MADISON (WKOW) -- Music can reach and connect people on a different level. Spring Green resident Jan Swenson has been giving the gift of music for more than three decades, and that's why she is someone you should know.
Jan loves everything there is to love about choral music. She says, "I love what it does to you inside and I love how it makes you feel."
Jan has spent her life bringing the beauty of sound to our area. She's been directing the River Valley Area Community Choir since 1968. Her son Doug Swenson says, "That is what I think she gives. The joy of music and people are excited by that."
Don says through music, Jan reaches and unites people in our community like no one else. He says, "people can't wait to get involved in what she does because they know it will be quality."
She also brings out that quality with less physical ability than most. Jan was born with only one full arm, but she never let it stand in her way. Jan says, "It has made me a very determined hardworking person." Jan demands excellence from all the people she works with but also from herself. She learns all the parts on her keyboard before teaching them to others.
Jan says, "I've learned that doing something well is worth the work." Jan has worked on big choirs for decades. But, she's about to sing her swan song. She is retiring from big choir directing this December.
She says, "I just thought it was time." True to form, Jan will make her exit with excellence. She's conducting selections from Handel's, The Messiah.
Jan says,"I started out with The Messiah in 1984 and this is my last concert so I did a revisit of The Messiah." Saying goodbye to a life long love is never easy, which is exactly why Jan will continue to turn to music even if she's not directing it. She says, "Music says things that words can't."
You can watch Jan's last performance of The Messiah weekend. On Friday and Saturday night, the concert starts at 7:30 p.m. at Christ Lutheran Church in Spring Green. The final performance is on Sunday, December 11 at 3 p.m. at St. Luke's Catholic Church in Plain.