2000 & Earlier
This page contains historical information from August 2000 back to the beginning. (The history of Ingevald is on the genealogy page)
2000, August 6 – ‘Scandinavia Bound’ “Big Scandinavian dance party, potluck dinner and fundraising to send Byron to Scandinavia.’ This was held at the Carnegie Library building in Lawrence. Musicians accompanying me were Jill Brandenburg, Lauralyn Bodle, John Lowther and Richard Lungstrum. This was an exciting event for me.
2000, July 22 – Dance party at Rosa’s 2000. A nice “send off to Sweden” party for me. Byron and John Lowther were the musicians – others?
2000, June 17 – Midsommardag at Lindsborg with a bonus music and dance workshop. John L. accompanied me on guitar. Fiddle workshops were led by Gunnar Iggendal & Sture Holmström from Stockholm.
2000, April 29 – Played for the 20th anniversary party of the Scandinavian Folk Dancers of Kansas City. Musicians (?).
2000, March 25 – Dance party at Wil & Rosa’s house with a special guest, Mary Allsopp, from Chicago.
2000, February 26 – I organized a story telling concert in Lawrence and Kansas City featuring Sarah Granskou from Ontario. We had a small dancing event afterwards including dancers from Kansas City. Musicians were Byron and Lauralyn Bodle. I now realize this may have been the first (in recent memory) Scandinavian dance party in Lawrence.
2000, February 14 – Dance party and potluck at Wil & Rosa’s in Kansas City.
2000, February (roughly) to current – The weekly Sunday jams took on a new life and began to cover a broader musical spectrum. The early core included Byron, Richard Lungstrum, Jill B, Lauralyn B, Patrick K, John Lowther, Brooks H, John Craft, Linda Evans and others.
2000 to current – Sometime around 2000 or perhaps earlier we started playing Scandinavian couples dance tunes at the local contra dance halftime.
1999, December 3 – Provided a musical program at the Christmas Banquet for The Scandinavian Association of Greater Kansas City. Musicians were Byron, Lauralyn Bodle, and Stan Shelver. The Scandinavian Dancers danced to a few of our tunes.
1999, October 23 – Played a sampling of dance tunes for the “Howling Halloween” event at Homestead National Monument in Beatrice, NE.
1999, October 16 – Svensk Hyllningsfest in Lindsborg. This was a magnificent year at the festival. The Grindsater’s Spelman from Stockholm accompanied a fabulous dance troupe from Sweden. Peter “Puma” Hedlund played his nyckelharpa. Details are sketchy, but I may have played with someone as a roving musician.
1999, September 3 – Dance party at Wil & Rosa’s house.
1999, June 19 – Participated in the Midsommardag festival in Lindsborg, KS as ‘Ingevald’s Spelmän.” We were the roving musicians. Musicians were Byron, Dana and Jim.
1999 – March 13 – Dance Party at Wil & Rosa’s.
1999, January – I traveled to Norway to see friends and musicians. I spent a short time in Aurdal with Elizabeth Kværne who plays langeleik. I learned tunes mostly from her daughter, Ingri. The farm were I stayed is located about halfway up a steep mountain. The view across the valley was spectacular. I also experienced a fabulous Julebukk party in Fagernes on the grounds of the local museum. A button box band played some very good energetic music all evening long. I also spent some time with with master Hardanger fiddler, Leif Rygg in Voss. The last picture below is at Troldhaugen, Edvard Grieg’s home in Bergen. The entire experience in Norway was outstanding.
1999 – The once a month old time Sunday jams started to fizzle out as the year went on. John Lowther and Byron kept them going until a new burst of people energy entered the scene around February & March, 2000.
1998, December – I co-produced a Norwegian story telling concert with Rachel Hunter featuring Judith Simundson from Dubuque, Iowa.
1998, September 6 – Dance party at Wil & Rosa’s house.
1998, July 16 – I organized concerts at the Community Theater building (Lawrence) featuring master Hardanger fiddler, Leif Rygg, from Voss, Norway. I also organized a concerts in Lindsborg and Kansas City. I played the langeliek and Randi Tveitaraas is dressed in her Norwegian bunad.
