(Visit the news archive for past announcements)

(To post a news item, e-mail MCherkasky@cs.com)


WMAS NEWS UPDATE (September 14, 2003)


Notes from the President

We had a great turnout on Tuesday night, September 9--about 35 people. Thanks to those who brought friends and neighbors. We continue growing, laughing, dancing and, of course, playing accordion music. It is such a joy!

The program of the evening, Dale Wise's "Accordion Secrets 101," was full of useful and wide-ranging tips on preventive maintenance, small repairs, and performance technique. For example, he recommended that if you're going to buy a luggage cart, make sure it has large wheels--at least 5 inches--so your instrument gets as smooth a ride as possible. Dale also shared his beeswax recipe, and suggested ways to steer clear of the old oom-pah-pah bass technique, which he believes is to blame for all the accordion jokes.

The program was taped for those who missed it, but you might also want to buy Dale's "Accordion Secrets 101" video, which covers everything he presented at the meeting and more. (For more information, email accordionplus@aol.com or see www.accordionplus.com.) In addition, Dale has invited us to an accordion repair workshop at his farm near Fredericksburg, Va., the weekend of November 15-16. The workshop is free, although it does involve an overnight stay at a nearby hotel. We have two slots left, so hurry and sign up if you are interested. For more information, click here.

Dale also showed a film of Guido Deiro performing during the 1930s (or possibly earlier). Guido was the brother of the better known Pietro Deiro, and the two are contenders for the title "First Piano Accordionist in the United States." In any case, the film was impressive.

Following the workshop, a new WMAS member, David Lovins, played a few tunes on his beautiful SANO and also talked about relearning the instrument after letting it sit in the closet for several years. It was enlightening to hear this, as my story is similar. All of us "closet accordionists" should take hope.

In the last part of the meeting, we began to practice for the Christmas concert, under Dale's direction. We are using music from Barbara Lockett's old Palmer-Hughes Christmas book and as a group will perform the following six pieces, all in four or five parts: Silent Night; Joy to the World; It Came upon a Midnight Clear; Hark, the Herald Angels Sing; Angels We Have Heard on High; and Jingle Bells. In addition to the group performance, we hope to have six to eight soloists or groups perform. Please let us know if you would like to play and what piece, so we don't have duplications.

Also, if you would like copies of the music, just let us know by replying to this update; I can fax it to you or meet you at the church. Some of the parts are more difficult than others, so we can discuss which one you should play, or which group needs help.


I have secured the church's adult classroom for extra practice time on October 7, November 4 and December 2 (all Tuesdays) at 7:30 pm. PLEASE contact me if you are interested in meeting at the church for these extra practices. I would REALLY like to practice with someone. We could also meet at my house, but parking there is a bit of a problem. My phone is (703) 671-5395; email mexico1968@aol.com.

Take care, everyone, and keep squeezing,