Notes on the April 13 Meeting
Last night's meeting was another great one. All right, we say this about
every meeting, but, just like the old children's story "Millions
of Cats," each one is wonderful. The program started with a set of
Finnish waltzes, polkas, hambos and other folk dance music by Lee Simonson
and Vic Aijala, aka Marjamaan Pojat (Finnish for "Maryland Boys").
Lee and Vic told us about learning to play music as kids and growing up
Finnish-American. They also described the status of the accordion in Finland
-- 4 percent of the population plays the instrument! -- and talked a bit
about each song. Jim Vandelly videotaped their performance for a network
television show that is broadcast on Sunday mornings at 9 a.m. in the
Upper Peninsula of Michigan. According to Jim, the show attracts a (relatively)
huge Finnish-American audience.
Following Marjamaan Pojat, another Marylander, Stella Allison, performed
a short set of 1940s-era jazz pieces. Although she described herself as
"just a grandma having fun," Stella is a virtuoso, and very
active. She described Anthony Galla-Rini's 100th birthday celebration,
which she recently attended in Los Angeles (see www.accordionusa.com/ar_02_04.htm
and numerous other accordion events she's participated in around the country.
We thank these musicians for playing for us -- it was a true pleasure
-- and hope to see them back soon. Actually, Stella is a sure thing: she
has agreed to present the program at the October meeting.
Saturday Night at Fort Myer
We're organizing a group to dine Saturday night at the Fort Myer Officers
Club in Arlington, where we also will be entertained by Rose-Marie Coppola's
Strolling Strings. If you'd like to join us, please contact Karen at (703)
671-5395 or firstname.lastname@example.org so
she can include you in the reservation. We'll meet at the Officers Club
at 6 pm. The entrance is near the Iwo Jima Memorial, and when you drive
through the gate, the security guards will inspect your car and ask you
for identification. We'll be celebrating Karen's birthday, by the way.
If you need more information, call (301) 292-2929 or email email@example.com.
Joan and Dan Grauman delivered the WMAS t-shirts, and Joan wore hers to
the meeting -- it's definitely the height of fashion. If you ordered shirts
and missed last night's meeting, please pick them up at the May meeting,
or contact Karen at (703) 671-5395 or firstname.lastname@example.org
about getting them sooner. Also, we ordered a few extras, and they will
be for sale at meetings for $15 each.
Karen would like to put together a printed program for the member concert
at the May 11 meeting. If you are planning to play, please email her at
email@example.com with your selections.
If you are not sure yet whether you want to play, don't worry; we'll have
a last-minute sign-up sheet. We are encouraging everyone to participate,
including beginners; it would be nice to have all levels of ability represented.
We'll try to advertise this meeting a bit more widely than usual.
May Day Party
Paul Aebersold is hosting a May Day party for WMAS members on his boat
at the Gangplank Marina in Southwest DC. If you missed the invitation,
please let us know and we'll resend
Michael B. Rubin will be presenting "The World of Jewish Music"
at the June 8 meeting -- please put it on your calendar. Note also that
we will be meeting in July and August but will not schedule any special
programs. These summer meetings will be opportunities for members to play
together in small or large groups.
At the September 14 meeting, Peter DiGiovanni will conduct a workshop
on playing by ear, and Stella Allison will present the October 12 program.
If you missed her last night, you'll have a chance to hear her then.
All meetings are posted on the Calendar.
Dale Wise says he will be scheduling another free accordion repair workshop
in the next couple of months. Please let him know at firstname.lastname@example.org
if you're interested. The workshop, which takes place at Dale's farm near
Fredericksburg, Va., runs all day Saturday and includes lunch, then picks
up again Sunday afternoon. Those who participated in last fall's workshop
learned some good repair tricks and techniques and had a lot of fun (see
Those of us running WMAS sometimes feel stretched a bit too thin. If you
would like to join the Executive Committee or just help out in an unofficial
capacity, we would greatly appreciate it. For example, we could use someone
to write short articles for the national and international accordion Web
sites, and we also could use someone to take care of the coffee and kitchen-related
tasks. Meanwhile, thanks very much to Marisel Ortiz and Lola Charvet for
last night's treats!
2004 Membership Dues
Dues are $15. If you haven't yet paid up for this year, your summons will
be arriving soon in the mail.
Plea for Christmas Music
Henry Hancock of Newport News, Va., is looking for accordion music: sacred
Christmas pieces that would be appropriate for performance in a special
worship service and that would be moving and spiritually uplifting. Please
contact him at email@example.com.
That's it for this time. See you soon.