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January 17, 2010


Meeting Notes

In our first meeting of the new decade, on January 10, the Washington Metropolitan Accordion Society approved new (and continuing) officers: Peter DiGiovanni, president; Joan Grauman, vice president; and Mara Cherkasky, secretary/treasurer. Rounding out the Executive Committee will be Phil Fox, membership chair; Lee Paulson, production chair; and JoAnn Pankow, social chair.

As you probably know, Karen Malan-Uribe, who founded WMAS in 2003, decided recently that she needed a break and therefore would be “retiring” from the club’s presidency. She says she looks forward to sitting in the audience and enjoying the meetings, though. We offer Karen and Luis our sincere thanks for everything they’ve done, from getting the club started and keeping it going to lugging large bins full of supplies every month and running the kitchen. And we look forward to sharing more fun times at upcoming meetings and events.

The January 10 meeting was billed as show and movie tune night, and quite a few members stepped up:

Potomac Ensemble – Exodus & Alexander’s Ragtime Band

Phil Fox – Once Upon a Time & What Now My Love?

Mara Cherkasky & Rick Nunno – Amarcord & Valse d’Amélie (with Rick Beckman)

Yimeng Huang – La Noyée (from Amélie)

Dick Dangel – Lazy Bones & Stardust (Hoagie Carmichael)

Joe Kulick - Love Me Tender (in honor of Elvis’s 75th birthday) and selections from Oklahoma

JoAnn Pankow – Lara’s Theme (from Dr. Zhivago)

Joan Grauman - All the Things You Are (Jerome Kern)

Yimin Zhuang - Lord of the Rings

Peter DiGiovanni – South Pacific Medley

Emcee Ken Kunec – Fiddler on the Roof and Sunrise, Sunset (plus first eight bars from Dizzy Fingers and lots of jokes)


Next Month

At the February 21 meeting WMAS will celebrate its seventh birthday with a dance party. Please polish your polkas and waltzes and sign up to play. We would really like to get folks dancing, so if you have any good ideas for how to do that, please send them along.

We will also celebrate Merv Conn’s 90th birthday at the meeting – and will make every effort to get him there.

Naturally we will be serving birthday cake, but please plan to bring other snacks and beverages. And please invite your family and friends!


Message from Outgoing President Karen Malan-Uribe

I just wanted to write a quick note to thank everyone for their hugs and kind words at Sunday’s meeting as I stepped down from our group’s presidency. Your testimonials, letters, and of course Peter’s wonderful poem [see below] meant so much to me. I am grateful to the WMAS members who have stepped up to fill the vacant positions on the Executive Committee. For our club to continue to thrive – and be fun -- it is very important that we have a strong executive committee, a group of people willing to take on administrative and financial tasks and to meet every few months (separate from the regularly scheduled meetings) to plan programs and activities, and make sure the club is observing its mission and bylaws. Most of us only see the fun part of the meetings. But quite a bit of work goes into making everything run smoothly. I really appreciate the dedication that is being shown.

The accordion is an instrument that is better when it is shared with others. We become better musicians when we play in front of others, be it in duets, trios, ensembles, bands, or as soloists. The club has created an atmosphere in which people have the confidence to spend a lot of money on an instrument that will enhance their talent, knowing that they will have a place to come and play their wonderful new instrument, learn as they watch others, and laugh at their own mistakes. As result, this club will flourish for a long time.


Announcements from Vice President Joan Grauman

Thank you for everything, Karen! What a wonderful job you have done for us for the past seven years. You are truly appreciated.

Here are a few news items and an upcoming accordion event not to be missed!

* Please check out the AccordionUSA article on “Holidays Concerts in Virginia”: http://www.accordionusa.com/default.aspx#art346

* See also the article on Mary Tokarski, who will be performing in Maryland on Saturday night, February 13: http://www.accordionusa.com/default.aspx#art327

* Mary Tokarski Performs Astor Piazzolla's "Aconcagua: Concerto for Bandoneon and Orchestra" with the Prince George’s Philharmonic, Charles Ellis conducting

Saturday, February 13, 2010, 8 pm
Queen Anne Auditorium
Prince George's Community College
Largo, MD
For tickets and information contact:
Prince George's Philharmonic
7833 Walker Drive, Suite 430
Greenbelt, MD 20770

* Look for the latest issue of Making Music in your local music store. It contains an article called “Accordion Craze” featuring the Martin Music Center Accordion Orchestra. For those who attended the AAA Festival in Memphis last summer, you will remember that Randy Martin (co-founder of Martin Music in California) was our wonderful guest conductor for the AAA orchestra. His arrangement of rock ‘n’ roll classics (in honor of Elvis) was terrific.

* Lenny Feldmann has just posted, on YouTube, the duets that he and I played at his April “Guest Artist” concert at WMAS:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PI4AMmS3l-s&feature=related Mademoiselle de Paris

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5aunQ0UjBL4 Mexican Carnival

* The Brookside Gardens annual light show was closed on December 20 because of the blizzard, so the Potomac Ensemble was unable to perform that night. However, the Ashgrove Players, with Lee Paulson on accordion in an otherwise all-string folk ensemble, was a big hit at Brookside on January 3. The ensemble members came to cheer her on and also to celebrate Lee and Ron’s 51st wedding anniversary.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * *


By Peter DiGiovanni,
on behalf of all WMAS members – January 10, 2010

There was a young teacher from V A
Who loved to make music her own way.
So without hesitation
Came this strong proclamation,
“I want to promote accordion appreciation,
So let’s form a new club today!”

Her friends said, “A new club? Oh, yes!
We’ll give it a full court press”!
From the very first measure
It has been a great pleasure.
Your brainchild has become a regional treasure.
Thanks, Karen, for W M A S!

Thanks for your hard work and foresight
That brought this Club into the limelight.
Seventy members and growing,
We all take pride in knowing,
That you had the vision to get this Club going.
As our Founding President you’re topflight!