Archives for posts with tag: Carl Aaron Swensson

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:  www.lutheranupress.org.)

Here we are in the second week of Advent 2012.  We’re enjoying a beautiful 12 new inches of snow–perfect at this time of year.  Amid all the wonderful things to do this week are the moments to reflect, remember, and  celebrate.

Today, December 11, is the birthday of Alma Christina Lind.  She was born on this date in 1859 in Broddarp, Sweden (there may have been at least twelve inches of snow that day) to Johan and Fredrika Lind, an old soldier and his wife.  Alma was their first daughter and second child.  The days of Advent were a busy time for Scandinavian women in 1859, in a much different way than our lives today.  Women were in charge of butchering, brewing, candle making, baking, and intensive cleaning in preparation for the days of Christmas. Fredrika, as she recovered from the birth of her new baby, hopefully took time to rest a little, and ponder a new baby at Christmas.  There in her arms, the promise of a future yet unseen.

Within four years, Fredrika and Johan would leave Sweden for America– first to Andover and then to Moline, Illinois.  When Alma married Pastor Carl Aaron Swensson in 1880, she moved to Lindsborg, Kansas where her life and gift of music would influence generation upon generation.  In their old age, Fredrika and Johan would move to Lindsborg, too, and were witnesses to the great things their daughter accomplished.