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June 22, 2008



Meeting Notes

For the second year in a row WMAS celebrated Fathers Day with a concert. Our emcee, Ken Kunec, entertaining as usual, warmed up the crowd of about 60 people with a sing-along of “We Will Rock You,” then introduced the solo, duo, and ensemble performances. This was a great opportunity for our members to play in front of an appreciative audience, and the result was a wonderful variety of musical styles.

At next month’s meeting, July 20, Richard Dangel will play and sing the standards – which he defines as “songs that have a melody, an interesting chord progression, familiar and pleasing lyrics, and hopefully a rhythm.” Dick explains that he prefers jazz dissonant chords and couples those harmonic explorations with strong bass leading. He considers playing while singing a lifetime challenge and still a work in progress for him.

This should be a great program! Afterwards, there will be a chance to jam, so please bring your instruments.

More information on the WMAS calendar.



Volunteer(s) Needed to Organize Sheet Music

Karen is looking for someone to help her with putting the three boxes of music her dad gave me into a data base. She will be working on that in July during the day and in the evenings. The bonus would be that the volunteer(s) get to keep any duplicate copies of songs. Please contact Karen at wmas2002@cox.net.


News from Remote Outposts (Ben and Brigitte Valenti in South Florida)

Hi All,

We had our first meeting Monday, June 2, and thought it was a great success. The meeting was attended by 12 accordion lovers, seven of whom played the accordion regularly at some time in their lives and some who were professionals. There seem to be a lot of those in Florida. We are hoping that this is just the beginning. A good time was had by all as they were entertained by Ralph Michaels, Carol Schiror, Doreen Stuart, Peter Lapira, Bobby Collins, Norberto, and me (Brigitte).

Photos taken at the meeting can be seen on our website at: www.AccordionClubofSouthFlorida.com . Note: We also found our Merv Conn. He is Ralph Michaels of the famous Punchenellos of Florida. He is only 84 and plays and sings just like Merv. This little 5-foot man is one ball of fire, but we need to hold him back the next time or he will play and sing the whole time.

Let me tell you what else happened. No anouncement showed up in the Palm Beach Post as promised. Needless to say I was very upset to have spent all this time and making many phone calls with the paper and then nothing. So when I called the young lady to question it, she got very snotty with me and told me next time pay for it and then you will have it for sure in the paper. That did not sit too well with me and I spoke to her supervisor. She appologized a lot and promised it will be in this time. But here is the kicker: She knows the fellow who writes the comics and he plays the accordion and she gave me his number. He got all excited about the club developing and showed up at my house this morning with his accordion and a camera man and, and interviewed me and played with me. It is now going to show up on the home page of the Palm Beach Post's website. They said it would be about two weeks and that they would call me and give me a heads-up. I will let you all know when it is going to appear. The bad thing, however, is that I was so nervous that I could hardly play. So this is really going to be interesting.

Brigitte and Ben


Accordions at the Smithsonian Folklife Festival

This year's festival features Texas, the state that might have contributed more to American music than any other. This is also the state of which it has been said: For every 12 families there are 13 accordions.

The festival, held on the National Mall, runs June 25-29 and July 2-6. You can look forward to concerts featuring a wide variety of music styles -- and an amazing lineup of musicians -- every day and most evenings, as well as workshops. For example, a workshop on building accordions is scheduled for Sunday, June 29, at 4:30 pm. All events are free.

Schedules and more information are at http://www.folklife.si.edu/festival/2008/index.html

The Smithsonian Folklife Festival is one of the best reasons to live in Washington. Don't miss it!


Accordion players in the news! - - the NYT editorial pages. ~ Submitted by Louise Neu

WEEK IN REVIEW | June 15, 2008
Correspondence: Thanks, Weird Al, You Model American
A globe-trotting dad leads his sons to their roots. And vice versa.