2016 Schedule of Events for the BHHA and Bishop Hill


PDF of the 2016 Bishop Hill Visitors Guide, with all of the 2016 events (courtesy of the Bishop Hill Arts Council):    BHVG2016_WEB

PDF of the 2016 Bishop Hill Map:  MapBH2016

Listing of events that are solely or partly sponsored/supported by the BHHA


Dec. 5             


7 p.m. at the Dairy Building. Swedish keyed fiddle player Erik Rydvall and Hardanger fiddle player Olav Luksengård Mjelva, from Norway, will be performing a free concert open to the public. Sponsored by the Bishop Hill Heritage Association and the Barbro Osher Pro Suecia Foundation.

Swedish keyed fiddle player Erik Rydvall and Hardanger fiddle player Olav Luksengård Mjelva, from Røros in Norway, are both counted among the foremost folk musicians of their generation. Their debut album as a duo, “Isbrytaren” (Heilo), was released in 2013 to glowing reviews, and that same year Olav Mjelva was named folk musician of the year at the Folkelarm festival. “Isbrytaren” also won an award at Folkelarm, and was nominated for a Spellemannspris (Norwegian Grammy) in the category “Folk Music and Traditional Music”.Rydvall and Mjelva are inquisitive musicians, with strong roots in the traditions of their places of origin. A duo collaboration featuring Hardanger fiddle and keyed fiddle has rarely been presented before. The repertoire and playing styles of the two instruments are basically very different, but the two musicians manage to make the combination sound natural and intriguing.

Erik Rydvall comes from Västerbotten, and studied keyed fiddle at the Eric Sahlström Institute in Tobo and the Royal College of Music in Stockholm. In the past few years he has earned a reputation as one of the leading young keyed fiddle players, and he is known for his energy and virtuosity. He plays with the prize-winning folk music trio Nordic among others.

Olav Luksengård Mjelva, from Røros, is one of Norway’s most active fiddlers. He was a founder and remains a member of both the Norwegian Swedish group SVER and the Nordic Fiddlers Bloc. He also plays with Frikar, Copper City Ramblers and several other projects. In 2010 he was awarded a Spellemanspris for his first solo album. In 2011 he received another as a member of the Unni Bokasp Ensemble. Olav is in high demand as a studio musician, and has played on at least 30 releases. He also holds popular courses and is very much in demand as a dance musician both in Norway and abroad.


Dec. 9-10

Lucia Nights

Bishop Hill invites you to join the Lucia Nights celebration on Friday December 9 and Saturday December 10 from 6 to 9 p.m. This Swedish tradition is based on a legend of Saint Lucia, Queen of Light. Girls in Sweden today wake their families on December 13th carrying a tray of Lucia buns while dressed in a white robe and wearing a crown of candles.

Lucia Nights begins in Bishop Hill with the Lighting of the Park Christmas tree at 6 p.m. on Friday, December 9. The public is invited to bring edible ornaments to hang on the tree. Evening attractions include free musical performances in various locations in town.  Businesses and museums will have a Lucia girl serving cookies. Around the village, each building will have a single candle in each window, and sidewalks will be illuminated. Restaurants are open both evenings. Special Christmas gifts will also be on sale.

On both Friday and Saturday evenings, Bishop Hill will be hosting a wide range of activities. Jazz on the Side will be performing at 6 p.m. each night in the Dairy Building, with the Peoria Cooperative Academy Chorale following at 7:30 p.m. The VASA National Archives will have a closing reception for their exhibits, with storyteller Brian “Fox” Ellis sharing traditional Swedish and Pioneer Christmas stories. At the Steeple Building Museum, Hammer and Pick will be playing a variety of music, with woodcarving demonstrations going on as well. In addition, the Bishop Hill Community United Methodist Church will host the annual Soup and Chili Supper beginning at 4:00 p.m. until they run out. A free-will donation is appreciated to cover the cost of the meal.

On Friday, December 9 only, the Kewanee High School Chorus will first perform at the Tree Lighting. Afterwards, they will be caroling throughout the village.

On Saturday, December 10 only, the ROWVA High School Chorus will be caroling throughout Bishop Hill. From 6 to 7 p.m. in the Steeple Building Museum, violinists Stephanie Cannon and Elizabeth Mattern will be playing Christmas carols, followed by Hammer and Pick’s musical performance. In addition, beginning at 7 p.m., there will be an Old Fashioned Barn Dance at the Colony School. The Rusty Pickup String Band will be performing. All dances taught and called by Gail Hintze and Jim Hicks. Admission is $5 per person, and beginners are welcome. No partner is necessary.

For more information about Lucia Nights, call 309-927-3899 or visit www.bishophill.com.

*This event is supported with Quad City Arts Dollar$ funds. Lucia Nights is also

sponsored, in part, by the Illinois Arts Council Agency, a State Agency.