Every week the Town Crier blog will look back at Seattle’s near forgotten Town Crier magazine to see what was happening then and talk about what’s happening now. One of the largest sections of the original Town Crier was “What People Are Doing,” highlighting things like, “There will be an entertainment given at the Y.W.C.A. recital hall next Friday evening which should be of special interest to students of French,” and, “Dixie Fleager was the only one in any way to distinguish himself as the Seattle Golf Club sent its men’s team north to Victoria.” In this series we’re revisiting the old column and tying it to our community’s current happenings, asking: “what are people doing?”
The May 3, 1919 edition of the Town Crier gave high praise to a concert that took place at the Swedish Tabernacle at the corner of Pike and Bellevue. Under the direction of Rudolph Muller, with Earl Alexander and Madame Else Grieg Andresen as assisting artists, the Norwegian Male Chorus had a stirring show. “As an interpretation of Grieg’s music,” it noted, “rendered in the composer’s native tongue, the concert was one of the great treats of the season; no one can fully appreciate this music until it is heard in Norwegian.”
It seems as though Andresen, fronting the chorus, stole the show. Her solo numbers, in particular ‘Margaret’s Cradle Song,’ from Grieg, “was sung with deep feeling and beautiful diction.” The article continued, “Her solo, with the male chorus won enthusiasm.” Earl Alexander also gave several solos “which were received with hearty applause.”
The applause for the Norwegian Male Chorus is still resounding because the chorus is still operating today! In fact, the Norwegian Male Chorus was founded in 1889—the year of Washington’s statehood—and is the oldest continuously operating choral organization in Seattle.
A proud member of the Pacific Coast Norwegian Singers Association and the Greater Seattle Choral Consortium, they also partner with such arts groups as the Norwegian Ladies Chorus of Seattle, the Swedish Singers of Seattle, and the Finnish Choral Society of Seattle.
Learn more about them on their website here.