A new generation of musicians

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German folk music has always been popular here, and now you can get your fill of the unique beat from a family band that features three generations of rhythm and joy.

The Emter family provides a 21-accordion salute to the polka.

"The old-time music, the polka is very jolly music, it's joyous music," said Roger Emter.

Roger is the maestro of North Dakota's largest family band. He and his wife, four children, their spouses, and fourteen grandchildren play fifteen different instruments, filling any stage with harmony.

"The younger generation, they love to perform just as much as the older ones do. There is just something about being able to share your talent with someone else that's pretty wonderful," said Renae Emter.

The original Emter Band began making music in 1990.

"We played at a restaurant and they gave us a free dinner and I said, 'Wow, we can do this everyday,'" said Roger.

The family took their folk music show on the road in 1996.

"It allowed us opportunities that we would never have had otherwise," said Alida Wiest.

Wiest and her siblings played in 25 states. When the kids weren't on stage, they were being home schooled. Then marriages, careers, and grandkids broke up the band.

Now a new generation of musicians are taking their place on stage, and the Emter Family Band is back together, bigger and better than ever.

"With more people, it's easier to blend in your mistakes," said Katie Emter.

Katie is twelve. She plays the accordion, clarinet, drums, piano and trumpet and finds time to practice every day with her aunts, uncles, cousins and grandparents.

"It's wonderful to be playing music together again, the greatest joy comes in sharing it," said Alida.

Polka lovers are chiming with approval and appreciation because the Emters are providing an encore for the tunes they love to tap their toes.

The Emter Band will be performing three Christmas concerts this weekend at at the Steele Community Center. The shows are scheduled for Saturday at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. and Sunday at 2pm. For tickets call 701-426-8596.