Fall & Winter In and Around Washington, DC

The past few months have brought many exciting accordion events to the Washington, DC area. In early September, Mary Tokarski performed with the Wolf Trap Orchestra in Vienna, Virginia. The orchestra and soloists performed live while the film, “The Lord of the Rings, The Return of the King” was being shown on large screens.

Merv Conn
It was a magical event! The Washington Metropolitan Accordion Society (WMAS) held its annual Oktoberfest on September 19. There was great food and great dance music, including a few solos by Washington’s “legend”, 90 year old Merv Conn (picture above).

Daniel  Binelli
In early October, the Annapolis (Maryland) Symphony Orchestra performed the gorgeous “Concerto for Bandoneon, Aconcagua” by A. Piazzolla with Daniel Binelli (picture above), bandoneon virtuoso from Argentina. During the reception after the performance, Binelli treated the audience to a few lovely tango solos.

Ron Onda and Lou Cuppola
On a beautiful October afternoon, former Canadian accordion champion, Ron Onda, performed a solo recital, sponsored by The Society of the Cincinnati, in the elegant Anderson House on Embassy Row in Washington, DC. Ron played light classics and ethnic music. Picture above Ron Onda with Lou Coppola at the Anderson House.

Jim Vandelly
Three-time US ATG accordion champion, William Cosby, was the guest artist at the WMAS October meeting. His performance was phenomenal – what an astonishingly excellent musician! In November, WMAS treated its members and guests to a concert by our “resident bayanist”, Jim Vandelly (picture above). Jim’s delightful renditions of Russian and Ukrainian folk songs are now available on a new CD. You can contact Jim at: vandelly@verizon.net

Potomac Accordion Ensemble
The Holiday season in the Washington area was filled with accordion music! The Potomac Accordion Ensemble (picture above), directed by Joan Grauman, performed at the Festival of Lights at Brookside Gardens, in Wheaton, MD, on December 4. Photo above: Potomac Accordion Ensemble back L to R: Karen Malan-Uribe, Lee Paulson, Meryl Benenati, Mara Cherkasky; front L to R: Joan Grauman, Phil Fox, Peter DiGiovanni, Lou Silvia, Yimeng Huang. Missing from photo: JoAnn Pankow and Mark Nejako.

Corey  Pesaturo
Dale Wise held his annual “Accordions for Kids Holiday Concert” on December 11 in Oakton, Virginia. The evening was filled with joyful holiday music performed by accordionists from Maryland, Virginia, Delaware, Pennsylvania and Rhode Island. Guest artist, Cory Pesaturo (picture above), performed on acoustic and Roland accordions and was a real hit with everyone. It comes as no surprise that Cory was the 2009 Coupe Mondiale Digital Accordion Competition winner!

WMAS Holiday Orchestra
On December 12, WMAS held its very popular annual “Holiday Concert and Potluck Dinner” in Falls Church, Virginia. The room filled to capacity! Our WMAS Holiday Orchestra, along with many soloists and our wonderful emcee/accordionist/comedian, Ken Kunec, entertained the crowd.

Picture above: Justin Jhou with Lou Silvia and Mara Cherkasky looking on.

Fullerton Accordion Orchestra
An added treat to the holiday season came on December 22 when the Fullerton Accordion School Orchestra (picture above) from California, under the direction of Randy Martin, performed in the lobby of the Grand Hyatt Hotel, in Washington, DC. The orchestra was in Washington to perform at the White House on December 23. This was their fourth trip across the country to perform at the White House during the Christmas season. They are a lovely and talented group of young people, all 25 years of age or younger. Their program of holiday selections was delightful.

Joan Grauman & Savannah
Joan Grauman performed at an Oktoberfest in Vienna, Virginia, while little Savannah watched. Savannah’s mother has watched Joan perform since she herself was a toddler.

Karen Malan-Uribe & niece Monica
Karen Malan-Uribe is preparing her niece, Monica, for a future spot in the Potomac Ensemble.

Silvia Eberly playing, left Luis Uribe
Luis Uribe enjoys a meal at the Old Stein Inn while Silvia Eberly yodels and serenades with her Steirische Harmonika.

John Coppola (double bass)  and Lou Coppola (accordion)
Lou Coppola and his son, John (along with violinist, Stephanie Myers, not shown) play every Sunday at the Gaylord Hotel and Conference Center, National Harbor, Maryland.

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