In May, the Vasa Drängar celebrated their 20th anniversary with a great concert in Atlanta, GA. They were accompanied on the piano by Gabe Granitz, who for many years was the choir’s pianist. Also accompanying, as well as performing solo, was an ensemble from the Atlanta Balalaika Society. And from the Royal Swedish Opera in Stockholm came tenor Niklas Björling Rygert, who has gotten international attention as a regular performer at a number of European opera houses.
Vasa Drängar, the southernmost Swedish choir in the United States, started in 1996, singing at a crawfish party in Atlanta. They cover a wide range of music and genres, maintaining the Swedish tradition and, most importantly, they sing because they just enjoy singing!
The CD is a live recording from the concert in May. You will hear a cappella songs such as Uti vår hage and Blommande skin dalar, and songs with the choir and Niklas Björling Rygert in O Sole Mio, Non Ti Scordar Di Me and ABBA’s Thank You For The Music. Sten Ekberg appears as a solist in Ack Värmeland du sköna. Accompanied by the piano Niklas performs Caruso’s favorite song For You Alone and Jussi Björling’s showpiece Till havs.
Vasa Drängar also sings in Russian, in Smuglyanka and V Put’. The Atlanta Balalaika Society ensemble performs two solo pieces, Clarinet Polka with Alla Melnik on the bayan, and Travushka-Muravushka with Angelina Galashenkova-Reed on the domra.
And there is more, for instance the funny Irish Ballad, in which six of the singers take turns with solos.
To buy the CD, please visit

Göran Rygert


Photo captions:
1. All singers and musicians in action. Photo: Pam Minton
2. Niklas Björling Rygert (in black tux) and Jim Gulick sing the solo parts in Smuglyanka. Behind them are Sten Ekberg and Dale Nordin. Photo: Pam Minton