Performance from The Grieg Academy in Bergen, Norway, and she also studied pedagogy at the same institute. Prior to coming to South Africa, Lisa has worked in Malawi with the FK project MOVE, and has afterwards worked with various music projects in Malawi and Norway. Her primary instrument is the recorder, but she also has experience with playing the violin. Lisa has already spent a year working with PULSE in South Africa in 2015/2016. During this year she stayed both in Free State and in Northern Cape where the main task was to upskill the staff in these regions to promote awareness around disabilities, social inclusion and gender equality. This time around she is looking forward to new focus areas at work, as well as getting to know more field bands around South Africa.
PULSE (NP5) is happy to welcome Lisa to the team. Since the north participants arrived in South Africa, they have not been properly introduced, so here it goes:
Sofie Hjertvik grew up in Ørsta, a small town surrounded by mountains on the west coast of Norway. She has studied music and has a master’s degree in Music Therapy from The Norwegian Academy of Music in Oslo, Norway. Prior to coming to South Africa, Sofie finished her studies and has also worked as a music teacher in different arenas. Her primary instrument is the flute, and she has experience from playing in various orchestras and ensembles. Sofie applied for PULSE because she wanted to use her skills and knowledge in a different setting, and to work in South Africa seemed like a real adventure. She is looking forward to learn more about Field Band Foundation, and to work with links between music and health with PULSE.
Marie Rotevatn is from Nordfjordeid, an idyllic small town on the west coast of Norway. She has a bachelor’s degree in Music Education from The Norwegian Academy of Music in Oslo, Norway, and she has also studied arts management. Prior to coming to South Africa, Marie has worked as a teacher and conductor in various wind bands. Her primary instrument is the clarinet, and she also has experience with playing the saxophone. Marie applied for PULSE because she had heard many positive things about the project for many years from former participants, and she was eager to work with what she loves in a new country and in a new environment. She is looking forward to the work tasks and experience the work with PULSE provides, and is also looking forward to experience what South Africa has to offer.
Hanna Bakke Negård is from Lørenskog, a small town close to the capital of Norway. She has studied music at The Grieg Academy in Bergen, Norway, and has a bachelor’s degree in Radiography from Bergen University College. Hanna’s primary instrument is the trombone, and she has long experience with playing in various ensembles, bands and orchestras. Prior to coming to South Africa, Hanna worked as a radiographer at Oslo University Hospital. Hanna applied for PULSE because she wanted a change of scenery and experience another work environment on a different continent. She is looking forward to bring her skills and knowledge on music and health to the project and to learn as much as possible.
Lisa Laila Gontarek, Marie Rotevatn, Sofie Hjertvik and Hanna Bakke Negård
PULSE in South Africa is very excited to continue the work on music and health with the main focus area on disability awareness.
Happy new year!
Written by: Lisa Laila Gontarek and Hanna Bakke Negård
Pictures by: Eva Bortne