Finn Hall, a group specializing in Finnish and Finnish-American dance music, will present a concert in the Music in the Orendorff Commons series in the Orendorff Music Library (Cogswell Hall Room 101), on Sunday, March 21, 2010, at 7:00 p.m. This will be followed by a dance featuring tangos and a variety of Scandinavian dances. The event is sponsored by the IUP Libraries, the College of Fine Arts, and the Center for Northern Appalachian Studies.
For more than a decade, Finn Hall has been a group of musicians dedicated to preserving the feel and sounds of dances at the Finn Halls found in most Finnish-American communities from the late 1800s into the 1950s. They remain true to the original Finnish tunes, and have added dances that were just coming into vogue in the 1950s and 1960s—like the humppa and tango. They also play a wide variety of Scandinavian music, as well as other ethnic tunes and old-time dance music. Band members include (from left) Ralph Tuttila (mandolin), Cheryl Paschke (violin), Dennis Halme (accordion), and Al Reko (accordion and singing).
Finn Hall has made two tours of Finland, the latest in 2006, including performances at the prestigious Kaustinen International Folk Music Festival. They have performed at most of the national FinnFests over the past ten years and have been a featured group at many other Finnish-American, Scandinavian, and Upper Midwest folk music festivals such as the Nisswa Stamman (Nisswa, Minn.), the Finn Days at Ironworld (Chisholm, Minn.), Heikinpäivä (Hancock, Mich.), the Northeast Accordion Fest (Minneapolis), and the annual Scandinavian Ball (St. Paul). They were a featured group on the video The Old Finn Hall Variety Show (1997) and on the CD A Finnish American Christmas (1998). In 2002, they recorded their first solo CD entitled Reflections/Muistelmia and in 2009 their second CD, Tule Tansimaan/Come Dance.
They were elected the 2010 Finlandia Foundation Performers of the Year. Their performance in Indiana is part of their Eastern U.S. tour, which includes performances at the Finnish Embassy in Washington, D.C., and in Pittsburgh, Cleveland, and Detroit.
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