Octava is an ambitious chamber choir with a strong desire for different kinds of music and is all the time striving to develop and refine its expression. The members all have a great experience of choirs and a common ambition to let the music be the centre. The repertoire is relatively broad but is mainly focused on traditional, modern and sacred music. In the last few years contemporary music has come to be an increasingly more prominent part of Octava's repertoire and the choir is striving to sing works which have not before been performed in its home town of Östersund - modern music by women as well as men composers - and this has resulted in a number of first performances.
In all its programmes Octava wants to create conserts that both affect and inspire, and some of the composers whose works the choir often sings are Arvo Pärt (Estonia), Ola Gjeilo (Norway), Stephanie Martin (Canada), Morten Lauridsen (USA), Cecilia McDowall (England) and Jämtland's own composer Wilhelm Peterson-Berger.
Beside countless performances in Jämtland and Härjedalen the choir has given concerts in the rest of Sweden and made tours in Norway, Germany, Lithuania and Iceland.
Octava is an ambitious chamber choir with a strong desire for different kinds of music and is all the time striving to develop and refine its expression. The repertoire is relatively broad but is mainly focused on traditional choir music, modern choir lyrics and sacred music. The classic genre has always been the foundation, but in recent years newly written music has become more prominent and one of Octava's goals is to present contemporary music by both female and male composers. The choir strives to sing works not previously published in the hometown of Östersund in programs that both touch and inspire. The choir has also made several performances.
Some of the composers whose work the choir often sings are Arvo Pärt (Estonia), Ola Gjeilo (Norway), Stephanie Martin (Canada), Rihards Dubra (Latvia), Cecilia McDowall (England) and Morten Lauridsen (USA)
Henry Åkerlund (born in 1940) from Lillkorsträsk in the county of Älvsbyn, Norrbotten was a co-founder of Octava in 1989. The choir was then a double quartet without a conductor but soon Henry became both conductor and art director. Henry, a qualified music teacher, started Skellefteå chamber choir which he conducted for 17 years. In 1987 he moved to Östersund and worked as a principal at Palmcrantz School. He conducted Octava up to 2016.