The Emter Family Button Accordionists


"If I can learn just one song, I'll be happy." This was the dream of Roger Emter in 1990 when he purchased his first button accordion. Although unknown to him at the time, this dream would eventually blossom into a full-time musical family.

Roger's enthusiastic attitude toward the old-time accordion music inspired his son Adam to begin lessons also. After only six months of diligent practice sessions, Roger and Adam performed three songs on their button accordions in front of a live audience of 200 people. Soon after that first performance, Renae started accompanying the button accordions with her keyboard. Having their young minds flooded with the sound and sight of the intriguing instrument, Angelina, Alida, and Abigail began learning as soon as they were old enough to hold the accordion on their lap. Starting lessons at age five, Abigail could barely see over the adult-sized accordion, but quickly became a master of the buttons, along with her three siblings.

Both having been raised in rural North Dakota, Roger and Renae had deep roots in old-time accordion music and often attended barn dances during their youth. That old-time music and childhood upbringing stuck with them throughout their lives and kept their heritage alive and strong, helping them achieve a futuristic vision for their newly discovered family talents.

Renae and Roger began homeschooling in 1992, which gave their family a chance to travel and perform throughout the U.S. and Canada year-round. After realizing the countless opportunities with his budding musical family, Roger decided to slow down his engineering career to pursue music and entertainment at a full-time level. After being involved in the music business for ten years, the Emters have performed over 750 stage shows throughout 30 states, Canada, and Mexico. The young Emters were rewarded numerous times with first place trophies taken at accordion contests from California to British Columbia, Canada.

Watch Past Performances

Video 8/3/1999: The Emter Family Button Accordionists

The Emter Family Button Accordionists perform traditional polkas.

The Emter Family Button Accordionists