July 24 – 28, 2024

Come dance and meet other FinnFest goers on the dance floor!

The Northern Stars Sami Girls (Pohjan Tähdet Sami Tytöt) is an all family band performing Finnish dance music. The band consists of a variety of instruments including the accordion, violin, bassoon, drums, vocals and more. Their unique sound is traditional Finnish music with a classical flair with all arrangements created by band member, Teresa Aho.

Our family band is from northern Minnesota that has performed Finnish-American dance music since the 1960s. The family band began with the parents, Ernest and Joan Aho, performing on the accordion and drums. They raised five children on a family farm on the Iron Range just north of Virginia, MN. The oldest daughter, Teresa, started accordion lessons at the age of seven, and soon after began learning Finnish dance tunes from her father. She joined the family band at the age of nine performing dance tunes on the accordion with her father and mother. The three daughters formed a trio with Teresa, age ten, on accordion; Tina, age nine, the second oldest on drums; and the youngest daughter, Terri, age seven, on tambourine. This young trio performed at festivals, weddings, anniversaries, Moose Clubs, VFWs, and dances across the mid-west. This all-girl band added new instrumentation to their sound with Tina on banjo, Terri performing on the drums, and Teresa on accordion and vocals. Other instruments were added over the years, including the concertina, saxophone, cello, and bassoon. This family band has performed at various Finnish and Scandinavian celebrations and polka festivals in Canada, North Dakota, Minnesota, and Wisconsin. They have had appearances on radio stations, the Prairie Home Companion show, and they were featured on the WDSE Channel 8 TV program, “Up North.” Teresa was also invited to perform Finnish music on the accordion in a documentary about Finland, MN. This documentary was featured on a TV special from YLE in the country of Finland, which is Finland’s national public service broadcasting company.

The family band has previous album and cassette recordings of Finnish dance music. More recently, they released a CD of Finnish songs that include multiple instruments: the accordion, drums, violin, cello, bassoon, guitar, and vocals. Teresa performs on the cello, accordion, and vocals; Terri performs on the violin, drums, and guitar; Kristiina performs on the bassoon and vocals; and Joan performs on the drums. Teresa received her Bachelor of Music in music education from the University of Wisconsin-Superior, Terri received her Juris Doctor degree from William Mitchell College of Law in St. Paul, MN, and Kristiina received her Bachelor of Arts: Music Education from UW-Superior. The family band is currently working on their next CD, which will feature Finnish waltzes, polkas, schottisches, tangos, and humppas with instrumentation including accordion, cello, violin, drums, banjo, bassoon, and vocals. Our family is proud to continue the preservation of our Finnish and Sami heritage through our music.