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U.S. National Accordion News - 01-Dec-2011
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Titano Accordion Company

Highlights

Editor's Note
Best Wishes For Christmas & Successful 2012 - Worldwide
BREAKING NEWS: Passing of Merv Conn
Accordion Christmas Gift Ideas for Friends and Family
Peter Soave Thrills All in Performance of New Accordion Concerto
Joseph Soprani to Perform at Neumann University
Happy Xmas from the Accordion USA News
2012 AAA Festival in Baltimore
62nd Trophée Mondial 2012 in Spokane, Washington
Mary Tokarski Performs with Hamden Symphony Orchestra
Dr. Schimmel's Tour, New CD.DVD, Other Performances and the Seminars
Editor Rob Howard Releases New Book, "Vintage Accordions"
Mario Tacca and Mary Mancini in Christmas Concerts

Gary Dahl eSheet music, sent by email, secure bank server system

Reports for Concerts, Masterclasses, Competitions, Festivals, etc.

Happy Xmas from the Accordion USA News and Accordions Worldwide
Accordion-Space4U.com Site Achieves Over 5,500 Individuals Monthly Traffic
Dr. Robert Young McMahan Premieres New Work for Accordion
Ludovic Beier Performs at Birdland in NYC
NAA Celebrates 25 Years!

Over 2,100 titles of eSheet music, sent to you by email, secure server bank online payment

Future events

Happy Xmas from Accordion USA News, Roberto Mangosi and Accordions Worldwide
Accordion Teachers Association of Massachusetts Celebrates 50 Years
Have YOU Organised An Event for World Accordion Day 2012?
The Connecticut Accordion Orchestra in Holiday Concert
WMAS Holiday Programs
Diatonic Categories For The 2012 Trophée Mondial, Spokane – USA
Mario Pedone to Perform in Dallas
Best Wishes For A Wonderful Christmas & Successful 2012 - Worldwide

The Ins and Outs of the Accordion by famous accordion repairer and tuner Thierry Benetoux

CD Reviews

Manny Corallo Releases "It's An Accordion Christmas" CD


James O'Brien eSheet music, emailed to you, secure bank server

Highlights


Pigini USA distributor Ernest Deffner

Editor's Note

by Rita Barnea
SantaWe all have times in our lives when we feel down. The tragic and horrible news we read about every day is enough to cause us to feel sad and helpless.

How can we, as musicians ,bring joy and uplift the spirits of people in our lives? One of the world's greatest philosophers, John Stuart Mill, who had possibly the highest IQ on the planet, felt that happiness is not found by searching for it.

"Happiness is a by product of a life that focuses not just on oneself but mostly on other people and pursuits." He said," Those only are happy who have their minds fixed on some object other than their own happiness: On the happiness of others, on the improvement of mankind,even on some art or pursuit.....Aiming thus at something else, they find happiness by the way."

How does this relate to all of us as musicians? I feel that during this holiday season and, really, any time of the year, we can lift the spirits of everyone through our music...playing our accordions for all kinds of people.

You might say, "How can I make someone happy through music? I am only a beginner. I am not a good player. I can't memorize songs. I feel too self conscious."

You do not have to feel that way. Be confident, grateful for your abilities, and share your music! Learn some holiday songs, patriotic songs, show songs, ethnic songs, popular songs.......pick up your music stand and just go!

Where should you go? Call a local senior citizens home, hospital, your child's or grandchild's school. Bring your accordion to your friends or relatives holiday gathering. You will be very surprised at how much you will be appreciated. Don't worry if you are a beginner or think you are not that good of a musician. People will appreciate you and your music!

William Danforth, the founder of Ralston Purina, found a wonderful way to expess these ideas. He said,"Catch a passion for helping others and a richer life will come back to you!"

I believe that music exists in our world to bring peace and happiness to everyone. Let's make this holiday season a more joyous and happy time by sharing our music and playing our accordions for everybody!

