Choir director & composer Dan Hegelund just moved here from Sweden with wife, Mary, and kids, Emmanuel-Luke, age 6, and 10 month-old Evelyn Rose, to teach in Burien, Wallingford, and Issaquah, where is mother, Linda Meissner, a Christian activist, now lives. She has worked with inner-city teens.Hegelund's music is both religious and secular and said all are welcome to learn. Top photo, Hegelund started the annual Young Copenhagen Gospel Festival.
World-class choir director moves family from Sweden to teach in Burien, Wallingford, Issaquah
Burien instruction offered to kids, youth, adults by Dan Hegelund
When Danish-born Dan Hegelund, 35, who has lived throughout Europe, and most recently Sweden, decided, with wife Mary, to move and teach choir abroad, they could have chosen just about anywhere. Luckily for local choir singers, both aficionados and beginners, and their audiences, the Hegelunds chose Seattle and will teach at Evergreen Church in Burien as well as Wallingford, and Issaquah where his mother lives. Their Burien classes begin Wednesdays in March.
Hegelund has performed at the Presidential Palace of Ukraine, before the Latvian Government, instructed at the Copenhagen Gospel Festival, and participated in Clash of the Choirs (TV 4, Sweden). He holds a Master’s Degree in Political Science, and is working on a degree in Technology of Future Intelligence. He speaks English, Russian, German, Danish, Swedish, and Norwegian.
Hegelund has 20 years experience with conducting choir. He began playing the flute and piano at age 6, and started composing songs around then, and immersed himself in musicals and theater as a young teen. Their son, Emmanuel-Luke, age 6, sings, and their 10 month-old daughter Evelyn Rose "likes to hum" said her dad. Dan considers another Danish-born musical talent, Victor Borge, "one of the greatest comedians, and so skilled on the piano as well."
A slightly jet-lagged Hegelund spoke to the Highline Times just hours after landing at SeaTac from Sweden to begin his new life here. The Northwest's natural beauty reminds his family of Scandinavia. He said this was their chance to " try something crazy" while they are still young.
"I use the term 'gospel' almost for lack of a better word," he clarified. "We will be singing gospel, but also modern rhythm and blues, soul, pop, rock, a variety of upbeat music with a modern, contemporary style. It's not the kind of choir where people stand solemly in their uniforms with their notebook in front of them and look like a boarding school from Great Britain. This is a much more vibrant, energetic style, a combination of both secular songs that are famous from the radio and television, and contemporary gospel music, like Earth, Wind and Fire, Stevie Wonder, Mariah Cary.
"I'm calling my choirs 'Common Ground.' I don't want to really call it a secular, or religious choir because I think music can be a universal language that can build bridges between believers and non-believers, and between highly-experienced singers or people who have never sung before. I truly believe that this world is characterized by a lot of division on so many levels and music is a strong unifier. Music is powerful in that way, whether in Ukraine or Burien."
Everyone is welcome to join the choirs. Interested participants email him at firstname.lastname@example.org, or call Linda Meissner at (425) 281-2510 before attending.
Burien classes Wednesdays begin March 6, but you can begin on any Wednesday:
17700 1st Ave S
5:40 p.m. kids ages 10-15
6:30 p.m. youths ages 15-25
7:50 p.m. adults older than 25
From the Common Ground website:
Crow Concert Choir is a youth choir in Seattle, WA –ages 10 to 15– focusing on up-beat, contemporary, and fun secular and gospel music, such as Kirk Franklin, Mary Mary, and Earth, Wind and Fire. Starts March 5th-7th 2013 in Wallingford, Issaquah, and Burien.
Common Ground Revolution is a youth choir in Seattle, WA –ages 15 to 25– aiming at delivering the ultimate experience in contemporary secular and gospel music. Starts March 5th-7th 2013 in Wallingford, Issaquah, and Burien.
Common Ground Gospel Choir is a gospel choir in Seattle, WA –ages 18 and over– open for all adults who want to give contemporary secular and gospel music a try. Fun, engaging, and super inspirational. Starts March 5th-7th 2013 in Wallingford, Issaquah, and Burien.
Legacy Gospel Choir is a professional performance choir in Seattle, WA. Unlike our other choirs which are open for all, LGC is strictly for very skilled vocalists capable of delivering a professional performance. Starts March 7th 2013 in Wallingford.
Contemporary Russian Choir in Seattle, WA, for Russian-speaking singers will begin August 2013, with songs by Alexei Ledyaev, Paul Murashov, and others.