Friday, January 16, 2015

Augustana Founders' Day Reunion, Andover (where I'll present my April 25 "Pastor Esbjorn's Singing School" psalmodikon workshop)

This release, over the signature of Ron Peterson, acting dean of Jenny Lind Chapel in Andover, went out to churches in northern Illinois. Jenny Lind is the original Lutheran church erected by Swedish immigrants during the 1850s. Its pastor, the Rev. Lars Paul Esbjorn, was a founder of the Augustana Lutheran Synod, and his church in Andover was considered the synod's mother church. Link below for more information on the founders' day reunion, April 25-26, on the Jenny Lind Chapel website at

The Jenny Lind Chapel is so named because in 1850 the famous Swedish opera singer, who was on a concert tour of the United States at the time, donated $1,500 to the Andover congregation's building fund -- after the walnut beams set aside for the sanctuary were sawn up for coffins during a cholera epidemic. (Click here for more information, along with dulcimer tab for the cherished Swedish hymn "Children of the Heavenly Father.") The 155th anniversary of the Augustana Synod and the 165th anniversary of the Andover congregation is in April.

More information is available on the Jenny Lind website at and a detailed schedule at Here's the blurb on my breakout session:

"The Psalmodikon - Pastor Esbjörn's Singng School"

What in the world is that strange looking instrument in the Jenny Lind Chapel Immigrant Museum? That is Pastor Lars Paul Esbjörn's Psalmodikon, the first musical instrument used at the Chapel. Dr. Peter Ellersten, who is probably the most noted modern-day Psalmodikon researcher, has even had a replica made of Pastor Esbjörn's instrument, and will use it during his presentation.

In all fairness, I probably should point out that as far as I know, I am the only modern-day researcher of the Swedish-American psalmodikon.

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