Another way to celebrate the holidays in a positive way is to be supportive of our accordion artists, composers, and arrangers by buying their CD's and music for holiday gifts.

In the accordion holiday gift article following this editorial, there is an impressive list of accordionists offering their wonderful and festive eSheet music and recordings.

It is a one stop accordion gift shop, online, and easy to do. What is the greatest benefit of doing this? YOU will have more time to practice your accordion and attend accordion concerts/events!

Happy Holidays!!!! Rita Davidson - Editor, USA News
Editor Rita Davidson

PANcordion

Best Wishes For Christmas & Successful 2012 - Worldwide

by Holda Paoletti-Kampl
Christmas message
Happy Xmas from Accordion USA News and Accordions Worldwide Staff - cartoons by Roberto Mangosi

Sounding Out the Accordion by Thierry Benetoux

BREAKING NEWS: Passing of Merv Conn

by Rita Barnea
Merv ConnWell known strolling and singing accordionist, Merv Conn, 91, passed away, yesterday, December 20. The funeral is tomorrow, Thursday, December 22, at 12:30 pm at:
 
Torchinsky Funeral Home (one-half block from the Maryland line. 
254 Carroll St. NW
Washington, DC 20012
(202) 541-1001
 
Burial will follow immediately after the funeral (about 2 PM at:
Mount Lebanon Cemetery  
9500 Adelphi Rd. (white concrete entranceway, before Riggs Rd.)
Adelphi, MD
 
In case you don't go to the funeral home or you get lost, here are easy directions.  It's not far from the Beltway. From 495 take Exit 28-B to merge onto MD-650 N/New Hampshire Ave toward Takoma Park. Really no merge area, but immediately get into the left lane.  At the second light (not far) turn left on Adelphi Road. Go a short distance; the cemetery is on your left. The grave site is to the left after the entrance. You'll probably have to park on the hill straight ahead and walk back.
 
After the short service at the grave site, there will be Shiva where the family will receive visitors at Merv's home:
1015 South Noyes Drive, Silver Spring, MD
(301-565-2054). The easiest way to get there is again from 495. Take Exit 31-B onto MD-97/Georgia Ave. toward Silver Spring. Pass the short commercial area. Go several blocks to Noyes Drive and turn left. (You will see the Woodside Synagogue on your left.) Continue a few blocks to where the road forks and bear right. The house is the first one on the left. It's a red brick Tudor-style home with a long driveway. You'll most likely have to park on the street.  (Be sure to bear right at the triangle because if you go left, you'll be on North Noyes Drive and there is a 1015 there, too, much to the Postman's dismay.)
 
Here is the schedule:
 
Thursday, 12/22:  12:30 service at funeral home
                          2:00 grave side service (short)
                          Then Shiva (family will receive visitors) at Merv's home, concluding with an 8:00 p.m. Minion
                          (evening service)
 
Friday, 12/23:  12 noon to 4:15 Shiva, family will receive visitors at Merv's house. (The Sabbath begins at 4:32 p.m. and there is no Shiva on the Sabbath.)          
Saturday, 12/24:  Shiva at 7:30 PM with Minion at 8:PM
Sunday, 12/25:  Shiva, family will receive visitors from 12 noon till evening.

Merv Conn ran a large accordion school in the Washington area. Aside from presidents, Conn played for dignitaries and diplomats at exclusive Washington soirees for more than 60 years. He also accompanied the old Washington Senators from 1965 to 1969 when they played in RFK Stadium. On television he played for sportscaster Glenn Brenner's sports highlights show.

He also strolled with a large repertoire of continental tangos and rumbas at the Mexican ambassador's residence for an evening affair. Conn played and strolled weekly at meetings of the Masons of which he is a member and the Kiwanis club.

Please check the January 2012 www.accordionusa.com news for more information about Merv Conn.

The International Trio, CD Available online, secure server

Accordion Christmas Gift Ideas for Friends and Family

by Harley Jones
Accordion Xmas Gifts logoThese ideas have been compiled to hopefully attract your Xmas gift money to be spent with North American accordion artists, composers, arrangers and publishers.

