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December 28, 2011


Notes on the Holiday Concert

Experts agree: our 2011 Holiday Concert (on December 11) was our best ever. People commented on the humor, the variety, the warmth, the kids – and, of course, the great music. The buffet tables nearly groaned under the weight of all the platters of food, and after dinner a number of people voted with their feet: they got up and danced. What more could one ask!

Thanks a million to everyone who played, emcee’d, conducted, brought dishes, sat in the audience, sang, danced, and -- especially -- helped out in the kitchen, with the decorations, on the setup and cleanup, at the door, with the program, and with all the other tasks that went into making the event the delight that it was. We are all grateful to you.


January Meeting

Please note: the next WMAS meeting will be January 22 (at 4 pm at Sleepy Hollow United Methodist Church, as usual). We announced the wrong date at the concert and wanted to make sure you marked your new calendars correctly.

The agenda for the meeting will include approving the slate of officers for 2012. Peter DiGiovanni, Joan Grauman, and Mara Cherkasky are willing to continue for another year as, respectively, president, vice-president, and secretary/treasurer. If you would like to a chance to run for one of these offices, please let us know so we can put out the word, and please be sure to show up at the January 22 meeting for the vote.

After the business portion of the meeting, Joan will present a workshop on playing duets. Please bring your accordions, and please print out the attached music and practice it in preparation for the workshop.

Following the workshop we will have a play-along/jam session of snow and winter songs.

Time to Renew!

The January meeting will be a perfect time to renew your membership for 2012 if you have not already done so. We accept checks and cash: $20 for individual memberships and $30 for family/household memberships. We will not be mailing membership cards, but will have them for you at meetings. Please look for your card in the nametag box.


Merv Conn RIP

As you know, our friend Merv Conn died on Dec. 20. We have created a tribute page on our website, so please send us your thoughts or stories about Merv and we will post them on this site. Thanks! The Washington Post obituary and an article Rita Davidson put together are also posted there.


Accordion Stories on the Radio

If you missed this Jan. 9 NPR story about Italy’s accordion industry, you can listen to it online:


And then there was this one on NPR on Jan. 10 about how an accordion saved a family from the Nazis:



An Upcoming Radio Show

Dominic Karcic writes: Just wanted to share the information that Ray Oreggia and I will be part of a special radio tribute to accordionist Pete Spagnoli on the “Joe Farda American-Italian Music Hall Radio Hour” (93.5FM) at 2 pm on Sunday, January 22.

For people outside the listening area the show is available on the internet at www.wvipfm.com. There is a possibility that the show might not only be audible but also viewed lived on the site. (Please check out the site ahead of time in order to see if you have the correct software to access the program.)

On the program we will be discussing Pete Spagnoli’s life and career, and listening to several of his recordings with the Valtaro Musette Orchestra and also his own live performances.


Upcoming Events

The Rodger French Trio

Caboose Cafe
Saturday, January 21st; 6:30 - 8:30 PM
2419 Mt. Vernon Avenue
Alexandria, VA (in Del Rey)

Nice place, good food, no cover charge. Come by if you can.

* * * * *

Mike Surratt and the Continentals

Saturday, January 14, 8 pm-midnight - Blob's Park - Jessup, MD – www.blobspark.net or 410-799-7130
Sunday, January 29, 4-8 pm - Blob's Park - Jessup, MD – www.blobspark.net or 410-799-7130

* * * * *

Long Island Accordion Alliance

Dominic Karcic writes: If you are ever coming up north to the New York area try to plan your trip for the beginning of the month.

Our accordion club - Long Island Accordion Alliance (LIAA) - usually meets the first Tuesday of every month. We’d love to have all the WMAS members join us!

The next meeting will take place Tuesday, February 7, 2012 at

La Villini Restaurant, 288 Larkfield Road, East Northport, NY 11731, 631-261-6344, http://www.la-villini.com/.

February’s session will feature guest artist Emilio Magnotta. If you missed Emilio’s performance last year, make sure you don’t miss him this time. You will be impressed with his great playing.

If you play the accordion, please bring your instrument and play a “song or two.” This is open to anybody who plays the accordion no matter what your level of capability (beginner, intermediate, amateur, or professional). Everyone is welcome to participate!

Please see a recent article about the alliance at:


People who love to just listen to accordion music are most cordially invited to attend. Come join us! It is a fun evening. Bring your friends.

So, come on down! Have a great meal, enjoy the music and have some fun! Reservations are recommended: 631-261 6344

You can also e-mail your reservation to Frank Catania at: lavillini@yahoo.com

More information at dkarcic10@optonline.net .



Happy New Year! See you on January 22!





Accordionist Needed

Singer Robin Phillips is looking for an accordionist to accompany her. One who sings would be even better. Robin worked with Carmelo Pino for years. Please contact her at 703-288-9243.


Accordionists Needed for First Night Raleigh (NC)

I produce First Night Raleigh and am looking to hire some accordion players for our event New Year’s Eve. Let me know if you may be available/interested.

Terri Dollar
Program Director
Artsplosure/First Night® Raleigh/Arts Alive Raleigh
919.832.8699 X 802 (office)
919.832.0890 (fax)