Our Band

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When we formed our band we had three issues that were important for us –

First of all, we were looking for players with a broad musical interest and a wide experience. We wanted to develop our own style of music and we needed a band that could be part of that development. We needed players with a musical confidence, strong enough to see the music from a Secret Garden perspective and see their role as part of a musical concept.

Secondly, we wanted players who could be part of a long-time musical commitment. Around the time we started, I worked with a lot of the most sought-after players in Norway. In a way it could have been tempting to choose from these top players, but I was hesitant going down that road. I discussed this with Fionnuala, and we agreed that working with a band of popular session players, and players involved in many other popular projects, would only create difficulties for our selves at some point. We wanted to form a band where Secret Garden would be the main priority; musicians who could would regard Secret Garden as an important career opportunity.

Third, and not the least important point: we wanted a group of players that could blend socially, be friends on tour on- and off-stage, and work and travel together without any big egos or friction. When you work with top players, musically and technically, it’s not always easy to find your position inside the group of talented people. There can be a lot of individual concerns upsetting a perfect musical and social balance, especially when all the players are artists in their own right. To have a band without conflicting interests was so important.

We were blessed to find our band members very soon; they fell into place in a very natural way.

Rhtyhm Section

Rolf Kristensen

Rolf Kristensen

band_rolf_kThe most consistent part of the group is our rhythm section. Our guitar player Rolf Kristensen has been there since the very first concert in 1995. Apart from a temporary teaching commitment as an Assistant Professor at the University of Southern California, he has played every concert with us. In fact, when he was gone for 6 months, we chose to tour without replacing him. It would be too complicated to sub for him. When he is not touring with Secret Garden, he’s an Associate Professor at the University of Agder (UIA) in Kristiansand, teaching guitar.

He’s a very versatile player with jazz and contemporary music as his forte. He can also do a great classical acoustic guitar arrangement, but he is more confident on stage when he can strap up his Fender Stratocaster and step on his pedal rack.

It took a few years before he let out his artistic talent. In the beginning, he was very happy taking a back position on stage, almost a little shy. Later, he blossomed and became more confident as an artist, taking a front position whenever it’s needed.

In a funny way, he combines these practical and organized characteristics with an astonishing absent-mindedness. In fact, we always joke when we do our count to check if everybody’s onboard the bus: “Is Roofy here?” If the answer is ‘yes’, we know that everybody else is too.

The logistics of a tour, practical details and information can totally pass him by, but on the stage he’s solid as a rock.

Singers

Tracey Campbell

Tracey Campbell

Tracey was the original singer, along with Brian Kennedy, on our recording of ‘You Raise Me Up’ in 2001. After we brought her back with us, she’s been part of our regular touring group. It was great to have her onboard for the promotion of ‘You Raise Me Up’, but her great talent didn’t really come to fruition before we gave her a bigger role in the concerts by singing songs from Inside I’m Singing in 2007. We discovered Tracey’s divine talent when she stepped down from the bleachers of the London Gospel Community Choir and auditioned for the female verse of ‘You Raise Me Up’. We’d never imagined that our music, paired with a gospel singer, would work so well. When we heard Tracey, we just cried. She was perfect for the song and she made it into something more – something magical we could never plan for or expect.

Whatever song she performs with us she’s turning into a personal statement. She has this God-given talent that she’s doesn’t sing a song; the song sings her. Whether it’s ‘Simply You’, ‘The Things You Are To Me’, ‘Powered By Nature’, ‘Sometimes A Prayer Will Do’ or ‘You Raise Me Up’ she’s making it into a powerful spiritual moment. She says she always thinks about God when she sings. When I’m recording in the studio with her it’s actually hard to produce her because I’m so emotionally receptive to her performance I can’t concentrate on technical issues.

On tour she’s a mess, often late for the bus in the morning and always the last to check out of the hotel room. She’s able to miss flights and lose her tickets. It’s a regular part of the tour leader’s job to give her two wake-up calls in the morning. But she’s worth it! She is a genuine world-class talent, and we feel blessed that we’re able to work with her and regard her part of our Secret Garden ensemble.

