Hardanger fiddle concert… and more!

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.

hardangerScrollLynnBergThe 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.


Lodge April 2017 program

The Ring Road of Iceland

In 2015  Nancy Jewett & Frieda Ellison- two senior, retired women – spent three weeks on a self-driving tour of Iceland. At the Saturday,  March 18, 2017 Nordic Lodge monthly meeting they will share their adventures with those present.  They will tell us tales of whale watching, hiking to see Puffins, horseback riding, kayaking, participating in walking tours, and of general sightseeing. We’ll also hear about the geography and the history of the Ring Road, which was of special interest to them.  (This program was originally scheduled for October 2016 but had to be cancelled due to bad weather.)

All those interested are welcome to attend.  10am, at the Nordic Hall.

Nordic Lodge member will be the featured artist in the UUCWI Gallery of Art in March & April


Whidbey Island Nordic Lodge member Lisbeth Harrje will be the featured artist at the UUCWI Gallery of Art in Freeland during the months of March & April.

Originally from Copenhagen, Denmark, Lisbeth Harrje moved to the U.S. in 1967.  Living twenty-three years on the East Coast, Lisbeth pursued a career in nursing, taught Danish, and devoted herself to raising her family. In 1990, she moved to Whidbey Island where the natural beauty of the Puget Sound quickly captured her heart.  This has been home ever since.

Lisbeth says that music and art have fascinated and captivated her as far back as she can remember.  This exhibit features her img_2583
portrait paintings done in pastel & pencil.  She paints mostly from photographs, but sometimes from img_25841memory.  In her portraits she aims to define the nuances in a face, looking for elements of expression that fascinate and engage her.  She especially loves the faces of children and the elderly, finding that “painting children is like capturing a whiff of innocence in danger of slipping away” and “painting older people is like being invited into the journey of the life they have lived.”

Lisbeth’s artwork has found homes in Europe, across the States, and a few are even here on Whidbey Island.

The opening reception for Soft Impressions: Portraits in Pastel & Pencil will be held Sunday, March 5, 2017 from 11:00 am to 12:30 pm.  Anyone interested in viewing Lisbeth’s work is welcome to attend.

UUCWI  is located approximately 2 miles north of Freeland at 20103 State Route 525 – on the west side of the highway. The gallery is located in the building’s entrance foyer. There are no regular gallery hours but artwork can be viewed by those attending events and meetings in the building. Phone 360-221-2189 for possible special arrangements.

The New Nordic Heritage Museum


On February 18th  Erik Pihl, Community Engagement Coordinator for the Nordic Heritage Museum in Ballard,  will  speak at the Whidbey Island Nordic Lodge about the Museum’s new building,  scheduled to be completed  in 2018. Erik is seeking to hear and learn how the Nordic Heritage Museum might best benefit our community.

The modern 57,000 sq. ft museum and cultural center will be located in the heart of Ballard. The design is organized around a linear “fjord” that weaves together stories of homeland and the Nordic American experience. Bridges crossing the fjord intensify the experience of migration, connecting Nordic and Nordic American exhibits. A vertically-striated zinc skin will wrap the building exterior; inside, fjord walls will be composed of faceted white planes evoking its glacial origins. Along with the core exhibition galleries, active social areas – cafe, store, auditorium and classrooms – will expand the Museum’s capabilities and audiences.  More about the new museum may be found on their website at http://nordicmuseum.org/future.

Anyone interested in this program is welcome to attend.
10:00 a.m. Nordic Hall, 63 Jacobs Rd., Coupeville.


Nordic Book Discussion Group selects its reading adventures for 2017

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 whidbeyislandnordiclodge@gmail.com for more information and also visit  our Activities web page.

Finnish Choral Society of Seattle and the Evergreen Livakat Kantele perform at Whidbey’s Nordic Hall

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.

jse_img_0606The 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 ijse_img_0610s 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.  
js46_img_0616-2Performing 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.