Lindsborg’s history has been filled with musical groups reminiscent of the popular male choruses in Sweden. The Bethany Male Chorus was formed in 1895 and consisted of men who lived and worked in the Smoky Valley and were from all walks of life. In the beginning, their repertoire was in the Swedish language, but eventually English selections were included. The second male choir was the Hyllningsfest Male Chorus established in 1941 for the first Lindsborg Svensk Hyllningsfest. Again, the assembly was composed of area men who loved to sing. They eventually disbanded.
Smoky Valley Men’s Choir The tradition continues with the Smoky Valley Men’s Choir assembled in 1997. This group was originally constructed of 22 members. Carroll Lindgren, a farmer with a first-rate tenor voice, wanted to unite again a group of men to sing. Lindgren, a Bethany College alumni, contacted Leah Ann Anderson to direct the group for that year’s Svensk Hyllningsfest. Years later, the Smoky Valley Men’s Choir still sings at Hyllningsfest and other venues. Their collection of musical literature is varied and consists of the sacred and secular.
The group now has grown to 43 members and is assembled of men of diverse ages and professions. “The singers in the Smoky Valley Men’s Choir are talented and experienced musicians. It is an honor and a privilege to be their director,” states Leah Ann Anderson who has remained the director.