Fiddlers bring out the community for Spelemannslag concert

A Nowegian musical group partnered with Sons of Norway in Fargo to put of a free fiddle concert for the community

FARGO, N.D. (KVRR) — Put on your dancing shoes!

A Norwegian musical group partnered with Sons of Norway in Fargo to put of a free fiddle concert for the community.

“We’re the Fargo Spelemennslag, that means musicians team in Norwegian, so we’re a group of fiddlers from begging to advanced all kinds of different experience levels,” said one member Gus Holley.

After receiving a $4,000 grant from the North Dakota Council on the Arts in the fall, the group was able to partner with the Sons of Norway and put together a workshop along with a concert for the community.

Even those just there to listen were encouraged to pick up a fiddle.

Members of the group say the rhythms are typically upbeat and the instrument initially became popular in Norway.

“Most of the fiddle tunes are for dancing, and they are as you saw on a range of different topics,” said Holley.

The fiddle hasn’t always been a celebrated instrument. It’s had its ups and downs in history, especially in the eyes of religion.

“For a lot of reasons, the fiddle was associated with the devil and things people wanted to get rid of. It was associated with supernatural beings and also people just mixing together having a fun time and dancing,” said Holley.

Holley says people would gather up fiddles and burn them, eventually they were accepted as a part of Norwegian culture.

This is a family affair for Amy Rand; she shares this passion with her two children.

“We thought it would be wonderful to learn how to build fiddles so we’ve been doing that for the last year and then learning how to play together as well, both on zoom and in person now and again. So yea its just a real delight for me as a mom to be able to learn together with my two teenagers,” said Rand.

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