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Saana Ensemble performing in NYM on Dec. 3

Twin-Cities-based Saana Ensemble will give holiday concert at the New York Mills Cultural Center Friday, December 3rd

The concert is at 7:30 p.m.. Tickets are $12 advance sale or $15 the evening of the concert. Call the Cultural Center at (218) 385-3339 for ticket information. This concert is sponsored by Tom and Rich Paper of Wadena Hide and Fur.

Saana Ensemble is a vocal group performing Finnish music, sometimes with percussion and other instruments. The Ensemble is five native Finns who live in the Minneapolis/St. Paul area in Minnesota and became friends here. After many years of sweating at sauna parties, they finally decided in 2005 to combine their diverse musical talents to perform Finnish music to audiences in the United States, and to stay connected to their Finnish roots.

Saana Ensemble's repertoire is eclectic and ranges from hymns to folk songs and dance tunes, all sung in Finnish. Featured composers include Kaj and Jussi Chydenius, Jukka Linkola, Liisa Matveinen, Heikki Sarmanto, Sari Kaasinen, Toivo Kärki, and Kerkko Koskinen, among others. Some arrangements are by Jaakko Mantyjarvi, Timo Alakotila, and Jorma Panula; many are Saana's own to accommodate voice types and available instruments. Several Värttinä and Hedningarna songs are also in Saana Ensemble's song book.

Saana Ensemble has performed at many Scandinavian festivals including Nisswa Stamman, Hjemkomst Festival in Moorhead, at Finnfests in Minnesota, Michigan, and Ontario, and locally at Cedar Cultural Center, New York Mills Regional Cultural Center, Twin Cities churches and as part of Orchestra Hall pre-concert entertainment.