Every two years the Norwegian Singer’s Association of America (NSAA) holds a Sangerfest (Singers Festival) for the purpose of performing and cultivating the love and understanding of Scandinavian music.
This year Sangerfest 2022 will be held at the Madison Marriott West June 16 to 18. The Grand Concert will be held on June 18. It will be performed by approximately 100 chorus members accompanied by orchestra and concert piano. The program will include choral arrangements of Norwegian music (sung in the language of origin) and secular and sacred English language selections. The concert will be directed by Dr. David E. Judisch, Professor Emeritus of Voice and Opera at Luther College.
Sangerfests have been held every other year since 1892 in one of five states in the Midwest. The only exceptions were the war years of 1918 and 1944, and 2020 due to the COVID pandemic.
This will be the 63rd biennial Sangerfest. Sangerfest 2022 is produced by the Dane County Friends of Scandinavian Culture in association with the Norwegian Singers Association of America and is under the coordination of Madison’s Edvard Grieg Chorus.
Baritone Brian Leeper will be the soloist at this year’s Sangerfest. Leeper is in his nineteenth-year teaching Voice at the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater. He holds degrees from Luther College and The University of Nebraska-Lincoln and has done further graduate study at Florida State University. Leeper has performed over twenty major roles with opera companies in the US and Europe, including a live national radio broadcast performance of Candide with the Cleveland Orchestra from the Blossom Festival Center. He has also appeared as soloist in oratorios with conductors Robert Shaw, Leon Botstein, Robert Page and Vance George.
The Middleton Community Orchestra is the Madison area’s premier community orchestral organization. Founded in 2010 by clarinetists Mindy Taranto and Larry Bevic to provide amateur musicians with otherwise unavailable opportunities to present high-quality performances of classical music. The MCO aims to provide enriching musical experiences for musicians and listeners by: Advancing the art and appreciation of orchestral music through the study and performance of works by the great composers, and collaborating with soloists who have ties to the community.
Norwegian Singers Association of America
The Norwegian Singers' Association of America has a long history with roots in the musical traditions of male choruses founded in Norway. It was established in the United States in 1897.
The aims of the association are threefold: 1) to organize Norwegian Singing Societies in the United States and Canada; 2) to promote love of Scandinavian male choral music, to create friendship among its members, and to assist and encourage Scandinavian musicians; and 3) to arrange a Sangerfest every other year where the public can become acquainted with Scandinavian music.
Eleven male choruses and members of NSAA will perform at Sangerfest 2022 in Madison. They hail from Illinois, Iowa, Minnesota, South Dakota, and Wisconsin.
The Edvard Grieg Chorus
The Edvard Grieg Chorus of Madison takes its name from the famous Norwegian composer, Edvard Grieg, and many of Grieg's compositions are included in the Chorus' repertoire. The Chorus was founded on January 26, 1925 and was originally known as the Grieg Mannskor (Grieg Men's Chorus). It has gone through several name changes, but its purpose has remained the same as that of Norwegian immigrants who wished to preserve the traditions and share the music they brought with them from Norway.
At one time there were three Norwegian choruses in Madison. Madison’s original chorus joined choruses from Beloit, Racine, Milwaukee, Superior, and LaCrosse as Wisconsin members of the Norwegian Singers Association of America (NSAA). The Edvard Grieg Chorus is the only remaining chorus representing the state of Wisconsin.
Tickets can be purchased at the door at the Madison Marriott West prior to the Grand Concert.
This program supported in part by grants from the Owen Bekkum Trust, and the Bryant Foundation.