BOOK TEXT: One of the most popular accordion books ever written is:
Cat: ED8631 Accordion Repairs Made Easy by John Reuther

eSHEET MUSIC (emailed to you)
There is a wonderful array of USA eSheet compositions and arrangements to really excite your Christmas, emailed to your computer.
Gary Dahl, Karen Fremar, Don Grzanna, Jeff Lisenby, Larry Malmberg, Gary Morin, National Accordion Association, James O'Brien (Obrien), William Schimmel, Joe Soprani, Mario Tacca, Zevy Zions,

RECORDINGS (sent by post)
Manny Corallo, Jon Hammond, International Trio, Jeff Lisenby, K Trio, Amy Jo Sawyer, William Schimmel, Mario Tacca, Mary Tokarski, Viola Turpeinen, Stas Venglevski, Zevy Zions.
Busso Music has many recordings available too.

PRINTED MUSIC (sent by post)
There is a huge catalog of music available from Deffner Music Publications and Busso Music. Click the links to visit their websites.
Cat No: vstasbook01 Romantic Solos, Cat No: vstasbook02 Illusions Duets, Cat No: vstasbook03 Seasoning Solos, Cat No: vstasbook04 Seasoning Duets all by Stas Venglevski

For some international Christmas Gift ideas for friends and family please view: 2011 Xmas Gift Ideas.

Please support accordion artistry and choose from over 1,900 eSheet pieces, 350 CD/DVD’s, 1,700 plus printed works and numerous books (text) to choose from. 2011 Xmas Gift Ideas

Charnwood Music Publishing, UK's Leading Publishing House

Peter Soave Thrills All in Performance of New Accordion Concerto

by Rita Barnea
Dr. Thomas Chen and  Virginia Chen (who commissioned the concerto), Maestro Peter Jaffe, Composer Max Simončič, Guest Accordionist Peter Soave, Mady Soave.
Peter SoaveMax Simoncic's new accordion concerto was enthusiastically received at the World Premiere performed by world renowned accordionist, Peter Soave, with the Stockton Symphony Orchestra at the Atherton Auditorium, San Joaquin Delta College. The historic event took place on Thursday, November 10, 2011 and Saturday, November 12, 2011.

Written in three movements with Peter Soave specifically in mind, the "Accordion Concerto" is an original work from Slovenian-born and Stockton-based composer Max Simoncic. It is scored for timpani, suspended cymbal, crash cymbals, snare drum, tambourine, bass drum,triangle, castanets, and strings. The concert marked the fourth time that a Simoncic piece has premiered in a Stockton Symphony milestone season. Simoncic also wrote original works for the symphony's 70th, 75th and 80th anniversaries. 2011 was the symphony's 85th year.

Recognized worldwide as the foremost master of the bandoneón and concert accordion, Peter Soave has established himself as the leading soloist of his generation through his commanding stage presence and vibrant virtuosity. Mr. Soave’s playing, says composer and conductor Duilio Dobrin, is the “stunning, majestic, monumental testimony of a man who lives, breathes, and feels every note. The musicianship is beyond words!”

Composer of international repute and devoted pedagogue, Max Simončič has received commissions from the Stockton Symphony, San Francisco Symphony Bay Brass, San Francisco Saxophone Quartet, St. John’s Chamber Orchestra, Adelphi Chamber Orchestra of New Jersey, Flexible Symphony of New York City, and numerous other ensembles.

In 2005 he won ERM Media’s national competition, Masterworks of the New Era, for his orchestral composition, "Petit cirque", a shorter, reworked version of "Cirque de symphony", which the Stockton Symphony premiered in 2002. In its award winning guise, "Petit cirque" was premiered and recorded by the Kiev Philharmonic conducted by Robert Ian Winstin. "Petit cirque" has also been performed at the Louvre in Paris by the Paris Chamber Orchestra together with the Millennium Symphony (U.S.), in Lyon and Toronto, and by the Cleveland Chamber Symphony, Virginia Youth Symphony Orchestra, and Norwalk Youth Symphony.

