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Guide to the Sounds of Eau Claire Oral History Project,​ 2017-2019

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Overview of the Collection

Special Collections & Archives
McIntyre Library
University of Wisconsin – Eau Claire
P.O. Box 4004
105 Garfield Ave.
Eau Claire, WI 54702 – 4004
(715) 836-2739

Reference Code: USGZE UHC 361

Accession Number: 18-002, 19-003

Collection Number: University Historical Collection 361

Creators: Sounds of Eau Claire Oral History Project, various interviewers, 2017 and 2018

Title: Sounds of Eau Claire Oral History Project, 2017-2019.

Dates: 2017-2019

Quantity: 1.8 linear feet (4 archives boxes, 1 half box) and 51 audio CDs.

Location of Collection: A10/1a, A10/1b-1c

Languages: Collection materials are in English.

Summary: Transcripts, summaries, and audio recordings of oral history interviews with musicians and other individuals associated with late 19th and early 20th century music scene in Eau Claire, Wis. and the broader Chippewa Valley region.

Biographical / Historical Note

The project, a collaboration between the Special Collections and Archives Department of the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire’s McIntyre Library, the Chippewa Valley Museum, the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire’s History Department, and Blugold Radio, LLC., aimed to document and better understand the late 19th and early 20th century music scene in Eau Claire, Wis. and the broader Chippewa Valley region. A total of 39 oral history interviews were collected through the three phases of the project.

Content Description

Oral history transcripts, project files, and audio recordings of oral history interviews conducted in 2017-2019. The audio records exist as user copies available on CD. Digital audio files are also preserved.

Administrative Information

Acquisition Information: Donated to the Special Collections & Archives, University of Wisconsin – Eau Claire, April 2017, March/April 2018, and May 2019.

Access Restrictions: Collection is open to the public.

Use Restrictions: Researchers are responsible for using in accordance with 17 U.S.C. Copyright owned by the University of Wisconsin – Eau Claire.

Preferred Citation: Sounds of Eau Claire Oral History Project, 2017-2019. UHC 361. Special Collections & Archives. McIntyre Library. University of Wisconsin – Eau Claire. Eau Claire, WI.

Processing Note: Processed by Greg Kocken in August 2017, Karyssa Gulish in December 2018, and Erin Hall in November 2019.

Arrangement: Flat.

OCLC #: 1003210497


Personal Names:
Anderson, Jason Jon
Baca, Robert
Barr, Larry
Bischel, Jim
Bors, Adam
Broeniman, Ernest
Carey, Sean
Dahle, Jo
Egan, Jim
Farrell, Charles
Fulgione, Ken
Garnevicus, Colleen
Hable, Peter
Hanson, Betty
Hazelton, Richard
Hazen, Jennifer
John, Linda
Jones, David
Keezer, Ron
Knudtson, Terri
Lindsay, Michael
Luetdke, Howard
Lunde, Ivar
McFayden, Lynette
Middlesworth, Evan
Mighelle Christianson, Jerrika
Morfitt, Scott
Morgan, Rich
Olson, Ryan
Olson, Sarah
Orfield, Sue
Pautz, Barbara
Perry, Michael
Peters, Gretchen
Richgruber, Ben
Rieck, Alan
Schmidt, James
Schwartzhoff, Gary
Sipress, Neal
Sorenson, Nathan
Steinmetz, Peter
Stuettgen, Paula
Van Beek, Marcia
Way, Kimera
Way, Jerry
Yasuda, Nobuyoshi

Subject Terms:
Oral history—Wisconsin
Music—Wisconsin—Eau Claire
Indie music—Wisconsin—Eau Claire
Jazz music—Wisconsin—Eau Claire
Music festivals—Wisconsin—Eau Claire
Folk music festivals—Wisconsin—Eau Claire
Indie music festivals—Wisconsin—Eau Claire
Country music festivals—Wisconsin—Eau Claire
Eaux Claires music festival
Eau Claire Jazz Festival
Bon Iver
Blue Ox Music Festival
Country Jam
Viennese Ball

Geographical Terms:
Eau Claire (Wis.)
Chippewa Valley (Wis.)

