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April 18, 2005


Meeting Notes

In the second part of his workshop on "Playing by Ear," at the April 12 meeting, Peter DiGiovanni challenged us to pull out our accordions and leave the secure music stand in its case. The presentation was structured as follows:

- Laying down the musical grid
- Hearing home base
- Hearing scale degrees
- Hearing notes on and off the scale
- Hearing other intervals
- Hearing the circle of fifths
- Cadences
- Playing a song

We'll post the handouts from both parts of Peter's Playing By Ear workshops on the Web site. Click here for the Circle of Fifths chart.

During the break after the workshop, a few people got out their instruments and tried out what they'd learned.

The next order of business was a little entertainment. Barbara and Lee played "Indifference," a French musette, and "Sprint," by Martin Weyde. Joan, Mara and Peter played "The Lovers' Waltz," by Jay Ungar and Molly Mason. This was a fiddle and piano duet transformed into an accordion trio. Finally, Jim and Peter played "Oh, My Porch," "Bright Moon," "Take Me Out to the Ball Game," "Bei Mir Bist Du Shein," and "Show Me the Way to Go Home."

Karen announced a couple of events: Jim Vandelly's performance at the April 16 Maryland Accordion Club meeting and a concert by Stefan Hussong at the Spencerville Seventh Day Adventist Church the same afternoon.

Jim mentioned that the competitions at the American Accordionists' Association festival this summer in Dearborn, Mich., pay large cash prizes.


After two years of devoted service to WMAS, Paul Przedpelski announced he would like to be relieved of his membership chair responsibilities. This position is critical to the success of WMAS. Lee Paulson offered to make nametags, and Peter DiGiovanni subsequently offered to take over the rest of Paul's tasks. Many thanks to all three of you!


Lee and Ron Paulson have taken on the job of organizing a WMAS float in the Fourth of July Parade in Fairfax. Here's a message from Lee: "I heard from Dale Wise about the availability of the trailer and truck for the Fourth of July parade in Fairfax; although there is no problem getting the trailer, we cannot use his truck (I'm assuming it's promised to the Catonsville parade), so we are in need of someone to give us a pull! Dale says, 'You will need to find someone in WMAS who has a trailer hitch on their vehicle with a 2-5/16" ball (anything smaller would be unsafe).' If we can find someone who is willing to go out practically at the crack of dawn on the Fourth (the parade starts at 9 am), we will be forever grateful. Otherwise, it looks like we may have to scrap the idea." The float with people and accordions on it will weigh about 3,500 pounds.

Provided this obstacle is overcome, Lee also will need players and float assistance. Appearing in a parade is a fun and rewarding experience, not to mention a good opportunity to get some publicity for the club, and the accordion. The music is very easy, and Lee will get it to you well in advance so you can learn it. Contact her at paulson@erols.com.


I would like to thank everyone for all they do for WMAS. We have had a successful membership drive and, from all the announcements, participation, performing that went on at last week's meeting, I realized again that this is a wonderful organization that offers an opportunity for all of us accordionists to get together and share our love for our music.

However, the group is only able to function well because we have a small group of hardworking people who are members of the Executive Committee. Together we hammer out the financial responsibilities, business operations and other boring activities outside of the monthly workshop/fun activities. If you have any concerns related to expenditure of funds, membership dues and so on, please email them to Mara or me and the Executive Committee will address them. That way we can spend all of our time together on the second Tuesday enjoying the music.


We still have room in the May concert for more performers. At this point it looks we'll have time for everyone to play two pieces, but we can always adjust the schedule at the last minute. This is an informal concert and mainly meant to give more people a chance to play for the group than we usually have time for. Also, if someone would like to serve as master of ceremonies, we'd appreciate it. This is your chance to test your stand-up skills! Also, if anyone is playing a song that would work as a sing-along, please send the words to Karen.

So far, the list looks like this:
Elise Malouf - Military Medley: Marine's Hymn/Army Song
Paul Przedpelski - Swingin' Shepherd Blues
Peter DiGiovanni - Gypsy Love
Potomac Ensemble - TBA
Ron Charvet - TBA
Elizabeth Nelson - Venezuelan Folk Tunes
Anne Johnson & Ellen Sellers - TBA
Dan & Joan Grauman - Cat's Ball
Vic Aijala - La Vie en Rose & Besame Mucho
Joan & Stella - TBA
Karen Malan-Uribe - La Bikina (perhaps the Toccata)
Ellen Sellers - Liszt's Second Hungarian Rhapsody
Phil Fox – Godfather medley
Stella - TBA
Betty Chreky – Star of the County Down
Michael B. Rubin - Russian Medley: Dark Eyes, Moscow Nights, and The Russian Two Step


The Washington Balalaika Society will present "Balalaika 2005," two performances:

Saturday, May 14, at 7:30 pm
Northern Virginia Community College
Annandale Campus
Ernst Cultural Center
8333 Little River Turnpike (Route 236)
Annandale, VA

Sunday, May 15, at 3 pm
F. Scott Fitzgerald Theatre at Rockville Civic Center Park
603 Edmondston Drive
Rockville, MD

Tickets $20 ($18 seniors and students)
Credit cards: visit www.balalaika.org
Checks to WBS Concert, 7421 Calamo St., Springfield, VA 22150

The Washington Saengerbund will hold a Spring Concert and Tea Dance at 3 pm on Sunday, April 24, with the concert followed by a reception and three hours of dancing.

Meridian House, 1630 Crescent Place, NW, Washington, DC
Limited concert seating for first arrivals
RSVP by April 20 Mrs. Robert Bocek (703) 528-0487
Checks payable to THIS, 1630 Crescent Place, NW, Washington, DC 20009
$40.00 Valet Parking

For further information or questions: rbocek@starpower.net or http://www.saengerbund.org.