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November 16, 2012


Meeting Notes

Jim Vandelly made everybody happy when he performed for us on November 11, even when the notes emanating from his bayan formed melancholy Russian melodies. Jim’s November concert has become a tradition for our club, and we always look forward to his advice on bellows shakes, bass patterns, and life in general, alongside the music.

Following another of our traditions, we also used part of the November meeting to rehearse for the Holiday Concert.

Silvia Eberly stopped by to serve as musical greeter before running off to a gig at Café Mozart, so we filled the church hall with music from the meeting’s start to its finish.

Thanks very much, Jim and Silvia! And to all who attended.


Coming Up

Our Holiday Concert and Potluck is just one month away, on Sunday, December 16, and we have lots to do to get ready. As mentioned, we’ve already held one rehearsal for the orchestra, and we have scheduled just two more. If you would like to play in the orchestra, please contact Joan Grauman at joangrauman@verizon.net, and please plan to attend the two remaining rehearsals, both at Sleepy Hollow United Methodist Church, our usual meeting place.

Sunday, December 9 at 4 pm (no meeting; rehearsal only)
Sunday, December 16 at 2 pm, just before the 4 pm concert
Sunday, December 16 at 4 pm – Holiday Concert, followed by a potluck dinner

We have room in the concert for a limited number of solos, duets, and small ensembles, so please let us know if you would like to sign up. However, the focus will be on the orchestra, and we urge you to join in. Ken Kunec will be master of ceremonies again this year, and Yimin Zhuang will be the greeter.

Other things to remember:
Please bring a dish for potluck.
Spread the word about the concert and invite your friends and family.
$7 donation for nonmembers.


Our calendar for next year is starting to fill out. Jim Vandelly will be back on Sunday, January 13, to lead a workshop and jam session, and we will also elect officers for 2013. Peter DiGiovanni, Joan Grauman, and Mara Cherkasky are willing to continue as president, vice-president, and secretary/treasurer, respectively, but if you want to nominate yourself or someone else as a candidate for one of the positions, please contact Lee Paulson at paulson7@cox.net.

On February 10 we will celebrate our 10th birthday with a dance party, cake, and lots of music.

As other meetings and events are scheduled we’ll post them on the WMAS calendar. Please make it a habit to check the website often!



For more holiday accordion music:

The Potomac Accordion Ensemble will perform at Brookside Gardens, Wheaton, Maryland, on Saturday, December 8, from 6:30 to 8 pm.

The ensemble will also perform at Dublin Roasters Coffeehouse, Frederick, Maryland, on Saturday, December 15 from 1 to 3 pm. Please see the WMAS calendar for more details.

The Maryland Accordion Club’s Holiday Concert will take place on Saturday, December 8, from 2 to 5 pm, at the Bloomsbury Community Center in Catonsville, Maryland. Dale Wise will emcee and Jim Vandelly, among many others, will perform.


From Mary Kay Stine:

MVLE, sheltered workshops for the intellectually disabled in Springfield and Chantilly, would love it if any accordionists would like to come play for them during the day Monday through Friday.

I do a "music therapy" program most Tuesday mornings in Chantilly 10:30-12:00. If anyone wants to come then, please give me a call at 703-481-5252 or write me at stinefam@earthlink.net.

The terrific volunteer coordinator, Sabrina, would especially like to schedule Christmas programs in December, but other times are fine too. She can be reached at Sabrina@mvle.org or 703-796-9602.

The people are so much fun to be with. They are so enthusiastic and just love music.


Accordion Repair Website and Book
Submitted by George Bachich
Napa, CA

Want to know how to diagnose and repair your own accordion? Check out AccordionRevival.com, a website dedicated to helping people repair their own accordions. Currently displaying 32 illustrated articles on diagnosing the most common problems and making the most commonly needed repairs, the site is a significant new resource to accordion players everywhere.

Currently posted articles address changing reed leathers, freeing sticking keys, trouble-shooting silent reeds, voicing reeds, finding air leaks, waxing reeds, replacing bellows gaskets, installing rhinestones, replacing bellows tape, installing a new bellows, properly adjusting keyboards and bass machines, and much more. Website owner George Bachich, of Napa, California, says more articles are on the way, and that the site will eventually be a complete reference on repairing and tuning accordions, including detailed step by step instructions on how to make all kinds of repairs, where to get the proper materials and parts, and how to make the special tools needed for each task. It is amply illustrated with close up color photographs of the repairs in progress.

The site also offers the accordion book you've been waiting for. PIANO ACCORDION OWNER'S MANUAL AND BUYER'S GUIDE clearly explains how accordions work, what goes wrong, problems to watch out for when buying a used accordion, how to quickly identify reed configurations, tone chambers and mute chambers, how to diagnose and locate air leaks, how to safely open and inspect your accordion, and how to recognize when reed valves need to be changed. It explains how to identify and evaluate musette tuning, reed quality, handmade reeds, and how to decide which accordion is right for you.

Points made in this 164 page soft cover book are amply illustrated with over 40 color photographs. The glossary alone comprises a quick course on how accordions are constructed and how they function. This book contains useful new information for everyone, beginner to life-long accordionist. It is an excellent primer for the AccordionRevival.com website, as it provides the context and background knowledge needed to fully understand and appreciate the articles posted there.

PIANO ACCORDION OWNER'S MANUAL AND BUYER'S GUIDE fills a void in the available accordion literature. For a convenient single source of all you need to know about acoustic piano accordions, order this book, either by mail from the author, George Bachich, Accordion Revival, P.O. Box 3238, Napa, CA 94558, or online at AccordionRevival.com. The price is $25 plus $5 shipping and handling.

George Bachich
Napa, CA