Steven Harris with some of the polka materials he has donated to the Music Library and Sound Recordings Archives in Wm. T. Jerome Library
DANCE WITH ME
BGSU ALUMNUS DONATES POLKA COLLECTION
BGSU alumnus Steven Harris '71 has an affinity for polka music. He grew up in northwest Ohio listening to the music and playing it in his family's band. His interest in the central European-born music was further ingrained during his BGSU study abroad experience in Salzburg, Austria, over 40 years ago.
Today, as president of Music Publishers of America (MPA), he is on a mission to preserve and propagate the central European ethnic music known to most as polka music.
To that end, MPA recently donated 24 boxes — 3,000 individual pieces — of polka charts, folios and sheet music to the BGSU Music Library and Sound Recordings Archives in Wm. T. Jerome Library. The collection came from his company's acquisition of the assets of the Vitak-Elsnic (V–E) Company, a venerable music publishing company in the polka music industry. V–E had its origins in Cincinnati and was co–founded by Louis Vitak, a Bohemian (Czech) immigrant to Ohio in the 1890s.