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WMAS NEWS UPDATE (August 18, 2003)


Notes from the President

WMAS continues to grow--I am happy to report that we now have almost 40 members! Meetings also continue to be well attended and full of excitement.

The last meeting, on August 12, started with performances by an assortment of soloists. The first was a newcomer: 7-year-old Elise Malouf, who is only in her second month of lessons with Silvia Ebery but already plays very confidently. She was a hard act to follow. Michael B. Rubin played next--after announcing that he'd had only three lessons in his life--a medley of Yiddish songs. Professional clown Carol Collins (aka Bingo the Clown) also demonstrated her craft, and Silvia played a Cajun song on her Austrian buttonbox and sang it in German!

The topic of the evening was memorization. I presented a memory-building exercise called the "Brain Chain" from Mort Herold's book "You Can Have Near Perfect Memory." Mort is a professional memory specialist and also a great accordionist who once ran his own music school in Chicago. He played at one of our meetings earlier this year and sent me the materials for the August 12 program. His current book project covers memorizing music.

In addition, Mara summarized materials presented by Helmi Harrington in her "How to Memorize Music" workshop at the AAA convention in Philadelphia, and several other people offered suggestions for ways of memorizing music. We'll post more information about this topic on the Web site, www.washingtonaccordions.org.

Upcoming Events

In September we are looking forward to a workshop by Dale Wise called "Accordion Secrets 101." We will also be practicing for the December 7 holiday concert, which Dale will be conducting. At its meeting last Thursday, the executive committee decided the concert would last about an hour, starting at 4 pm, and include several pieces by the full group (or those who wish to participate), plus selections by soloists or small groups. If you would like to take part in any capacity, please let me know. We will not sell tickets for the event but will be asking for a donation of $5 at the door, and a potluck for musicians and audience members will follow.

Meanwhile, I'm looking forward to seeing Those Darn Accordions September 1 at IOTA in Clarendon, and am hoping that some of you will join me. Various WMAS members are playing around town, so be sure to check the calendar on the Web site.

Dale Wise's accordion repair workshop has been set for November 15-16 at Dale's farm in Burr Hill, Virginia, near Fredericksburg. The workshop will run from 10 am until 4 pm on Saturday, and then from 1 to 5:30 pm on Sunday. I have secured a group rate of $69 at the Holiday Inn Select in Fredericksburg for the night of the 15th (the rate applies if we use 10 rooms; otherwise it will be $89). Please make your own reservation, using the code WMA, by calling 1-800-682-1049.

Enjoy the rest of your summer.


(Nicholas, who originally designed the WMAS Web site, graduated from high school this past spring and entered the Air Force Academy in June. He was finally able to access his email and sent the following greeting today.)

My accordion is at a friend's house here in Colorado Springs and I plan on getting it on Labor Day weekend and then will begin to brush off the dust. From the experience I had playing the piano and accordion, I made the Academy's Drum and Bugle Corps playing the xylophone. We practice around three hours every day and most Saturdays 9:00 - 4:00. Very demanding but definitely rewarding. We travel all over and will even be in Maryland (Fed-Ex Field) to play Navy in October. I'm glad to see that the Web page is in good hands and that information is staying up-to-date. I look forward to coming home and catching up with the accordion club!

Yours truly,


Accordionists Needed

accordionists/alternate accordionists for the upcoming Octoberfest season. Our previous accordionist moved back to Wisconsin.

We are part of the City of Fairfax Band and are semi-professional (some paid
performances, some "public service").

Rehearsals every Wednesday evening at Fairfax High School, band room wing, Room K-22

August rehearsals 7:30 - 9:30 pm
School year rehearsals 7:00 - 7:45 pm

For audition information, call me at (703) 978-8642 or email me at kapel_meister@hotmail.com.

-- Sam Laudenslager, Kapellmeister, "Alte Kameraden"