About Ellen and Ken
Ellen (Haffling) and Ken Svengalis perform, primarily, traditional Swedish folk songs and ballads, with voice, guitar, and violin. Together, they have performed for a number of Swedish and Scandinavian organizations and festivals in CT, NJ, NY, and RI, including the SAHS Midsummer Celebration, ScandJam, the Scandinavian Folk Festival in Jamestown, NY, Scandinavian Fest in NJ, and the Swedish Welfare Association annual dinner in CT, as well as numerous R.I. Swedish Heritage Association (RISHA), American Union of Swedish Singers (AUSS), and Scandinavian Club events. They have also performed in Rockford, IL at their Midsummer festival. Their biggest thrills to date have been singing solos in Detroit at the AUSS Grand Concert (in 2004) and in Sweden as part of the AUSS singing tour (in 2005).
Ellen, who is of Swedish descent, has been performing as a soloist at Scandinavian events for two decades. She is a soloist with the
Northern Lights Singers
(Fairfield, CT) of the
American Union of Swedish Singers
(AUSS). All four of her grandparents emigrated from Sweden, from the provinces of Halland and Värmland. Her father, the late Eric Haffling, sang with the North Star Singers of the AUSS for 65 years. Ellen developed a love for Scandinavian music by hearing them perform. Her hand-made folk costume is from a village in Värmland. She is a past national secretary of the American Union of Swedish Singers and is currently their webmaster and newspaper editor. Ellen was the first female president of the
Scandinavian Club of Fairfield, CT.
She directed the Lucia Fest at the Scandinavian Club for over 10 years. She feels that it's important to pass on Swedish songs and traditions to the coming generations. When not promoting her heritage, Ellen is a computer software consultant, graphic designer, website designer, photographer, and editor.
Ken Svengalis, who is of Swedish and Lithuanian descent, sang with the
Verdandi Male Chorus
of Providence, RI (AUSS) from 1996 to 2010, and now sings with the
North Star Singers
of Fairfield, CT. His maternal grandparents emigrated from the Swedish provinces of Småland and Värmland. His paternal grandparents emigrated from the Suwalki region of Lithuania. He particularly enjoys singing the songs of Carl Michael Bellman and Evert Taube. Ken is vice-president of the
Jussi Björling Society - USA,
which was organized in 1998 to honor the career of the 20th century’s greatest operatic tenor. He also serves as president of the
Rhode Island Swedish Heritage Association
which was organized in 2002 to raise funds for a permanent Swedish presence in the future Heritage Harbor Museum in Providence. Ken is an author, publisher, and president of
New England LawPress, which publishes the annual
Legal Information Buyer's Guide & Reference Manual.
His latest book, entitled
Conspiracy on the Housatonic is his first fiction book about a Swedish-American girl detective. But, there's an unusual twist: it's also a vocabulary-building novel for all ages.
Kendall's previous book,
Gary, Indiana: A Centennial Celebration,
is about his home town, which celebrated its centennial in 2006.
He also was involved in organizing his high school's 45-year class reunion for 2010:
Emerson High, class of 1965.
Ken and Ellen were married in 2001 and make their home in the rolling hills of Connecticut.