1998, June 20 – Midsommardag in Lindsborg – I accompanied the Kansas City Scandinavian Dancers at a performance. (not sure, but John and Lauralyn may have played also)
1998, May 9 – Old fashioned barn dance at the Matfield Green (Kansas) School – Musicians were Lauralyn, John and Byron. (others?) The dance was called by Mike Rundle.
1998, March 6 to 8 – Fairfield, Iowa. Excellent Scandinavian dance workshop with Roo Lester & Larry Harding.
1998, March 1 – At some point in time the dance party tradition started at Wil and Rosa Walcoe’s house in Kansas City. March 1st, 1998 may have been the first one and the parties continued until they moved away in 2005. The dance parties featured a fine potluck meal, visiting with folks and dancing to live music. I played at this dance but don’t remember who else may have been with me.
1998, January 24 – Joel and Byron play for a new contra dance series in Newton, KS. (and again on March 21st).
1997, October – Swedish Music and Dance weekend at Folklore Village. Discovered in October of 2010 was a photo taken at that event that appeared in Leif Alpsjö’s fine album “Tidlöst.” I have received permission from Leif to publish the photo here. Leif holds the copyright to this photo. It is a scan from the album since locating the original would be difficult. I (Byron) am standing in the light from the window in the upper center.
1997, October 10 & 11 – Svensk Hyllningsfest in Lindsborg. Byron, Jim Hurlburt and Dana Price performed as Ingevald’s Spelmän. Paul Wilson, Mary Abendroth and Dick Rees were some of the performers that year.
1997, August 9 – I was interviewed on High Plains Public Radio (Garden City, KS) by Lynn Boitano on the Silver Rails program. We played Scandinavian recordings on the program (also a mixture of other music on this particular program), and I told a few stories about the tunes.
1997, June 7 – Played (solo) in Oakland, Nebraska for their Svensk Festspel as Ingevald’s Spelmän. The Kansas City Scandinavian Dancers were also there.
1997 – I started calling my Scandinavian music playing group Ingevald’s Spelmän.
1997 to 2000 – I was part of the Lecompton Reenactors, playing the part of Abraham Lincoln in our programs. I also provided Civil War era tunes on my fiddle.
1997? – 1999? – On rare occasions Patrick (fiddle), Jim Krause (banjo, fiddle, guitar) and I (guitar) played as the Kaw Valley Plow Boys for dances.
1996, June 15 – I gave a program on the Norwegian langeleik at the Midsommardag celebration in Lindsborg. The ‘Sunday Night String Band’ performed during the day. Musicians included Dana Price, Jim Hurlburt, Byron and John Lowther(?) and myself. This was the year that they had the Malmö Brass Band from Sweden. We also played by the Swedish Pavilion (Old Mill Park) at the big evening program.
1996, May – I gave a presentation on Scandinavian musical instruments to Sylvia Scoby’s students at Schwegler elementary.
1996, April 12 – The Sunday Night String Band played for the International Student’s Association’s ‘Festival of Nations. Musicians were Jim Krause, Patrick Kingsbury, John Lowther, Dana Price, Jim Hurlburt, Bayliss Harsh and myself.
1996, February 11 – Some local friends got together for a ‘lutefisk’ supper – it was a fine potluck dinner and evening of music at John and Natalya Lowther’s farm.
1996, February 3 – I was interviewed on High Plains Public Radio (Garden City, KS) by Lynn Boitano on the Silver Rails program. Scandinavian recordings were played and I fiddled a couple of tunes on that cold morning!
1996(?) to 2001(?) or beyond – I was part of a old time fiddle tune group called the ‘Flint Hillbillies or Flint Hill Billies’ We mostly played for fun but did play for some dances in Lecompton, Topeka, Westport and dances at the Applied English Center at KU. Byron (guitar), Patrick (fiddle), Bayliss (bass).
1996 or 1997 – I acquired a larger piano accordion from D.R. While not spending a lot of time on this instrument, I do find it very satisfying to play and have continued to play it.
