ROSBURG — Well over 100 concert-goers packed the pews at the Valley Bible Church in Rosburg on Monday, April 24, to enjoy the performance of Finnish singer, songwriter and musician Ida Elina.
Elina sang and played a variety of music on her forty string “slap kantele.” Equipped with onboard microphones and levers producing musical flats and vibrato, Elina could make the kantele sound like a number of different instruments ranging from percussion to piano. With music that spanned Michael Jackson’s “Billy Jean” to the famous tone poem “Finlandia” written by Jean Sibelius, there was something for everyone.
Accolades abounded following the performance.
“I loved the concert,” said young Anii Laine. “She is really talented.”
“It was fantastic,” said Audrey Ullakko. “Unbelievable,” added husband Steve. “I can’t believe she made it (kantele) sound like an orchestra.”
“It was wonderful,” exclaimed Thelma Miller. “I am so glad we came.”
“That was pretty awesome,” said Chuck Hendrickson. “A very talented lady and an awesome instrument that she played. I’ve seen kanteles before, but never one modified like that.”
“Very entertaining,” added Scott Smith. “She is a great entertainer and fun to watch. A beautiful voice. Very impressive.”
Elina stayed for over an hour after her performance to visit with members of the audience. Then, she along with her parents and Satu Mikkola from Finlandia Foundation National, left to drive to Portland for her next performance. Before her departure, members of the Naselle Finnish American Folk Festival Committee made sure to obtain contact information for her manager in hopes of securing a performance for the 2018 FinnFest.