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November 17, 2014


Meeting Notes

The day might have been dreary but the mood at our meeting on Sunday was cheery, thanks to Jim Vandelly’s annual mini-concert. Jim has a huge repertoire, but we always insist that he play our favorite Russian tunes, most with titles that require some reading between the lines, such as “The Birch Tree” and “Brightly Shines the Moon.”

This time Jim included a couple of audience-participation pieces in the concert, creating a surround-sound effect on the catchy “Il Sirio” and also the above-mentioned “Moon” song. Another highlight was Bob Juszczyk’s Polish-language vocals on “Gweboka Studzienka,” a song the Juszczyks taught us last January and Jim subsequently learned to play.

Late Sunday night Jim wrote: “I want to thank everyone for joining in during my mini-concert. I loved the group participation. It made my day!”

Thanks back, Jim! Kudos go also to Yimeng Huang, who played a series of musette pieces to open the meeting, and to JoAnn Pankow and Connie Racioppa for handling the kitchen and decorations, and all those who helped set up and clean up.

Joan and Dan Grauman appreciate everyone who purchased items during their 4th annual Music Flea Market, at yesterday’s meeting. All the proceeds of the flea market go to youth-related music programs/funds.


Next Month

As you are well aware, our annual Holiday Concert will be Sunday, December 14, at 2:30 pm.

Please let us know immediately if you would like to play a solo or small-ensemble piece, and please let us know the title of the piece so we can include it in the printed program.

The Holiday Orchestra rehearsed for the first time yesterday, after Jim’s mini-concert, and it sounded pretty good, thanks to the MP3s Joan gave everyone to practice with. The next rehearsal will be Sunday, December 7, at 4 pm at Sleepy Hollow United Methodist Church, our usual location. Please make every effort to be there. Remember, no matter how good you sound at home when you practice on your own, playing with a group is something else entirely. Even expert musicians need a few rehearsals to get used to following the conductor and getting used to being surrounded by other loud, distracting accordionists.

The only other rehearsal will be at 12:30 pm on December 14, the day of the concert. That one is absolutely mandatory, and please plan to be in your seat by 12:30, because we won’t have time to spare.

The event will proceed as follows:

Pat Racioppa will serve as greeter, starting about 2:15 while guests are arriving. Our favorite emcee Ken Kunec will preside as usual, and Joan Grauman will conduct the orchestra and Potomac Ensemble. After the concert we will ask everyone to move into the lobby for a short while – during which we will provide live entertainment -- so we can set up the room for refreshments. When the hall is ready we will invite everyone back in for refreshments and more live music. If anyone is up for dancing, we’ll have that, too.

We will not charge for the concert this year but we will be asking for donations for the church. After all, it will be Christmastime, we are not asked to pay rent, and the church could use some help with its programs, including one for the homeless that same Sunday evening.

Please plan to bring desserts and other light refreshments that do not need to be heated up, as well as non-alcoholic beverages. We will still decorate the room and set up tables with Connie Racioppa’s beautiful centerpieces, which we’ll offer for sale at the end of the evening.

A flyer for the concert is attached. A second flyer, for the Potomac Ensemble’s annual Dublin Roasters gig in Frederick, is also attached. Please forward the flyers to your friends and family, and post them on public bulletin boards if you live close to the venues. Thanks!


Rehearsal schedule for the Holiday Orchestra:

December 7 at 4 pm (rehearsal only)
December 14, 12:30pm (mandatory), before the 2:30 concert