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May 16, 2005


Meeting Notes from the President

Our members continue to astound me with their enthusiasm, professionalism, consideration and supportive attitudes. The concert at the May 10 meeting included a wide variety of music and levels of abilities, but the wonderful thing was that everyone sounded great, no matter how simple or difficult their song was. Here's the program:

Paul Przedpelski - Swingin' Shepherd Blues
Michael B. Rubin - Russian Medley
Peter DiGiovanni - Gypsy Love
Rob Roy - Country Song
Elizabeth Nelson - Venezuelan Folk Tunes
Daniel V. Darrikhuma - Panis Angelicus
Anne Johnson/Ellen Sellers - Poor People of Paris & Humoresque
Ellen - Liszt's Second Hungarian Rhapsody
Bob Johnson - Tick-Tock Polka
Karen Malan-Uribe - La Bikina & Bach's Toccata in D minor
Victor Aijala - La Vie en Rose & Besame Mucho
Phil Fox - Godfather Medley
Betty Chreky - Star of the County Down
Dan & Joan Grauman - Cat's Ball
Wei Wei - Chopin's Watlz Opus 64 No. 2
Potomac Ensemble - Marushya & Beautiful Island
Ron Charvet -

It was especially nice to see Sid Kowalczyk and Lou Coppola (of Stereo Strings; see www.loucoppola.com) enjoying the concert. Lou has been very generous with our group, and now he has offered to provide 15-minute evaluations for any member who wants one. The cost will be $10 per person, with the money going to the club. If you are interested in having Lou evaluate your playing, please email me so we can determine a good time for both Lou and the club.

Hope to see everyone soon,


Dale Wise at the June Meeting
Dale Wise will present a workshop on "How To Improvise" at the June 14 meeting. Don't miss it!

Dale Wise's Spring Concert
The annual concert takes place Wednesday, June 15, at 8 pm at Oakton Methodist Church on Route 123 in Oakton, Virginia. The Potomac Ensemble (Joan's small group) will be the featured musicians! Details will be on the calendar.

Waltz Night at the July Meeting
Polka Night a few months ago was such a success we decided we should hold dances on a regular basis. At the July 12 meeting the focus will be on the waltz. Our own dance instructor Mike Rubin will help people get started, and then members are invited to play their favorite waltzes for dancers. If you'd like to play, make yourself known, and tell your family and friends to come join us. Karen has already grabbed Skaters Waltz (anyone up for a duet?)

Washington Balalaika Society/Accordionist Search
The Washington Balalaika Society Orchestra will be holding an Open House at their rehearsal on Wednesday, May 25, at 7:00 pm at the Rock Springs Church, 5010 Little Falls Road in Arlington (one block west of Old Dominion Drive). The social room is at the east end of the church complex (closest to Old Dominion Drive). All are invited. For those who would like to see what goes on during a rehearsal, this is a great opportunity.

The orchestra is always looking for new members, and instruction is available. Of particular interest to WMAS is a vacancy in the accordion section (accordion II - the easier part to play). All the accordion music is right hand only. Rehearsals are every Wednesday evening at 7:30 pm at the Rock Springs Church in Arlington. Svetlana Nikonova, the music director, is a professional musician, trained at the Rimsky Korsakov Institute in St. Petersburg, Russia. She is a highly skilled conductor, arranger, pianist, domra and balalaika player, and creates playable, meaningful parts for all of the sections of the orchestra. The music is captivating and abundantly varied. There is a wealth to be learned from Svetlana and the whole experience about the full scope of playing music -- notes, dynamics, tempo changes, conducting, performing and teamwork -- and the discipline of playing in an orchestra, for anyone who has the time to invest and the desire to be a part of this unique group. If anyone wants more information about this position, contact Peter DiGiovanni.

Fourth of July Parade
We have been invited to participate in the prestigious Fairfax Fourth of July parade, and Lee and Ron Poulson are putting together a WMAS float. They also are looking for musicians (children or adults) to ride on it and play a tune chosen by Lee -- she says it will be easy to learn. There is room for about 10 people, plus someone is needed to drive the truck. Parades are a lot of fun and a great opportunity to publicize our club. Please contact Lee if you are interested.

The Crawdaddies
The Crawdaddies -- that great band that several WMAS members heard at the AAMS festival in early March - will be playing Saturday, June 4th, at 1:30 at the 24th Annual Vintage Virginia Wine Festival. The festival takes place at the Historical Long Branch Farm, 830 Long Branch Lane, Millwood, Virginia 22646; phone (888) 435-9746.

Marjamaan Pojat CD
Vic Aijala has created a CD of the work that he and Lee Simonson played together as Marjamaan Pojat: Finnish and Other Scandinavian Folk Songs. The CDs are $15 each, and Vic hopes to have them ready by the June meeting.