Top Lines

Hans Fredrik Jacobsen

Hans Fredrik Jacobsen

band_hans_fredrikOur first regular top line player is the Norwegian whistle player Hans Fredrik Jacobsen. He’s the only original member of the band who was on stage with us in Dublin when we won the Eurovision Song Contest in 1995. He’s done countless concerts with us all over the world, but he’s also been busy with his own musical projects, both touring and recording… which means that he’s been unavailable for us from time to time. One of his strengths as a player is his technical excellence. He has a master degree at the University of Oslo as a traditional recorder player, and he is also a versatile improviser of any whistle, which is a rare combination. This means that he’s as capable playing a classical tune with beautiful phrasing as he is improvising fills and creating effects on his instruments. He’s solid as a rock on stage, and he always delivers pure gold in every concert he’s performing with us.

Hans Fredrik enjoys a good meal, a great glass of wine, a good book or some great music. He can produce the most elegant and funny limericks on the spot. There is a story about him I can’t confirm because I wasn’t there, but Espen Andersen, our monitor-mixing engineer, can. On one of our tours he was watching a movie on the plane to China. A group of formal men in black suits was standing right next to his seat discussing something. Hans Fredrik was eventually annoyed by the disturbance they caused, and basically told them to get lost in his slightly ironic and not the most eloquent manner. It turned out that it was the Belgian Prime Minister he’d verbally annihilated.

Hans Fredrik is considered a leading traditional flute player in Norway. His list of recordings and concert projects is a study of Norwegian music history in itself.

Crew

Dag Stephen Solberg

Dag Stephen Solberg

crew_dag_stephenWe met Dag Stephen by coincidence at one of our first corporate events in Oslo. He was coincidentally assigned by the sound company who was hired to do the gig. He was young and inexperienced, but he had this incredible energy and enthusiasm that Fionnuala and I liked. He was ‘hungry’, at the beginning of his career and talented. We saw, in this combination, a perfect potential for us. By investing in his talent and by giving him professional experience along with our own growth as a group, we were confident that Dag Stephen was the right sound engineer for us. This was in 1996 before we started our international touring. When the opportunity came for international concerts, it was never a question of working with anyone else but Dag Stephen… even if he was a novice to the international market.

He is still with us, doing most of our concerts and tours. Needles to say, he’s embedded in our 20-year history, and we rely heavily on his experience and professionalism. Today, he is one of the most sought-after sound engineers in Norway, doing the biggest concerts and events for Norwegian and international top acts.

The sound is essential to a concert, and and there is nothing we can do to affect the sound other than how we play on stage. It’s all resting in the hands of the sound mixer. It could be a subtle detail in the arrangement or a delicate balance between two instruments, it could be the EQs in a difficult hall or it could be the right reverb on the violin. It’s all the small details that will decide how the audience eventually will perceive the music. Everywhere we go, we hear praise of Dag Stephen’s sound. It’s really a matter of trust. We’re very fortunate to have him with us for all these years. He knows our music back to front and still, after almost 2 decades, has this boyish energy and enthusiasm when we work with him.

During a sound check, I might occasionally walk out into the hall just to have a listen and get a feel for the sound. I might have opinions, but mostly I’ve learned to trust our highly qualified sound crew.

In times when Dag Stephen has been unavailable for us, we’ve worked with David Solheim. During the years, he has toured with us on numerous occasions, in Asia, Australia, USA and Europe. There are minor variations in the way they produce sound but they both possess the same ambition and sincerity in their work ethics. David is the calm rock and lets no stress bite even when there’s a storm around him. They’re different persons, but they both share a common understanding of our musical concept,  and they’ve both earned our full respect and confidence.

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Posted September 24th, 2:50 pm

Secret Garden

Thank you! Love, Fionnuala 🙏🏼❤️ See MoreSee Less

Comment on Facebook 3276571312396449

It is such a treat to see you and hear the happiness in your voice. I wish you continued good health and many more years of music.
May your violin continue to sing softly…..so that a I may continue to hear it in Boothbay, Maine, USA❤️

From Russia, with Love! Your music.. it's made my world incide. God bless you. Sorry for my English.

