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March 20, 2007


Meeting Notes

WMAS entered its fifth year on a high note. In celebration of our fourth birthday and our move to Sunday afternoons, we were thrilled to welcome the acclaimed Busso Trio for a concert that was attended by almost 80 people. Ever since we learned that Christina Busso was living in Alexandria, we had been hoping. And when Frank Busso Jr. signed on as Air Force accordionist and moved to the area as well, we figured our chances of getting Frank Busso Sr. down here had doubled. As soon as we learned we would be able to move our meetings to Sunday afternoons, we did not waste any time, and the Busso parents decided this past weekend was a good time to visit from Staten Island. We were rewarded with a truly outstanding performance.

Thanks to all who helped out, especially Luis Uribe, Lee and Ron Paulson, and Jim Vandelly for setting up the room; Peter DiGiovanni for procuring the new sign; and Joan Grauman for working out the details with the Bussos.

The executive committee has decided we should bring in a guest artist about every six months, depending on how this first concert worked out. It was a resounding success, so the plan will proceed.

Jim Vandelly has donated a microphone to the club, and Joan has donated a mic stand. We’re now good to go on concerts, and all the club had to purchase was some cords.

Merv Conn Tribute

The accordion has been all over the news lately, mainly thanks to Jeff Krulik’s documentary The Legend of Merv Conn, which premiered at the AFI Silver Theatre February 18. The program – which featured live music by Dale Wise, the Potomac Ensemble (and Merv Conn), as well as a “21-accordion salute” to Merv and Jim Vandelly on bayan in the lobby -- was a phenomenal success and sold out in advance. AFI therefore scheduled a second screening, which might also have sold out except that a blizzard hit the area that day. Still, a respectable number of hardy people showed up, and the show went on, sans 21-accordion salute. But the audience was happy anyway; people raved about both shows. Links to photos are on the WMAS home page, www.washingtonaccordions.org.

By the way, the AFI Silver Theatre will screen the film again Friday, April 20, at 2 pm. Tickets will be available at www.afi.com/silver.

Joan Grauman put together a lovely “Tribute to Merv” scrapbook with clippings related to the film premiere and photos taken at the event and the encore, birthday greetings, and other memorabilia. She and Mara Cherkasky presented the scrapbook to Merv after the March 18 Busso Trio concert.


Our next meeting, on Sunday, April 15 at 4 pm, will feature a workshop by Jim Vandelly on quick accordion repairs. And this time we will actually have that open mic we’ve been talking about for several months now! So bring your accordions.

We are looking for volunteers to help before and/or after meetings setting up refreshments. If you could give us a hand we’d appreciate it!


Magic Mountain Duo at Café Mozart

Magic Mountain Duo, aka Silvia Eberly and Peter Fuehres, will debut at Café Mozart this Sunday evening, March 25, between 5 and 8 pm. Reservations are recommended!

Café Mozart
1331 H Street, N.W.
Washington, D.C.
(202) 347-5732

More information at www.cafemozartgermandeli.com.

Quartetto Gelato in Concert

Saturday, March 24, at 8 pm
Historic Dumbarton Church
3133 Dumbarton Street
Georgetown (Washington, DC 20007)

Quartetto Gelato is a quartet of incredibly talented musicians, one of whom is an accordionist, viola player, and arranger for the group. The others play oboe, English horn, violin, mandolin, cello, and guitar. (Obviously each performer plays more than one instrument.) The group plays primarily classical pieces; this concert will include the music of Ravel, Weber, Brahms, Kodaly and more.

Tickets are $30; seniors and students $26

More info at (202) 965-2000,office@dumbartonconcerts.org, or www.dumbartonconcerts.org.

Stas Venglevski and John Simkus in Concert

Also, don’t forget to mark your calendars for the Stas Venglevski and John Simkus concert on Sunday, April 22, at the Masonic Temple, University Boulevard West, in Silver Spring. These two are amazing musicians, so you don’t want to miss this concert. Joan and Dan Grauman, and Stella Allison, are the sponsors. Tickets are $15. For more information, call Joan at 301-806-5998, or email joangrauman@comcast.net.

More events are listed on the WMAS Calendar.

Brat Night – Accordionist Needed

Liz Davis at the Dairy Godmother, formerly known as the Del Ray Dreamery, is thinking about holding a brat night in May but needs an accordionist (maybe for tips only). More information and contacts are at http://www.dairygodmother.com, info@TheDairyGodmother.com, 703-683-7767. The Dairy Godmother is as 2310 Mount Vernon Avenue, Alexandria, VA 22301.

Update: Silvia Eberly will play at the May Brat Night.