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Hardanger Fiddle Competitions in the United States

List compiled by Karin Loberg Code

Below is a list of kappleikar (contests) for traditional Norwegian fiddle and dance that were held in the United States between 1912 and 1952. The participants include some of the greatest immigrant Hardanger fiddlers of the time. For more information on these kappleiks please refer to Sound Post Vol.18, No. 1.

The Hardanger Fiddle Association of America (HFAA) formed in 1983 and held a juried fiddling competition ten years later. In 2003, the program for the HFAA's AmeriKappleik included a talent showcase that was non-competitive, though otherwise conducted like a traditional kappleik. It even included a panel of Norwegian judges. Since 2003, each of our annual workshops has included an informal talent showcase as part of the multi-day program.


Stoughton, WI

over 3,500 attended this kappleik at Telelaget i Amerika convention

Winner: Hans Fykerud
Fiddlers: Hans Fykerud (Stoughton, WI), Olav Ombreck (Ada, MN)
Dancers: Hans Bakke
Cameron, WI

Telelaget i Amerika convention
 1914 Winner: Hans Rygh (Joice, IA

Montevideo, MN

first official kappleik of Hardanger Violinist Forbundet af Amerika

 Winners: Hans Rygh (Joice, IA) and Hans Fykerud (Stoughton, WI)
Thief River Falls, MN
 Winner: Hans Rygh (Joice, IA)
Blair, WI
 Winner: Harald Smedal (McFarland, WI)
Chippewa Falls, WI
 Winner: Harald Smedal
Participants, front row, from left to right: Olav Ormbreck, Bjørgulv Bjørnaraa, Harald Smedal (McFarland, WI) , Knut Helland, Gunnar Helland, Sveinung Braaten. Back row, left to right: Olav Smedal(?), Mattias Byrkjenes(?), Kittil Kittelson (Kjetil "Charlie" Kjetilson), Sveinung T. Innleggen (Chicago, IL), Dagny Andrea Veum Quisling, unidentified, Helge Thoresen (Dentybow, MN), Tolleif Strand (Chippewa Falls, WI).
Crookston, MN
 Winner: Harald Smedal (McFarland, WI)
Eau Claire, WI
 Winner: Eilef Smedal
Participants, front row, from left to right: Sveinung Braaten, John Gudvangen (Chicago, IL), Kittil Kittleson (Kjetil "Charlie" Kjetilson). Middel row, from left: Tolleif Strand, Olav Smedal (Albert Lea, MN), Sjur Bjotveit (Chicago, IL), Helge Thyresen (Dentybow, MN), Olav Ormbreck, Andrea Quisling (Madison, WI), Sveinung Innleggen, unidentified. Back row, from left: Eilef Smedal (La Crosse, WI), Harald Smedal (McFarland, WI), Gunnar Helland (Chippewa Falls, WI), unidentified, Hans Fykerud.
Mt. Horeb, WI

over 8,000 attend this kappleik!
 Winners: Eilef Smedal , Harald Smedal
Participants: Tolleif Strand (Chippewa Falls, WI), Eilef Smedal (La Crosse, WI), Harald Smedal (McFarland, WI), Andrea Quisling (Madison, WI), Hans Fykerud (Stoughton, WI), Bjørgulv Bjørnaraa (Wanke, MN), Sjur Bjotveit (Chicago, IL), Helge Thyresen (Dentybow, MN), John Gudvangen (Chicago, IL), I.G. Nordgaard (Setesdal), Olav Smedal (Albert Lea, MN), S. Indeleggen (Chicago, IL), Gunnar Helland (Chippewa Falls, WI)
Grand Forks, ND
 Winner: Harald Smedal (McFarland, WI)
Minneapolis, MN
 Winners: Eilef Smedal, Jon Rosenlid, Dreng Ose, Olav Ombreck
Dreng Ose (Setesdal), Eilef Smedal (La Crosse, WI), Bjørgulv Bjørnaraa, Gunnar Helland, Jon Rosenlid, Olav Ormbreck (Ada, MN), Lundtveit, John Gudvangen, Kolbein Ornes, Kittil Kittelson (Kjetil "Charlie" Kjetilson), Olav Dale, Sveinung T. Innleggen, Ommund Tveitli, Helge Thoresen
Minneapolis, MN
 Winner: Gunleik Smedal (Albert Lea, MN)
Stoughton, WI
 Winner: Gunleik Smedal (Albert Lea, MN)
Albert Lea, MN
 Winner: Gunleik Smedal (Albert Lea, MN)
Fargo, ND
 Winner: Oscar Hamrey (a.k.a. Ola Reishagen of Faribault, MN)
Minneapolis, MN?
Minneapolis, MN

