Reviewed Below
Press Conference
Venue: Oma Tupa
Reviewed Below
The Finnish Accordion Folk Musician Championship
One and two row Accordion Competition
Venue: Commercial Polytechnic, Ikaalinen | Admission: 8 € / 4 €
Reviewed Below
XXXII Sata-Häme Soi Accordion Festival Opening Ceremony
Venue: Festival Park Stage | Admission: Free
14.00 - 20:00 Accordion Groups and Folk Dance Groups
performances in the Festival Park including Lappeenranta Accordion Club, Folk Dance Group Liparit, and the Ikaalinen Music Association.
Venue: Festival Park | Admission: Free
14.00 - 23.00 Accordion Pub - Meeting place for accordionists and the public Including Veli-Matti Järvenpää TexMex Trio
Venue: The Yellow School next to the Festival Park | Admission: Free
15.00 Accordion Fair - The Opening Ceremony
Matti Lepänhaara and Seppo Soittila. The fair is open from 3.00 PM until 8.00 PM featuring accordions, music, books and other items.
Venue: Former "Sale" building by Festival Park | Admission: Free
Reviewed Below
Final Rehearsal of the Silver and Golden Accordion Competition 2004
Including the Bryac-quartet from Ukraine.
Venue: Ikaalinen Hall B | Admission: A: 15 €/ 7,50 € and B: 10 €/ 5 €
Reviewed Below
The Silver and the Golden Accordion Competition 2004
Finnish Accordion Championship for Light Music. Live TV-Broadcast.
The Audience is required to be in their seats 15 minutes before the concert starts.

The finalists of the Silver Accordion are: Taneli Järvenpää, Senni-Maaria Rantanen, Joni Stein, Julia Suihkola, Sanna Sällinen, Juuso Vesterinen and Joona Vuopala.

The finalists of the Golden Accordion are: Tarja Alakörkkö, Kaisa Kujanpää, Henna-Maija Kuki, Heli Nikula, Anna-Kaisa Penttinen and Timo Savinainen. The presenters are Silja Sillanpää and Kimmo Mattila, and the orchestra is conducted by Jari Puhakka. The programme includes the Bryac-quartet from Ukraine.
Venue: Ikaalinen Hall | Admission: A: 25 € / 12,50 € and B: 20 € / 10 €
20.00 - 24.00 An Accordion Night in Festival Park with hosts Matti Lepänhaara and Seppo Soittila. Performances include Toccata from Slovakie, the accordion orchestra of Arts Lyceum from St. Petersburg, and the newly announced winners of the Silver and Golden Accordion competition 2004.
Venue: Festival Park | Admission: 8 € / 4 €
21.00 - 24.00 Dancing at Oma Tupa Dancing to the rhythm of traditional and well reputed accordion groups from the Ikaalinen area.
Venue: Oma Tupa | Admission: 8 €/ 4 €
21.00 - 23.00 Veli-Matti Järvenpää TexMex Trio with a lively and entertaining show of Accordion TexMex music.
Venue: The Yellow School next to the Festival Park | Admission: Free
Press Conference

Sata-Häme Soi staff members including Festival Director - Minna Kulmala, Sata-Häme Soi Festival Music Director - Kimmo Mattila and Public Relations Manager - Minna Plihtari presented information about the festival as well as announcing the newly developing International version of the popular Golden Accordion Award.

For full details, please see Press Release

One & Two Row Accordion Finnish Folk Championship
Contestants took part in this years One and Two Row Accordion Folk Music Championships which were held in several different categories, including 12 years and under, 15 years and under, Open age and the Veteran category for players 50 years and older. (NB. There were no contestants in the 18 and under Category this year)

A panel of four judges including Risto Ala-Ikkelä, Teppo Välimäki, Riitta Kossi and Jari Komulainen listened as contestants were required to play two (2) Finnish compositions which was held in two rounds.

Typical of the Finnish competitions, at the end of each piece the MC took the opportunity to interview the contestant asking informal questions about the choice of music, length of study and hobbies. Not only did this give the judges a chance to work, it also made it quite interesting and often entertaining for the audience.

Most of the contestants dressed in traditional costumes for their performances. Pictured below are some of the contestants in the various categories. Results are listed below.
Results from the One and Two Row Finnish Folk Competition

Category I, 12 years and under
1. Anne Lahti, Alavus, 175.5 points (left)
2. Eveliina Uitto, Kauhajoki, 171 points
3. Jenni Hautamäki, Alavus, 165 points

Category II, 15 years and under
1. Miia Palomäki, Alavus, 190.5 points (right)
2. Netta Skog, Pusula, 179 points
3. Sonja Nousiainen, Siivikkala, 175 points

Category IV, Open
1. Vilho Vartonen, Orimattila, 176 points (center)
2. Elli Asunmaa, Alavus, 141 points

Veterans Category, over 50 years of age
1. Olavi Tanhuanpää, Turku, 194.5
2. Aleksi Pynnönen, Mäntsälä, 169
3. Lauri Hytönen, Rautalampi, 163

Photo courtesy of Minna Plihtari

Opening Ceremony
The official Opening Ceremony of the 32nd Annual Sata-Häme Soi - Accordion Festival was held at the Festival Park Stage where guests were welcomed by Festival Officials. Pictured is festival director Minna Plihtari giving her opening address, while being photographed by Sata-Häme Soi Public Relations Manager Minna Kulmala.

Featured in the ceremony were performances of several guests including local orchestras and the visiting Podium Duo comprising Zoltán Orosz & Gábor Ursu who have traveled from Hungary.

Despite the pouring rain, attendees sat covered in umbrellas and rain coats, but were otherwise undeterred by the weather. Even the performers were oblivious to the heavy rains as they performed under the shelter of the stage.

Later in the day as the rain persisted and became even heavier, attendance dropped considerably, but gave attendees a chance to enjoy the various indoor activities such as the Trade Show area, the Accordion Pub and the Polytechnic School were the folk music competitions were being held.
Kaisa Kujanpää & Juuso Vesterinen win Top Awards

Kaisa Kujanpää (left) won the Golden Accordion Award and Juuso Vesterinen (right) won the Silver Accordion Award during the live broadcast show held in the Ikaalinen Hall.

For more information on the Golden Accordion Award, Click Here

In and Around Ikaalinen
Finland's Nature Symbols: Six national 'nature symbols' have been chosen for Finland by popular vote and all the symbols carry powerful connotations of popular tradition, stretching back to ancient times.

They were only officially chosen in the 1980s and '90s, however, so one cannot claim they are based on any formal tradition. The aim in choosing the symbols is to draw attention to Finnish nature and wildlife and to promote appreciation of them.

Symbol Number 2: The Birch (Betula Pendula), with its light green foliage and bright white trunk, is a prominent feature of the Finnish summer. The birch is also beautiful on a frosty winter's day.

Birch trees are one of the most popular domestic trees in Finland. The birch is also used in the Sauna and as a decoration on festive occasions.