Couple explores the life of Norwegian immigrant

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Michael and Bonnie Jorgensen will bring “More Theodora” to Faith Lutheran Church on Feb. 21. (Submitted photo)

Have you ever explored an old garage or an old attic and thought about the thrill of discovering a priceless treasure? That’s what happened to Bonnie and Michael Jorgensen upon exploring an old home in St. Peter, Minnesota.

Theodora Cormontan was a Norwegian immigrant who lived the final years of her life in her St. Peter home. She was a musician and a composer who died in 1922. In 2011 Bonnie and Michael discovered over 150 of her handwritten manuscripts in the attic of her St. Peter home.

Since rediscovering her manuscript compositions (in addition to a number of her published works), the Jorgensens have dedicated themselves to sharing Theodora’s life and music with the world.

“‘More Theodora,’ is our follow-on presentation featuring music by Theodora Cormontan that we typically did not perform in our first program. This time we also share information and music from composers we believe were a major influence on her work, including Edvard Grieg,” Michael Jorgensen said. “We also provide highlights from our Cormontan music tour to Norway in the summer of 2015. During this trip we donated her original music scores to the National Library of Norway and performed.”

Bonnie, a professional accompanist, and Michael, a vocalist and Professor of Music, are both on staff at Gustavus Adolphus college.

Waconia Scandia Lodge is sponsoring the Jorgensen’s program on Tuesday, Feb. 21, at Faith Lutheran Church in Waconia. The program is free to the public and begins at 7 p.m.