Join us for the

43rd Annual Kalevala Day Festival

March 3, 2019 at 2 PM at the Nordic Museum in Seattle


The 41st Kalevala Day at the Nordic Heritage Museum

Who are we?

We are a group of men and women who enjoy singing, especially Finnish choral music, for ourselves and our listeners’ pleasure. Singers in our choir range in age from the teens up to 90. Most of us have some connection with Finnish culture such as ancestry, travel, study, friends or spouses. Some are fascinated by Finnish music and its composers (many others in addition to Sibelius). We feel a commitment to the community to keeping Finnish music alive.

The Finnish Choral Society is one of the few choirs, which still preserves traditional Finnish language choir music in the USA. The roots date back to 1963, when a choir named “Kaleva Korus” was started The choir eventually merged with the West Coast Singers’ Seattle Chapter in the mid 1970’s. The name Finnish Choral Society was established around 1980. Earlier choir directors have included Eric Salo, Sirkka Wilson, Florence Mesler, Karen Ingalls and others, with accompaniment provided by the noted Finnish-American composer and pianist John Sundsten. Maria Mannisto, MM, has directed the choir for 12 years until fall 2013. The choir's current director is Dr. Heather McLaughlin-Garbes.

The choir specializes in Finnish choral music, reflecting the commitment to keep Finnish choral music alive and make it known. The choir performs at numerous Finnish and Scandinavian community events, including the Finnish Independence Day celebration, the Yulefest at the Nordic Heritage Museum, the Finland Summer Festival, Scandinavian Heritage Choir Festivals, at retirement homes, etc. Since 1976 the choir maintains the annual Kalevala Day Festival, which in 2018 was celebrated at the for the 42nd time.

The latest tour to Finland was in summer 2012. During that tour the choir performed to an enthusiastic public in six venues, including the famous Rock Church (Temppeliaukion kirkko) in Helsinki. In March 2015 the choir performed at the Benaroya Hall during Seattle Symphony's multi concert series celebrating the 150th anniversary of the birth of Jean Sibelius, who is widely recognized as Finland's national composer. In 2017 the choir was again performing at the Benaroya Hall celebrating Finland's 100th year of Independence.

New singers are always welcome! It's a great opportunity to learn about Finnish music.

What do we sing?

Mostly Finnish choral numbers, folk songs, patriotic, humorous, sacred and secular. Besides Finnish, we are singing in Swedish, English, German, French, Latin, Estonian and...

When and where do we sing?Rehearsals: Mondays 7:00 PM at the Finnish Lutheran Church 8504 13th Avenue NW, Seattle (map)

We sing at various programs of the Finnish Community and Nordic Community Christmas programs, retirement homes, programs at the Nordic Museum (Yule Fest and the Kalevala Day Festival), etc.

Contact: Choir Directors- - Mus. Dr. Heather MacLaughlin Garbes (hmgmusic@gmail.com) MM Maria Mannisto (Mhmannisto@gmail.com)Choir President- Eva Mannisto (mannisto.eva@Ekono.com)


FCS Schedule