Welcome, Israeli Ethnic Ensemble!

By Lindajoy Fenley, tour manager

Please join us in welcoming another group of fantastic musicians to the Midwest! The Israeli Ethnic Ensemble arrived in the U.S. last Friday. Today’s blog post comes to us via their tour manager, Lindajoy Fenley.

From race cars to docile goats, the Israeli Ethnic Ensemble got a feel for down home Iowa this week. After a visit to the 3M plant fell through Tuesday, the five-member ensemble, plus sound man and company manager, visited the Knoxville Raceway which claims the title “dirt racin’ capital of the world,” and had dinner at a family farm.

The racing season ended a couple of weeks ago, but the group enjoyed the full bounty of farm life. Hosts Patsy and Jerry Murphy served a generous spread they told the guests was a typical Sunday dinner. It included fried chicken, mashed potatoes, gravy, bean salad, cabbage salad, creamy corn bread, and fruit jello garnished with bananas and berries and was topped off with either apple or cherry pie a la mode.

The Israelis also visited the cattle and goats fenced outside and tried out Jerry’s new miniature golf links. On schedule for today is an elementary school workshop, a Rotary International luncheon, and a visit to the state capital of Des Moines.

Meanwhile, ensemble director Talya Solan figured out that, based on size, one could drop five Israels into the state of Iowa and still have plenty of room left over. She figures that kids here will understand that better than telling them that Israel is the size of New Jersey.

A local Knoxville radio station posted a great story about the group on Monday. Check it out on the KNIA/KRLS Web site….

Goats in foreground, group of people look on.
The ensemble enjoyed a visit to Patsy and Jerry Murphy's Iowa farm. Photo by Lindajoy Fenley.
Ensemble members view an antique racecar.
The ensemble at the Knoxville Raceway. Photo by Lindajoy Fenley.


Patsy and Jerry Murphy were wonderful hosts. we enjoyed their beautiful farm and lovely nature all around. I find the people of Iowa so welcoming, kinds and generous.
Wonderful experience for all of us.

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