Foot-Notes History & Profile

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Beth Hoven Rotto

Jon Rotto


Bill Musser
(link to personal page)

Beth Hoven Rotto - fiddle
Jon Rotto - guitar, vocal 
Bill Musser - acoustic bass, vocal 
John Goodin - mandolin

Foot-Notes formed in 1991 in large part to carry on a tradition of monthly old time dances in a rustic two-room schoolhouse in Highlandville, Iowa, where area residents have been gathering for years. The old time music we play reflects our ties to Norwegian-American communities, including Decorah, where we now live.  Most of our repertoire consists of dance tunes that were popular at house parties, barn dances, and "bowery" dances in northeast Iowa  around the turn of the century and into the first few decades of the 1900s.  We have also incorporated a number of especially danceable tunes from a variety of other traditions-- including Swedish, Finnish, Faroese, Russian, Irish, and American folk-- into our repertoire, some of which are group/mixer dances. 


  • Performed as part of the "Masters of Tradition" series in 2008 on the Millenium Stage program at the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, Washington, DC

  • Represented Iowa at the Smithsonian Institution's Festival of American Folklife on the National Mall in Washington, DC 

  • Performed at the 1996 Festival of Iowa Folklife in Des Moines

  • Featured on Iowa Public Television's special program "Iowa Folks and Folklife" 

  • Featured in Iowa's Internet  "CARTS" folklife slideshow  and in the Smithsonian multimedia learning kit Iowa Folklife 

  • Featured on "Live from Studio One" and "The Folk  Show" on Iowa Public Radio station KUNI;  "Downhome Dairyland" and "Simply Folk" on Wisconsin Public Radio

  • Reviewed in Dirty Linen magazine, the nation's premiere folk and world music publication

  • Featured in The Iowan magazine

  • Featured on the Norwegian National Public Radio (NRK) "Folketimen" program

  • Fiddler Beth Hoven Rotto featured in Fiddler magazine as the first in a series of articles on Norwegian-American fiddlers


  • Monthly dances in Winneshiek County, Iowa, which are a popular activity for all ages! Let us know when you are in the area and we'll inform you of our dance schedule or check our website calendar! 

  • Music for: special events, including weddings, anniversaries, festivals, banquets, parties, dances, concerts, meetings; programs in retirement centers, schools, and at historical and Scandinavian heritage celebrations;  performances or dances arranged for bus tours to Winneshiek County 

  • Performance fees beginning at $200 

  • Dance instruction upon request 

  • Sound system available 

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