Detailed List of Contents



Brief Summary



Jason Anderson Interview, April 6, 2017

Anderson brought a behind the scenes perspective as a productive manager. He emphasizes the difference between Chippewa Falls and Eau Claire as a Chippewa Falls native. Anderson believes that Eau Claire is at a crossroad where if Eau Claire continues to invest in music and we change to a creative economy we can truly be a music capital or we may miss our opportunity for development.


Robert (Bob) Baca Interview, April 6, 2017

Baca’s interview covers his musical influences, music education, memorable concerts, and experiences while touring. There is an emphasis on the Jazz program at UW-Eau Claire and the Eau Claire Jazz festival. He identifies key figures in its evolution, as well as what makes the jazz scene in Eau Claire different from any other jazz program.


Jim Bischel Interview, April 6, 2017

Bischel discusses Country Jam and Blue Ox music festival. Some key topics of this interview is how Bischel got into music and why he formed his career around music. He then talks about how Country Jam first got started by the original owners of Shake Rattle n’ Roll. He then describes his involvement with Country Jam, and how he collaborates with others. Jim then defines what he thinks the definition of Eau Claire’s music scene is. He gives the whole history of the Blue Ox Festival. To conclude this interview, Bischel talks about how Country Jam and Blue Ox affects Eau Claire and the importance of the festivals.


Ken Fulgione Interview, April 3, 2017

The interview established a loose time line of Mr. Fulgione's life, and his relationship with music throughout. Starting with his early life in Massachusetts, his migration with his family to the Chippewa Valley Area, and eventual involvement with establishing Blue's festivals in Eau Claire. Topic also covered were Mr. Fulgione's involvement in protests (ex. Tyrone Power Plant Protest), Eau Claire's music scene through the 1970s, and the process and issues with organizing live music in Eau Claire. The interview closes with a discussion what it means the be a “Music Capital,” and what the city has improved on over the years, and what it still needs to improve on to further cultivate the arts.


Jennifer Hazen Interview, April 2, 2017

The interview focuses on Hazen’s introduction to music, and how she rediscovered music once she became clean and sober. She had many thoughts on the evolution of music in Eau Claire, from quiet streets many years ago, to the revitalization of the downtown that has led venues to open up to musicians and the magazine VolumeOne to write about local acts. Hazen discusses musicians in the area. The interview discusses the Music Heals project that Hazen set up at Arbor Place, where she is a counselor.


Linda John Interview, April 10, 2017

John’s interview discusses her background and interests in the local music scene, what makes the music scene in Eau Claire unique, and efforts to market the local music scene. The interview discusses the role of Visit Eau Claire in supporting the music scene.


Ronald Keezer Interview,

July 26, 2017

Keezer’s interview discusses his background and his musical experiences in the Chippewa Valley starting in the 1940s up until this interview. Keezer goes on to discuss how he learned to play drums and how he played at local hotspots and with local musicians. He then discusses the jazz program and his experiences at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire.


Howard Luedtke Interview, April 5, 2017

Luedtke’s interview discusses the Eau Claire music scene and his experiences in that scene over several decades.


Evan Middlesworth Interview, April 3, 2017

The interview discusses Middlesworth’s background and music education, what made him open his business in Eau Claire instead of larger metropolitan areas, a day in the life on operating a recording studio, how he is involved the Eau Claire music scene in terms of who he produces and what bands he plays with, his opinion on what makes the Eau Claire music scene unique, how musicians in Eau Claire make a living in such a small city, as well as his opinion on the future of the music scene in Eau Claire.


Scott Morfitt Interview, April 4, 2017

Morfitt’s interview discusses the local music scene, its development and influences, and Blugold Radio.


