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Swiss spring concert nears
Ripon event keeps Swiss traditions flourishing
San Joaquin Valley Swiss Echoes President Don Widmer in traditional Swiss garb. - photo by HIME ROMERO

The Swiss Echoes chorus is always looking for new members. The troupe practices every Tuesday evening from 7-9 at the San Joaquin Valley Swiss Club Hall, located at East Main Street and Manley Road. For more information, contact Annabel Murata at (209) 668-2760.

Sound the alphorn, the spring concert nears.

The San Joaquin Valley Swiss Club will host its annual Swiss Echoes Spring Concert on April 20, regaling its guests with locally produced music unique to Switzerland.

“It’s not country music. It’s not rock and roll. It’s Alper music – and it’s good,” said Don Widmer, president of the San Joaquin Valley Swiss Club. “Music is a part of the Swiss tradition. The songs you’ll hear are native to our land.

“This will be a time to celebrate our traditions.”

The concert will feature Arthur Brogli, a renowned yodeler from Sacramento. Brogli has produced “Spectacular Yodeling” and “Happy Yodeling.”

Billed as “the finest yodeling you can hear,” the album “Happy Yodeling” features the tracks “Edelweiss” and “It’s a Small World.”

“He’ll be the highlight of the night,” Widmer said of Brogli, who also plays the accordion. “He’s a very talented guy.”

Brogli won’t be the only musician featured during the spring concert.

The concert wouldn’t be complete without a performance by the “Swiss Echoes,” a chorus made up of approximately 40 members.

The “Swiss Echoes” will entertain guests with both solo and group performances native to Switzerland, Widmer said. They’ll also be dressed in colorful costumes of Swiss tradition.

The singing troop has a rich, well-traveled history.

The “Swiss Echoes” were founded in 1947 and became members of the United States Swiss Singing Society of Pacific Coast one year later. That same year, they began their longstanding participation in the Los Angeles Saengerfest.

Admission for the concert is $10. Dinner tickets are available for $12. The club will serve smoked pork chops, a Widmer favorite.

If the music doesn’t move you, the dinner will, he promised.

“I guarantee anyone that comes down for the dinner will be very happy with their decision,” Widmer said.

For more information on the Swiss Echoes Spring Concert, contact Heidi Betschart at (209) 531-2577.