Wintry weather did not keep members and guests from the Christmas Salad Luncheon sponsored by Trinity's unit of women of the ELCA at noon on Dec. 6 in the Fellowship Hall at Trinity Lutheran Church.
Esther Knutson, WELCA president, greeted the large group. She introduced David Olson, local jazz pianist, and thanked him for providing Christmas music during the luncheon and for those in the past several years; his audience responded with applause.
Following tradition, Mrs. Knutson read the Christmas story as it is recorded in the Gospel according to Luke. Susanne Steenholdt, co-chair of the luncheon committee, offered prayer before the meal. Shirley Huber, longtime co-chair of the luncheon committee, read a selection which resulted in hugs throughout the assembly, and then announced directions for service from the buffet.
A program of songs for the season was presented by the Freshman Women's Choir under the direction of Trisha Fisher. Mrs. Fisher and Katrina Salitros, high school senior, provided piano accompaniment.
Before the luncheon, Women of the ELCA met at 10 a.m. in Askeland Lounge for the December Bible study led by Pastor Ed Anderson. The study, "Following with Tempered Strength," was fourth in the nine-session series titled "Blessed to Follow: The Beatitudes as a Compass for Discipleship.
Following the Bible study, Esther Knutson presided at a business meeting at 11 a.m. Members decided upon monetary Christmas gifts for the Vermillion Luther Center, Lutherans Outdoors in South Dakota, Prison Congregations of America, Trinity's Youthquake and the Vermillion Coalition Against Domestic Violence. In honor of pastor Judith Johnson and Ed Anderson, Trinity's radio broadcast on Dec. 16 will be sponsored by the local women of the ELCA.
Officers for 2008 were installed by Pastor Anderson: President Esther Knutson, Vice President Cyndie Madsen (in absentia), Secretary Esther Girard, Treasurer Rose Henze and Mission Action Chair Judy Lofgren. A brief ceremony expressed gratitude to retiring officers, Vice President Glendae Anderson and Secretary Evelyn Hermanson; members recognized their service with applause.
WELCA's next special event will be the annual Stone Soup Supper, a free meal for the Vermillion community, on Wednesday, Feb. 13, 2008, in the Fellowship Hall at Trinity Lutheran Church.
Fogderud describes 'romanse' art music
The Vermillion Rotary Club held its weekly luncheon meeting on Tuesday, Dec. 11, at the Neuharth Center on the USD campus. President David Hussey opened the meeting and gave the invocation. This was followed by the singing of Christmas carols, announcements, and the introduction of guests, including two seniors from Vermillion High School.
Rotarian Dan Guyette introduced Marla Fogderud, professor of voice in the Music Department in the College of Fine Arts, as our guest speaker for the day. Professor Fogderud is a native of North Dakota, has studied at Concordia College, the Norwegian National Academy of Music in Oslo, Wichita State University, and has recently completed her doctor of music arts voice degree program at Michigan State University.
She is an active stage performer and recitalist throughout the midwestern United States and Scandinavia. Her presentation was about Norwegian art song in the �Golden Age.�
She stated that the �Golden Age� in Norway refers to the period from about 1850 to 1910. This period encompasses growth in nationalist literature and poetry, music and visual arts, and happened about 50 years after a similar movement in Germany. This happened possibly in response to domination by Denmark and then Sweden imposing their culture on Norway.
D. Edvard Grieg is probably the most famous of the Norwegian composers of the period. One of the most important composers of the period was Halfdan Kjerulf, who is regarded as the father of Norwegian art song. He was the first to consciously combine Norwegian poetry with music that was meant to sound �Norwegian.�
He did this by using material and stylistic influence borrowed from folk music. This new concept became known as romanse. Professor Fogderud played a few excerpts of folk music and romanse for us. Kjerulf would use, for example, writings of Bj�rnstjerne Bj�rnson and piano ornamentation meant to recall the unique sound of the Hardanger fiddle to create new and distinctly �Norwegian-sounding� compositions.
Two of Kjerulf�s piano students went on to be very influential during this period. Agathe Backer Gr�ndahl became a famous composer of romanse. Some of her music is said to resemble the music of Schumann and Mendelssohn. Another student was Eyvind Alnaes, who also used Norwegian poetry as a basis for many compositions.
He is best known for his influence on church music. He worked as a church musician his entire life. He composed approximately 90 songs, arranged folk tunes, and was very influential in the harmonizing of most of the tune in the 1926 hymnbook of the Church of Norway.
Professor Fogderud concluded by saying that there is a need to re-examine Norwegian romanse music and encourage the inclusion of this music into the contemporary repertoire. She ended her presentation by answering questions from the audience.