(Visit the news archive for past announcements)

(To post a news item,
e-mail mcherkasky@verizon.net)


May 29, 2012


Meeting Notes

WMAS celebrated spring with the annual member concert on May 20. The weather has been all over the place, but somehow we hit it right and were able to leave the doors open to let the beautiful day in and the music out to ride the breeze into the neighborhood.

A new feature at our meetings is to have music starting about 3:50, as people arrive, and wrapping up when we start the announcements a little after 4 pm. Given that we’re a roomful of musicians, we figured: why not give someone the opportunity to perform and also make things more festive for everyone else. Pat Racioppa took the inaugural gig at the April meeting, and Joan Grauman and JoAnn Pankow played this month: “Under Paris Skies,” “Domino,” “Zum Abschied,” and “Black and White Rag.”

One of the best reasons to hold a concert is to see what Ken Kunec will come up with in the way of jokes and songs, and he did not disappoint. The jokes will not be recounted here – you really had to be there – but his musical selections were “The Girl with Gardenias in Her Hair” and “The Loser,” whose chorus went: “You're close, but you're not quite there. I'd like to help you with your problem, but I sincerely do not care.” He learned that one at a past Washington Folk Festival at Glen Echo.

In any case, the concert received rave reviews from the crowd in attendance.

Here’s the rest of the line-up:

Pat Racioppa: “Memories” (Webber)
Yimin Zhuang: “Rhapsody in Blue” (Gershwin)
Silvia Eberly & Michael Leggett: two polkas (Silvia played spoons on the second one)
Karen Malan-Uribe, Meryl Benenati, Yimeng Huang – “Mattinata” (Ruggiero Leoncavallo with a third part by Joan Grauman) & “Adios Muchachos” (H. Sanders)
Karen and Luis Uribe (on toy chimes): “Valse d’Amelie” (Yann Tiersen)
Donato Soranno, vocals, accompanied by Peter DiGiovanni: “O Sole Mio” and “Funiculi Funicula”
Robert Ford: “Oblivion” (Astor Piazzolla)
Paul Aebersold: “Slaves’ Chorus” from Nabucco (Verdi)
Joan and JoAnn - “Black and White Rag” (Botsford with second part by Stella Allison)
Peter DiGiovanni and Lee Paulson: “Florentiner March” (Julius Fucik)
Peter and Joan: “Waltz from Faust” (Gounot)
Mike Anderson: “St. Louis Blues” (Handy)
Michael Leggett – “Boehmischer Traum Polka” (the piece for which he took 2nd place in the vituroso category at the accordion competition in Whippany NJ)
Potomac Ensemble – “Mademoiselle de Paris” and “Varsity Drag”

Upcoming WMAS Meetings/Events

Sunday, June 10, 4 pm, Sleepy Hollow United Methodist Church. Program: short concert by Andre Fry followed by jamming. Please bring your accordion. Robert Ford will provide pre-meeting music.

And don’t miss Paul Aebersold’s boat party on Saturday, June 9. Please contact him at mazurkaman@yahoo.com for more details and to rsvp.

We have no formal program planned for July. Instead the whole meeting (July 22) will be a big jam session.

We will not meet in August, but Joyce Palmer is inviting WMAS members and their guests to a potluck picnic at her Capitol Hill home on Saturday, August 4, at 4 pm. Robert Ford will entertain, and some other (local) big names may be on the bill as well. Please put the date on your calendar, and stay tuned.

We will mark the 75th anniversary of the American Accordionists’ Association in March 2013 with a concert featuring our members playing music by AAA founders. That means Pietro Deiro, Charles Magnante, Pietro Frosini, Joe Biviano, Anthony Galla-Rini, and Charles Nunzio. This is not the easiest music to learn, so we’re giving you lots of notice!



The American Accordionists’ Association Festival is July 11-15 in Baltimore, just a short hop up the interstate. This is your chance to get your fill of accordions – and to hear the Potomac Ensemble in a large venue: at Cabaret Night on Thursday, July 12. See http://www.ameraccord.com/festival.html for more info.


America Sings With Russian Strings – June 2 Concert

The Washington Balalaika Society and the Reston Chorale
Saturday, June 2, 7:30 pm
Oakton High School Auditorium
2900 Sutton Road
Vienna, VA

Tickets $25 at the door; Advance $20 adults, $18 seniors; $15 students; children 12 and under free with an adult. Order online at www.balalaika.org or www.restonchorale.org.


The Rodger French Trio - Farewell Tour

Last Chance to see them play at The Caboose Cafe
Thursday June 7; 6:30 - 8:30 pm
2419 Mt Vernon Ave (in Del Rey)
Alexandria, VA