The Nordiska Folkdancers of Seattle will present a performance of traditional dances and music of Scandinavia – Sweden, Norway, Denmark, and Finland – at the monthly Nordic Lodge Meeting on February 17th. Included will be gammaldans (dances common to many regions, such as waltz, polka, etc.) and bygdedans (regional dances, specific to an area or even a single community), all expressions of living traditions which have been evolving for centuries.
Over Nordiska’s 60 years, the group has performed for visiting Swedish, Norwegian and Danish royalty; in concert with illustrious musicians from Scandinavia, such as Gunnar Hahn and Sigbjørn Bernhoft Osa; at special events such as Skandia Midsommarfest, Vasa Park’s Midsommarfest, Ethnic Heritage Council’s Worldfest and Winterfest, Northwest Folklife Festival, UW’s Lucia Fest, Nordic Heritage Museum’s Yulefest and Tivoli festival, Swedish Sesquincentennial programs, Gordon Tracie Music Library events, the Greig Festival, Son’s of Norway, Swedish Club, and Danish Community events; as part of SeaFair’s “Peer Gynt,” Mountaineers’ plays and local orchestra and folk music programs; in community outreach performances at churches, retirement homes, parades.
For more information about this group, visit their website at https://nordiska.weebly.com/. Photo above has been made available courtesy of the Nordiska Folkdancers.
A brief business meeting will precede the performance, which will begin at 12:00 noon. A $10 donation is requested.
Viking Ship at the Whidbey Island Fair
The Whidbey Island Nordic Lodge’s Viking Long Ship float, built by Lodge member Brian Petersen, made its first public appearance at the Fourth of July parade in Oak Harbor this summer and has been really getting around since then. It appeared again in the Whidbey Island Fair annual parade in Langley on Saturday, July 22nd, and then again at the Farmer’s Market in Coupeville on August 26th, at the Oak Harbor Farmer’s Market on August 31st, and the Bayview Market on Sept 9th. Upcoming appearances are planned on October 7th at the Coupeville Market, and on Dec 2nd in the Greening of Coupeville Parade.
Brian says that he is very happy and proud to have been able to research and construct this symbol of the Whidbey Island Nordic Lodge. He sees the float as a way to inform the public that there is a Nordic Lodge on Whidbey Island and to give the Lodge recognition within the community. Brian hopes that the exposure will also aid in increased membership.
Brian’s idea to build this Viking Long Ship was based on the fact that a Viking boat is a very recognizable Nordic symbol. He started by looking on the internet for pictures and plans for Viking boats. He was finally able to track a boat down at the Nordic Lodge in Portland, Oregon. Accompanied by enthusiastic Lodge member Dick Johnson, Brian made a trip down to Oregon to see and photograph their ship. He was also able to obtain a copy of the plans for their boat (such as they were). This gave him his starting point; construction of his Viking Long ship began on a resurrected boat trailer and with the newly acquired plans, a large cardboard box, and no idea of what he was getting into.
It turned out that the plans obtained were originally that of a ship conceived and built in Great Falls, MT as a one-third scale model of a Viking ship. Brian reduced this scale even further to end up with a boat that is 16 1/2 feet long with a beam of 6 feet. It is entirely screwed together and is one unit in that the trailer base is part of the boat.
During construction, Brian was forced to improvise in places as the plans in hand were not entirely accurate. “This is what builds character” he says. “I believe the effort was worth it because the float will advertise the Whidbey Island Nordic Lodge to our surrounding community.”
Brian’s hope is that this Viking Long Ship will be used and enjoyed by the Lodge membership for many years to come.
On Saturday, June 10th, beginning at 3pm, the Whidbey Island Nordic Lodge and the Daughters of Norway Ester Moe Lodge will host Lynn Berg, prize-winning Hardanger fiddle maker, and Rachel Nesvig, extraordinary violinist and Hardanger fiddle performer. Lynn will display his fiddles and fiddle-making process; Rachel will play Norwegian music on the instruments. Both will be wearing Norwegian bunads, traditional attire of Norway.
