Members of three Decorah-based choirs will be singing live on Norwegian television this weekend.

NRK, the Norwegian public television station, is celebrating the printing of the new Norwegian Lutheran hymnal by filming various choirs in Norway singing each of the 899 hymns in the new hymnal.

Decorah’s First Lutheran Church adult choir is participating in the project, along with members of the Luren Singing Society and Northern Lights. NRK is doing a live broadcast to Norway of two hymns from the sanctuary of First Lutheran Church Saturday, Nov. 29.

“(The project features) 60 hours of continuous hymns ... 899 in all,” Spencer Martin, Luther College associate professor of music, said.  “The Norwegians call it ‘slow TV.’”

NRK will be recording the choirs in the First Lutheran Church sanctuary Saturday morning, so they can send it to Norway to be broadcast at 12:30 p.m. CST time (7:30 p.m. in Norway). 

“They (also) will be doing a feature on the Nordic Dancers,” Martin said. “The producer said they will probably broadcast the Nordic Dancers around Christmas time.”

Decorah and the First Lutheran Church became involved in the project when Martin heard about it from a former student, Sarah Corbisier (Luther Class of 2005), who has been living in Bø, Norway since 2006.

“I saw this project (choirs from around Norway performing the entire Church of Norway hymnal in one marathon broadcast) advertised on television,” Corbisier wrote in an email to Decorah Newspapers. “Spencer Martin was my professor at Luther and we have kept touch through the years. I had seen some of his posts (on social media) about the various roles of hymns in contemporary church services and thought he might find the project interesting. “

Martin wrote to the producer at NRK, and suggested they might like to have a submission from Decorah.

“I explained a bit about the history of Decorah, and the strong Norwegian ties this city celebrates,” Martin said. “They liked the idea so much they gave us three hymns to sing, one of which was recorded prior to the live broadcast: Hus Gud er evig glede (in Norwegian), Nobody Knows the Trouble I’ve Seen (in English) and Naermere deg, min Gud (Nearer My God to Thee - in Norwegian).”

Luther College Visiting Professor Kari Grønnignsaeter, along with David Judisch, Luther Professor Emeritus, have been the Norwegian language coaches for the choirs.  

“The project is special in regards to the Lutheran tradition in Decorah because of the strong musical and religious ties Norwegian immigrants had to their home country,” Corbisier wrote. “But is also interesting because now the descendants of these immigrants can contribute to a renewal of these ties as well as the creation of new musical and spiritual connections.”

• To see the broadcast live go to (type in salmeboka in the search window). For a direct link go to: