It’s last dance for musical duo

By Tom Weber

As a popular musical duo at local dances, Don and Peg Holtan know how to keep time.

Now, they’ve figured out how to save time — retire from making music at all those dances.

"We decided that we would like to spend some more time with our grandchildren and do a little more traveling," said Peg Holtan, of the couple’s decision to stop performing after 27 years as a musical team. Their last dance will be Saturday at the Rochester Senior Center.


"We still enjoy playing the music," Peg said. "We were still very busy. We’ve turned down at least 45 to 50 jobs this year."

However, she said, playing at dances nearly every weekend, and sometimes during the week, as well as the logistics of transporting music equipment, had made the couple busier than they care to be at this point.

They will resume playing at local nursing homes after taking some time off. But the Holtans no longer plan to play at dances.

Peg said she’ll miss the dancers.

"The people were the most fun," she said. "We’ve developed a lot of friends over all these years. We’ll still socialize with them."

She recalled arranging for four older people who had recently lost spouses to meet at one of the Holtans’ dances. The two women and two men ended up getting married. "We tried never to play Cupid, and we didn’t tell them what we did until about a year after they were married," she said.

The Holtans had taken early retirement: Don from IBM after 36 years and Peg from Mayo Clinic after 22 years. "But we found out the music was taking up much more of our time," Peg said. So they’ll take a second retirement, this one from dance music.

The Holtans frequently played at the Pla-Mor ballroom in Rochester, which closed earlier this year, and the Relay Station in Mantorville, which recently burned to the ground. "It was kind of sad to see those places go," Peg said.


Now local dancers are about to undergo another form of loss when the Holtans hang up their instruments.


What: Farewell dance, with music by Don and Peg Holtan.

When: 7 p.m. to 11 p.m. Saturday.

Where: Rochester Senior Center, 121 N. Broadway.

More information: 287-1404.

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