Jenny Lind's 200th Anniversary to be remembered April 26

The 200th anniversary of Jenny Lind will be celebrated at the annual Founders Day Service on Sunday, April 26, 4 pm, at the Jenny Lind Chapel in Andover. The Chapel, constructed in the early 1850’s, is named for this celebrated Swedish singer, who gave a generous donation to Pastor Lars Paul Esbjörn, leader of the Swedish immigrants to Illinois. Light refreshments will be served immediately following the service.

Dr. Michael Zemek, associate professor of music at Augustana College, will deliver a homily with highlights based on the life of Jenny Lind. He is the coordinator of music education at Augustana College, where he conducts the Jenny Lind Vocal Ensemble and Augustana Academic Chorus, teaches music methods and conducting courses, and supervises music education students. He came to Augustana after eight years of teaching choral music in Minnesota and Iowa. In addition to his responsibilities at Augustana, Dr. Zemek is the Director of Music Ministries at Gloria Dei Lutheran Church in Iowa City.

Dr. Zemek’s wife, Sangeetha Rayapati, soprano, will be the vocalist. She is a professor of music specializing in vocal pedagogy, and head of the voice program at Augustana College. She also teaches courses in diction and song literature, music research, general education and coordinates offerings of the Barbara Shellhouse Center for Singing.

This special service commemorates the founding of Augustana Lutheran Church in Andover in 1850, Augustana College and Theological Seminary in Rock Island and Augustana Lutheran Church in America, both in 1860. The Chapel became the mother church for hundreds of other churches of the Augustana Lutheran Church in America. The lower level houses a museum highlighting the Swedish immigration and ancestry of the Augustana Synod, as well as several Jenny Lind displays. The Chapel, which is open every day from 9 am to 5 pm April through October, is a ministry of the Northern Illinois Synod. The web site is jennylindchapel.org.