Ben Richgruber Interview, April 3, 2017

Richgruber’s interview discusses his background and music education, the role of the Eau Claire Regional Arts Center, Live on Grand, and the Confluence Project.



Larry Barr Interview, October 24, 2017

Larry Barr has operated businesses in the Chippewa Valley for decades now, beginning in the late 1960s. Mr. Barr was raised near Greenwood, graduating high school and going straight into the business world. Largely using his own intuition and trial-and-error, Mr. Barr opened up several bar and entertainment businesses throughout the decades, leading up to his involvement in music festivals such as Country Jam. Larry has a huge understanding of the music community in Eau Claire, and feels that the music scene is largely responsible for the economic uptick the

region has seen in recent years. Larry feels that the music scene in Eau Claire is extremely important, as it has brought people in the area closer together. He also feels that UWEC and his businesses such as Shenanigans and Fanny Hill had a close relationship, and his festivals like Country Jam largely served a university crowd. UWEC and the music scene in Eau Claire both grew with each other’s help.


Sean Carey Interview, October 23, 2017

Interview discusses Carey’s experience in the band, Bon Iver and the impact that Eau Claire had on the band’s success and his music individual career. Goes on to discuss Carey’s solo career.


Colleen Garnevicus Interview, October 26, 2017

Interview discusses Garnevicus’s family origins, her early music training, education, and early music career. The interview also discusses her time in college as a student and as a musician. Then the interview goes on to discuss her time as a music professor in New York, her time in the Master Singers.


David Jones Interview, October 23, 2017

Jones discusses his early childhood and how his brother and sisters inspired him via the guitar and the soul music they listened to as teenagers. Mr. Jones received his “baptism by fire” in the 1980s when he arrived to campus at the University of Iowa where his roommate was a versed band manager. In pursuit of a doctorate in English at the University of Minnesota, Mr. Jones experienced some of his best performances as a member of a band from 1990-1996. Upon his arrival in the Chippewa Valley Mr. Jones had the foresight of contributing to an already lively music scene consisting of blues and jazz amongst others. Bands such as The Jones Tones and Davey Jones & Friends allowed him to continue his poetic expression of music.


Ivar Lunde Interview, October 26, 2017

This interview discusses Lunde’s early childhood life, his inspirations, current projects, and his view on the various fiscal troubles the arts and musicians face in the community. The interview also discusses his philosophy of music.


Jerrika Mighelle Christianson Interview, October 24, 2017

This interview discusses how music influenced her growing up, her music career and Eau Claire’s impact on her career in music. The interview also discusses her opinion about Eau Claire’s musical renaissance.


Rich Morgan Interview, October 24, 2017

This interview discusses music in his childhood, such as private lessons, playing various instrument before settling on the trumpet, and jazz music in Eau Claire. The interview also discusses the change in music in Eau Claire over time.


Ryan Olson Interview, October 22, 2017

This interview discusses Olson’s record label, his experiences in the bands Gayngs, Polica, and Marijuana Deathsquads. Also discusses his opinion on the support that music and in Eau Claire.


Sarah Olson Interview, October 26, 2017

Discusses how she got interested in music as a singer and a celloist when she was a young child. She later discusses how she decided to be a music teacher in college and transferred UWEC to pursue that career path in Eau Claire. She also discusses Eau Claire’s diverse music scene.


Michael Perry Interview, October 26, 2017

This interview discusses Perry’s writing career and his early music career as a county-folk artist. Discusses his time at UWEC and Eau Claire’s music scene during his time in college and after. Goes on about the Eaux Claires music festival and other festivals in the area. Perry also discusses his radio show called “Tent Show Radio”.


Gretchen Peters Interview, October 24, 2017

This interview discusses her interest in music and American Indian Studies. She discusses the what aspects of Eau Claire’s music scene are exclusionary and inclusionary and discusses the music scene.


