Elbjørg Laila Keyn Lundström
Elbjørg Lundström, conductor, pianist, and organist, is a versatile musician who has taught music at all levels in Norway, Denmark, and Sweden. Additionally, she has also been an administrator and a leading figure in music in the Seventh-day Adventist church in Sweden and Norway.
Elbjørg is one of five children born to Eivind and Turid Myklebust Keyn. Although she was born in Alesund, Norway, she grew up in Oslow and Kristiansand. Music was an important activity in her home, since her father was an active amateur musician at that time and her uncle, Bjørn, was a professional musician.
Although in her earlier years her father was a teacher and principal who was active as a singer and conductor of choirs and bands, he pursued studies in music and became a professional musician, eventually serving for a decade as chair of the music program at Newbold College in England.
Elbjørg started taking piano lessons at age nine from Jenny Kragerud at the conservatory of music in Oslo. She studied there for the next six years until her father accepted a position at the church school near Tyrifjord Junior College, the Adventist college in Røyse, Norway. During her time as a student at TJC, 1973-1976, she continued study on piano for a year with Laila Dyreson, later Keyn, through marriage to Bjørn, accompanied the church choir and a girls' group, and assisted in religious services as a pianist. She also occasionally substituted for her father as a teacher in his grade school music classes and taught piano lessons.
Elbjørg started playing cornet at age of twelve and played in the brass bands her father directed. The brass groups toured in Scandinavia and also played in the 1975 General Conference Session held in Vienna, Austria, an experience that remains a treasured memory for her.
After graduating from TJC in 1976, she spent a year as a student missionary in West Africa at the Masanga Leprosy Hospital. She then enrolled at Newbold College in England, planning on spending a year studying music before returning to Norway to train as a nurse. During that year, Elbjørg decided to extend her stay at NC and pursue a music degree.
Although the Norwegian government was at first reluctant to provide a grant for music study, they relented and she stayed at NC until Christmas 1980, when she completed a B.A. in music, graduating cum laude. In addition to her study on piano with Joelle Goel and Veselinka Becejac at NC, she also took lessons from Amalie Christie in Oslo.
In the half-year following graduation, Elbjørg studied pedagogy at the University of Norway and taught in a church school in Oslo. She then traveled to the U.S. in the summer of 1981 where she enrolled that fall at Andrews University for continued study in music. During her study at AU, she studied piano with Sandra Camp, Renee Ramos, and Morris Taylor; organ with C. Warren Becker; and voice with James Hanson. She also sang in the University Singers under Harold Lickey and the University Chorale under James Bingham.
Elbjørg started her master's thesis on Norwegian Folk Music under Hans Jørgen Holman, continued it under Becker, and completed it under Taylor. She graduated from AU in 1987 with an M.A. in music history and literature.
Upon her return to Europe after a year at AU, she conducted the youth choir at the Skodsborg Physical Therapy School in Denmark, and gave music lessons. In 1983, she accepted a position at Ekebyholmsskolan, Sweden's Adventist junior college, where for the next three years she was head of the music department and minister of music at its church. In addition to teaching classes, conducting the choirs, and giving lessons in voice, piano, and organ, she also started and directed a brass band at the school in 1985.
After her marriage to Claes Lundström in 1985 and the birth of their first daughter in 1987, Elbjørg accepted a part-time position in 1988 as music director in the SDA church in Stockholm. Following the birth of twin daughters two years later, Lundstrum taught piano and led out in Kindermusic groups of children from ages 1 1/2 to school age, from 1990 to 1994. From 1994 to 1996, she conducted children's and youth choirs in addition to serving as an organist in the Church of Sweden and providing piano and organ services at churches, weddings, and funerals.
In 1996, Lundström resumed full-time teaching, returning to Ekebyholmsskolan as its music teacher. In 2003, she accepted a position to serve as principal and teach some music classes at the grades one to ten Adventist school at Tyrifjord. At the end of her first year, she also started teaching music part-time at the nearby Tyrifjord Junior College and, in 2007, resigned as principal to accept a full-time music position at the college, a position she still holds.
All during her career, Lundström has traveled extensively both as a member and director of music ensembles. When her father was choir conductor at Newbold College from 1984 to 1994, she joined his group for two tours, one to the Middle-East and one in Scandinavia. She has toured with her school groups in Scandinavia, Finland, Iceland, Germany, Austria, France, Russia, and the U.S.
As a singer, she has had extensive experience singing in choirs and has sung many of the landmark choral works, including Bach's Magnificat, Beethoven's Ninth Symphony, Faure's Requiem, and others. She also participated in a production of Fiddler on the Roof while attending Andrews University and, at the end of this year will present four performances of it (in Norwegian) at the TCJ. This production is an outgrowth of Musical, a class she teaches, a popular class that previously presented a performance of Beauty and the Beast.
Elbjørg and Claes, a musically talented Adventist minister who is youth pastor at TJC, have shared their love of music with their children. The three oldest daughters and another who was born in 1999 have received music instruction from their mother, been in her music groups, and had other opportunities for study.
Lundström was instrumental in founding SAMS, Seventh-day Adventists Musicians in Sweden in 1988 and served as its chair for several years. Under her leadership, it led out in workshops, choir festivals, and summer music camps and held worship services in Adventist churches. It is now in charge of music in the Swedish Union of SDA.
SAMS also collaborated with SAMNOR, a similar organization in Norway, founded in 1998 by her father, Eivind, in joint activities and projects, the most recent being millennium concerts given in Norway in 2000. When Eivind died in 2006, Bjørn assumed leadership of SAMNOR. Elbjørg now assists as vice-chairman.
Throughout her career, Lundström, has sought to improve her skills as a performer and increase her knowledge in other areas. Presently, she is studying piano with Marianne Hirsti, internationally known Grieg specialist, and taking studies in American and English literature and civilization.
Sources: Information provided by Elbjørg Keyn Lundström, 3 January 2009; personal knowledge.