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WMAS NEWS UPDATE
The April 15 meeting started on a festive note, with strolling accordionist Pat Racioppa offering folks a musical greeting as they arrived. After the announcements we sang Happy Birthday to Rosa Fords friend Suzanne Strump and to Bob Juszczyk.
We were excited to welcome back Russkiye Musikanti, an outreach group of the Washington Balalaika Society that first performed for us a few years ago. Decked out in gold-trimmed costumes of red, green, and/or black, the nine musicians played a number of pieces, including several that were composed or arranged by our own very talented president, Peter DiGiovanni, the groups accordionist. The program and member names are listed below, but we would like to note in particular that Peter wrote Welcome Sasha for a Balalaika and Domra Association convention a few years ago to welcome Russian musician Sasha Tsygankov, whom Peter called arguably the worlds best domra player. Prisla bom Pomlad is Peters arrangement of a Slovenian waltz that he heard on a Don Lipovac album. Sitting on a Rock and Ah Ti Bereza are two pieces based on Russian folk melodies and arranged for prima balalaika solo. Amerikanskiy March, first performed in Carnegie Hall, was written by Vasiliy Andreev, the man who lifted the balalaika from its humble peasant roots to the symphony orchestra. Song of the Volga Boatman featured Dick Hulan on kontrabass balalaika, a huge, gorgeous instrument that Dick built himself.
After the concert, Russkiye Musikanti led about a dozen WMAS members in a group play-along of several Russian waltzes, folk songs, and Gypsy songs. By the end of the session, all were both energized and satiated. The lead sheets will come in handy for the next time we play these songs, so please save them.
The May 20 meeting will be our annual spring member concert, and this year we are hoping to feature duets following up on our January duet workshop -- but everyone is welcome to perform. Please sign up, though, by replying to this email, and please remember the five-minute rule. We look forward to seeing you at 4 pm on Sunday, May 20, at Sleepy Hollow United Methodist Church in Falls Church, VA. Please check www.washingtonaccordions.org for directions and more information.
Update on Merv Conn Way
Our contact at United Therapeutics, the organization that is building Merv Conn Way adjacent to their new building in Silver Spring, tells us that they are still working on easements, agreements and design. We hope to put together a group to play a 21-Accordion Salute -- actually a group rendition of Mervs signature piece, You Made Me Love You -- at the opening ceremonies, so well be keeping you posted.
If this announcement is news to you, please check the February 2012 update.
American Accordionists Association Festival
Please register soon for the AAA Festival scheduled for July 11-15 in Baltimore -- so that Mary Tokarski and Joan Grauman can organize the seating for the orchestra. You cant be included unless youre registered; forms are available online at www.ameraccord.com. It does not cost extra to participate in the orchestra, but you need to note on your form that you would like to participate.
To get the special room rate, youll need to call the Sheraton Baltimore City Center Hotel directly, at 410-752-1100, and say that youre with the American Accordionists Association. If they say that there are no more rooms available at that rate, please let Joan know (email@example.com) and she will contact the hotel about increasing the number of rooms for participants.
For more information about the festival, please visit http://ameraccord.com/festival.html.
From Sue Smith:
In January Publishers Weekly reviewed Squeeze This! A Cultural History of the Accordion by Marion Jacobson, University of Illinois. www.publishersweekly.com/978-0-252-03675-0
There is a FaceBook page at Squeeze This! A Cultural History of the Accordion. It's easier to type in the name in the Search box than the full address.
From Joan Grauman:
We just received news that Frank Petrilli was featured on Mad Men the other night. He is playing the accordion in a restaurant scene. In early September, Frank cut his hair, got out his dads 1960s-era accordion, and spent the day on the set creating this short scene. We have been waiting since September to see this, then they played it early so we missed it! Grrrrr. Linda Warren, who saw it and alerted Frank Petrilli (Seriously! He didnt know it was playing last night either!), said that it will be aired again this season. We will let all of you know when we hear the date.
Donna Massey had been periodically giving accordion lessons to Christine Hendricks who had played the accordion in a Mad Men episode a while back. Christine asked Donna who she would recommend for a scene in an upcoming episode. They needed an Italian-looking man, late 40s-ish, who plays very well: Frank Petrilli!
You will see Frank for a moment in this scene online. He played Santa Lucia, but you wont hear it online.
http://www.amctv.com/mad-men/videos/inside-episode-504-mad-men-mystery-date (shortly after 4:35 on the video)
Thank you, Frank Petrilli and Eddie Monteiro, for bringing some positive press to the accordion in the US! As you all know, Eddie is playing the accordion in Evita which is playing on Broadway through January, 2013. You can watch Frank and Eddie jamming afterhours at last years AAA Festival on YouTube (please cut and paste this link into your YouTube browser): http://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=frank+petrilli+and+eddie+monteiro&oq=frank+petrilli+and+eddie+monteiro&aq=f&aqi=&aql=&gs_nf=1&gs_l=youtube.3...7493.17238.0.189188.8.131.52.184.108.40.206.2676.28j5.33.0.
Russkiye Musikanti April 15 Program
Daydreams Waltz Jan Bohm, soloist
* Original composition by Peter DiGiovanni
Russkiye Musikanti Performers on April 15
Jan Bohm prima balalaika