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December 25, 2007


Concert Notes

Thanks to all who helped make the December 16 holiday concert and potluck a big success! According to our statisticians, we had about 150 people in the hall, including musicians, audience members, vendors, and helpers, and we are grateful to each one of you for turning out.

Some people have questioned why we ask for a donation for the concert. After expenses, we end up with a few hundred dollars, half of which we donate to the church. Sleepy Hollow United Methodist Church has been extremely generous with us, allowing our group to meet once a month all year and additional times for rehearsals during the fall. This is our chance to give back just a little. The money that goes into the club’s treasury will help us bring in guest musicians and cover the costs of photocopying sheet music, mailing out updates to members without email, purchasing coffee for meetings, maintaining the web site (http://www.washingtonaccordions.org), and numerous other expenses.

Next Month

We’ll be starting the new year January 20 with a workshop by Peter Fuehres on Ditigal Interfacing, "Playing along with the MIDI." Peter will demonstrate some basics about using a MIDI and give everyone a chance to play along with him and his MIDI. Please be sure to mark your calendar. As usual we will meet at 4 pm at Sleepy Hollow United Methodist Church.

Meanwhile, happy holidays to everyone!


More Ideas from Jim Vandelly

Okay, here goes again. This is the next chapter in Jim's ideas of things to do to an accordion:

A few days ago, I was browsing in WAL-MART's sports department--specifically the GUN department. I cam across a rifle-sling that is made of a non-skid material strong enough to support the weight of an accordion--especially the intermediate size instruments.

The sling has a short end of nylong webbing that fits well into the top strap loops. the bottom has a longer webbing to adjust the strap. The webbing is about 1" wide. I had some pieces of 2" webbing from the many extra luggage straps I have with my motorcycle luggage. So, I cut pieces of the 2" webbing and sewed it to the 1" webbing on the bottom of each gun-sling.

These straps cost about $10.00 each. That's a far cry from the $60 and up for those Italian straps that still come with metal buckles. You'd think that after all these years the Italians could come up with plastics that do not scratch the accordion. Every scratch that I have on my accordions and bayans has come from a strap-buckle.

I'm sure that for those of you who need new straps and don't want to spend a fortune of new ones, this idea will work for you.

My Bugari bayan is easier to play now, and the left strap no longer falls off my shoulder. The non-skid side of the straps help eliminate the need for backstraps for those of you who hate backstraps, as I do! I have arthritis in my shoulders that is so bad that I couldn't reach around to attach a backstrap in any case.

At our January meeting, I'll show you this item. By the way, you can also get an all-leather version for a few dollars more. It also has a non-skid side to prevent slipping.

Merry Christmas. Everyone sounded GREAT at Dale's concert. It was nice to see all the kids who have progressed over the years.

Jim Vandelly

"Legend in his own mind"