VIVA – Sandnes School of Culture Choir

About VIVA

VIVA is the name of the choir based at the Sandnes School of Culture in south-western Norway. The School of Culture is part of Sandnes School of Music and Arts, one of the oldest and largest in Norway. VIVA was founded in 1968 and consists of about 40 girls aged from 12 to 18, most of whom receive vocal and instrumental lessons.

VIVA sings with great passion and enthusiasm and our aims are to perform to the highest musical standards while creating a positive and joyful social atmosphere among our pupils which encourages both discipline, and respect and care for each other.

VIVA performs from a wide and challenging repertoire, where drama is a very important element. We perform songs from classical and operatic works, from musicals and popular favourites. VIVA performs everywhere from great concert halls to commercial conferences and outdoor festivals. What we want most is to bring joy to people with our singing.

VIVA is one of Norway’s leading choirs and in 2014 reached the final of Norway’s Got Talent. We have won many Norwegian and international prizes and have represented Norway at many festivals and conferences all over the world. VIVA has toured in Denmark, Sweden, Finland, Iceland, the Faroe Islands, Germany, England, Scotland, Wales, Spain, Czech Republic, Poland, USA, Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, South Africa and Cuba

VIVA on the world stage

In 2011, VIVA won the GRIEG GRAND PRIX during the 4th Grieg International Choir Festival.

In early 2013 we received an invitation from the prestigious Distinguished Concerts International New York (DCINY) to visit New York and perform with the Venezuelan composer and conductor Christian Grases on the 22 June 2014 in Carnegie Hall. This is recognition of VIVA’s high level of musicianship. Artistic Director at DCINY, Jonathan Griffith, has said in a press release, “I am excited about the prospect of including you and your singers in pursuit of a glorious and memorable concert. It is only fitting that you are given this unique opportunity to perform in one of the world’s greatest concert halls, which itself represents excellence and musical achievement”.

We aim to uphold our reputation as a high-quality choir in which all our pupils have an opportunity to develop their talents. We are living proof of what children can achieve when they really want to take on a challenge!

Over the years, VIVA has earned a reputation for high quality, and has had the pleasure of performing a number of musical genres. On the stage, VIVA has worked with professional musicians from the Norwegian National Opera and Ballet in Oslo, the Rogaland Theatre in Stavanger, the Stavanger Symphony Orchestra and the jazz group Bayou Blue.

VIVA was invited to perform during the annual New Year’s Concert transmitted by NRK, the Norwegian Broadcasting Company, on 1 January 2008. Students from various Norwegian Schools of Culture are invited and VIVA was the first choir ever to sing at this concert.

Over the years, VIVA has won several choral competitions both in Norway and around the world, mostly in competition with adult choirs!


Liv H Særheim has been musical director and conductor of VIVA since 1974. She graduated as a voice tutor and nursery school music teacher at the Music Conservatory of Oslo in 1970. She has studied the Kodaly and Orff methods in Hungary and Austria respectively, and has attended Master Classes with Doreen Rao in Canada and Stefan Sköld in Sweden.

Liv has been awarded many prizes for her work with choirs and in 2005 was awarded “Conductor of the Year for Children’s Choirs” by The Norwegian Choral Association. The prize that meant most of all to her was the “Everybody Can Sing Award” which she received in Oslo Concert Hall in December 2012. In 2014 Liv received King Harald’s Medal of Honor. Liv is a creative conductor who loves to find new ways of doing things. She regularly gives lectures in her approach to choral teaching in both Norway and abroad.

Our approach to working with children follows what Pablo Casals once said:

«Each second we live is a new and special moment,
a never returning moment.
We should tell every child:
«Do you know what you are?
You are a miracle!
You are wonderful!
In the whole wide world there is no-one like you


For more pictures of VIVA, visit our photo gallery
Watch VIVA on YouTube
Listen to VIVA on VIVA soundtracks
Buy VIVA on CD online at VIVA CDs for sale online

Contact VIVA

Get in touch using the VIVA contact form
We are looking forward to hearing from you!

We are also on Facebook.

Adiemus video