Guardian of the Bridge
During Sibelius Week 2010, now known as the Helsinki Festival, representative members of the Finnish Male Chorus of New York (New Yorkin Laulumiehet) and their families gathered at the Sibelius Academy in Helsinki to present the institution with the celebrated composer's original handwritten composition Siltavahti.
This work, written in 1928 specifically as the signature anthem (lippulaulu) of the New Yorkin Laulumiehet (NYL), has been performed by numerous individuals and choirs, including the North American Male Singers (Amerikan Laulajat), and is the
The remaining New York choir members have long pondered finding a fitting home for this valuable manuscript. Sale of the item had once been considered, with proceeds to be used to finance a proposed 2006 Amerikan Laulajat concert tour. Eventually, it was agreed that Siltavahti should remain with an organization that best preserved and showcased the composer's work. A suggestion to bequeath the document to the Helsinki Sibelius Academy was unanimously accepted. With the aid of Lake Worth, Florida Lutheran Pastor Seppo Hartikainen, arrangements with the Academy, an institution where he had studied, were prepared.
On August 25, 2010, the donation of Siltavahti occurred. In a ceremony held at the Academy, Janne Pellinen and past chairman of the NYL, Harry Manner, delivered the document and transferred ownership to Irmeli Koskimies, the institute's Archivist. Attendees at the event included Uolevi Lassander, past director of the Finnish Male Choir Association (Mieskuoroliitto); Antti Valikangas, producer of the Finnish Expatriate's Story (Ulkosuomalaisen Tarina), a historic TV series; and numerous family members and friends. Ms. Koskimies stated that Siltavahti was now the most valued piece in their collection of Sibelius' original works.
Additional as Siltavahti presentation.
New Yorkin Laulumiehet