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Finnish Choir Headlines Festival Ruska

The premier event of the 3rd annual Festival Ruska is a performance by the male choir Runebergskören BSB from Porvoo, Finland.

The concert will be held this Saturday at 7 p.m. at the Calumet Theatre and will be the final event of Finlandia University’s Festival Ruska

U.S. Tour Travel Manager Jan-Erik Österholm says the 48-person choir will present a variety of songs.

Österholm said, “We are going to sing not only songs by Finnish composers, but also Nordic composers, some German composers and Estonian composers.  The bulk will be the golden ones for male choirs.”

Because Hancock and Porvoo are sister cities, Österholm says this stop on the tour is extra special for the choir.

Österholm said, “I became more and more convince when we visited Hancock two years ago and met with Jim Kurtti at the Finnish American Heritage Center and walking around in Hancock with all the street signs in two languages and Finnish and American flags on every street corner, you felt like home and the landscape is very similar to ours.”

In addition to performing in Calumet, the choir has performances scheduled in Minnesota, Marquette, Detroit and Chicago during its 12-day tour.

Here is a sample from the Runebergskören BSB:

Runebergskören BSB

Tickets available now for Festival Ruska performance at Calumet Theatre

The premier event of the third annual Festival Ruska is a performance by the male choir of Runebergskören BSB from Porvoo, Finland on Saturday, September 30 at 7 p.m. at the Calumet Theatre. Tickets are available now at the Calumet Theatre’s box office or online at calumettheatre.com.

“Runebergskören is very much looking forward to our concert at the Calumet Theatre and wish that as many of you as possible will be available for a great moment with us in a beautiful surrounding in the celebration of Finland’s 100th year of independence,” said Jan-Erik Österholm, who is serving as the U.S. Tour Travel Manager after completing a site visit in 2015 to plan for the tour.

In addition to performing in Calumet, the choir has performances scheduled in Minnesota, Marquette, Detroit and Chicago during its 12-day tour.

“We started the planning for the upcoming U.S. Tour during the fall of 2014,” Österholm said. “Since 2017 is the 100th year of independence of Finland, we wanted to direct our tour towards locations with a high population of Americans with Finnish heritage. It became immediately clear, that the Upper Midwest should be our choice.”

The choir is from Porvoo, which is the sister city of Hancock.

“Coming to Hancock will be a great experience for the choir, not only because Hancock happens to be Porvoo’s Sister City, but also because the Copper County has a great population of Finns,” Österholm said. “Traveling through the streets of Hancock with street signs in both English and Finnish together with the Finnish-American flags in almost every street corner will make a great impact on us.”

This concert will be the final event of Finlandia University’s Festival Ruska. A full schedule of events, including a book signing, presentation on U.P. dialect and a Finnish yard game tournament can be found at finlandia.edu/ruska.

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