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The creepy crawlies have returned!

This is an important message! This is not an April Fool’s joke! St. Urho party/dance, Friday, April 4th, 7:30 p.m., Cedar Valley Grange

The green crunchy Locuistidae (Acrididae) and Tettigonidae are once again attempting to decimate the lush, bountiful vineyards of Finland! Yummy, yummy, munch, crunch, creep, crawl, and munch some more! Finnish grapes are sooo good! There is some serious munching to do. How could life get any better? Look, there is another field! No worry about weight gain for these critters!

Finnish grapes are some of the most succulent, delightful grapes known to the wine world. It is no wonder that these green creepy marauding insects choose to dine in the lush Finnish vineyards. As the voracious, crawly, green grasshoppers started to destroy Finland’s famous vineyards, the wine connoisseurs throughout the world began to cry with great anguish, “Is there someone who can save these wonderful grapes so that the famous wines from Finland can still be enjoyed?” How could the world survive without the Finnish Syracuse, Chardonnays, Merlot, and other gourmet wines?

Who could lead the battle against these hordes of hungry grasshoppers? A brilliant defense would be needed. The line against the enemy must be held! Someone with great courage and skill is needed. Russell Wilson of the Seahawks and Peyton Manning, a Denver Bronco player, were both contacted. Unfortunately, they were both involved with other lucrative opportunities. Let’s face it, who in their right mind would want to go in a field with thousands of chirping hungry insects?

Without any hesitation, our hero, St. Urho, came to defend the very vulnerable Finnish vineyards. There were many turnovers and interceptions made by the grasshoppers, but St. Urho continued to fight. St. Urho was hit with such ferocity that the creepy crawlies thought that his will would surely be deflated. However, St. Urho stood with immense fortitude and courage, armed with only a rake, and shouted with great emotion, “Heinasirkka, heinasirkka, mene taalta hiiteen!” Translated into English, it means, “Grasshopper, grasshoppers, get the ??? out of Finland!” You can imagine the word that was left out, but this newsletter does go out to families. The grasshoppers, quaking with fear, left the Finnish vineyards, and wine from the Land of the Midnight Sun was once again available to all.

Come pay homage to this great man as Skandia, along with Katrilli, presents a St. Urho party and dance. The celebration will begin at 7:30 p.m., with Katrilli teaching some fun Finnish mixers, including the grape stomping dance. Along with the Scandinavian dances, Folk Voice Band, with their multitude of instruments, will entertain throughout the night with some tangos, swings, and even some tunes from south of the Midnight Sun. Of course, what would the gathering be without Pat McMonagle leading us through the Grasshopper Humppa? There will be many mixers and lots of opportunities to dance, so come with or without a partner. Since this is a fun evening, it would be a very good time to introduce new people to Skandia.

Patti and Bob Larson, last year’s St. Urho and Urhoiina, will take their final royal and saintly walk. Although the Larson’s have had many profound experiences having the honor of being St. Urho and Urhoiina, they are tired. It is time for another saintly couple. There will be a mini-pronunciation workshop of the chant. Then the fierce competition will begin, in hopes of being crowned the new St. Urho and Urhoiina. It takes great energy and conviction to frighten hordes of grasshoppers, so consider practicing the chant at home so that your chances of fame and glory will be increased!

During intermission, Harvey Niebulski and Marianne Tatom will provide infectious music with a klezmer tang. Lots of goodies will be offered for happy munching, and then it will be time for the often-sought-after unwanted door prizes. It is important to be properly attired for this auspicious event, so please wear St. Urho colors of green and purple. For further information on saintly and non-saintly issues, please contact JoAnne Rudo (206) 329-1443.

—JoAnne Rudo

From Fanø to the USA

Picture a very tiny island, with rolling dunes and wide beaches. Think of thatched houses, all pointing in the same direction so that wind coming off the ocean does not batter them to shreds. Imagine beautiful silk folk costumes with elaborate head scarves. Think of a folk music and dance tradition going back continuously for six generations in one family. You are at the heart of Fanø, Denmark, from which come the dances Sønderhoning, Rask, and Fannik, and their special tunes.

This cultural heritage is preserved by fiddler Peter Uhrbrand and accordionist Ole Mauritzen. Both from Fanø, Peter and Ole learned the music from the famous Brinch brothers, whose family had passed them down across six generations. With the death of these two brothers, the lineage was broken, but Peter and Ole continue to carry the music forward. We are lucky to have these fine tradition-bearers joining us for a weekend of music and dance, Friday, May 30, and Saturday, May 31, 2014. Peter and Ole have performed extensively around Europe and in Canada. They are known for their energetic presentation and special traditional styling of tunes, which includes syncopated rhythms, and sliding sounds and vibrato on the fiddle!

Seattle events kick off at May’s Fifth Friday dance, which is being held at Epiphany Church as usual, on Friday, May 30. No teaching is planned on that evening; dancing starts at 8 p.m. But wait! You don’t have any Danish dances in your repertoire? No problem! A dance workshop is planned for Saturday, May 31, from 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at the Cedar Valley Grange in Lynnwood. After a break, a music workshop will commence, also at the Grange, from 2 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. Both are open to everyone, regardless of experience. The workshops are each $20 for Skandia members or $25 for nonmembers. But wait, there’s more!

Saturday evening, May 31, there will be a second dance, where you may practice all of those things you learned in the earlier workshop with live music by Peter and Ole, as well as some music from local bands. Admission to the dance(s) is $10 for Skandia members and $15 for nonmembers.

Join us for two days of celebrating Denmark with very special guests Peter Uhrbrand and Ole Mauritzen! Questions? Contact

—Martha Levenson

NW Spelmansstämma 2014

Musicians and dancers, mark your calendar for the Northwest Spelmansstämma, Saturday, September 6, at the lovely home of Jim and Margaret Noyes in Clearview. At this 2014 stämma, we expect visiting Malung fiddler Johan Holland, winner of the 2009 Tällberg Stipendium. This will be a fabulous opportunity for music, dancing and fun for all, so don’t miss out!

Emma Anderson