Scandinavian music and dance, beauty and play adorns Anoka County’s Northtown library

by Sue Austreng
Staff Writer

Fire Sostrene, a Scandinavian traditions presentation, made its way to the Anoka County Northtown Library Jan. 7. The presentation was one of the 2012 Live at the Library events and featured a trio of Scandinavian women, each members of the MacPhail Center for Music faculty.

Anna and Alek Frickson make believe as two tiny Billy Goats and Sarah Hruska Olson (left) plays the Big Billy Goat Gruff as the Norwegian fairy tale is told during the Scandinavian Tradition presentation.

During the hour-long program, Scandinavian traditions and legends, music and dance, beauty and play were presented to a gathering of some 50 people inside the library.

Singing in their native tongue Cheryl Henningsgaard, Sarah Hruska Olson and Jan Ackley Malecha led the crowd in a selection of Scandinavian tunes, including “Ja Vi Elsker,” “AE Skjodstrupper,” “Vem Kan Segla” and “Na Er Det Jul Igjen.”

Fun was had by all when audience members were invited to dance the AE Skjodstrupper (Seven Jumps), narrate a parachute-waving Finnish counting rhyme, sing along for the Sami Yoik (used to scare away bears from the reindeer herd) and witness the telling of a Norwegian fairy tale, “Three Billy Goats Gruff.”

Fire Sostrene (the Scandinavian traditions presentation) was the first of five Live at the Library events planned for the coming months and was presented in partnership with MELSA (Metropolitan Library Service Agency).

Live at the Library events remaining include Dr. King’s Dream-Mixed Blood Theater (Feb. 4, Mississippi Library), Willow Brae (March 3, Rum River Library), Struck! Music for 3 Percussionists (April 7, Columbia Heights Public Library) and Bryan Nichols Quartet (May 5, Rum River Library).

All programs begin at 2 p.m.

These programs are funded with money from Minnesota’s Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund.

For more information about the Live at the Library presentations, call 763-717-3267 or visit

Sue Austreng is at [email protected]