HomeNews & EventsSofi & the Baladis return to the Midwest: Corydon, Indiana

Sofi & the Baladis return to the Midwest: Corydon, Indiana

Sofi & the Baladis arrived in Corydon, Indiana on September 30th in the wee hours of the morning. The ensemble toured the Dakotas, Minnesota and Iowa last fall and this would be the start of the ensemble’s second World Fest tour to Indiana, Michigan, Ohio, Wisconsin and Illinois. It took them no time at all to feel completely at home as Main Street Corydon welcomed the group with a delightful reception at Indiana’s first State Capitol Building. The ensemble had a wonderful time meeting and visiting with the many guests who came to welcome them and also shared a little music in the process of getting to know each other.

Sofi & the Baladis perform at Main Street Corydon's welcome reception. All photos by Eric Young Smith.
Sofi & the Baladis perform at Main Street Corydon’s welcome reception. All photos by Eric Young Smith.

In what would be the first of several local treats prepared for Sofi’s group, Raneigh Kincaid had us all singing along with a song she thought we would enjoy. We did!

Raneigh leads the group in singing a song.
Raneigh leads the group in singing a song.

Not to be outdone, Jim Siebert shared his own invention. It’s an instrument he has named alahtar and he played it for the ensemble and other guests. Absolutely fascinating. Jim also served as our technical contact for the week and we appreciate him very much!

Jim Siebert shares his built instrument, the alahtar, with the ensemble.
Jim Siebert shares his built instrument, the alahtar, with the ensemble.

The week included visits to many schools in the area. At North Harrison High School, Sofi’s ensemble conducted a workshop for students first. Then the high school band memberspulled out their own instruments and lined up in the gymnasium to share a little music back to Sofi and the Baladis. Here’s what Yonnie Dror, woodwind player in Sofi & the Baladis, wrote about the experience:

“What was wonderful about the workshop at the North Harrison High School is that we, Sofi and the Baladis, had the chance to listen to the high school band play for us, and oh boy! They were excellent, not only did they play beautifully, they also were moving around in perfect choreography. This band I was told was one the best in the state and I understand why now. I really love doing these workshops but sometimes the best moments are the spontaneous informal moments after the workshops. It was very exciting for the wind instrument students to experience firsthand a shofar and see hear what is probably the oldest non-melodic wind instrument that in its time right through today is used in a spiritual matter.”

The week included connections with many local schools: Corydon High School and Elementary, North Harrison High School and Elementary, South Central Junior and Senior High Schools, and Washington and Middleton Elementary Schools. In addition to all of the workshops, the ensemble was able to enjoy Corydon in other ways as well:

Here’s the group at the local radio WOCC with Sunny Stephens:

Here's the group at the local radio WOCC with Sunny Stephens.

And here the ensemble took time to explore the local caverns.

And here the ensemble took time to explore the local caverns.

And here they are on the grounds of Indian’s first state Capitol with a statue of Governor O’Bannon.

And here they are on the grounds of Indian's first state Capitol with a statue of Governor O'Bannon.Left to right is Yaniv, Yonnie, Angel (From Main Street Corydon), Mark, Yshai, Sofi, and Yossi on the far right.

Thanks to Angel, Eva, Main Street Corydon, and all the wonderful students and community members Sofi & the Baladis enjoyed so much!