In recognition of National Accordion Awareness Month, Joe Heilman, former NDSU student body president, and Nancy Schafer, wife of former N.D. Governor Ed Schafer, visited the Institute for Regional Studies on Tuesday, June 8 to play Lawrence Welk’s accordion. They entertained a small group of friends and family with their own champagne music of waltzes and polkas that floated upward in the archives like Bubbles in the Wine. WDAY television also documented the event, featuring it on the evening news.
The Universal accordion was donated by the Welk family in 1993 as part of an extensive collection of over 10,000 musical arrangements, scrapbooks and other items documenting the life of one of America’s musical icons. The collection is preserved at the Institute for Regional Studies and available for research use.
The accordion and other Welk memorabilia are now on display at the Institute for Regional Studies. If anyone plays the accordion, they are invited to visit the Institute and try out Welk’s accordion!
For more information regarding the holdings of the Lawrence Welk Collection check the Institute’s information page. The NDSU Libraries Germans from Russia Heritage Collection has an extensive site of articles and images regarding Welk.
Adios, Au Revoir, Auf Wiedersehn