(Visit the news archive for past announcements)

(To post a news item,
e-mail mcherkasky@verizon.net)


January 17, 2011


Meeting Notes

Happy New Year! Those who braved the cold on January 9 came away with some good ideas on how to make a song “your own.” Peter DiGiovanni passed out sheet music and led the group through a version of “Frosty the Snowman” that grew more complex by the measure. Grace notes were the embellishment; they were followed by right-hand chords, runs, and arpeggios, and of course bass variations. Peter also distributed and explained his circle of fifths chart, which you can find at Lessons.

Dick Dangel’s workshop came next. Dick demonstrated how he takes a Tin Pan Alley/jazz standard and turns it into something more complex and interesting. In follow-up emails, he explained more:

I had some questions after my presentation about chords. The first two pages of this handout (attached) contain an excellent description of commonly used chords (without getting into the altered chords). Members could get plenty to work with just in the first two pages, which explain seventh, ninth, 11th, and 13th chords. Also note that the circle of fifths (perfect fourths if you go counterclockwise) perfectly illustrates the concept of tritones I was talking about. Each tritone pair can be determined by simply drawing a diameter line connecting the two. So C connects with F#, etc.

The handout will be posted at Lessons.


Next Month

On February 13 WMAS will celebrate its eighth birthday with a Valentine’s Day-themed dance party. Please sign up to play (by replying to this email) and please put the date on your calendar. Tell all your friends and family members, especially those who love to dance.

As usual, we will meet at 4 pm at Sleepy Hollow United Methodist Church, 3435 Sleepy Hollow Road, Falls Church, VA 22044.

Please bring snacks to share. Birthday cake will be provided.



Mike Surratt and the Continentals at Blob’s Park January 30, 4-8 pm

Please contact Nancy Leonard by January 25 (301-871-2995, email accordionstar@verizon.net ) if you plan to attend so that she may reserve a table for WMAS.


Sergio Fresco at Cantina Mamma Lucia

Saturday, January 22, 6-9 pm
1350 Dorsey Rd., Rt.176
Hanover, MD 21076

The restaurant is very close to Arundel Mills Mall near BWI.


ISO Accordionist for a Restaurant!

I am attempting to arrange for an accordion player/singer to entertain once a month (strolling) in my very nice restaurant in Annapolis, Md. I want to have an Italian Night-maybe on Sundays -- maybe 5:30-8:30 pm. Playing and singing is preferred but just playing might also work.

Dick Franyo, Owner
Boatyard Bar & Grill
400 Fourth Street
Annapolis, Md. 21403


ISO Accordionist for a Band

What's the only way more people are going to play the accordion? Exposure, exposure, exposure. Stemming from a strong love for world music, and an overall awe and love of the many genres and instruments that claim the accordion, I have found a way to give the accordion its rightful place in the hearts of the next generation. Curious? Keep reading ...

My bandmates and I are creating a unique take on the "cover band." Essentially, I know most accordionists out there play covers, but to a limited "niche" audience.Therefore, we have created a cover band that takes popular tunes from a more "modern era" (i.e. rock and roll from the 50's to the present day) and spun the genre. For example, we might take the song "American Pie" and do a "Cold War" version that re-imagines it as a Russian folk song; melody intact but instrumentation, beat, and rhythms changed. Or take a Beatles song and make it zydeco.

It is not for the faint of heart, and the toughest element has been finding you, an accordionist. Age is not of importance; willingness to learn and adapt and grow/push yourself musically as a musician is. If there is a genre proposed, it is expected that all members prepare independently pre-practice in terms of listening and brainstorming on their instrument in the new style. We come together for practice and piece it together. Two practices a month, and, we hope, a monthly gig residency (to be determined). Genres rearrange after each gig. No more than one gig per month.

Because our group is not limited by any specific type of genre, it is also imperative that you play an additional instrument, such as piano/keyboards (or something else). Skill level does not need to be tops in it, but this is so that you can still contribute to songs that come from genres that don’t involve the accordion (for ex. Motown/soul). But at this point, we would love anyone who was willing to tackle genres that DID include the accordion. You just might not play on every song.

Are you out there? Does this excite you? We're searching for a needle in a haystack here, but this is your chance to give the amazing accordion its rightful place in the hearts of so many more poor souls who just haven't had the chance to hear it.

Please contact Todd at: coversiontheband@gmail.com