American Union of Swedish Singers records, 1896-2005
Size: about 65 linear feet, 79+ boxes
Access: The collection is open for research and a limited amount of copies can be requested via mail.
Processed by: Christina Persson in November 2004 with updates in 2010 by Christina Johansson, Swenson Center. Augustana College.
Control Num.: SSIRC I/O:61
The American Union of Swedish Singers (AUSS) was organized in 1892 to serve as a national umbrella organization for individual Swedish choirs and to arrange national singing conventions. AUSS first singing festival was held during the World's Fair Exposition in Chicago 1893 and until 1933 organized conventions bi-annually. After a five-year lapse and in conjunction with the 300th anniversary of the Delaware Swedish settlement, a convention was held in Philadelphia in 1938. Conventions were not held during the WWII and since 1946 they have been organized every fourth year. The purpose of the national convention is to give individual choirs the opportunity to perform, as well as singing together in a Grand Concert. Choirs, well-known soloists, and conductors from Sweden are often invited to the national conventions.
The repertoire of contemporary AUSS choruses is equally divided between songs in Swedish and English, whereas in the early years Swedish music was dominant. Throughout its existence, the AUSS has performed at the opera houses in New York, Chicago and San Francisco as well as at Carnegie Hall in New York, Orchestra Hall and Auditorium in Chicago and the Mormon Tabernacle in Salt Lake City. In 2010, the AUSS had 28 member choruses and approximately 600 members.
The AUSS Cultural Heritage Foundation was founded in 1979 to preserve the history of AUSS and the organization maintains a room at the Midway Village Museum in Rockford, Illinois. The Heritage Foundation promotes that growth of the AUSS and offers financial assistance to new choirs.
For more information about AUSS please see their website http://www.auss.org/index.htm and for historical information about the AUSS, its geographical division, individual choruses, and other administrative history, please consult A Century of Song. American Union of Swedish Singers, 1892-1992 by Lilly Setterdahl.
The AUSS records include minutes and reports from 1896- 1970s; constitution and by-laws; bound volumes of Musiktidning; presidential records and correspondence; records from individual choruses; records from the Divisions; scores of music performed; and photographs.
The collection is arranged into the following series:
- Gustav Rickan, President, 1954-1962
- Erland Levine, President, 1962-1966
- Martin Ahlm, President, 1966-1970
- Carl E. Anderson, President, 1970-1973
- Lars Sundman, President, 1978-1982
- Carl Erik Westberg, 1996-
- Central Division
- Eastern Division
- Midwest Division
- Midwest Division Veteran Chorus
- Northwestern Division
- Western Division
- Chicagoland Swedish Veteran Chorus, Illinois (Svenska Sångarnes Veteran Förbund i Chicago)
- Eskil P. Janson collection, member of the Waukegan Glee Club, Il.
- Swedish Singers Union of Chicago, Illinois
- Apollo Singing Society, New Haven, Connecticut
- Ladies Auxiliary, Apollo Singing Society, New Haven, Connecticut
- Arpi Swedish Male Chorus of Detroit, Michigan
- Nordic Glee Club, New York
- Nordstjernan Singing Society of Chicago, Illinois
- Nordstjernan Women Auxiliary (Nordstjernan Damförening) of Chicago, Illinois
- Drangar (Orphei Drängar) Male Chorus of Springfield, Massachusetts
- Orphei Singing Club (Orphei Sångarklubb) of Chicago, Illinois
- Scandia Glee Club Quincy, Massachusetts
- Svea Söner Ladies Auxiliary of Rockford, Illinois
- Svithiod Male Chorus of Rockford, Illinois (and William Johnson collection)
- Svithiod Singing Club, Chicago, Illinois
- Swedish Apollo Club of Boston (Svenska Apolloklubben Boston, Massachusetts)
- Vega Singing Society, Boston, Massachusetts
- Wennerberg Male Chorus, New Britain, Connecticut
- Viking Male Chorus Chicago, Illinois/ The South Side Swedish Club Male Chorus