Milwaukee's #1 Ethnic Folkdance Band!


Orchestra members:


Fred Melk - Clarinet /  Frula / Sax


Steve Petrovich - Bugarija


Harley Schoville - Percussion


Ken Werner - Bass Guitar / Stand-up Bass


King Richard's Fair 1988


IZVOR - fountain, source, spring, well.

The "Izvor" orchestra was formed in 1981. Fred Melk followed his desire to form a combo of musicians who had the same passion for ethnic folk music as he had. Fred had been a member of orchestra "Balkan" previously. Orchestra Balkan was a renowned Balkan band throughout the 1970's. Orchestra Balkan had come to a crossroads in as far as it's availablity to perform regularly. Therefore, Fred took it upon himself to organize the "Izvor" orchestra.

The original members Fred Melk (Clarinet), Jeff Fruehauf (Violin), Steve Petrovich (Bugaria), and Russell Werner (Bass) had an exceptional background in various ethnic folk music. Steve had been the director of the "Sumadija" Serbian folk dance ensemble and also was a member of Orchestra Balkan. Russell being a former member of the Croatian "Silver Strings" brought plenty of experience to the combo. This group of musicians had accompanied both the Bulgarian folk dance ensemble "Na Lesa" and the Romanian folk dance ensemble "Viata Romaniesca" in many of their

The band, like most combo's, had minor changes over the years due to members relocating and other commitments. In the early 80's Izvor had added Ken Werner (Bass) the brother of Russell. Ken a graduate of Duquesne University had also been a member of both the Duquesne "Tammies" and orchestra Balkan. Ken had also co-directed the "Na Lesa" Bulgarian folk dance ensemble. Shortly thereafter, the addition of Joan Herriges (Violin) was made. This group had kept the ball rolling for Izvor!

Yet another adjustment was made with the addition of Ed Nonnweiler (Violin). Ed had many years of experience performing with the "Tatra" Slovakian dancers and was a natural fit to this powerful combination. Izvor had also entertained with various accordionists augmenting their repertoire and sound. Some of these musicians included: Mujo Aliev, Tom Knack, Pero Momich, Ljupce Rankovic, and Ljubo Tanaskovic.

Izvor prided itself on a traditional balkan sound, but, the band knew that the "turbo-folk" sound was catching fire. With it's addition of Harley Schoville (Percussion), Izvor was now even more versatile in it's broad range of sound. Harley's ability to play with the feel the group was looking for was an instant success. The addition of a steady accordionist was also made with the very capable Milan Kontich. Milan's background came from years of playing with numerous Serbian combo's and dance groups. His experience was yet another major plus to the "Izvor" sound.

The "Izvor" orchestra has been the leading folk band in the Milwaukee area for years with their wide range of tunes and varied sounds. It has been the marquee orchestra at Milwaukee's "Holiday Folk Fair" for the past 15 years! The groups versatility is truly remarkable. We present "Izvor"!





Fred Melk  (414) 771-0900