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March 3, 2010


Meeting Notes

Eighty-five people turned out on Sunday, February 21, to celebrate our accordion club’s seventh birthday and our friend Merv Conn’s 90th birthday! We’d set up for about 50 and assumed that would be plenty, but people kept filing in, so we pulled out more tables and chairs, and then even more. The meeting had been billed as a dance party, and again we were surprised, because lots of people actually got up and danced. Maybe this was due to cabin fever, or maybe the music was just right. In any case, the party was a giant success and, what’s more, we were lucky once again and did not get snowed on, or snowed out, like so many other events did in February.

Emcee/entertainer Ken Kunec made things festive, as we now depend on him to do, and WMAS members and guests performed a wide variety of polkas and waltzes, as well as all kinds of other tunes. Joan Grauman taught the hora, and so many people joined in that we had two concentric circles going and were still squeezed for space.

After Merv arrived Joan spoke about his career and invited everyone to view the display of articles, pictures, sheet music, and other Merv items that she’d set up in the back of the room. Documentary maker Jeff Krulik was on hand to film the party and to mark the three years since his The Legend of Merv Conn premiered to a sold-out audience at the AFI Silver Theater on (more or less) Merv’s 87th birthday. As for Merv, he seemed thrilled to be feted, and offered up a mini-concert, which included his and our favorite, “You Made Me Love You.” Joan presented him with a “You Made Me Love You” birthday card, an amazing find on her part.

Thanks very much to Lee and Ron Paulson for providing the decorations, and to everyone else who pitched in with refreshments, setup, and cleanup. And thanks to everyone who came out and made the afternoon a success!

Photos of the party have been posted to the WMAS photo album. While you're there check out the whole load of other new photos that have been added recently.

Next Meeting

The next WMAS meeting will be Sunday, March 21, at 4 pm at Sleepy Hollow United Methodist Church. On the program: a workshop with Russkiye Musikanti ensemble from the Washington Balalaika Society. This will be something a little different and we’re all looking forward to it.


Our Mexican Friends on YouTube

Karen found this YouTube video by the Trio Zur musicians we hosted last year:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sGwJVRkKQMs. Check it out!


Polka Show on PBS

Thanks to James Okoniewski for alerting us to this.

The following TV show will be seen nationwide on PBS during the month of March. Please check your local listings and tell your friends.


JIMMY STURR AND HIS ORCHESTRA, filmed during the rollicking 2009 Polkapalooza Festival at Caesar’s Windsor Hotel and Casino in Canada, features Jimmy Sturr and His Orchestra performing some of the most popular polka hits of all time. He and his band are on the top 10 list of all-time Grammy® Award winners, having garnered 18 Grammy® Awards and more consecutive Grammy® nominations than anyone in Grammy® history.

JIMMY STURR AND HIS ORCHESTRA includes some beloved polka songs, including “Clarinet Polka,” “Tavern in the Town” and other favorites, along with timeless big band standards such as “In the Mood” and “Sing Sing Sing.” The orchestra also pays tribute to Lawrence Welk with a medley of Welk’s popular songs. Jimmy Sturr and His Orchestra have been delighting polka fans for decades. They tour nationally and internationally and constantly attract crowds of fans wherever their travels take them – including Carnegie Hall and Lincoln Center.

Act 1
• Medley
• “Dominique”
• Theme from “Ice Castles”
• “Tavern in the Town”
• “Sing, Sing, Sing”

Act 2
• “Izie La La”
• “Clarinet Polka”
• “Round and Round”
• “The Button Box Polka”
• “Champagne”

Act 3
• “Orange Blossom Special”
• “Bed of Roses”
• “Zippity Do Dah”
• “Hoop Dee Do”
• Lawrence Welk Medley
• Doo Wop Medley

Act 4
• “Let’s Polka Round”
• “In the Mood”
• “Gone”
• “Diggy Liggy”
• “This Land Is Your Land”
• Patriotic Medley

Underwriters: Public Television Viewers and PBS
Producer: International Media
Executive producers: Gustavo Sagastume, International Media; and Jack Lenz, Lenz Entertainment