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July 29, 2012


Meeting Notes

Last Sunday’s jam session was a first for us and, based on the comments of many participants afterwards, an experience we want to repeat. It was sort of like “show and tell” in kindergarten; it gave everyone who could drum up the courage the opportunity to be on stage. The idea was for folks – whoever wanted to – to learn a song by ear, preferably an easy one with minimal chord changes, and to play it for the group. Then, as others caught on they would join in, and we would play the song repeatedly so people had a chance to get it.

Picking up a song by ear is a learned skill – and a good one to have if you want to play with others at a party or in some other ad-hoc context -- so the more we do it, the easier it will become.

Ken’s sing-along demonstrated that it’s easier to learn by ear when you’re singing than when you’re playing the accordion. His contribution brought everyone into the circle, and the percussion instruments he distributed were a big hit. So was the little girls’ choir, made up of Donna and Val’s granddaughters. We hope to hear from them again.

We followed the jamming (and break for refreshments) with a play-along with sheet music shared by a couple of members.

Thanks to all for a fun afternoon! Especially to Lee Paulson for greeting us with tunes as we arrived at the meeting!


Upcoming Events

Remember: we will not be meeting in August, but Joyce Palmer has invited WMAS members to a house concert/picnic at her Capitol Hill home on Saturday, August 4, at 4 pm. Please email Joyce at joyce.palmer1@verizon.net to let her know you are coming and what dish you will bring. The concert will feature Robert Ford; and the party will start with strolling accordionist Nancy Leonard greeting folks as they arrive, from about 4 to 4:30 pm.

The September 23 meeting will feature guest artist Emmanuel Trifilio, from Argentina, on bandoneon. Please mark your calendars now!


Greetings to Joe Fertitta

President of the Maryland Accordion Club and WMAS member Joe Fertitta celebrated his 80th birthday on July 27. Many happy returns, Joe!


American Accordionists’ Association Festival

WMAS was a big presence at this year’s AAA Festival, July 11-15 at the Sheraton City Center Hotel in Baltimore. Our members competed, performed, and enthusiastically participated in all the events. Of course, having Joan Grauman on the AAA board is a big plus. She helped plan the festival and pushed for the inclusion of many of the younger and less well-known (to us) but very exciting performers.

For four days straight, hundreds of accordion enthusiasts enjoyed jazz, Gypsy jazz, classical, opera, folk, and modern music in concerts and workshops -- between rehearsals and trips to the exhibit hall to try out new instruments and look over CDs, books, sheet music, and accordion-themed clothing and jewelry. Of course, one of the best things about the festival is that it provides an opportunity to spend time with old friends, and new ones, too.

Several WMAS members participated in the Festival Orchestra and won trophies in the competitions, while others relaxed and enjoyed the festivities.

Featured performers who are also part of WMAS included the Potomac Ensemble, Robert Ford and his daughter Rocio (on castanets), and some members of the Busso Music School Show Band. WMAS members also performed at the opening night “Press and Squeeze” party.

Next year AAA will celebrate its 75th anniversary with a gala festival in Manhattan. Save the date: August 14-18, 2013, at the New Yorker Hotel, across from Penn Station.

By the way, the AAA Festival received lots of media coverage. Here are some links:

Baltimore Sun:

· http://www.baltimoresun.com/entertainment/arts/bs-ae-accordionists-festival-20120707,0,1658065,full.story

· http://www.baltimoresun.com/entertainment/arts/bal-md-accordion-festival-pg,0,6578241.photogallery

· http://www.baltimoresun.com/entertainment/arts/bal-accordionists-pg,0,167232.photogallery

· http://www.baltimoresun.com/videogallery/70955734/Entertainment/VIDEO-Accordionists-converging-on-Baltimore (video)

· http://www.baltimoresun.com/explore/baltimorecounty/events-entertainment/ph-ca-accordion-accompanist-0711-20120710,0,6241662,full.story (Youth Jazz Program)




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