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August 6, 2013


Meeting Notes

Sleepy Hollow United Methodist was a cool refuge on a hot July day, and those who turned out for the WMAS meeting on the 14th were further rewarded with a concert by fifteen-year-old Russian accordionist Liuba Pak. This was Liuba’s first concert during this visit to the United States; in fact she played within one day of her arrival, and she played superbly. Joan Grauman lent her an instrument and said, “My accordion never sounded better!”

Fortunately, you don’t have to take our word for it. Dan Grauman recorded the entire concert, and you can see it here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_7-dBaAgq2Y

Thanks go to Jim Vandelly for warming up the crowd!


Coming Up …

The American Accordionists’ Association’s 75th anniversary festival will take place at the New Yorker Hotel in New York City August 14-18, and you can still register, at www.ameraccord.com.

Members of our club are involved in the AAA event in various ways:

Peter DiGiovanni’s “Founders’ Tribute,” which the Potomac Ensemble played during our June 14 Founders and Fathers Concert, will be the opening selection at the Awards Ceremony on Saturday afternoon, August 17. Joan will lead a few musicians and Peter will recite the lyrics over the music.

Joan will present two workshops at the archival display in the exhibit room: “Carnegie Hall and the Accordion” at 8:30 am Thursday; and “The Women Who Made a Difference” at 8:30 am Friday.

The combined Busso Music Schools – including some of our members -- will compete at the event, as will our new honorary member, Liuba Pak.


A Night at Blob’s Park

Who wants to meet up at Blob’s Park on Saturday, August 31st? That’s the night the Schuplättler Verein Alt Washingtonia is holding its Stiftungsfest and 35th anniversary there, and it promises to be a great time.

Music will be supplied by a band from Lancaster, PA, “Die Immergrün Musikanten,” which of course includes an accordionist.

But local musicians will play, too. Event organizer Mike Leggett says there will also be a jam session during one (or more?) of the band’s breaks, because many members of Alt Washingtonia are musicians as well as dancers. Mike’s son Michael and his band will take a turn – many of us are fans of his.

If you would like to be included in the WMAS table reservation, please contact Mara by August 28.

Alt Washingtonia Stiftungsfest and 35th Anniversary
Saturday, August 31st, 6 pm-midnight
Max Blob’s Bavarian Biergarten
8024 Max Blobs Park Road
Jessup, MD 20794


Next Meetings

We will not meet in August, so our next meeting will be our Oktoberfest on September 15. Please sign up to play an appropriate dance or drinking tune. Please also invite your friends and family, and bring German-style dishes to share. As usual we will welcome help with setting up and cleaning up.

At our October 20 meeting we will welcome guest artist Joe Natoli in concert on his Roland. Joe was an AAA champion and the first International Roland Champion. We will be requesting an $8 donation of nonmembers, so this will be a good time to catch up on your 2013 dues.

Both the September 15 and the October 20 meetings will take place at our usual spot: Sleepy Hollow United Methodist Church in Falls Church, Virginia, starting at 4 pm.


Miscellany: a poem and a video

From Lee Paulson:
At Sunday's meeting, Rosalie Ciccotelli gave me the following poem from Carl Sandburg:

Happiness (from Chicago Poems 1916)

I asked professors who teach the meaning of life to tell me what is happiness.
And I went to famous executives who boss the work of thousands of men.
They all shook their heads and gave me a little smile as though I was trying to fool with them.
And then one Sunday afternoon I wandered out along the Des Plaines River.
And I saw a crowd of Hungarians under the trees with their women and children and a keg of beer and an accordion."

~ Carl Sandburg (1978-1967)


Also, Halina Banas-Jones sent this link to the trailer for a documentary on the accordion called Behind the Bellows:


The video includes information on how to purchase the entire film, which includes Joan Grauman and many other musicians you probably know.