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November 2018

Swissfest

Sponsored by Monroe Swiss Singers, Swiss music variety show, followed by a dance in the Grand Hall.

When the Monroe Swiss Singers held its first Swissfest in November of 1963, the 19 charter members at that time probably never dreamed the event would still be going strong 55 years later with a membership of over 40 singers. Although some of the faces in both the mixed choir and the audience have changed over the years, the Monroe Swiss Singers' annual trademark event remains synonymous with quality Swiss folk music and entertainment, all for the sake of carrying on the traditions and culture brought to Monroe and south-central Wisconsin by its Swiss forbears. 

Sharing the stage and program along with the Monroe Swiss Singers are two other Green County staples, the Männerchor New Glarus and the New Glarus Yodel Club. Alphorns, accordions, Swiss-coin rolling, Swiss flag-throwing and yodeling, all perennial favorites, will again be part of the show. Special acts this year will include the Squeezebox Night Players, a group of accordionists led by Del Heins who are part of Turner Hall's Squeezebox Night, a monthly informal jam session held in the Ratskeller as part of Turner Hall's Swiss Heritage Series. Also appearing will be a father-daughter performance by veteran accordionist Henry Blumer and vocalist and Monroe Swiss Singers member, Julie Blumer. Mary Zimmerman and Lynn Liechti , also of the Monroe Swiss Singers, will sing a song once recorded by Roger Bright, Yodeling Through Life, accompanied by accordionist John Waelti. In addition to Swiss folk music, the program will include the Monroe Swiss Singers performing Edelweiss as a remembrance of Gottlieb Brändli, Sr. Carol Saunders Benson, and Trudi Thomann, three members of the Monroe Swiss Singers who have passed on since the last Swissfest.