Neal Sipress Interview, October 27, 2017

This interview discusses his music career in Eau Claire both as a musician and shifting to editing music in his personal recording studio studio.


History 386 IRB Certificates

Includes Fall 2017 class list and completed IRB certificates for each student.



Jim Egan Interview, March 3, 2018

This interview discusses educational recordings on the history of jazz performers from pre-World War I through the 1950s that were played for student during breaks and exam periods. Egan also spoke about the live performances in the Eau Claire area.


Peter Hable Interview, March 3. 2018

This interview discusses how music was shared among Hable’s family because of the different instruments played by various members of his family. Hable talks about his grandfather’s musical background along with his grandfather’s bass drum that had been played in various dance halls and banquet halls in between World War I and II.


Betty Hanson Interview, March 3, 2018

This interview discusses Hanson’s memories of her son’s (Josh Hanson) tribute album. The album contains original track along with two parody melodies that are focused around the Green Bay Packers. Hanson also elaborates on her son’s musical history including his previous bands from middle school through college.


Richard Hazelton Interview, March 3, 2018

This interview discusses Hazelton’s experiences in the marching band in High School during the 1940s. He spoke highly of his high school director who went by the name Sarge Boyd. Hazelton discusses his time in the Air Force where he played in the 604th Air Force Band. Hazelton discusses his involvement in bringing interest into the lackluster bands at the University. He also listed many bands that he was either involved in or knew of that were active in the 1950s and 1960s.


Michael Lindsay Interview, March 3, 2018

This interview discusses the Chippewa Falls Oktoberfest. Lindsay talks about the connection that he has towards Oktoberfest and how he organizes and leads tour groups for the Munich Oktoberfest. Lindsay also talks about his experience of local music.


Lynette McFayden Interview, March 3, 2018

McFayden shares her experience with the Master Singers along with the conductor who was a long tenured professor at the university. She discusses the requirements for joining these groups and how students got involved.


Nathan Sorenson Interview, March 3, 2018

This interview discusses how Sorenson began Nate’s Dungeon, a venue from 2000-2012 that operated out of the basement of his mother’s house. Sorenson talks about the pros and cons of hosting punk bands in his mom’s basement along with giving a great description of what the local punk rock scene was like in the Eau Claire area.


Peter Steinmetz Interview, March 3, 2018

This interview discusses Steinmetz’s family objects that he brought in for the History Harvest. This includes a picture of the 105 Mounted Band formulated in Eau Claire in the 1900s by Theodore Steinmetz. For the rest of the interview he talks about his lack of knowledge surrounding certain aspects of the artifacts and some other experiences about his father and uncle.


Jerry Way Interview, March 3, 2018

This interview discusses Way’s experience as a local playwright and composer. Way talks about how he taught music in the Chippewa Valley for decades after graduating from Wisconsin State College-Eau Claire in 1967.


Sue Orfield Interview, October 9, 2018

Sue Orfield, a Menomonie native, is tenor Saxophone player that plays in a multitude of bands in the Chippewa Valley region along with other bands in the Midwest and in Seattle. Orfield’s oral history discusses her musical origins, her music education, and how she teaches private lessons. Along with this, Orfield discusses her music career in the Chippewa Valley and how the Eau Claire music scene and community is very unique.


Adam Bors Interview, October 13, 2018

Adam Bors, an Ohio native, moved to Eau Claire with his wife, Ada Bors, when he was offered a job at the University. Adam discusses his wife’s involvement in the community and how she came up with the idea to create the Viennese Ball in Eau Claire. Bors discusses his late wife’s involvement in the event and how the Viennese Ball has changed overtime.


Larry Barr Interview, October 11, 2018

In this second interview with Larry Barr, he elaborates upon his involvement with the Eau Claire music festivals, Shake, Rattle and Roll and Country Jam. He also discusses the future of Eau Claire music festivals as well as his future projects.


