Old Time Music for Good Causes

Old Time Music for Good Causes

Jan 29, 2018

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(L to R) Linda Malecha, Verlin Nelson, Dan Stursa, and Debbie Burnham.

Dan Stursa Band performing.


No. 127's (Owatonna, MN) members have performed in the Dan Stursa Band for over forty years.

In April of 1975, Dan Stursa received a call from a radiothon to raise money for Camp Confidence. In response to a good cause, Stursa called up fellow musicians Verlin Nelson, sister Debby Burnham, and cousin Linda Malecha to form the Dan Stursa Band. All these years later, the group remains together, has grown in size, and continues to play for benefits around the Owatonna, MN area.

They play ‘old-time music,’ which includes traditional folk dances that many people grew up with. In the band, Dan Stursa plays piano accordion, Linda Malecha plays bass guitar, Debbie plays rhythm guitar, and Verlin Nelson plays the drums. They also have Paul and Kenny Langr and Brian and Amy Hellevik to help out. Sometimes, the band plays with other guests, such as Hans and Karen Hohrman. They have a good time. Debbie Burnham reflected, “I love the joy and happiness, and sometimes silliness, of our music; bold, old-time, and country.” Verlin Nelson added, “I enjoy the joy and friendships that we've seen over the years. Old-time music is a happy sound.”

"I love the joy and happiness, and sometimes silliness, of our music; bold, old-time, and country."
Debbie Bruham

The band has over forty years together, and aren't stopping any time soon. “We hope to continue as long as we all have our wits about us and we are still able to load the equipment,” promised Linda Malecha. “We've known each other our entire lives. Verlin has become one of the family. The secret of our longevity is fun and family. I pray our ability to share our music continues for many, many years to come,” commented Debbie Burnham.

The band regularly performs community events and fundraisers. Notably, they have played two Western Fraternal Life National Conventions, in 1999 and 2007. They also perform at No. 127's (Owatonna, MN) annual picnic and Christmas party. The community can expect to see them at the Old Time Music Day at the Steele County Free Fair. They have done fundraiser concerts for Minnesota and Owatonna lodge scholarships, benefits for the terminally ill, organ transplant recipients, nursing homes, the Rochester Cancer Telethon, and more.

“There are always people who love to dance, have fun, and are appreciative of what we do,” noted Linda Malecha. Debbie Burham added, “It's a really nice gesture for the benefits to ask us to share their special day with them. We've met the nicest people and had some of the most fun at these events.”

Western's Member Programs Manager Kelsey Logan commented, “We are happy to have members use their creative talents to benefit the good of the community like the Dan Stursa Band has done.”

The band can be contacted about events by reaching out to Dan Stursa at 507-451-4613.

Category: Czech Connection

Cindy Motsinger

Communications Coordinator

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