Norwegian Ladies Chorus to celebrate 80 years of Nordic song

The Norwegian Ladies Chorus of Seattle is celebrating its 80th anniversary with a spring concert this Sunday, April 10, at 3:00 pm at  Leif Erikson Lodge (2245 NW 57th St).

The Seattle Norwegian Male Chorus will also join in the celebrations and will sing several selections during the concert. Sissel and Friends will also play a selection of Scandinavian dance music.

Refreshments will be available following the concert and will include marzipan cake, homemade dessert, punch, and coffee.

The Norwegian Ladies Chorus of Seattle was founded by Dr. August Werner, a Norwegian-born professor of music at the University of Washington, in 1936. Dr. Werner wanted to provide Seattle’s newly immigrated Norwegian and Norwegian-American women with an important link with their heritage and culture.

The chorus (pictured below) first performed on September 4, 1936, at a reception held at the Four Seasons Olympic Hotel in Seattle during the Pacific Coast Norwegian Singers Association’s annual Sangerfest concert. Gertrude Werner, Dr. Werner’s wife, directed the chorus from 1937 until her death in 1958 when Dr. Werner again became director.

norwegian choir 80th

Under Dr. Werner’s direction, the chorus performed regularly and established an extensive music library including many pieces he personally arranged in Norwegian.

These days, the chorus has approximately 30 active members, ranging from first to third generation Norwegian-Americans, as well as Seattleites who have a passion for Norway.

Julie Svendsen is the current director with Janelle Murray as the accompanist.  Rehearsals are held weekly from September through May on Tuesday evenings at 7:30 p.m. at the Leif Erikson Lodge, Norna Room.

This Spring’s concert is set to be a special celebration of such an important part of Ballard’s cultural history.

Admission to the concert is by a suggested donation of $10.


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