Come, let's sing!

23 June 2023

The Österreichisches Volksliedwerk and Hubert von Goisern give a new impetus for singing together

"Come, let's sing!" ist a long-term project from the Österreichisches Volksliedwerk, which began in 2017 under the patronage of Hubert von Goisern. The aim of the project: to create an impulse for singing together - particularly among children. The choice of songs came from an appeal to schools across Austria to submit pieces that people enjoyed singing, or that children had learned within their families, or in their local communities.

From a total of 400 suggested songs, Hubert von Goisern then compiled his personal selection of songs for the schools. Only the "larch yodel", Lära Brett, was his personal request.

  • O du lieber Augustin
  • Der Weg zu mein' Dirndl is stoanig
  • Hätt i di (Jodler)
  • Lära Brett (Jodler)
  • Und jetzt gang i ans Petersbrünndele
  • Gstanzlsingen nach verschiedenen Melodien
  • Amazing grace - A so a Segen (dt. Text Hubert von Goisern)
  • Weit, weit weg
  • Brenna tuats guat
Hubert von Goisern - Komm, wir singen!

All Austrian school grades and establishments were invited to study these songs as part of music, dance, rhythm or musical theatre. Singing teaches you to raise your voice, to listen, to develop a sense of community and empathy, as Hubert von Goisern confirms: "Had my teacher not offered me music as a developmental space, I'd have failed miserably at school. My life began with singing." During the preparation phase, the musician also visited a number of schools to rehearse the songs with the children.

The grand finale of the project came on 21 June 2023, when schoolchildren from all nine Austrian provinces gathered in the Klagenfurt Konzerthaus to sing their songs together with Hubert von Goisern. They were accompanied by guitarist Severin Trogbacher and the Euro Symphony Orchester conducted by Ernest Hoetzl. Such was the demand for tickets, two concerts were arranged - each with more than 500 voices in unison.

The expectations of everyone taking part were high, it was hot, it was muggy, and there was the feeling of something great in the wind. And just as the heavy atmosphere outside discharged in the form of a storm and the rain brought its own cooling refreshment, the excitement inside the Klagenfurt Konzerthaus was released in the form of songs. The voices of hundreds of children from across Austria melded to a collaborative whole in such a way that it was an absolute joy.
Thank you to everyone who worked together on the "Komm, wir singen!" project, to the Österreichisches Volksliedwerk, the music teachers, musicians, management and conductor. But most of all to the children for their enthusiasm and the way in which they showed their joy in music and for life.

Hubert von Goisern - Klagenfurt, on the summer solstice 2023

Hubert von Goisern and the Austrian Folk Song Society: Come, let's sing!

23rd November 2017 | Photo: © Katharina Dietl
Josef Pühringer, President of the Österreichisches Volksliedwerk, Irene Egger, Director of the Österreichisches Volksliedwerk, Anita Frühwirth, Chairwoman of the Vorarlberger Volksliedwerk, Hubert von Goisern, Patron

Hubert von Goisern becomes patron of the Austrian Folk Song Society's campaign

With his passion for and commitment to keeping Austria's rich history of folk music and songs alive and accessible for contemporary audiences, Hubert von Goisern is the perfect fit for the new campaign from the Austrian Folk Song Society, "Come, let's sing".

This year's focus for the long-standing school project "With Every Sense" bears the title "Come, let's sing", which invites schools to develop an Austria-wide repertoire of songs, designed to encourage singing together.

Hubert von Goisern sees "primarily a kind of education of the heart" in singing together, as he explained at a press conference on Thursday. Singing together creates trust and ensures "that nobody is left behind, who might not be able to do it quite so well," said von Goisern. More so than any instrument, the singing voice "really comes from the centre: even I, although I am often on stage, have to overcome my own inhibitions a little each time. It's a kind of fear. So you learn to trust your listeners and those playing with you." And perhaps even more importantly: you learn to listen. "Engaging and feeling the harmony or tension with the others - there's no better place to practise that than in singing with others." However, to be able to do that, at school, with family or friends, you need a joint repertoire.

"Singing brings people together", Hubert von Goisern further explains. "On my travels I have met all kinds of different people. Singing and playing music together has often produced a common inner connection. People tune into each other, they have to open up! We Austrians also belong to a culture that has a long history of singing. I grew up with the songs and music of my close surroundings. I find it really exciting to push into the heart of tradition. In this highly technologised, global world, people long for something familiar to create this inner balance. But nowadays people barely know any shared songs. I see my mission in this campaign as supporting young people in finding the songs they have in common."

The aim of the project is to find, learn and establish a collective repertoire of songs among the students in order to encourage singing together beyond school, in families and communities. Singing should be experienced as something to benefit one's mental and physical wellbeing, as well as being a form of communication and a companion through life.