1995, October 14 – Svensk Hyllningsfest in Lindsborg. John Lowther, Dana Price, Jim Hurlburt Bayliss Harsh and myself performed as the ‘Borderlands Spelmanslag.’ John and I played downtown. I think this was the first time we played in Lindsborg. Dick Rees was one of the other performers at this festival.
1995, October 12 – I organized my first Scandinavian concert at the ECM building (Lawrence) featuring Dick Rees from St. Paul. Our Wednesday night jam group played a few Scandinavian tunes with Dick that evening. We were also joined by some Scandinavian dancers from Kansas City.
1995, August 12 – Gammelgården Spelmansstämma in Scandia, Minnesota. This was a fun festival, giving me the opportunity to hear both the American Swedish Institute’s (ASI) Spelmanslag, a group of four fine fiddlers visiting from Sweden (Lilla Spelmanslaget) and others.
1995, April 21 – Our group played Norwegian tunes for the International Students Association’s ‘Festival of Nations.’ Musicians were Byron (fiddle and langeleik), Jim Hurlburt (fiddle), Dana Price (fiddle), Bayliss Harsh (bass), John Lowther (guitar) and were joined by the Scandinavian Folk Dancers of Kansas City.
1994, August 4 – Appalachian String Band Festival, Clifftop, West Virginia. This was the first of three trips (also 08-05-1996 & 08-05-1999) to this fine old time fiddling festival. The music was outstanding and so were the evening dances! The trip out was interesting as a few of us traveled in a converted Chevy step van (also known as a bread delivery truck that was named Moonbeam). It only went 55 mph, had a small gas tank (required frequent refueling), was loud and had no air conditioning. By the time we arrived, a crusty layer of road dirt had solidified on our skin. It was a fun road trip however, and we did arrive in one piece.
1994, June 30 – Folklore Village Midsommar celebration. Likely this was my first visit to Folklore Village, the first of many very satisfying Scandinavian music and dancing experiences. It is one of the best places for music and dance workshops. Dick Rees and Becky Weis were the music instructors at this 1994 Midsommar event.
1994, June 11 – Symphony on the Prairie – This was the first event held on Jane Koger’s Ranch east of Matfield Green attracting about 3000 people. That was a very memorable event – an excellent orchestra playing in the late afternoon on a clear quiet day amongst the bloom spikes of the wild blue indigo.
1994, March 12 – The Wild Sunflower Ensemble (our Wednesday evening jam group) played live on KJHK radio – Ron Heap’s Lawnchair Review. Musicians were Byron (accordion, fiddle, cuatro, guitar, mandolin), Dana Price (fiddle), John Lowther (guitar), Rex Armstrong (bodhran, tin whistle, Irish flute, concertina), Patrick Kingsbury (fiddle), Deborah Altus (flute), Bayliss Harsh (bass) and Tom Bogardus (saw).
1994 (?) to the present – I started playing for the Kansas City Scandinavian Dancers around this time with the support of other musicians (which I greatly appreciated).
1994, January 22 – Byron, John, Dana and Patrick played old time American music with some other friends for a Civil War reenactors’ ball at the Territorial Capital building near Ft. Riley. I felt as if I had stepped back in time as we played music for the dancers all dressed up in outfits from the mid to late 1800’s.
1994 or 1995 – I co-taught a music class at Century School with Deborah Altus. We introduced the young children to musical instruments and taught them songs. (not sure of the exact dates)
1993, October 8 – Svensk Hyllningsfest in Lindsborg – I did not play, but this may have been my first trip to see what was going on in Lindsborg. I also went to the St. Lucia celebration on December 11.
1993, July – Attended the first of several Nordic Fest events in Decorah, Iowa. It is a huge Norwegian-American festival in a very nice location.
1993, June through the present time – I went to the annual meeting and workshop of the Hardanger Fiddle Association of America for the first time in 1993 and have continued going every year. This event is a fabulous experience that includes amazing musicians, interesting people, learning some dancing and how to play the instrument. I was president of the organization for 5 years and served on the board for an additional three years. I film the yearly workshops. Take a look at this YouTube link for more information.