Simončič’s music has been performed throughout the United States and Europe. Some of the more recent performances include: "Four Tangos" for seven accordions, violin, cello, and bass by the Flexible Orchestra, "Guitar Concerto" by the Adelphi Chamber Orchestra, "Concerto for Marimba and Symphonic Band" premiered at Carnegie Hall, "A Short Symphony" and "Violin Concerto" premiered by the St. John’s Chamber Orchestra, "Fanfare" for wind ensemble played at Carnegie Hall, and "Fanfare and March" for the Lodi Community Band.

Since the age of eight, when Simončič wrote his first pieces, he continues to find composing both mysterious and exciting! In 2006 Simončič retired from decades of teaching music at San Joaquin Delta College. He has also taught theory and composition at the University of the Pacific, and is an adjunct professor for the Stockton branch of San Diego–based National University.

Peter Soave feels that being part of the premiere of a work is very special, and also a big responsibility. "It's very stimulating because there's so much involved," Soave said. "For a composer to dedicate those countless hours ... it requires such finesse and development. Max is definitely an accomplished composer ... and we've been in contact for a year. It's humbling for me that I have the opportunity to present this. It's difficult, of course, because until the first rehearsal we didn't know how it would come out. You still have opening-night concerns. But Peter Jaffe and the whole staff were committed to making this ... very special. I'm very fortunate to be part of that."

The Stockton Symphony Orchestra was also fortunate to have Peter Soave perform with them. Peter is an internationally known musician who has given performances all over the world. He has recognition as a master of the bandoneon, a type of accordion, and the concert accordion. In 1987, Soave was the inaugural recipient of an international award, "Voce d'Oro," honoring those who have helped raise the prominence of the accordion."I think the accordion was a not-so-well-understood instrument in recent decades, because it's a young instrument, so it doesn't have much (history) to it. And I'm glad that I'm able to do my part in bringing it to a different light."

"The concerto contains three separate movements and features cadenzas and quasi-cadenzas for the accordion in the first and third movements," Simoncic said in written program notes about the concert. Soave said "It's a marvelous work, very challenging, but it's full of wonderful techniques. New music, a little bit of nostalgic motifs."

From the program notes by Jane Vial Jaffe: "Commissioned by Thomas and Virginia Chen, the "Accordion Concerto" was composed with the talents of Peter Soave in mind. The composer writes: “The Concerto contains three separate movements and features cadenzas and quasi-cadenzas for the accordion in the first and third movements.“In the first movement (Act I: Villains, Clowns, and Heroes) there are three main themes, which I consider to be similar to characters in a play or novel, and one complete subordinate theme. A sinister or perhaps mysterious sound opens the piece before the first main theme (characters) enters (enter).

The first theme appears as a darkish melody in the minor mode. Not long after the first theme, a second theme, humorous and playful, enters in the major mode. The third main theme uses traditional leaps and scale-like runs, finally ending at the door of the subordinate theme.
The subordinate theme, introduced about halfway through the movement, is in a slower tempo with the melody playing itself out like a song of love. A furious development follows with all themes finding places to shine as the story develops. A brief cadenza for the accordion takes place just before the movement comes to its conclusion.

The second movement (Act II: Reminiscence), in a large three-part form, explores an introspective mood between the accordion and solo violin, enveloped by a feeling of calm in the string section.

Movement three (Act III: Prologue and Dance) begins with a prologue, then the fun begins with the first dance in a seven-beat rhythmic pattern with a Latin feel. This theme departs into the first episode, a Waltz Tango. The next episode could be described as music one might find in a French café. As the music weaves back to the first theme in 7/8 time, it finishes with a short reprise of the Waltz Tango in a quick dash to the end.”

