By Liz Verley, Staff Writer
At the age of 6, Dale Dahmen fulfilled one of his father’s dreams. He began to play the concertina.
His dad, Ken Dahmen and mother, Jan of Pierz. always enjoyed dancing to concertina music. They, along with other couples, started the Heartland Polka Swingers which still has more than 200 members.
Ken had said early in his marriage that he sure would like one of their children to learn to play the concertina.
Dale did and the rest is history. On Sunday, Oct. 14, Dale will be inducted into the Concertina Hall of Fame during the 37th annual Concertina Congress Induction held in New Prague.
He began his longtime career by taking lessons from well-known concertina players such as the late Gilly Maus, Reine Motschke and Karl Hartwig. His concertina was small but his dad promised him if he ever became a professional he would buy him his first Hengel professional concertina.
At the age of 12, Dale filled in for a session with the “Jolly Fishermen” and upon returning home decided he would start his own band, “The Polka Beats” and his dad bought him the promised Hengel concertina.
Today, while he has both of his former concertinas, he also has a new Hengel.
While Dale continues to play with “The Polka Beats” he has also started “The Beats,” which is a country/country rock band that includes his two sons Dominic, 14, and Samuel, 13.
Dominic plays the drums, piano and does vocals. Samuel plays the piano, saxophone, harmonica and does vocals.
In January, Dale also purchased the music library of the “Jolly Brewers” and has formed the “New Jolly Brewers,” which will make its debut at the Falls Ballroom in Little Falls, Sunday, Oct. 14 from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. Following the dance he will travel to New Prague for his induction to the Hall of Fame.
During his career, Dale has composed eight songs, had eight albums released and tutored four students in playing the concertina.
Dale is a 1985 graduate of Pierz Healy High School and is a financial adviser in Buffalo.
His brother, Dean, is a social studies and American history teacher in Pierz and his sister Denise is a speech therapist in Maple Grove.
The late Gilly Maus and Ernie Stumpf, also both graduates of Pierz, will also be inducted into the Concertina Hall of Fame that same evening.