The Sleepy Eye Area Concertina Club will play and demonstrate the many styles of music that can be performed on the concertina with an emphasis on polka.
They will also educate those unfamiliar with these styles of music and the instrument. SEACC will perform on the Edelweiss Schauplatz performance stage and serenade patrons of the Weihnachts Cafe on both Friday and Saturday at 1:30 pm.The mission of the Sleepy Eye Area Concertina Club is to promote knowledge of the Chemnitz style concertina through public performances, musical training, and historical research on its roots in Minnesota culture.
In 1834 a German from the town of Chemnitz, Carl Friedrich Uhlig, constructed the first German concertina (konzertina). Uhlig had become familiar with the first accordion invented in 1829 by Cyrill Demian while on a trip to Vienna, Austria. He felt the instrument could be improved and produced his own. Uhlig’s concertina was square in shape and had 5 buttons on each side. Each button produced two different tones depending on the direction of the bellows, for a total of 20 tones. By 1840, Uhlig had increased the number of tones on his concertina to 56 tones (26 buttons), and eventually produced concertinas with 60, 64, and 76 tones.
Each year, there are fewer concertina players and fewer students learning to play this versatile instrument. By sharing music, demonstrating the many styles of music that can be performed on it and promoting it, the SEACC hopes to capture the attention of others that were either unfamiliar with these styles of music or the instrument.
The club also serves to improve the exchange of information and cooperation between its members, and to enhance camaraderie and individual playing skills by conducting programs and activities to advance the general interest in music and to promote public good will.
Generous support for our music is provided by the Gislason & Hunter Law Firm and with a grant from the Prairie Lakes Regional Arts Council with an appropriation from the Minnesota State Legislature with money from the State’s general fund.