Katie Malik, runner-up from season four of Allt för Sverige, returns in June to meet family… and to sing in Sweden.
Katie Malik may have fallen in the final competition of Allt för Sverige, but her experiences in Sweden did not end there. An audience favorite from last fall’s successful season with show-record ratings, Katie was brought back to meet her Swedish family in a Julspecial episode. Now she returns to meet them again and this time she brings along her husband, parents, and other American relatives.
– We will have a family reunion in Malmö where both sides of the family will meet for the first time. My mother has always wanted to see Sweden, and I’m excited be there when she finally visits our ancestors’ homeland. One of my morfar’s sisters is also coming with us and she gets to meet her second cousins she’s been trying to find for decades. She has been to Sweden three times before hoping to find family but she never succeeded. Now she finally gets to meet them!
During the filming of Allt för Sverige, there were some things that happened behind the scenes that did not make it to the episodes. On the day when Katie went to Eslöv to learn about her ancestors, the crew stopped for lunch in Lund at a café near Lund Domkyrka. Katie remembered that her morfars farmor Ellen Olson told stories about the cathedral and a big clock with people that came out of it when it struck.
– I got about 10 minutes to spend alone at the cathedral, no cameras, just me. I expected the clock to be on a tower outside, so I was a little disappointed when I didn’t see it. Then I went inside to the breathtakingly beautiful space. As a Christian my first thought was that it was a space that inspired reverence. As a singer my next thought was that the acoustics must be incredible. I turned around and saw the big organ in the loft, and knew I must be right. And then as I walked to leave, I saw the astronomical clock. There it was, exactly as my great-great grandmother described it. It was very powerful to know I was in one of her favorite places in the world.
Not only that, Katie Malik will have the opportunity to sing there on June 28th when she is a guest soloist for Lund Domkyrka’s high mass service.
– I don’t have words to describe how honored I was to receive an invitation to sing at Lund Domkyrka. It is a place of immense significance to my family, to the community in Skåne, and to Sweden’s larger history. But when I’m there in that moment, I’ll just have to think about the words that I’m singing – and let it be a tribute to Ellen and the faith she held dear.
The Lund Domkyrka service is just one of several that Katie Malik will sing in Skåne this June. She also will be singing a lunchmusik concert at S:t Johannes Kyrka in Malmö on June 18, and midsommar day outdoor service on June 20 at Västra Sallerups Kyrka in Eslöv, her ancestors’ home parish.
– The concert in Malmö is a wonderful opportunity to sing for my family, many of whom live in Malmö. When I visited at Christmas we sang some songs for each other in the kitchen over glögg, and they all seemed to enjoy my singing even in that casual setting. It will be fun to have a chance to show them what I really do!
As an opera singer, of course there will be a little bit of opera in the program. But Katie also is an experienced church singer, and the program will consist of many sacred songs, including her version of “O Store Gud” which fans of the show found on Youtube and encouraged Katie to keep learning Swedish.
– That positive response inspired me to keep learning. I’ve learned about a half dozen songs in Swedish that I’ll be singing during my visit. Mostly hymns but also some folk and art songs. And one special surprise that I can’t mention yet.
What’s the surprise? She will not say but does give a hint:
– There is a Swedish song that many fans of the show sent me through my Facebook page, and the lyrics are perfect for this trip with my family. I have an adventurous spirit and love to see new places, but this experience has given me a new appreciation for what it means to be home. Allt för Sverige gave me a gift I could give my family, a seed that just keeps growing. Not only has it taught me about myself and where I come from, it has brought family together on both sides of the Atlantic.
Schedule of Events:
Torsdag 18 juni 12.10 Lunchmusik konsert S:t Johnnes Kyrka, Malmö
Lördag 20 juni 11.00 Midsommar temagudstjänst Västra Sallerups Kyrka, Eslöv
Söndag 28 juni 11.00 Högmässa Lund Domkyrka
Katie’s performance of O Store Gud (August 2014): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XUEULvOs7RQ
High-resolution photos for publication, social media links, and biography: http://www.katiemalik.com/press-kit/
Katie’s page about Allt för Sverige (including behind-the-scenes blogs): http://www.katiemalik.com/project/allt-for-sverige/