Renowned director starts new choirs in Issaquah
February 26, 2013
By Christina Corrales-Toy
Choir director Dan Hegelund has performed in some lofty locales across the European continent. He’s sung at the presidential palace in Ukraine, performed in front of the Latvian government and appeared with his choir on national television in Sweden.
Last year, though, Hegelund and his family decided to leave Sweden and move to the United States. The family could have chosen to settle anywhere in the U.S., but the Hegelunds decided, without any doubt, that Issaquah would be the place for them.
“We believe we made a good choice, and we look forward to raising our children here and becoming part of the Issaquah community,” Hegelund said in an email.
Hegelund plans to give back to the city his family has so quickly grown to love by starting and directing three new choirs in the community. The children’s choir accommodates ages 10-15, the youth choir includes ages 15-25 and the adult choir is for anyone older than 25.
“I believe music is an important element of a town’s social capital and is an essential part of a thriving community,” he said.
Hegelund labels his singing groups as gospel choirs, but that’s only for lack of a better term. His choirs sing everything from gospel and contemporary rhythm and blues to pop music.
One minute, the songs of gospel musician Kirk Franklin will fill the choir room, and just moments later, the performers may sing and dance to the familiar sounds of Earth, Wind and Fire.
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Common Ground Gospel choir rehearsals
Hegelund’s choirs are big, energetic affairs, giving participants the chance to sing music by contemporary secular and gospel artists in a fun, inviting atmosphere that can enrich a person’s life, he said.
“I believe that for many, music can be that extra ingredient in life that makes all the difference,” he said.
While the Issaquah choirs are just starting, Hegelund said the plan is to take the choirs on field trips around the state and across the country to perform, once the groups are more established.
“It takes time to build a choir and band, but soon enough, we will be arranging wonderful concerts and festivals in Issaquah,” he said.
Everyone is welcome to join the choirs. No one will be turned away. All that Hegelund asks is that interested participants email him at firstname.lastname@example.org before attending.
“Whether you are highly skilled or if you’ve never sung before, my choirs have something to offer,” he said. “There is no audition. All that is needed is a passion for singing.”
The choirs begin March 5 at Meadow Creek Chapel. The first rehearsal is free. After that, participants can select a membership plan based on how many rehearsals they would like to attend each week.