1993(?) or 1994(?) through 1999 – The once a month Sunday jams at Sylvia’s became a weekly Sunday jam, meeting in other folks’ homes around 1993. The focus was old time fiddle music on Sunday evenings. We sometimes played for contra dances in Manhattan, Lecompton, Topeka, Matfield Green and Lawrence and used the name ‘Sunday Night String Band.’ The SNSB dissolved around 1999. The core group was Patrick Kingsbury, Jim Hurlburt, Dana Price, John Lowther, Bayliss Harsh, Lisa Harris and Byron.
1992, June – I attended the ‘Scandinavian Week’ music and dance workshop at the Buffalo Gap camp in northern West Virginia, intending to learn about the Hardanger fiddle. The camp however, was a ‘life direction’ changing experience. In addition to the beautiful Hardanger fiddle music, I also discovered regular Norwegian fiddle music (springleiks played by Lief Inge Schjølberg), Swedish nyckelharpa (played by Bruce Sagan who also co-directed the camp with Judy Barlas), Swedish fiddling (played by Tony Wrethling) and was exposed to the fabulous dances that go with the music. I was new at playing the fiddle and am seen playing in the gammaldans band with my mandolin. I will never forget how good it felt to be there and to go to bed at night listening to the music as it echoed off the valley walls from the playing and dancing that continued late every night. That was a magical experience!
1991, August – I received my Swedish great-great-great uncle’s fiddle from my grandmother. That uncle, Charlie Peterson (born in 1870), used to play for old country dances in southwestern Missouri and gave the violin to my grandmother around 1919.
1991, June – I borrowed a fiddle from a friend (Lisa Harris) to see if it was possible to play such an instrument after having played three finger style on the five string banjo for the previous 5 years. I had enjoyed listening to friends play at local jams and thought it would be nice to try to play such a nice sounding instrument. I came to the conclusion that I could play it after seeing many ‘regular’ folks playing it just fine. My parents did not offer violin playing to me when I was growing up. My mom classified it as a difficult instrument that only young musical prodigies could play. I now know that it is one of the most challenging and stimulating instruments to play, but certainly not impossible with good instruction and a willingness to persevere. Having people to play with and interesting music to play is the main incentive for me to practice.
While researching violin and other musical instrument topics (I also enjoy listening to the music of western Africa, many folk genres, baroque, classical, ragtime, etc) in the KU Music Library, I discovered a captivating article in the Strad (a violin magazine) by Loretta Kelley about the Norwegian Hardanger Fiddle. I was immediately enchanted by this haunting music after listening to the Folkways Norway album which featured the Hardanger fiddle, langeleik, singing, willow bark flute and regular fiddle playing. Why had I not been exposed to this before? I wrote to the Hardanger Fiddle Association of America and joined the organization.
1991 to 1997 – Concurrent with Sylvia’s jam, a Wednesday night jam started with the encouragement of Joel Hayes in early 1991. There was for a brief time, a Monday jam at Joel’s house. I feel very fortunate to have met Joel before he left town in March 1991 – he was very good at connecting people, and helped me make some early connections with other musicians. The Wednesday night jam met at Eunice Ruttinger’s house after initially playing a few times at the old Muncher’s Bakery Wednesday night jam. In addition to Scandinavian music, our group also played Irish and old time American tunes. We informally adopted the name ‘Wild Sunflower Ensemble’ in Oct 1993. The Wild Sunflower Ensemble ended in the summer of 1997. Some of the Wednesday night musicians over the years were Patrick Kingsbury (fiddle), Jim Hurlburt (fiddle), Rex Armstrong (woodwinds, guitar), Dana Price (fiddle – arrived Sept 1993), Eunice Ruttinger (violin), Byron (banjo, fiddle), Joel Hayes (guitar, voice – left March 1991), Debra Altus (flute), Bayliss Harsh (bass), Mary Swift (guitar), Alice C. (violin), Jane McMurrer, and Tom Bogardus (saw, guitar). We played Scandinavian, old time American and some Irish tunes.