The ornate Hardanger fiddle is considered the national instrument of Norway. Its haunting sound ] is produced by vibrating drone strings. Lynn, a graduate of PLU in 1964, became interested in making an ethnic Norwegian folk instrument, the Hardanger fiddle, 25 years ago. He is the only American to win medals (three) in the Norwegian National Instrument-Making competition. He enjoys restoring antique Hardanger fiddles and has restored many historic instruments. More information about Lynn’s fiddle-making and the hardingfele may be found on his website at http://www.fiddlemaker.com/
Rachel has been playing the Hardanger Fiddle since high school and was the first student at St. Olaf College to receive Distinction in Hardanger Fiddle in 2007. She has studied fiddle both in the US and in Norway and has taught the beginning Hardanger Fiddle course at the Hardanger Fiddle Association of America’s Annual Workshop. Currently Rachel spends her week days teaching orchestra in the Edmonds School District and her evenings playing the violin with the Tacoma Symphony, Yakima Symphony, Puget Sound Symphony Orchestra, the Seattle Rock Orchestra, and other community groups.
This event is free and open to the public, but donations will be graciously accepted.
The Whidbey Island Nordic Lodge is located at 63 Jacobs Rd., a right turn about one mile south of the stoplight at the intersection of Highway 525 and North Main in Coupeville.
The Nordic Book Discussion Group reading list for the coming year includes a wide range of subject matter, both fictional and non-fictional, and all selections have either a Nordic/Scandinavian theme or author. Fictional stories take in Norway, Denmark, Iceland, United States, and Sweden. One of these finds us in the far north of Norway – home to the indigenous Sami people. Authors include some well known to us, such as Ivan Doig, Neil Gaiman, Vilhelm Moberg, and Per Petterson, and some who, though not as well known, are very well reviewed.
The Nordic Book Discussion group meets the second Thursday of the month September to June at the Nordic Hall in Coupeville, 1:30-3:00 pm. If you are interested in joining their adventures this year, please contact them at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information and also visit our Activities web page.
At the January 21st monthly meeting of the Whidbey Island Nordic Lodge, the Finnish Choral Society of Seattle along with the Evergreen Kantele Group performed a concert of Finnish music to delighted listeners.
The Finnish Choral Society is one of the few choirs that still preserves traditional Finnish language choir music in the USA. The roots date back to 1964, when a choir named “Kaleva Korus” was started. The choir eventually merged with the West Coast Singers’ Seattle Chapter in the mid 1970’s and the name Finnish Choral Society was established around 1980. The choir’s current director is Dr. Heather McLaughlin-Garbes. The choir sings mostly Finnish choral numbers — folk, patriotic, humorous, sacred, and secular.
The Choral group opened the program in Whidbey’s Nordic Hall with Finlandia, music composed in 1899 by well known composer Jean Sibelius. Finlandia is, perhaps, Sibelious’s most widely known composition.
Performing with the Finnish Choral Society was the Evergreen Kantele, a Northwestern musical group playing the Finnish traditional instrument the Kantele.
Finland celebrates the 100th anniversary of its independence in 2017, and this concert opened a year of celebration for Finnish Choral Society of Seattle. For more about this and more of the music they performed at this concert, click here.
And to help you get started, the Whidbey Island Nordic Lodge is offering a couple of baking classes. On November 30th, Berlinerkranser and pepperkaker – Norwegian Christmas cookie favorites — will be on the menu, and on December 15th, Æbleskiver – Danish pancake puffs or balls!
December 15th class has been cancelled.
Those attending will participate in the making of these favorites, get to taste a few and get to take a few home, but the majority of the cookies that are baked will be frozen and served at the Lodge Julefest, which will take place on December 10th.
A reservation is required to attend one of these classes and a donation of $5 requested. Classes will start at 1:00 pm.
Call Ingri at 360-678-4889 to let her know you want to come
or email her at email@example.com .
Image is from Arctic Grub website – a great place for recipes and stories!
At the monthly meeting of the Nordic Lodge on September 17th, Gordon Strand and Mari-Ann Kind Jackson, from the Nordic Heritage Museum in Seattle, will talk about the Museum’s ongoing Nordic American Voices Oral History Initiative.
The primary focus of Nordic American Voices is to record, using high definition camcorders, the life stories of Nordic American immigrants and their ancestors in the Pacific Northwest. Individuals with stories of WWII experiences in the Nordic countries are also sought out. To date, more than 550 interviews have been recorded, transcribed, and entered into a searchable database in the Museum’s permanent collection for research.
One book, Voices of Ballard and Beyond, and two documentaries, Under the Clouds of War – Growing up in Occupied Denmark & Norway, and This is my Childhood – Finland at War, based on the stories graciously shared, have been published so far. More are certainly to come.
All interested in hearing more about this exciting oral history initiative are welcome to attend the September Nordic Lodge meeting! 10:00 a.m., at the Nordic Hall.