Gary Schwartzhoff, October 11, 2018

Originally from Iowa, Dr. Gary Schwartzhoff is the artistic director and conductor for The Master Singers, a past Director of Choral Activities and Professor Emeritus at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire. His interview connects with the stories previously interviewed individuals in terms of UWEC history and the activities of university-affiliated and non-university music groups in the community. Schwartzhoff goes into detail his life before Eau Claire and about the circumstances under which he was hired initially as a director at UWEC. Furthermore, Schwartzhoff discusses his perspective on the factors which have led to the development of the current music culture in Eau Claire.

(needs folder with CD)


Jerry Way, November 27, 2018

In this second interview with Jerry Way, he explains more about his time in the union, the gigs that he did, and the growing perception of jazz in the region. Eau Claire was a union town, and music was no exception; being in the union opened up more venues of opportunity. Way became vice president of the union at one point and discusses the importance of the “bash” during the oral history. Furthermore, Way discusses the impact of DJs on the local music scene, as well as his opinions on them, and also the kinds of venues he’d play at during his freelancing years. Adding more to the history of his early musical life, he gives more information on the early stage band at Wisconsin State University-Eau Claire, and how it affected the perception of jazz in the city and larger region. He ends remarking on the wonder of current music culture in Eau Claire, and how the new generation of musicians learn.

(and folder with CD)


Robert Baca, May 3, 2019

Baca, a musician from Wisconsin, talks about his early life, as well as his involvement with the Viennese Ball.


Ernest Broeniman, April 15, 2019

Born in Horicon, Wisoconsin, Ernest Broeniman grew up playing the tuba, eventually forming a polka band called Dorf Kappele. Ernest taught band in Manitowoc, Wisconsin, and a former student recommended him for playing at the Viennese Ball. Ernest and his band ended up playing at the ball for the next thirty years. This interview encompasses Broeniman’s life and contributions to the Viennese Ball.


Johannes Dahle, April 19, 2019

Johannes Dahle, Director of University Centers in 1971 and Director of Development and University Relations in 1984,, gave an interview surrounding his time helping with the Viennese Ball. Dahle created the budget, organized the staff, food service, and the logistics for the first ball.


Charles Farrell, April 17, 2019

Charles Farrell, Director of the Students Center, and Viennese Committee Chairman for several years, provides an interview regarding the Viennese Ball.


Teri Knudtson, April 17, 2019

Teri Knudtson, Catering Director at UWEC for several years, gives an interview in which she talks about catering issues surrounding the Viennese Ball during her thirty years of helping with it.


Barbara Pautz, April 15, 2019

Barbara starts off the interview talking about her early life, leading up to her time at UWEC. Pautz was one of the founders of the Viennese Ball, and talks about how it was created and how it evolved through the years.


Alan Rieck, April 18,2019

Alan Rieck, UWEC Faculty for 15 years, discusses his time at the university and coordinating choirs to sing at the Viennese Ball.


James Schmidt, April 16, 2019

James Schmidt, current Chancellor of UWEC discusses his role with the Viennese Ball, and the impact the music program has had on the university and the community.


Gary Schwartzhoff, April 23, 2019

Gary Schwartzhoff, the longest serving Director of Choral activities at UWEC, discusses his early life, involvement at UWEC, and his time with the Viennese Ball.


Paula Stuettgen, April 17, 2019

Paula Stuettgen was involved with the ball as a student during the early years of the ball, organizing dancing lessons for the event. Eventually Stuettgen became a staff member at the university and helped out with the ball from a faculty standpoint.


Kimera Way and Marcia Van Beek, May 2, 2019

Way and Van Beek were both interviewed on their early lives and then their involvement with the Viennese Ball. Both faculty members at the university, they talk about fundraising and the logistics of the ball.


Nobuyoshi Yasuda, April 16, 2019

Yasuda, the conductor of UWEC’s orchestra and the Music Director of the Chippewa Valley Symphony orchestra provides information on his early life as well as his time conducting at the Viennese Ball.

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