Jerren Gan - Authorjerren.email@example.com
Carl Housten - Photographercarl.firstname.lastname@example.org
Jerren Gan - Photographerjerren.email@example.com
You might know them from their striped yellow shirts and black tailcoats; or you might know them as the band with the tiger-striped bus. But did you know that it was the dance group's 65 year anniversary performance recently? And that it wasn’t actually PQ’s?
Known as just PQ, the student orchestra of KTH is actually made up of two groups: the (older) Promenadorquestern (the jazz orchestra) and the Baletten Paletten (the dance group of the orchestra). While the orchestra started in 1956, the members of the orchestra decided to include a ballet with their performance of Offenbach’s Can-Can in 1958, giving birth to Baletten Paletten and what we know now as Promenadorquestern och med Baletten Paletten.
And on the cold Saturday of 25th March 2023, Baletten Paletten celebrated their 65th year anniversary in a hall full of warmth and joy.
Before the concert began, the pub at Nymble began to fill up with PQ alumni of all ages. From alumni to current PQ members, the area outside the concert hall (aka Nya Matsalen) was full of comments like “I'm happy to be back” and “Nice to see you again!” as old friends reunited to attend the performance as one big PQ family. To make things even better, everyone was dressed for the occasion. With tailcoats filled with patches and medals and yellow-black stripped shirts being donned by so many audience members, the pride for PQ was overflowing.
A KTH alumni, Carl Housten (who was also Osqledaren's Editor-in-chief 2021/2022), remarked: "PromenadOrquestern is one of my favorite sides of student culture. They have real musical talent, but what really stands out is the animated dancing and altogether exciting performances with a generous touch of humor. A class act that makes no attempt to be classy, somewhere right between a spex, a jazz band and a drunk student.”
“If you've enjoyed one of their smaller shows on campus you should really see one of their concerts, there's just so much more to see! I'll likely keep coming to their concerts and relive the nostalgia for years to come."
When the show began, one could immediately understand why the alumni of PQ are so attached to the orchestra. With dancing, singing and of course, music being played on stage, the joy and pride the performers had was infectious. With the planned chaotic (or, you could say, OBALANSERAT) performance put up by PQ, everyone in the audience was seen to be enjoying themselves — at one point, before the last song, young toddlers donning the striped PQ shirts even ran onto the stage in joy while audience members joined in throwing their hands to spotlight the standing performers as they played their solo rifts with expertise.
Of course, the concert wasn’t only enjoyable for PQ alumni. Everyone in attendance enjoyed themselves and cheers and applause could be heard consistently — especially when the orchestra roamed around the audience while performing their hit “Where’s the Tiger” at the end of their performance.
When interviewed, Lassi, a member of KI’s Blåslaget noted that even though he has been in the orchestra for 5 years, it was his first PQ concert. With all the jazz, dance and big band, the concert was different from others and he really enjoyed himself, noting that this really forms a big part of student life for all that are involved. As a trombonist, he was also glad to see so many of them on stage.
Aloysius, an international student here at KTH for exchange shared that “the concert was a great opportunity to be exposed to the culture surrounding school bands and the storied traditions that have been built upon over the 67 years for which PQ has been around”.