Let the power of music improve your life

A message from your editor


Let the power of music transform your life

Photo: Rene Fuller
Over the years, Editor-in-chief Lori Ann Reinhall (third from left) has enjoyed playing the accordion at Nordic events, including the 17th of May celebration in Seattle’s Ballard neighborhood.

Dear readers and friends,

As I have so often said, every issue of The Norwegian American is special, but this month’s issue with its focus on music is especially close to my heart. I, for one, could not imagine my life without music, and I also have a particular fondness for Norwegian music. For this and so many reasons, including the enthusiasm of my team—they are quite a musical group—working on this issue has been a joy.

When we learned of the death of Oslo’s beloved troubadour Lille­bjørn Nilsen in January, we knew that we wanted to feature him in our music issue. Not only was he a wonderfully talented performer, whose songs have been loved by generations, he was a positive ray of sunlight with his texts written to bring people together and make them happy. Lillebjørn took hold of the power of music and put it to good use throughout his entire life. He was a Norwegian folk hero.

Music is a powerful force, having an impact on people in different ways. I was fortunate to grow up in a musical family—my mother was a piano teacher—and I received training in classical music, an interest that has stayed with me throughout my life. My favorite composer is Edvard Grieg (I am not making that up). But I also got an accordion strapped on me when I was a wee thing, and I learned to love folk and popular music—and I am always searching for new music.

Not everyone has the same taste in music, which is why with this special issue, we have covered a variety of genres. Of course, we can only scratch the surface, but we hope you will be inspired to explore new artists and genres. There is so much to enjoy. Let music fuel your creativity, let it enhance your mood, let music improve your life!


This year, there has been quite a bit of hype around the Eurovision Song Contest, with the finals taking place in Malmö, Sweden, this year, Norwegians representing Sweden, protests about Israel’s participation, and a Norwegian entry that has good odds for making it to the top. Fortunately, we have our Eurovision experts on our team, and Synneva Bratland presents the history of the contest. We will keep you posted on how things go for Norway this year.

Crossings website launch

Many of you may have noticed that The Norwegian American is playing an important part in preparations for the commemoration of 200 years of Norwegian immigration to North America as we are hosting the project website at crossings.norwegianamerican.com

This website that we designed and launched last month will function as the communications hub for the Norwegian-American community on this side of the Atlantic.

Between now and Oct. 9, 2025, when it is planned for a replica of the Restauration, the ship that brought 53 Norwegians to the New World 200 years earlier, to sail into New York Harbor, there will be a plethora of informative content and activities posted on the website. And if you have an event to post, it is very easy to submit it for publication.

It’s also easy to sign up to receive the Crossings newsletter and to stay up to date on social media. Then, of course, if you are inclined to make a donation to support our work, it would be most appreciated.

Finally, many thanks to Assistant Editor Ragnhild Hjeltnes and the team for all the work they have put in to make this a success.

The 17th of May is on its way!

Now that spring is here and Norwegian Constitution Day is coming, we have our work cut out for us here at the newspaper. We are already working on a special expanded issue (you will not want to miss it), and we have a number of initiatives underway to raise funds for the newspaper.

One of the most fun ways to support the newspaper is with your holiday greeting. It is also a great way to show support for your community, so remember to place your order now before the spaces are filled up.

We hope you will also mark your calendars for our “17 for 17 for 17” online auction, running for 17 days starting on May 1, with the goal of raising $17,000 by May 17. It will be filled with exciting items to bid on, all with a Nordic twist. We promise you that this auction will be both festive and fun, and it will be an important stream of revenue for us.

We are always working to improve The Norwegian American, but we can’t do it without your help—and we are always so grateful for your support.

With that, I wish you many hours of very happy reading!

Lori Ann Reinhall
The Norwegian American

This article originally appeared in the April 2024 issue of The Norwegian American.

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Lori Ann Reinhall

Lori Ann Reinhall, editor-in-chief of The Norwegian American, is a multilingual journalist and cultural ambassador based in Seattle. She is the president of the Seattle-Bergen Sister City Association, and she serves on the boards of several Nordic organizations.