Hope your recovery continues well and thanks for the great music you give us

Lovely news! ⚘

What a wonderfully brave and talented lady, thank you Fionnulala

Great to see and hear that you are doing so well. Sending you much love Therese

Great News . God loves you

Lovely to see you and gorgeous Archie Fionnuala ❤️

Wonderful news! Looking forward to the Christmas album….it will bring so much joy!

So glad you're on the road to recovery..am so very happy for you..Will continue to pray for you!

What a gracious, classy spirit. If we chose our queens, Julie Andrews and Fionnuala would be royalty.

Great news! So good to hear you are fine!

Love From Argentina and I love ur dog ♥️👍🏻😃

So good to hear you are ok and looking fabulous too. Your ebullience is becoming more and more apparent and it is great to see. Looking forward to hear your new musical arrangements.
Stay safe ❤ XX

Looking gorgeous!

Can't wait for new album 🤸💜🥳🙏🎶

Happy Days Fionnuala,

Belated birthday greetings to you, Fionnula…may this next turn around the sun bring you full return of health, new adventures, and more…more beautiful music. I will add you to my morning prayers .

Very happy for you!!!

Good news are always welcome!

Most welcome! Looking forward to the new release!

Happy birthday to you with my all best wishes

❤️

❤️🌺🙏

Love you❤️

Take care!! Enjoy every moment..

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Posted September 20th, 1:06 pm

Secret Garden

Happy birthday, our dear Fionnuala Sherry❤️ See MoreSee Less

Happy birthday, our dear Fionnuala❤️

Comment on Facebook Happy birthday, our …

You are a treasure and a fighter. For 20 years you and Rolf have soothed my hurts with the balm of your music. It is my heart's native dialect, expressing every worthy emotion.

Happy Birthday, Fionnuala! You’ve given us a gift with your violin. May your day be as beautiful as your music.

Have a very very happy birthday I look forward to seeing you next year when I fly over the big pond to see you on your continent you’re an amazing woman

Felicidades 🎂 abrazos desde Zacatecas México 🤗

Happy Birthday to a talented, beautiful lady! 🎈🎈🎂🎈🎈

Happy birthday from Northern New York! And thank you for adding such gorgeous music to my life soundtrack!!❤

Happy birthday! Thanks for all the joy you bring to us!

Happy b. Day.Thiss is our holiday, Rosh Hashana, first day of the jewish people's new year.

Happy birthday, pls stay our inspiration! 💕

Happy Birthday!! You are amazing!! Your song is Divine!💜💜

Es tu dia, susurra la brisa de la noche en la ventana, y golpea solitaria en el cristal de los sueños.

El eco se hace armonía con su ancho sonido celestial.

Y me deja varado en la orilla del tiempo…para desearte un FELIZ CUMPLEAÑOS FIUNNALA.

GRACIAS POR TU MUSICA

Happy Birthday Fionnula – all the best wishes to you 🎼🍀🐞🎂🎉from Bremen, Germany 🌞🙋‍♂️

Happy birthday and thank you for the music 🎶

Happy birthday, thank you for touching music within these years

Happy birthday…and thanks for the beautiful music you share with us.

Happy birthday to you, Fionnuala🎂

Happy Birthday! You are a gift from God! 😘

Happy Birthday Fionnuala!! Have a great day!

Happy Birthday from Las Vegas where I was fortunate enough to see you perform. Blessings <3

Happy Birthday from Orlando, Florida

Happy birthday .have a very good day…thank you for your beautiful music

Happy Birthday, sweet lady!! Love from Brazil! <3

Happy birthday & thank you for your music

Happy birthday, Fionnuala, may God give great moments to you!

Happy Birthday Fionnuala from Washington State! May this year bring you much health and happiness!

