Toward the end of the last meeting, on July 8, the church pastor dropped by and said, "It sounds so happy in here." That's a good way to describe a meeting in which Silvia Eberly demonstrated how she introduces the accordion to young children by weaving it into a puppet show that she takes to schools, birthday parties, etc.
After the puppets took their bow, Clay Bobrowski described the Las Vegas accordion convention, where he heard masters such as Art Van Damme, Dick Contino, and Myron Floren. About 500 accordionists participated in the convention, which featured workshops, rather than competitions (the focus of the American Accordionists' Association's annual convention). The Las Vegas event happens about the same time in June every year, so you may want to start planning now to attend next year!
Mara Cherkasky attended a different accordion festival in June--in Chartres, France. The highpoint of the event, she said, was a concert by a pair of young accordionists--one French and one Russian--in the Chartres Cathedral.
A couple of WMAS members said they were planning to attend the AAA festival in Philadelphia July 9-13 and would report on it at the next meeting.
Silvia and I reported on the Fourth of July event in Catonsville, Maryland. It was great. Hot, yes! But, the people loved it, and it was just cool being in the parade. Our float was a trailer decorated with flowerpots and huge posters of accordions and covered with a canopy, and there we sat for about an hour and played a medley of Stars & Stripes, America the Beautiful and Maryland My Maryland over and over again. Other band members were Dale Wise, Mike Rubin, Maryland Accordion Club President Joe Fertitta's grandsons (one with an accordion), Phil from MAC, plus Silvia and I. Dale kept us in time with his whistle, and as we passed the crowds and they heard the music, they started clapping, singing along, smiling and waving at us. I loved it and will have pictures next time.
In August, we'll discuss memorization, and the September meeting will feature Dale Wise with his Accordion Secrets 101. In October, new member Barbara Lockett will discuss the reedless (electronic) accordion, and in November, Mike Surratt will present a workshop on relative major and minor chords, the same one he held for the Maryland group in June.
Just to give you a heads-up, we are starting to collect music for a holiday concert Dec. 7, which Dale Wise has agreed to conduct. Please bring copies of your favorite pieces to the next meeting so we can distribute them and start to rehearse with Dale in September.
Meanwhile, continue bringing your accordions, music and ideas to each meeting. Everyone should be able to find a group to play with.
Looking forward to seeing you soon,
The West Coast group Those Darn Accordions will play at IOTA in (8232 Wilson Boulevard, Arlington, Virginia, (703) 522-8340) on September 1. Details will be posted on the Web site.
DC Music Schedule
Wayne Kahn, at email@example.com, writes a weekly email letter that contains extensive music listings (folk, blues, Cajun, rock, etc.) for the DC area. Email him if you would like to be added to his mailing list. Also check out his Web site, www.rightonrhythm.com for more info and links to many venues.
Online Accordion Discussion Group
AccordionFreedomForum is a yahoo discussion group you may want to join. Go to
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/AccordionFreedomForum/ and click "Join This Group."
If you would like to practice at Jammin' Java on Route 123 in Vienna any Saturday morning, please contact Gary at (703) 938-3193 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
WMAS Web Site
The Webmaster apologizes for the glitches you may have seen lately on the site (www.washingtonaccordions.org). She is slowly mastering the software and finally figured out today how to upload images (hooray!). So check out the new listings on the site and send us your additions, comments, etc.