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October 13, 2004


Notes from the President

I have been singing “Monster Mash” all morning; I am so excited about the October 27 Halloween parade in Vienna, Va. WMAS will have a float with several of us on it in costume playing “Monster Mash” and other scary songs. If you are interested in joining us, please contact Joyce Palmer at (202) 543-3860 or joyce.palmer@att.net. The parade starts at 7 pm, but apparently people start setting out chairs in the morning.

Last night we were introduced to Wendy Morrison’s Home for Wayward Accordions Traveling Museum and Circus of Strange, Rare and Wonderful Squeezeboxes . Wendy had brought about a dozen instruments, and she explained the history of each and demonstrated how it sounded. Among the artifacts were a modern, American-made, octagonal Anglo concertina with hand-made Italian accordion reeds; a hexagonal English concertina built in 1918 that was a top-of-the-line instrument in its day; a Soviet-made one-row diatonic squeezebox with a bell accompaniment on the bass side; and a couple of club accordions by Hohner. One feature of the museum is that people are allowed to touch, and after the presentation, several people tried out the instruments and purchased tchochkes, records, music and other items from the “museum gift shop.” It was a great night. We had a nice turnout including a couple of new faces. Thanks, Wendy!

The December 12 holiday concert will be here before we know it. Here are the songs you need to practice: the two arrangements by Mike Surratt ("We Three Kings"/"Greensleeves" Medley and "Do You Hear What I Hear?"), “Rudolph,” “Up on the Housetop” and “March of the Toy Soldiers.” Also, we are starting to develop the program, so please let us know if you or your small group wants to play a piece in the concert. So far, Ron Charvet has signed up for “Silent Night,” Peter DiGiovanni has dibs on the “Skaters’ Waltz," and Peter and Mara will play "Hanerot Hallalu." Also, Joan Grauman’s small group is planning to play a few pieces. Please note that we will be rehearsing for the concert Tuesday, Nov. 2 (the week before the next meeting), as well as all the Tuesdays between the November 9 meeting and the concert, except for the one just before Thanksgiving. Please try to make the rehearsals if you’re playing in the concert. All take place at Sleepy Hollow Church and start at 7:30 pm.

Lots of other events coming up:

- Ronald and Lola Charvet have invited WMAS members to a party in Reston Saturday, October 23, starting at 4 pm. Please RSVP to (703) 273-9356 or charvet@concentric.net, and don’t forget to bring your accordion.

- Paul Przedpelski plays November 4 at the Del Ray Dreamery on Mount Vernon Avenue in Alexandria, from about 6 to 9 pm. The Dreamery welcomes accordionists who’d like to play a couple of numbers during Paul’s breaks. Contact him at accordion@verizon.net.

- November 6 the Washington Balalaika Society is holding a fundraiser party or “Vecherinka”: $25 includes food and musical entertainment by "Russkiye Musikanti," "Beltway Balalaikas," "The WBS Sextet" and "St. Petersburg Trio. For tickets or more information, check www.balalaika.org or call (703) 536- 3082.

- At our November 9 meeting, Stella Allison will present a workshop on jazz classics of the 1940s. We’ve had a taste of Stella’s music at previous meetings and can’t wait to hear more.

- Hexagon will give two free performances of its satirical musical comedy revue Monday, November 8, at 6 and 7:30 pm at the National Theater downtown. WMAS member Michael Rubin is a member of the troupe. See www.hexagon.org for more information.

- November 13 at 2 pm, WMAS is sponsoring a concert by accordion virtuoso Rita Davidson at the Fourth Presbyterian Church School, 10701 South Glen Road, Potomac, Md. This is our first try at bringing in an out-of-town performer – actually, Rita is a friend of Dan and Joan Grauman, who are doing all the legwork on this -- so we’re hoping for a good turnout. We’re asking for an $8 donation, and there will be a reception after the performance.

Rita, a full-time music teacher in West Orange, N.J., for many years, studied accordion with Eugene Ettore and has recorded his works. She has won many state and national accordion competitions and sits on the boards of the Accordion Teachers’ Association of New Jersey and the American Accordionists’ Association. She also has judged many piano and accordion competitions, presented workshops and concerts at accordion events around the country, performed at Lincoln Center and the United Nations, and plays in a Klezmer band in the New York metropolitan area. The November 13 concert will feature music by Eugene Ettore and Charles Magnante, plus some Klezmer selections.

For more information, contact Dan and Joan Grauman at (301) 279-8716 or squznart@erols.com.

- Also on the evening of November 13, Wendy Morrison’s group Shalshelet will perform some of her music at the 2004 Festival of New Jewish Liturgical Music . The next day, the group will perform others of Wendy’s new pieces at afternoon workshops. The festival takes place at Temple Shalom, 8401 Grubb Road in Silver Spring, Md. See www.shalshelet.org or www.klezmusic.com for more information.

Details and more listings are on the calendar.

See you soon,