Winners, Fiddle:

First Class 1st Oscar Hamrey (a.k.a. Ola Reishagen of Faribault, MN)
  2nd Gunnar Odden (Hazel Run, MN)
Second Class 1st A Steinar Odden (Hazel Run, MN)
  1st B Mads Bringeland (Grandview, WI)
Third Class 1st I.I. Eriksen (Arpin, WI)
  2nd Andrea Quisling (Madison, WI)
Huldrespil   Oscar Hamrey (a.k.a. Ola Reishagen of Faribault, MN)

Winners, Dance:

Valdrespringar 1st Knut Ødegaard and Mrs. Ceclia Simennes (Minneapolis, MN)
Telespringar 1st Harald Særsland (Minneapolis, MN) & Andrea Quisling (Madison, WI)
  2nd Mr. and Mrs. Ingebret Gunderson (Rochester, MN)
(Setesdal)gangar 1st Mr. and Mrs. Bjørgulv Bjørnaraa (Wanke, MN)

Hayfield, WI

organization renamed Spelemanns Lage av Amerika

 Winner: Eilef Smedal (La Crosse, WI)
Crookston, MN
 Winner: Eilef Smedal (La Crosse, WI


Springar Eilef Smedall and Mrs. H. Dahl
  Mr. and Mrs. Hermann Karlsgodt
(Setesdal)gangar Mr. Bjørgulv Bjørnaraa (Wanke, MN) and Mrs. Ed Evinson
Grand Forks, ND
 Winner: Olav Ormbreck
Participants, front row, from left to right: Olav Dale, Sveinung Braaten, Bjørgulv Bjørnaraa, Sam Sørenson(?), Steinar Odden. Back row, from left: Kolbein Ornes, Gunnar Odden, unidentified, Olav Ormbreck(?) (Ada, MN), unidentified, Hans Fykerud.
Park River, ND
 Winners: Steinar Odden (Hazel Run, MN) and Olav Ormbreck (Ada, MN)

Fosston, MN

400-500 people attended this kappleik

 Winner: Gunnar Odden (Hazel Run, MN)
Northwood, ND
Winners: Olav Ormbreck (Ada, MN), Gunnar Odden (Hazel Run, MN)
 1941 Winners: Olav Ormbreck (Ada, MN), Gunnar Odden (Hazel Run, MN), Olav Dahle
 1942-1951 No kappleikar were organized.
Benson, MN

 Winner: Anund Roheim
Participants: Steinar Odden (Hazel Run, MN), Anund Roheim (Great Falls, MT), Gunnar Odden (Granite Falls, MN), Jøger O. Quale (St. Paul, MN), Gullik E. Kvale (Qualey) (Camrose, Alberta, Canada), Dagny Andrea Quisling (Madison, WI)
 1953-1992 No kappleikar were organized.

June 25, 1993
River Falls, WI

Hardanger Fiddle Association of America's 10th anniversary fiddle contest

 Hardanger fiddle: 1st - Jodi Severson and Karen Solgard
Regular fiddle: 1st - Marnie Thies, 2nd - Ken Dickenson
Participants: Ken Dickenson, Jodi Severson, Karen Solgard, Marnie Thies

June 25, 2003
"Talent Showcase"
Northfield, MN

Hardanger Fiddle Association
of America

 Participants: Fiddlers and dancers from North America.