The 107th Sangerfest

The Everett Norwegian Male Chorus hosted their 14th Sangerfest, with over 100 voices

Photo: Solveig Lee  Many voices singing together is what Sangerfest is all about.

Photo: Solveig Lee
Many voices singing together is what Sangerfest is all about.


Solveig Lee
Mount Vernon, Wash.

Both the Everett Norwegian Male Chorus and the Pacific Coast Norwegian Singers Association were established in 1902, and just one year later the Everett chorus presented the PCNSA’s first-ever Sangerfest. This year, Everett hosted the fest for the 14th time.

Singers from up and down the Pacific Coast—from Bellingham, Wash., to San Diego, Calif.—have met and performed annually in many cities on the coast, as a means to strengthen Nordic culture through male chorus singing. This Sangerfest made history with the biggest-ever afternoon walk-up sales, which exceeded 100 tickets for one event in addition to the pre-sold tickets.

Photo: Solveig Lee  Director Emeritus Alf Knudsen with Sigrid, daughter of Everett singer Gary Strombo and his wife, Kristina.

Photo: Solveig Lee
Director Emeritus Alf Knudsen with Sigrid, daughter of Everett singer Gary Strombo and his wife, Kristina.

Though the repertoire has expanded over the years and now includes many American songs, about 70 percent are still Norwegian pieces. In this program, the Sangerfest Chorus sang a wide variety of songs accompanied by Dr. Jeffrey Highland on the piano.

Under Director-in-Chief Steve Jensen, they performed “Når fjordene blåner,” “Sigurd Jorsalfar” with soloist Erik Eliason, “Klara stjärna,” “Who Are the Braver?” and “Olaf Trygvason.” Assistant Director-in-Chief Erik Eliason directed the chorus in “Skomværvalsen” with Howard Slauson, Lyle Johnson, and Sven Olsen as soloists, “Barndomsminne frå Nordland” with Stein Roed as soloist, “I midnattsolen,” “Brudefærden i Hardanger,” and “Joshua Fit the Battle of Jericho.” The concert closed with Edvard Grieg’s dramatic “Landkjenning” with soloist Peter Butler and directed by Dr. Alf Lunder Knudsen, Director Emeritus. Also performing were the Kamiak High School MidKnights, directed by Nancy Duck-Jefferson.

At the close of the performance, youth dressed in Norwegian bunads joined those on stage to present lovely floral bouquets to performers. This Sangerfest is one that will long be remembered.

This article originally appeared in the July 15, 2016, issue of The Norwegian American. To subscribe, visit SUBSCRIBE or call us at (206) 784-4617.

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