Finnish language songs from 5 gifted vocalists

Saana EnsembleSaana Ensemble, a five-voice ensemble performing Finnish music, will give a concert at the Center at 7:30 pm on Friday, December 6th.  Tickets are available by calling 218-385-3339.  Admission is $12 advance reservation or $15 at the door and $5 for students any time.  The group sings a capella and sometimes with percussion and other instruments and is returning for an encore performance after a very successful concert at the Center two years ago.

Saana Ensemble includes five native Finns who live in the Minneapolis/St. Paul area: Sari Rönnholm (soprano/clarinet, piano); Elina Kala (soprano / mandolin, guitar, piano); Ulla Tervo-Desnick (alto / accordion); Eeva Savolainen (soprano / percussion, piano); Elina Koivusaari (alto / guitar).  After many years of sweating at sauna parties, they finally decided in 2005 to combine their diverse musical talents to perform Finnish music to audiences in the United States, and to stay connected to their Finnish roots.

Saana Ensemble’s repertoire is eclectic and ranges from hymns to folk songs and dance tunes, all sung in Finnish.  Featured composers include Kaj and Jussi Chydenius, Jukka Linkola, Liisa Matveinen, Heikki Sarmanto, Sari Kaasinen, Toivo Kärki, and Kerkko Koskinen, among others.  Some arrangements are by Jaakko Mantyjarvi, Timo Alakotila, and Jorma Panula; many are Saana’s own to accommodate voice types and available instruments.  Several Värttinä and Hedningarna songs are also in Saana Ensemble’s song book.

Saana Ensemble has performed at many Scandinavian festivals including Nisswa Stamman, Hjemkomst Festival in Moorhead, at Finnfests in California, Minnesota, Michigan, South Dakota, and Ontario, and locally at Cedar Cultural Center, the Cultural Center in New York Mills, at Twin Cities churches and as part of Orchestra Hall pre-concert entertainment.  Thank you to all the concert series sponsors for this fall, including Tom And Rich Paper of Wadena.