WMAS NEWS UPDATE (June 24, 2003)

(to add a news post e-mail MCherkasky@cs.com)


Notes from the President

June 10 Meeting

The approximately 50 people who turned out for our last meeting, June 10, were lucky: in addition to a very informative lecture by Clay Bobrowski on how the accordion works, they had a chance to hear some great music by professional accordionists (and WMAS members) Rose-Marie Coppola and Joe Blumka, accompanied by violinist Michael Komesaruk.

I was amazed by Rose-Marie's stylistic elegance and grace. Clay, too, commented on her soft touch on the keyboard: the notes just sort of floated off. Rose-Marie has been working to overcome a debilitating illness that kept her from playing for months.

Joe Blumka (who is my teacher) also played some incredible music. It seemed as if he and Michael Komesaruk had played together all their lives.

Clay brought several accordions and demonstrated the different sounds they can make. Luis Uribe recorded this presentation, including the many questions it engendered, and the tape will be ready to check out at the next WMAS meeting. The tape of Paul Przedpelski's talk on the inside of the accordion also is available.

On the program for next month's meeting, July 8, is Silvia Eberly and her puppet show, which she accompanies with her accordion.

Other Activities

On Saturday morning, June 14, a few WMAS members got together on the veranda of Jammin' Java coffee house in Vienna, Va. to play their accordions. Other members turned out to provide moral support. Gary Koerner would like to make this a regular event. Please contact him at glkoerner@earthlink.net if you are interested in meeting at Jammin' Java on a Saturday morning.

Twelve WMAS members also had a wonderful time June 14 at the Fort Myer Officers Club, where Rose-Marie, Joe and Mike play every Friday and Saturday evening. My favorite of the pieces they played was the Russian tune "Kalinka," and Luis's was "Don't Cry for me Argentina." Silvia even participated in the entertainment: she sang "Wien, du Stadt meiner Traeume" (Vienna, City of My Dreams). If you are interested in going to the Officers Club, Rose-Marie can reserve a table for you. Just call her at (301) 292-2929 and let her know when you are going and how many are in your party. To get there, you enter the gate of Ft. Myer near the Iwo Jima Memorial, tell them where you are going, and show a picture ID. They inspected our car and had us open our hood and trunk when we entered.

On June 21, several of us attended the Maryland Accordion Club (MAC) meeting, which featured a workshop by Mike Surratt on varying the chords in a piece with relative minors, etc. Joe Fertitta, the MAC president, recently underwent heart surgery, but he was able to be to the meeting and looked good. Some of us will be playing in the Catonsville Fourth of July parade, which Joe is organizing. Call me at (703) 671-5395 or Joe at (410) 744-3352 if you would like to participate.

Unfortunately, we have sad news, too: the passing of Peter DiGiovanni's mother only a few days after she attended our June 10 meeting. She was sitting in a wheelchair in the back of the room and was really enjoying the activities of the group. I am touched that she spent that time with us. Please keep Peter in your prayers.

Take care and keep squeezing those boxes!

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M ike Rubin ended up with the wrong music stand after the May 17 picnic at Dale Wise's farm and would like to exchange it for his own chrome stand. Please contact him at mbr@nrc.gov.

I f you would like to practice at Jammin' Java on Route 123 in Vienna any Saturday morning, please contact Gary at glkoerner@earthlink.net.

T he next WMAS meeting is Tuesday, July 8, at 7:30 pm at Sleepy Hollow United Methodist Church, 3435 Sleepy Hollow Road, Falls Church, Va. 22044. Directions are on the Web site.

Check out the WMAS Web site at www.washingtonaccordions.org.