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May 21, 2009


Meeting Notes

Guests and members alike enjoyed the latest edition of our annual spring concert, on May 17. The array of styles – from Mozart to musette and from folk to rock – was proof that our instrument can do it all. Soloists included Bob Juszczyk, Phil Fox, Yimin Zhuang, JoAnn Pankow, Peter DiGiovanni, and newcomer Marcy Stech. In addition several duos performed: Joan Grauman and JoAnn; Peter and Joan; and Lee Paulson and Peter; and Joan’s Potomac Ensemble played three new pieces.

We missed Karen Uribe, our president and Potomac Ensemble member, who was sick at home.


Followup to May Meeting

After the April meeting Dick Dangel submitted a couple of pages that he thought might interest people who enjoyed Lenny Feldmann’s presentation. One page shows a blues progression that is slightly different from the one Lenny presented, but it elaborates into many useful keys. It also presents a slightly different blues scale. The scales are written in bass clef because this was originally intended for guitarists and bassists.

The other page, from jazz musician Jamey Aebersold, shows how to view scales when you play jazz. It tells you how to construct the various scales in terms of whole and half tones. If you would like PDFs of these pages, please email your request to mcherkasky@verizon.net.


Classes with Mary Tokarski

Would you like to take a master class with Mary Tokarski? Back by popular demand, Mary will be staying at Joan and Dan’s house and giving one-hour classes on Saturday, June 13. Each one-hour session will be $60.00. If two or more people want to take a class together, it will be the same price: $60.00 per hour. As most of you know, Mary is a concert accordionist who performs both nationally and internationally as a soloist and as a member of the delightful "K" Trio. She has just returned from a tour of China with the Mantovani Orchestra.

Please check your calendars and contact Joan at (301) 279-8716 or joangrauman@comcast.net to reserve your master class with Mary.

If necessary, she can hold two classes on Sunday late morning and early afternoon, June 14.


June Meeting

Speaking of June 14, don't miss our WMAS meeting that day! We will be treated to a concert by the accordionist of the U.S. Air Force Strolling Strings, Frank Busso, Jr. Frank will also talk to us about growing up in an accordion school environment. His father, Frank Busso, Sr., owns the Staten Island Music School where he teaches accordion.

As an added bonus, Frank, Sr., will join his son for some duets. Mark your calendars!


Fairlington Church

Karen has been asked to play for the Fairlington Church’s 10:30 am service on August 23, and has assembled a set of easy hymns. If you would like to join Karen, please contact her at wmas2002@cox.net. Thanks!


How to Submit a Calendar Item or Classified Ad

When you submit an item for posting on the WMAS web site, please be sure to provide complete information. If it’s an event, include the location, date, time, ticket price, how to buy tickets or make reservations, a contact phone number and email address, web site, and perhaps a description of the event.

For classified ads, include a description of the item – and a photo if you like (in JPEG format) – along with the price and seller’s contact information.

The webmaster thanks you!


The Strolling Strings

As you may be aware, the Strolling Strings are now performing Sunday brunch at the Gaylord Resort and Convention Center at National Harbor (http://www.gaylordhotels.com/gaylord-national). The management is offering a special promotion until the end of June to friends of Stereo Strings only. If you are interested and would like to receive a coupon, please contact Lou Coppola at lou@loucoppola.com. Whether you come for brunch or not, you should visit this location and marvel at the soaring 18-story glass-enclosed atrium (always a perfect 72 degrees inside!) with an expansive and breathtaking view of the bridge, harbor and Potomac River.

Hope to see you soon!



On Monday, April 6, 2009, the Abruzzi region of Italy -- including the capital city, L’Aquila, and 26 villages -- was struck by a violent earthquake.

It is almost impossible to imagine the devastation that has occurred to this beautiful region of Italy. The tiny villages are nestled into the majestic mountains, and you can sometimes see the peaks covered with crystal white snow, even in June. In the summer you can hike into the mountains and pick snow-white mushrooms or a flower that you have never seen before. The silence of these mountains brings solace and peace to anyone who has been there.

But everything changed April 6. Village upon village has been destroyed, homes and churches demolished; the Piazza, a gathering place where fresh mountain water springs from the fountains, no longer exists. Hundreds of tents cover the grassy fields and gardens where the people once harvested their crops.

On Monday, June 22, 2009, at 7:30 pm, internationally acclaimed artists Mary Mancini, vocalist, and Mario Tacca, accordionist, will perform at the Paramount Center for the Arts, 1018 Brown St., Peekskill, New York, for the benefit of the people in Abruzzi. Also performing will be radio and TV personality/comic “Uncle Floyd” Vivino; vocalist Steve Ritrovato, offering songs of Frank Sinatra and Bobby Darin; and the Philadelphia-based big band, City Rhythm Orchestra.

For ticket information, call Paramount Center for the Arts: 1-877-840-0457 Additional information is available at www.gioiaproductions.com or 914-737-8872; or American Accordionists’ Association - www.ameraccord.com.

Donations can also be made by check payable to “Abruzzi Earthquake Fund” and mailed to 175 King St. Chappaqua, NY 10514 – Attn: Dr. Joseph Ciccone.

Faithe Deffner Tribute - Save the Date

On Sunday, September 20, at 12:30 pm at Tavern on the Green in New York City, AAA will honor long-time member and former AAA president Faithe Deffner for her extraordinary contributions to the accordion world. The event planning committee, headed by Dr. Salvatore Febbraio, includes Frank Busso, Sr., Dr. Joseph Ciccone, Kevin Friedrich, Joan Grauman, Marilyn O’Neil, Dr. William Schimmel, and AAA President Linda Soley Reed. The committee is organizing a star-studded concert that will start immediately following dinner. Artists and program will be announced shortly.

New AAA Logo Silver Necklace

The AAA board commissioned Joan Grauman to design a sterling silver necklace featuring the AAA logo, and the necklaces are now for sale. The design is suitable for men or women. Only a limited number are available, so they will become collectors’ items. The price per necklace is $35.00 (plus $2.00 shipping), which according to Joan is an amazingly low price for this weight of sterling jewelry. Order now and pick up at the AAA Festival to save the shipping and handling. Make checks payable to AAA and mail to Linda Reed, 152 Home Fair Drive, Fairfield, CT 06825 - MasterCard or Visa also accepted. LOCALS may order necklaces directly from Joan and pick them up at the June 14 club meeting. Again, make your check for $35.00 per necklace payable to AAA.