AlmaLindsborg, Kansas:  March 28, 1882, the Bethany Oratorio Society performs Handel’s “Messiah” for the first time.  This Sunday, March 24th, 2013, marks the beginning of the 132nd Messiah Festival of the Arts, including the performance this Sunday–Palm Sunday–of “Messiah” in Presser Hall Auditorium.

The young and gifted musician, Alma Lind Swensson, who was also the wife of Carl Aaron Swensson, pastor of Bethany Lutheran Church, taught the first choir note by note, phrase by phrase, not in their language–Swedish–but in English.

The gorgeous singing continues today–the story of the miracle of Easter.  Thanks be to God!  Hallelujah!

(more of the story of Alma Christina Lind Swensson may be found in my book, Grace, Faith and the Power of Singing, published by Lutheran University Press.  Their website: