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March 25, 2010


Meeting Notes

WMAS celebrated the arrival of spring in glorious fashion last Sunday with Russkiye Musikanti. On a lovely sunny afternoon, this 10-member ensemble, an outreach group from the Washington Balalaika Society, played us a one-hour concert. It was a great way to hear how the accordion can be used in an ensemble with other instruments.

Peter DiGiovanni, who is both WMAS President and accordionist with Russkiye Musikanti, introduced the instruments and brightly costumed musicians, and provided commentary on each piece. The group played the following selections:

Black Shawl

Lonely Accordion

Bubentsy - Anya Titova, soprano

Daydreams - Jan Bohm, prima balalaika solo

Welcome, Sasha - original composition by Peter DiGiovanni

I Remember the Beautiful Sound of the Waltz - Anya Titova, soprano

To Ne Veter - duet - Peter DiGiovanni, accordion, and Dick Hulan, bayan

Russian Sher - duet - Peter DiGiovanni, accordion, and Steve Luchter, clarinet

A Broken Life - duet - Peter DiGiovanni, accordion, and Steve Luchter, clarinet

Happy Gypsy - original composition by Peter DiGiovanni

Play my Bagpipe - Jan Bohm, prima balalaika solo

Romance from the Gadfly - Zhenya Tochenaya (WBS Concertmistress) tenor domra solo

Prisla Bom Pomlad - arranged by Peter DiGiovanni for Russkiye Musikanti

Russian Intermezzo - arranged by Peter DiGiovanni for Russkiye Musikanti

Fisherman's Revelry - Anya Titova, soprano

Gypsy Dance

Afterwards Peter passed out lead sheets so WMAS folks could play some traditional Russian folk favorites along with some of the Russkiye Musikanti members. Songs included Gari Gari, Brightly Shines the Moon, Korobushka, Troika, Lara's Theme, Those Were the Days, Ukhar Kupets, and the Ural Rowan Tree.

More information about the Washington Balalaika Society and its upcoming concerts can be found at www.balalaika.org.


Important Information and Upcoming Events

--Joan Grauman, WMAS Vice-President

Many of us are getting sheet music requests for the pieces we have been performing at our club meetings. Here are a few sources for the music.

All of Stas Venglevski’s pieces, including his duets, are available in books (some include CDs) and can be purchased from Stas, stasvenglevski@sbcglobal.net. You can also visit his website, www.stasv.com, to see what is available.

For Frank Marocco’s compositions and arrangements, you will need to e-mail him directly, as his “store” is being updated: frankmarocco@yahoo.com. Frank sells books with CDs, and also single pieces.

For just about everything else, we have a terrific resource right in our “backyard.” Ernest Deffner Publications, now in Alexandria, has the largest collection of accordion music available. Contact Frank Busso (Busso Music) by phone: 703-941-9300, or e-mail him at ernestdeffner@aol.com for a complete catalogue of accordion sheet music and music books. I plan to visit Frank in the next week or so and I will pick up some catalogues for the April meeting.

April Meeting - Bruce Gassman in Concert

Speaking of the April meeting – WMAS will be having our spring “guest artist” concert on Sunday, April 18 at 4 pm. Bruce Gassman, rock accordionist extraordinaire, will be our featured artist. Here’s what Rita Davidson, editor of Accordion USA, has to say about him: “Bruce Gassman is total accordion entertainment. I heard him perform several times at the NAA last week in Dallas. I thoroughly enjoyed each performance. Bruce Gassman is Rock and Roll Accordion personified! Do not miss his unique presentation!”

Grayson Masefield in Concert

Also, please mark your calendars for a wonderful afternoon of accordion music on May 1 at the Silver Spring Masonic Temple. We are so pleased to be able to bring Grayson Masefield, the 22-year-old 2009 Coupe Mondiale champion, to our area for this special event. The concert begins at 2 pm and will be followed by a reception. Please forward the attached flyer to your friends and post it on bulletin boards in your area. For more information, you can contact me at: joangrauman@comcast.net or by phone, 301-806-5998.


Dale Wise is holding a free, one-day accordion repair clinic on Saturday April 24, 9 - 5:30 in Burr Hill, Virginia. WMAS members can reserve a spot by calling Dale at 540-854-5209 or sending him an email at accordionplus@aol.com.