1990, August – I discovered contra dancing in Lawrence. After encouragement from friends and statements from Steve Mason suggesting the it was “the social event of the month,” I finally went. I remember some of the welcoming folks at the first dance – Lisa Harris, Jerry Jost and Sharon & Keith Freisen-Penner. Early fabulous experiences included dancing to the Euphoria String Band, dancing at the Stony Point barn (first one for me May 1991), potluck dinners & jams after the dances, etc.
1989, September 16 – Went to the first of many Walnut Valley Festivals in Winfield, Kansas. I slept in my car this first time and got a neck ache. I also remember that I pulled into a muddy campground and that the car wasn’t going anywhere that weekend. It was good awakening experience.
1989 – I started discovering folk music in Lawrence Kansas. I met Steve Mason in his music shop (Harmonic Arts) and he sat me down and had me play what I knew on banjo. I just played a tune one time through and that was it, not knowing that tunes repeat. He told me about the Sunday jam that happened on the first Sunday of every month. There were also some Saturday jam sessions at the Harmonic Arts store.
That was the place to be, Sylvia Scoby’s! I remember some folks who were there including Steve Mason, Bayliss Harsh, Jim Rome, Lisa Harris, Pat Olkowski, John Lowther, Joel Hayes, Jim Krause(?), Sam Austin, Gayle Sigurdson, Brad Levy, Gloria Throne, Tom Bogardus, Susan Brown, Mike Allen, Mike Yoder and others. I also discovered folk music at a jam that happened at The Crossing (no longer in existence) in 1989 or 1990. This jam group was called the ‘Cow Jawbone Review.’ John Rogers lent me his Martin ‘Vega’ bluegrass banjo for a year or so until I bought my own instrument.
1988 (?) 1990(?) – Not sure of the year, my grandmother (dad’s mom) gave me her piano accordion. I had never played one before and I remember her sitting me down and saying “you can read piano music, right?” She strapped it on me and tried to get both hands working – well, it took me about six years before I seriously tried to coordinate both hands.
1987 to current – One of my first encounters with the Lawrence music scene occurred in 1987 at the downtown Lawrence Post Office on tax day. I was there briefly but saw musicians setting up for what was the first tax day party. I fully attended the event in 1988 and all of them through 2007 until the office no longer stayed open late to receive mail. This is an amazing event with live music by the Alferd Packer Memorial String Band, dances organized by Mike Rundle and the playing of the William Tell Overture close to midnight – playing for the late tax filers. The event at one time or another has included the following: road kill stew, massage therapists giving massages on their portable tables, a wedding, and a visit by Ralph Nadar in 2001.
When I moved to Lawrence in 1987 from San Antonio, Texas, I was playing ‘three finger’ style bluegrass banjo (learned from Janet Davis while living in San Antonio) and was learning to play the mandolin. I met some amazing and very welcoming folks at jam sessions here in Lawrence. Over the years my musical skills increased because of these fine experiences.
Finding the banjo (see below) started me on my folk music journey. I think that my dad retrieved it from my grandfather’s basement here in Lawrence. My grandfather, Russell Wiley, was the KU band director from 1934 to 1968 and from what I heard, people sometimes gave him instruments when they did not know what else to do with them.
I grew up in Corpus Christi, TX listening to classical and band music on LP records. Of the music that I was exposed to, my favorite was Vivaldi’s mandolin concertos. I played some piano (and again in college), played Kum Ba Ya on guitar in a 2nd grade talent show and played the euphonium in the marching band from 5th through 12th grade. The biggest musical discovery of my youth was finding the banjo stuffed in my dad’s closet. My mom bought me two National Geographic folk music records – “Music of the Ozarks” and “The Music of Scotland” in 1973 or 1974. Those were very good albums.
See the Genealogy page for the origin of the name Ingevald & Swedish family connections.
Follow these links for more history –
8 – 2014 to current
7 – 2010-2013
6 – 2010 – Sweden
5 – 2006 – 2009
4 – 2001 – 2006