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Sunday, June 1, 2008

Choir performance

Yesterday I spent most of the day at the archive in Lund. I had some research to do for the exhibit at the Historical Society this summer. I had to find the ancestors for a Swedish author named Gustaf Hellström. His mother's family was from Norra Strö also, and I will include this information in the exhibit (which will have the theme: famous people whose ancestors lived in Norra Strö). My great grandfather (on my father's side) was a salesman for Swedish Match in the early 1900's. He visited mostly east European countries. Just to see if he was listed anywhere, I searched for his name in the Ancestry database. I got one hit. It was an arrival record from 1951, saying that he had entered the United States by airplane on Nov 1! I was very surprised to see this. I had no idea about it. It listed a chemical company in New York City as his destination, so I assume he was going there for business.

Yesterday evening I listened to a choir performance in a small church outside Lund. It was the Augustana College Choir, consisting of students from the college in Rock Island, Illinois. Augustana College was founded by Swedish immigrants in 1860. I have been there once to visit the Swenson Center (research facility with Swedish-American material). The 75 people in the choir gave a great performance. The first piece was a wonderful version of Agnus Dei, and I knew it would be worth the trouble of going there (it was in a suburb). The repertoire contained both spirituals like Deep River and modern music like Blackbird by the Beatles. They even sang in Swedish, a piece called Pingst (Pentecost) that I had never heard before. They also sang the first lines of "Tryggare kan ingen vara", one of the old Swedish hymns my grandmother sometimes sang.

Today has been the usual laundry and tidying up day.

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