The idea of creating a Swedish mixed choir in Atlanta came up in the fall of 2016. For many years we have had a great Lucia choir here, consisting of ladies from SWEA/Atlanta and the Vasa Drängar men’s choir. From a poll among the Lucia choir singers it was evident that there was a great interest in singing more than just once a year. So, as a result the “Sounds of Sweden” was born — starting with almost 20 singers.
Our first performance happened at a “Vårgudstjänst på svenska” (Spring Service in Swedish) on March 25 in Atlanta. Swedish vicar Michael Franzén of the Church of Sweden Abroad came from Florida with his wife, deacon Susanne Franzen, and together they led the Swedish service. About 40 people attended this event that included a lot of music, including the Sounds of Sweden's world première. This new and euphonious choir sang “Vintern rasa ut,” “Nu grönskar det” and “Glad såsom fågeln,” followed by powerful applause. Afterward the choir was asked: “When can we buy your CD?” The answer was: ”Well, can you wait a few months or so?” ... with emphasis on “or so.”
After the service SWEA (who arranged this event with Nordic Lodge) served delicious Swedish waffles, which was not a coincidence: March 25 is Våffeldagen (the Waffle Day) on the Swedish calendar. It got its name from "Vårfrudagen" (Our Lady’s Day, March 25), which just happens to sound a bit like "Våffeldagen." The United States has a national Waffle Day, too, but it is on August 24, the day the U.S. patented a waffle iron.
The day after the Swedish service the Nordic Lodge served its Second Annual Easter Dinner, with påskkärringar (Easter witches) and a great Easter smörgåsbord. Fifty hungry Vasa members and guests enjoyed salmon, shrimp, herring, deviled eggs and much, much more, followed by coffee and handmade cakes.
The chief chef was Kerstin Gasko and she had quite a few assistants. The whole event was supervised by four påskkärringar who arrived from Sweden. After dinner, they disappeared. They probably took the first possible broom connection back to Blåkulla. Strangely enough these four påskkärringar very much resembled four of the Nordic Lodge members, Gail Perron, Monica Eklund, Anita Menegay and Kerstin Gasko.
We had a fun and enjoyable evening!