History

Et syngende folk,
et lykkelig folk

A singing people,
a happy people

— Motto of the
Norwegian Singers Association

  Scandinavian Immigrant  
  Experience Collection  

at
  Pacific Lutheran University

In 1845, Den Norske Studentsangforening — Norway’s first male chorus — was organized by Johan Didrik Behrens. In June 1851, the first Sangerfest was held in Asker, Norway.

As early as 1858 the first Norwegian male chorus was organized in America and, by 1886, enough choruses had been established to form a Sangerforbund
— a Singers Association.

The first Norwegian male chorus on the West Coast was organized in Portland, Oregon, in 1878.

Cities up and down the West Coast soon followed suit, and the Pacific Coast Norwegian Singers Association was founded in 1902.

The first West Coast Sangerfest was hosted by the one-year-old Everett Norwegian Male Chorus in 1903. Putting on a Sangerfest is a challenge for any chorus, but particularly so for one of the smaller choruses.

Highlights in the history of the Pacific Coast Norwegian Singers Association include:

1926 First Norway tour by a 46-voice PCNSA chorus
1962 First joint Sangerfest of the Norwegian American Singers Association and the PCNSA, in Salt Lake City’s Mormon Tabernacle.
1981 Second PCNSA Concert Tour Cruise of 100 singers, wives, and friends, totaling 400 sailing along the coast of Norway aboard the M/S Funchal.
1989 The Seattle Norwegian Male Chorus hosted the Sangerfest during its Centennial, with the Breistein and Fana male choruses visiting from Bergen, Norway.
1990s PCNSA Concert Tours of Norway and Scandinavia in 1990, 1992, 1993, and 1997.