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March 30, 2015


WMAS threw a terrific birthday bash on March 15. In a room decorated in green and filled with music, we danced, sang, ate cake, and marveled at how quickly 12 years have passed. Greeter Lee Paulson set the tone with a batch of Irish tunes at the beginning of the party, until master of ceremonies Ken Kunec took over at the mic. Joan Grauman taught (retaught) the hora, to get people up on their feet, and many of them stayed up for the waltzes and polkas that followed. Joe Kulick played “Happy Birthday” as a polka, as well as in various other styles. For our next birthday he’s promising “Teen Angel.”

We were happy to welcome some new, or nearly new faces. One was Simone Baron, a young classical and jazz musician (accordion, piano, composer, conductor) who recently relocated to the Washington area and already has performed at Twins Lounge on U Street in DC, and elsewhere. She played us a few tunes, including some duets with her friend Nathaniel Aguilar (drum, accordion), and also teamed up with Robert Ford later in the meeting on some Piazzolla compositions.

Of course, we were happy to have our regulars performing as well. We love and appreciate all of you.

After the solos, a large group played through the St. Patrick’s Day-inspired sheet music that Joan had brought, and so ended the party.

Thanks go to Connie Racioppa for the beautiful decorations, and to everyone who helped make the celebration a success.

Looking Ahead

We are thrilled to be hosting Dan “Daddy Squeeze” Newton in concert on Sunday, April 19, at 4 pm. Please invite everyone you know, especially fans of the radio show Prairie Home Companion, which features Dan regularly. Since this is a guest artist concert, we will be asking nonmembers for an $8 donation, so April will be a good time to renew. By the way, JoAnn Pankow and Joan Grauman will be the greeters, so please arrive early to hear them.

Our May 17 meeting will feature button boxes played in various styles. So far we’ve signed up Sylvia Eberly and Frank Vidergar. Cody McSherry may also participate, and Joan will demonstrate the one-row Cajun box.