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January 18, 2004


Notes from the President on the January 13 Meeting

Joan Grauman Workshop
Last Tuesday's meeting was filled with lots of good music. Joan Grauman presented a workshop on "Bringing Accordion Music to Life," which she illustrated with European folk melodies. Silvia joined in on her button accordion on the Bavarian tune "Schneewalz," and Dan Grauman played with Joan on the exquisite Irish tune "Star of the County Down."

Joan's main messages: listen to recordings of the music you want to learn; control the bellows; keep the bass light; vary your playing style according to the emotion conveyed by the piece; and, after playing the tune straight, add variations such as chords, arpeggios, ornaments and different registers and bass patterns.

If you missed the workshop, ask for a handout at the next meeting.

New Fee Structure
Paul Przedpelski discussed the new membership fee structure. The dues have increased to $15 per year, and will be collected on an annual basis during the first three meetings of the year (i.e. January/February/March).

Anyone joining in January through June will pay $15. Anyone joining in July through November will pay $10. Anyone joining in December will pay $15 for the following membership year.

For current members, those who joined in February through July 2003 will pay the full $15 for 2004. Those who joined in August through November only have to pay $10 for 2004. Those who joined in December 2003 (and have already paid $15) do not have to pay for the 2004 membership.

When you pay your dues, you will receive a new 2004 membership card.

Paul will collect the dues at the meetings and can check in his records which month you joined, and whether you owe $10 or $15. You can also directly mail in a payment by check (to Mara Cherkasky, 1801 Park Road, NW, Apt. 8, Washington, DC 20010). In that case your membership card will either be mailed to you or given to you at the next meeting. For members who are not able to attend any meetings in January/February/March, we will send an email or surface mail, reminding them that their dues are due.

When you pay, Paul will verify your membership data (address, phone, email, etc.); following the March meeting, we will send out a membership list to members.

Next Concert
Also at the meeting we discussed the possibility of organizing a concert for May, and several members thought this was a good idea. Later, though, some of us agreed it might be better to wait until later, maybe in a park during the summer, and/or at Oktoberfest time. Meanwhile, we will add to the songbook some spring songs that we can practice together, such as "The Cricket and the Bullfront" and "Over The Rainbow." Others are encouraged to bring songs that are good for small groups.

Meanwhile, I want us to keep up the Christmas songs for our second annual holiday concert. I would like to set a date for this and any other concert soon, so we can get them on the church calendar if we plan to use the church.

Web Site
New photos of the December 7 concert have been added to the Photo Album.

Following Joan's presentation, Daniel Darrikhuma played us a couple of the tunes he likes to play for his church. This was Dan's first meeting, and we're hoping to see him back again soon.

Clay showed a new book, Latin Favorites, from Hal Leonard (publisher).

Article on Dale Wise
On Jan. 6, the Fredericksburg Free Lance-Star published a very nice article about Dale Wise: "The secretive nature of accordion repair/Burr Hill's accordion man hopes to pass on his life's love to others." The article is also linked to Dale's name on the Teachers page and to the accordion repair workshop page of the Photo Album.

Next Meetings
The program for the next meeting, February 10, will be Michael B. Rubin on "The World of Jewish Music." At the March meeting, Ron Onda will play "Accordion Classics of the 1950s."

One idea I'm considering for our May meeting is a Spring Festival Night for members (and guests) to play tunes for each other. Let me know what you think.

Joan and Dan Grauman have offered to make us t-shirts with the WMAS capitol dome logo on the front. Please use this form to pre-order shirts at a discount. If ordered by March 1, short-sleeved shirts will cost you $10 each and long-sleeved shirts, $15 each. After that date, the prices will increase to $12 and $18.

Color choices for short-sleeved shirts are white, natural, birch (gray), light blue, safety green, pink and island yellow. Sizes range from small to XXXL.

For long-sleeved shirts, color choices are white and birch, and sizes are small to XXL.