Quarry Hill, Anderson Inn
Camden, Maine
Saturday, August 11, 2012
10 a.m. - 11 a.m.

Many smiling faces welcomed the Finnish musicians on a warm Saturday morning in Camden, Maine. They knew that a special performance reflected upon the troubled, but stoic history of the northern European country of Finland. Proud, clever and resourceful residents have brought their wares to American soil back in the last century. Rich and historic music offerings are no exception!

Christian Burton, Kay Dodge, Mary Gifford, Brenda Barrett, Ethel Powell, Peggy Oliver, Jackie Laffely, Jackie McLain, Jackie Harjula, Irene Vaino, and Celia Jones let their audience see and hear the beautiful melodies of the 11-string kantele, lap-harps! Intermingled in between songs, Jackie Harjula used her spectacular , Finnish costume to inform everyone of the crafts we assume as part of American lifestyle. Such "Ooohs and Aaahs" were heard as glassware, jewelry, woodcrafts, animal hides, and weaving textiles passed by curious eyes!

This appreciative audience got a chance to try strumming Finnish kanteles as part of our musical selections, which included: Finlandia, Alanningen Island Song, Pot-Pourri, Hepakatti (Polly Wolly Doodle), Beethoven's Ode to Joy, Kesan kullerot (Summer Flowers), Isle of Capri, Accelerando; with audience participation on Are You Sleeping, Amazing Grace, Row, Row, Row your Boat, When the Saints Go Marching In, Happy Birthday to You, and America - My Country 'Tis of Thee.

Special, heart-warming stories and songs were provided by the talented Irene Vaino. She spoke eloquently of growing up in war-torn Finland back in the 1940's. She touched the hearts of the retired teachers as she spoke about the sacrifices her parents had done for Finnish school children, family and friends. Irene's pride to be an American citizen meant so much to her fellow kantele players and today's audience. Many watery eyes could be seen throughout the room!

As Suomalaiset Jouset concluded today's performance, future encore presentations were encouraged by all the staff and residents of Anderson Inn of Quarry Hill establishment. See you all in 2012 holiday season!!!