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Local men join singing tour of Norway

Contributed photo Eight members of the Lutheran Brethren Men's Choir have local ties and the group is currently performing in Norway. The singers with local ties are noted with an asterisk next to their name. Back: David Rinden, Ethan Bjornlie, Gary Klukken*, Jerry Larson*, George Solberg, Conrad Fiskness*, David Pedersen and Cornell Svaren. Front: Nickolas Larson*, Ashley Klukken*, Galen Pearson, Myron Larson*, Allen Larson*, Rick Klukken*, LeRoy Hammond and Dan Riden. (Asterisks indicate Osakis natives.)

A group of Minnesota men sang their way across Norway recently, and several of the 16 members of the Lutheran Brethren Men's Choir have local connections.

Local family names like Fiskness, Klukken, Larson and Vangstad were represented on the trans-Atlantic trip.

The Osakis-native singers include Osakis High School graduates: Conrad Fiskness (class of 1956), Ashley Klukken (2000), Gary Klukken (1962), Rick Klukken (1972), Allen Larson (1974), Jerry Larson (1968), Myron Larson (1967) and Nickolas Larson (2005 graduate of Jefferson High School).

Several of the singers have relatives currently living in Verdal, Norway - one of the stops along their Norwegian singing tour.

On June 18, the choir left Minneapolis and flew to Bergen, Norway.

The choir toured Norway for two weeks, singing in churches in Bergen, Otta, Trondheim, Levanger, Molde, Stryn, Skei, Balestrand and Verdal.

Because most of the men in the choir are descendants of Norwegian immigrants, the choir stayed in homes in the communities in which they sang.

The tour concluded with the choir's participation in the Western Norway Emigration Center's annual festival on July 1-3.

The choir is comprised of men who are either members of, or grew up in, congregations that are part of the Church of the Lutheran Brethren of America (CLBA), which is headquartered in Fergus Falls. This Lutheran synod was founded by immigrants from Norway.

Amy Chaffins

Amy Chaffins is a journalist working for the Echo Press newspaper in Alexandria, Minnesota.

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