The Music Man From Norway is an historical novel that follows the life of a musician from Norway who brought music to the Dakota prairies at the turn of the century. In the 1890’s and the turn of the century, there was neither radio, television, nor movies, and Professor Andrew Indseth helped fill the need for entertainment in those days. This was an interesting time of Chautauquas, and he organized and instructed many men’s choruses, bands and orchestras and presented concerns and musical entertainment.
People were very excited about something entirely new coming to Canton. The Epworth League of the Methodist Sioux Falls District was planning a Chautauqua in Canton. The town had donated fourteen acres, a most attractive site, plentifully wooded and lying on one of the prettiest parts of the Sioux River. The grounds were very accessible, only four blocks from the Milwaukee depot. The river was navigable for ten miles up to this point, so there was a splendid opportunity for boating and bathing. Bathing houses were being erected for both sexes.
Andrew was excited about having a Chautauqua in Canton, because it would bring the finest musicians and lecturers from the Midwest for their programs.
Andrew was very busy preparing for a special event now. He and members of his bands and chorus were making plans for a Grand Concert for the Fall, with all the musical organizations he was instructing taking part.
He began practicing with the four bands – Harrisburg-Dayton Township, Inwood, Iowa, Canton and Moe, and had them all working on the same scores. The plans called for a parade in the afternoon before the joint band concert, and in the evening the singing groups and orchestra would perform. This was a big undertaking and Andrew wanted it to be a success.
When Wednesday, November 5, 1905, arrived, all the members of Professor Indseth’s bands gathered in Canton for the memorable Indseth Musical Jubilee. They came from Inwood, Harrisburg, Moe and Canton. Ray, Andy, Berger and Joachim were there, as they played with several of these bands. Shortly after noon the musical day began with a parade. It was headed by a platoon of guardsmen as escorts for the four bands, led by Lieutenant Way and Lieutenant Eneboe, and under the proud leadership of Professor Indseth. The men marched up Main Street and wheeled West on Fifth Street, stepping to a lively air. When in front of Segrud’s Photo Gallery, the column halted and the entire instrumental aggregation filed inside to have pictures taken.