The Bjarne Male Chorus was established in Grand Forks on July 3, 1881. The choir was founded by H. Fremstad, a native of Norway who emigrated to the United States in the late 1870s. Fremstad was a talented musician and was instrumental in organizing male singing societies in Norway. He continued this work after arrival in America.
The purpose of the organization was "to become as proficient as possible in the rendition of good musical compositions for male voices, to create a deeper appreciation of good music in general and to obtain pleasure and social enjoyment from intercourse with one another." The first meetings were held at the home of L. K. Hassell and later at the Synod Church on Cottonwood Street.
The early members included O. A. Moe, J. D. Wurschmidt, H. A. Moe, L. K. Hassell, Bersvend Johnson, P. J. Bye, O. C. Langseth, Gulick Pederson, S. O. Leen, O. Brodtkrob, O. Hexom, O. L. Sahesen (?), and Anton Pederson. The Bjarne Male Chorus participated in various Norwegian singing festivals. Grand Forks hosted festivals in 1904 and 1916. The Chorus was still in existence in the 1960s, more than eighty years after it was organized.
The collection includes one folder of material pertaining to the Nora Band, which was organized in 1890 also by Mr. Fremstad. Several members of Bjarne were members of this band. About 1898, the Nora Band was renamed the Grand Forks City Band.