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Male choruses warm holidays with song

POULSBO — Male chorus singing in Norway may have roots as far back as the Gregorian chants in the year 300, however, Sunday night was all about the present and the future of this art form.

“It’s a tradition,” commented Ron Olsen, President of the Pacific Coast Norwegian Singers Association. “And it’s a tradition that’s important to save.”

Olsen was one of more than a dozen singers from the Norwegian Male Chorus of Seattle who joined Poulsbo’s Vestre Sund Mannskor in a Christmas concert Dec. 7. More than 100 people packed the Sons of Norway hall to hear the melding of these two groups — one as old as the state and one in its infancy. The Poulsbo group was the younger of the two but it was the Seattle Chorus members who asked to visit Little Norway.

Director Dr. Alf Lunder Knudsen said his singers always want to come to the aid of new choruses. Besides being a night of camaraderie and fun for the singers, attendees’ voluntary admission donations supported the Vestre Sund Mannskor.

“Any time we can help a chorus that’s starting up, we’ll do it,” Knudsen said. “That’s what it’s all about.”

On a personal note, Olsen admitted that he was also interested in the visit because he’s a long-time friend with Vestre Sund Mannskor member Knut Johansen.

“I introduced him to his wife,” Olsen explained with a chuckle.

Personal feelings aside, members of the 114-year-old Seattle Chorus said they were impressed with the Poulsbo men’s abilities. The two had about one and a half rehearsals together and yet the sound was phenomenal, said Knudsen.

“They’re great and they’re growing,” Knudsen said of the Mannskor.

Little Norway’s members were just as thrilled with the outcome.

“What a surprise to have such a big audience,” commented Vestre Sund Mannskor director Jan Parker Peterson, adding, “I don’t know how to describe how it feels. It’s heartwarming to think they would want to come help us. It’s a sacrifice, for sure, for them to come during this busy holiday season.”

“It’s a tradition,” commented Ron Olsen, President of the Pacific Coast Norwegian Singers Association. “And it’s a tradition that’s important to save.”

Olsen was one of more than a dozen singers from the Norwegian Male Chorus of Seattle who joined Poulsbo’s Vestre Sund Mannskor in a Christmas concert Dec. 7. More than 100 people packed the Sons of Norway hall to hear the melding of these two groups — one as old as the state and one in its infancy. The Poulsbo group was the younger of the two but it was the Seattle Chorus members who asked to visit Little Norway.

Director Dr. Alf Lunder Knudsen said his singers always want to come to the aid of new choruses. Besides being a night of camaraderie and fun for the singers, attendees’ voluntary admission donations supported the Vestre Sund Mannskor.

“Any time we can help a chorus that’s starting up, we’ll do it,” Knudsen said. “That’s what it’s all about.”

On a personal note, Olsen admitted that he was also interested in the visit because he’s a long-time friend with Vestre Sund Mannskor member Knut Johansen.

“I introduced him to his wife,” Olsen explained with a chuckle.

Personal feelings aside, members of the 114-year-old Seattle Chorus said they were impressed with the Poulsbo men’s abilities. The two had about one and a half rehearsals together and yet the sound was phenomenal, said Knudsen.

“They’re great and they’re growing,” Knudsen said of the Mannskor.

Little Norway’s members were just as thrilled with the outcome.

“What a surprise to have such a big audience,” commented Vestre Sund Mannskor director Jan Parker Peterson, adding, “I don’t know how to describe how it feels. It’s heartwarming to think they would want to come help us. It’s a sacrifice, for sure, for them to come during this busy holiday season.”

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