Canadian-Norwegian folk artists at Rock Valley

Sons of Norway Valhall Lodge brings two young musical artists from Canada to perform music rooted in their Norwegian heritage at 7 p.m., Monday, Nov. 13 in the Student Center Atrium at Rock Valley College. The duo is called Canwegian, a name that describes their contemporary journey through Scandinavian folk culture, blending Canadian innovation with Nordic tradition using 8-string fiddle, song and story.

Experienced performance artist, Sarah Granskou, is a modern “scald” (Nordic bard) and makes this exotic Scandinavian music accessible. By living among the people, she has grown deep roots in the traditions of her Norwegian and Sami heritage. Sami are the native/indigenous peoples of Scandinavia. Granskou learned to sing and compose in the tongue of her ancestors and to play and carve the Hardanger fiddle, a folk instrument of Norway similar to the fiddle.

While Granskou draws on ancient art forms, her humorous and moving stories and songs relate to a contemporary audience. She has performed extensively for all ages at festivals, schools and community venues. She is granddaughter to former St. Olaf College President Clemens Granskou.

Sarah Nagell complements Granskou’s talents with her deep and wide-ranging knowledge of world folk traditions, from bluegrass to Celtic. She has studied voice, both classical and folk, in such unrivaled institutions as St. Olaf College and the New England Conservatory of Music. Nagell recently returned from a year at the Telemark University College in rural Norway, where she studied voice and Hardanger fiddle and competed in both local and national music festivals.

The performance is free and open to the public. Catered New Nordic and traditional Norwegian refreshments will be served at intermission. Rock Valley College is at 3301 N. Mulford Rd., Rockford.

Sons of Norway Valhall Lodge has been active in Rockford since 1915. Today, Valhall Lodge is positioned as a regional lodge, with active members coming from Poplar Grove, Freeport, Caledonia, Belvidere, Oregon, Davis Junction, DeKalb, South Beloit and Rochelle in Illinois and Beloit, Wis.

From the Nov. 8-14, 2006, issue

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