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February 26, 2008


Meeting Notes

WMAS celebrated its fifth birthday February 17 with three renditions of “Happy Birthday” (one for Mary Elizabeth Smith, also born in that date) and a cake decorated with a frosting accordion. The day’s program featured lots of music and dancing, and the debut of our newest star, DJ Geezken (aka Ken Kunec), who got the party rolling with a song about a birthday suit (“I Just Don’t Look Good Naked Anymore”). Dancers had ample opportunity to tire themselves out on polkas and waltzes, but most were still game to learn an Israeli folk dance. This was taught by Joan Grauman who then deftly strapped on her accordion to join her husband Dan on melodeon, leaving the dancers to fend for themselves. A rousing chicken dance closed out the session. A good time was had by all.

We will try to be more serious next month (March 16), when Peter DiGiovanni will teach us how to use fakebooks. Afterwards Joan Grauman will lead us in some Irish tunes. Hope to see you then, if not before

Two good concerts are coming up.

Guy Klucevsek & Alan Bern will perform this Saturday, March 1, at An Die Musik, 409 N. Charles Street in Baltimore. They’re playing two sets: 8 pm and 9:30 pm, and tickets are $20. More info is at http://www.andiemusiklive.com.

Then, next Thursday, March 6, accordionist Stefan Hussong and trombonist Mike Svoboda will perform at the Freer Gallery of Art’s Meyer Auditorium. The concert starts at 7:30 pm, and there’s a pre-concert gallery tour of the Arts of Japan at 6:45. Free tickets required at <http://www.asia.si.edu/events/performances.asp##>

The Freer is on Independence Ave. at 12th St., SW, near the Smithsonian Metro Station.

Here’s more info:

German accordionist Stefan Hussong's frequent tours to Japan have inspired composers there to write more than forty works for him. For this concert, Hussong presents his own adaptation of ancient Japanese gagaku music, new works written for him by Keiko Harada and Joji Yuasa, and music by Cage, Frescobaldi, Stockhausen, and Piazzolla. Hussong recently won the Record of the Year award from Japan Record Guide, and he has appeared with the Tokyo Philharmonic Orchestra. Mike Svoboda collaborated throughout the 90s with the late Karlheinz Stockhausen, and has premiered music by Frank Zappa and Xenakis.

Presented in conjunction with the exhibition Patterned Feathers, Piercing Eyes: Edo Masters from the Price Collection.


And then, of course, the American Accordion Musicological Society’s festival is March 7-9 in Valley Forge, Pa. It’s not too late to register at http://www.aamsaccordionfestival.com. The Potomac Ensemble will be performing in a workshop at 12:30 pm on Saturday, March 8, and the rest of the program looks interesting, too.

The Latest from Michael B. Rubin

Michael B. Rubin has joined the InterPlay Band (www.interplayband.org) on accordion. InterPlay is a 15-year-old award-winning band of between 50 and 60 adult musicians with and without developmental and/or physical disabilities where the majority of players with disabilities do not and probably will not read music. The band includes former and current members of the National Symphony Orchestra and performs at Strathmore Hall in Rockville, MD.