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Posted August 30th, 11:56 am

Secret Garden

We just came across this performance of our “Song From A Secret Garden” by cellist Stjepan Hauser with the Prague Philharmonic Orchestra. We love it and wanted to share it with you all.
One You Tube comment was particularly complementary: "This is the song that will play in the credits when the world ends”🙏🏼
See MoreSee Less

Video image

Comment on Facebook https://www.instagram.com/hausercello…

That’s a beautiful version of one of your most beautiful songs ever! The only Secret Garden song I can play by heart on the violin! 🎻 ♥️ And so I do very often! 🥰

This is one of my favorite Secret Garden songs. It brings such peace.

My favorite secret garden song💜💙

I love Secret Garden and love the songs!

Hauser is an extremelu talented cellist. Quite a bit arrogant at times, but he has a rather unique style of playing. I like to watch his videos on Youtube, and yes, he did do "Song From a Secret Garden" VERY well. If I remember correctly, he and another man had a group for a while called "Two Cellos". He does give people another side to see of how a cello can be played-not just as an orchestra instrument only playing classical music. I think it would be fun if you could get together with him and see what happens musically!

Of all your songs for me "Elegie" has always been "the end of the world song" 😊 It's the last song I would like to hear when my world ends..it says all ❤ but I like this song as well like all your songs!!! They make this world much more beautiful!😍

I've listened both your original and Hausers version for many times. The song did hit me 1996 and still touches my soul. Thank you, both ❤️

This Is the song that calms my soul, wakes me every morning and yes I am sure will be in the credits of life. Thank you for it.

A beautiful song and a lovely version. I'm no expert but I can hear slight differences to the original and it's funny but as I love the original so much it always seems just the perfect piece and so I give the Ireland vote (douze point) to Secret Gardens version and 10 points to Hauser !

Bellissima interpretazione!Adoro la musica dei Secret Garden❤🎼

Secret Garden has carried us through the joyous, and not so joyous journeys of life….I agree with the You Tube comment about when the world ends….love it!

One of my favorite songs ever…

👌🏽👌🏽👌🏽…but never recorded by HAUSER, was it? 🤔

just to correct, in description of video it states Zagreb orchestra not Praha.

Lost count of how many times I've watched this. A stunning performance of a beautiful song

That was so beautiful it made me cry!!! 🎼

Jo Thomas I love this song

Vakkert!👏👏👏

В оригинальном исполнении группой мне нравится больше.

C'est magique!
Merci de partager! ♥️

I consider the original version to be unrivalled! 🏆

🎼❤️🌹🙏

That comment is definitely spot on.
I'm always captivated by the original performance of yours with brilliant Fionnuala Sherry genuinely playing with no mannerisms but with delicate, sophisticated pathos… So uplifting, so moving… Unmatched! ⚘

of course Hauser was playing with the Zagreb Philarmonic conducted by the brilliant Elizabeth Fuchs. It is an absolutely brilliant rendition of Song from a Secret Garden. It is so good in fact it's nearly as good as the original.😀

Unbelievable though that so many comments on YouTube show that so many people have no idea that this song is written and originally played by the wonderful Secret Garden!! ❤️❤️🥇👏

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Posted July 22nd, 9:37 am

Secret Garden

We’re excited to share yet another performance video with you! Hope you like it! See MoreSee Less

Comment on Facebook 3086382208082028

Always m one of your great fans…luv every bit of music….I just pray Fionnuala gets well soon…luv n prayers🙏🏻🙂😘

One of my favorites! Your music has meant so much to me. Thank you ❤️❤️

This brings back so many beautiful memories of my courting days with my husband💗🎵🎶

From the first day I heard you 20 years ago I loved you.
Thank you.

Incredible Piece 🎻🎹 💕x

Where can we find the whole video?

Vocês são anjos para mim!❤

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Posted July 17th, 9:24 am

Secret Garden

We look back at the original version of Adagio. See the whole performance on YouTube: shorturl.at/ajSUX 🙌 See MoreSee Less

Comment on Facebook 3072700589450190

This song was the 2nd song I'd heard of yours and instantly fell in love with it. I still do love it.

Such a beautiful piece ❤️

One of my favorites ❤️

🖤🖤🖤

Naz Akbulut

So beautiful ❤️

Music of the gods ❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️

Beautiful.

One of my favorites too, very beautiful !

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