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April 21, 2011


Meeting Notes

What a great accordion weekend we had here in the DC area! On Saturday night, April 16, more than 100 people ignored tornado warnings and heavy rain to attend our dinner-dance at Marco Polo Restaurant in Vienna. Although the weather outside was frightful, inside was completely delightful, thanks to the beautiful and lively Valtaro musette dance music by Dominic Karcic and Ray Oreggia, the delicious food, the ample dance floor, and of course the superb company.

The next day was our April meeting, featuring a concert by the extremely talented Andre Fry, accordionist, composer, and arranger. Andre, who is 16 years old and a student of Ron Onda, amazed us all, once again, with his performance. The program, with notes, is included below. By the way, another opportunity to hear Andre is coming up May 21, when he participates in Dale Wise’s Accordion Heroes concert in Catonsville. The notice is below.

Back to last Sunday. Mary Tokarski was in town for the weekend, so she was lucky enough to hear Andre, and we were lucky enough to have her with us. Following Andre’s concert, she played Malaguena by Charles Magnante and Slippery Slope by Michael Bridge. Her final piece was Mexican Carnival by Dan Desiderio, with Joan Grauman on piano. All wonderful.

Next Meeting

Our May 15 meeting will be our annual member concert. Please sign up to play for five minutes by contacting Joan at joangrauman@verizon.net. As usual, refreshments and setup/cleanup help will also be welcome.

The meeting will take place as usual at 4 pm at Sleepy Hollow United Methodist Church, 3435 Sleepy Hollow Road, Falls Church, Virginia.

Washington Balalaika Society Spring Concert on April 30 and May 1

The Washington Balalaika Society will perform its Spring Concert on Saturday, April 30, at 7:30 pm at the T.C.Williams High School Theater, 3330 King Street, Alexandria VA, and on Sunday, May 1, at 3:00 pm, at the F. Scott Fitzgerald Theater, 603 Edmonston Drive, Rockville, MD. This year’s program, titled “The Art of the Balalaika,” features soloists Andrei Saveliev (balalaika) and Olga Orlovskaya (soprano) in a collection of beautiful music. More information is available at http://www.balalaika.org or from Peter DiGiovanni, peter@musicisforever.com.

Tri-State Accordion Band Clinic

Saturday, May 21, 2011, 2-5 pm
Bloomsbury Community Center Auditorium
106 Bloomsbury Avenue
Catonsville, MD 21228

Fellow Accordionists:

Bring your accordion and music stand, and join the band. There is so much we can learn about ensemble playing, and too, it will be just plain fun. Don’t think twice whether you qualify because the music is written for all levels of expertise. We will prepare and play three selections on concert the evening of the event. Club officials now have this music, and can make it available to you.

Yes, bring a spouse, friends, whomever. After rehearsal we can go to a nearby restaurant together for dinner if you like.

Participating Accordion Clubs include:
Accordion Lovers of Virginia (VA Beach, VA / Sid Sward: 757-497-7917
Accordion Revolution (Williamsburg, VA / Jim Rice: 757-253-9124
Delaware Accordion Club (Joe Oberly: 302-388-0471)
Maryland Accordion Club (Howard Scott: 410-255-7889)
Piedmont Accordion Club (Burr Hill, VA / Dale Wise: 540-854-5209)
Washington Metropolitan Accordion Society (Falls Church, VA / Peter DiGiovanni: 703-242-2244 or Joan Grauman: 301-662-0203)

Cory Pesaturo
Dale Wise

Schedule: 2-5 pm - Full Band Rehearsal + Sectionals

7 pm. - Accordion Heroes Concert

Admission: Free

Host: Maryland Accordion Club
Joe Fertitta, President
1322 Ridge Road / Catonsville, MD 21228


Andre’s April 17 Program

For those of you who missed Andre’s concert, the program and notes are below (verbatim from his printed program):

Toccata and Fugue in D Minor, BWV 565 – J.S. Bach, arr. Andre Fry

From Odyssey Suite (2011) – James Fry (Andre’s father)

II. Frozen Steppe

III. In the Cloister

IV. The Towne of Lilliput

V. Pastoral Landscape

VI. Aeolus’ Cave

VII. Village Scene

I. Perpetual Journey

Variations on Dark Eyes (2011) – Andre Fry

Czardas (2010) – Andre Fry

Waltz Allegro – Charles Magnante

Piano Concerto No. 1 in G minor – Felix Mendeelssohn, arr. Carmen Carrozza

I. Presto

Czardas – Vittorio Monti (played as an encore)

Program Notes:

Andre Fry’s transcription of Toccata and Fugue in D Minor was inspired and influenced by Italian accordionist Salvatore di Gesualdo and German organist Karl Richter. Both artists are recognized interpreters of the works of J.S. Bach; di Gesualdo was the first accordionist to perform Bach’s Art of the Fugue in its entirety. Andre’s arrangement of this great masterpiece closely follows the original version in order to capture the style and spirit of Baroque organ music.

Odyssey Suite is a musical journey through diverse musical styles—from the Medieval period to the 20th century. Each movement explores a different tone color available on the accordion.

Czardas won first place in the Junior Division of the 2010 Elsie M. Bennett Composition Competition of the American Accordionists’ Association.

* * * * *

Andre’s fascination with the accordion began during the summer of 2009 when he first picked up his grandfather’s bayan (Russian button accordion). Since then he has achieved recognition in several national competitions including first-place honors at the 2010 Roland U.S. V-Accordion Festival, Junior Division. Before taking up the accordion, he studied cello for three years.

Fluent in Russian, Andre has studied Latin, Spanish, French, Esperanto, Mandarin Chinese, and Old Church Slavonic. He has played over 100 tournament chess games, placing at or near the top of his section and winning monetary prizes at the 34th Annual World Open, 2007 Chicago Open, and 35th Eastern Open. Andre was a site administrator for Wikinews and is the primary author of more than 500 news articles. Other interests include writing and editing for Wikipedia, researching Slavic languages, and bicycling with his Dad.