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September 25, 2009


Meeting Notes

Our group took a break in August, so it felt like we had some catching up to do at the September 13 meeting. We got right down to business with an excellent and delightful concert by an accordionist most of us were unfamiliar with: Anthony “Tip” Ciotti.

Ciotti has performed throughout the world while also pursuing a full career as a dentist in the U.S. Navy. Since retiring he and his family have lived in Virginia Beach, Va. He and his wife Carol, also a retired Navy dentist, perform locally in the Tidewater Virginia area; she plays a variety of percussion instruments including a unique bass instrument called a marimbula, and a little dancing puppet.

The Ciottis’ program included Italian and Celtic medleys; Piazolla’s beautiful “Adios Nonino”; a couple of pieces by Leroy Anderson; pieces by, or arranged by, Frank Marocco; and much more.

Dick Dangel was inspired, after hearing the Ciottis perform Hoagy Carmichael’s “Stardust” (Frank Marocco arrangement), to send along a transcription of his own “Stardust” tag. Click here to request a copy.

New Business

In the business portion of the meeting President Karen Uribe appointed a committee consisting of Vic Aijala, Sue Smith, and Eugene Kruysse to nominate candidates for our annual election of officers, in January. She mentioned that all current officers (the others are Joan Grauman, vice president, and Mara Cherkasky, secretary/treasurer) are willing to continue serving. Please let a committee member know if you wish to be a candidate (your reply to this email update will be forwarded). According to our bylaws,

A nominating committee of three members shall be appointed by the president at the regular September meeting. It shall be the duty of this committee to nominate candidates for the offices to be filled at the general meeting in January. The nominating committee shall report their nominations at the regular meeting in October. Nominations from the floor shall be permitted at the November meeting preceding the general meeting in January whereby the elections will be held.

The officers shall be elected at the January meeting of the organization, by the method determined by the executive committee, and shall, except in case of death, resignation, or removal, serve for one year or until their successors shall be elected. The term of office of the officers shall begin on the first day following their election. Upon election of a new president, the new president shall then appoint the various committee chairpersons that will be part of the executive committee.

Next Meeting

Get out your dirndls and lederhosen! The next WMAS meeting, at 4 pm on Sunday, October 18, will be an Oktoberfest. Please sign up to play – dance tunes preferred – and please bring appropriate food/snacks. Dress in German garb if you wish, and don’t forget your dance shoes. Even though beer won’t be on the menu we’ll set up cabaret style as we did for our birthday dance party in February. As always we’d appreciate your help in setting up and cleaning up afterwards.

One more thing: toward the end of the October meeting Joan will run us through the music for the December 13 holiday concert. If you’d like to play in the concert orchestra please bring your instrument and music stand to the meeting – and plan to come to the five rehearsals: Sunday, November 1 at 6:45 pm; at the end of the November 15 regular WMAS meeting; Sunday, November 29 at 6:45 pm; Sunday, December 6, at 6:45 pm; and 2 pm Sunday, December 13, just before the concert. All rehearsals take place at Sleepy Hollow United Methodist Church.

Let us know if you would like to play a solo (or duet, etc.) in the holiday concert, now is the time to start planning. Thanks!


Upcoming Accordion Events

Balalaika Society Concert

“RUSSIAN REVELRY” -- The Washington Balalaika Society will present their Fall Concert on Sunday, November 22 at 3pm, at the wonderful Kenmore Center for Performing Arts located at 200 S. Carlin Springs Road, Arlington VA (one block south of Route 50). This performance will feature Russian xylophone virtuoso Alexander Chernobaev in an exciting program of Russian and Eastern European music. There is more information at www.balalaika.org.


Florida Accordion SMASH - Coming up in November

Karen Adam of the FL Acc Assoc and SE Acc Assoc

Has announced that her clubs’ annual “SMASH” will take place November 13-15 at the Holiday Inn International Resort on International Drive, Orlando, Florida. Details, as well as a link to the registration form, are at http://www.accordions.com/florida


Accordion Cruise with Frank Marocco Next April

See details at




Steve Tchamouroff

We were saddened to learn of the September 18 death of Steve Tchamouroff, a former WMAS member. A passionate musician, Steve presented a bal musette workshop/concert for us in January 2005; meeting notes are at news_12jan05.htm

In addition you can read Steve’s article on bal musette on this site.

Accordionists Needed

For a fundraiser for Gilchrist Hospice Care to be held at Turf Valley Resort in Ellicott City, MD on October 18th. The event typically attracts about 700 attendees.

The group is looking for a couple of musicians who can be playing as people enter the resort and for a short time thereafter in order to “set the Oktoberfest theme”. The total time that requires musicians is less than two hours and they are welcome to enjoy the wonderful food and drink of over 20 of the finest restaurants in Howard County. There will also be extensive silent and live auctions.

Jerry Anderson


Video of Performance at Faithe Deffner’s Lifetime Achievement Award Dinner” (held September 20)

Check this out:


[The others have been removed.]


Submitted by Ken Kunec: excerpts from a column by Dave Barry

"While I'm at it, I also want to apologize to the accordion community for a recent column in which I encouraged people to throw accordions into ponds. That statement earned me a stern rebuke from James O'Brien, Ph.D., a professor of music at the University of Arizona. Dr. O'Brien informed me that making fun of the accordion is "inappropriate," and concluded his letter with this menacing statement: "Gary Larson did this years ago, and quality accordionists still boycott his 'Far Side' calendars as a result."
As a humorist, I am all too aware of the devastating effects of being targeted for a boycott by quality accordionists. I don't want to wind up like poor Gary Larson, who today is penniless, dressed in rags, holding a cardboard sign that says he will draw talking cows for food. So I apologize to O'Brien, who has two CDs for sale: "Accordion Accord" and "Reason for Squeezin'."