Simoncic, who retired in 2006 from teaching music at San Joaquin Delta College, also is well known in international music circles. "In some ways he is more famous outside Stockton than he is here," said Jaffe, in his 16th year as conductor.

The Jaffe-Simoncic collaboration has become more comfortable through the years. "It's been a personal dream of mine in Stockton," Jaffe said, "to help develop a public resurgence of trust in launching new music."

For further information: msimoncic@comcast.net and
info@petersoave.com

Photo at top: Dr. Thomas Chen and  Virginia Chen (who commissioned the concerto), Maestro Peter Jaffe, Composer Max Simončič, Guest Accordionist Peter Soave, Mady Soave..... Photograph by Ben Reddish

Gary Daverne CD's and eSheet music available online

Joseph Soprani to Perform at Neumann University

by Rita Barnea
Joseph Soprani
Joseph Soprani, accordionist, arranger, educator and performer, will perform at Neumann University in Aston, Pennsylvania,on Thursday, 1:30 PM, December 8, 2011 during the 2011-12 Cultural Arts Series. He recently performed for STUDIO INCAMMINATI Benefit Gala to unveil the portrait of Luciano Pavarotti at the the Union League in Philadelphia,

Joseph's program is entitled "MAKING MUSIC WITH THE ACCORDION" where he will discuss and demonstrate the versatility of the accordion as he performs folk, pop, jazz, contemporary and classical selections.

Joe Soprani is a noted accordionist, educator, arranger-composer who has dominated the accordion scene in Philadelphia for over forty years playing in major concert halls, theatres, TV Shows and Hotels. HIs arrangements are available from MusicForAccordion.com eSheet. He holds the distinction of being the only accordionist in the history of the Philadelphia Orchestra to appear as a featured soloist under Eugene Ormandy. While accordion soloist with the USAF Band in Washington, DC under Col. George S. Howard, he won the "The Air Force Roger", the most prestigious entertainment award in the US Air Force. 

He also was the first accordion soloist with the PA Army National Guard Band "The Adjutant General's Own" for over eight years. On five occasions, Soprani appeared with opera singer Luciano Pavarotti at the Spectrum in Philadelphia and also performed for President Eisenhower at the White House. To add to his impressive list of credentials, Joe Soprani was invited to arrange the opening selection for Rock star Jon Bon Jovi's 1996 world tour and has also written the official song for the International Rotary Club. In addition to performing in Broadway shows such as "Fiddler on the Roof", "Zorba", "Cabaret" and "Erma la Duce", he has performed in world premieres of "Frida", a musical that called for a virtuoso accordionist and "Another Kind of Hero", a musical which featured Soprani on stage for an entire scene.

Joe Soprani, who appeared on the Ed Sullivan Show and won the Arthur Godfrey Show, appeared with TV Star Nell Carter in a "Colors of Freedom" Production at the Convention Center in Philadelphia in 1995. He also appeared with Peter Nero and the Philly Pops playing a special arrangement by Nero with Soprano Evelyn de LaRosa.


In November of 1997, Soprani became the first accordionist to perform in "La Traviata" by Verdi presented by the Opera Company of Philadelphia, at the Academy of Music in Philadelphia.  Klaus Arp, the opera conductor from Germany, decided to use the accordion in the small ensemble on stage during "La Banda" sections. On five occasions, Joe Soprani appeared with opera singer Luciano Pavarotti at the Spectrum in Philadelphia and  has performed for President Eisenhower at the White House. 

Soprani, who is the in-house accordionist on the Don Giovanni Show, can be heard regularly on the Big Talkers. Joe Soprani, who performed with Russell Watson on Good Morning America, continues to promote the accordion as a serious instrument at various clubs and organizations. His workshops at schools and colleges where he demonstrates his skills as performer and arranger to young composers and arrangers have been well received. Programs are being planned by his newly formed Concert Trio (Accordion, Piano and String Bass) and Italian Folk Trio (Accordion, Mandolin and Guitar.)

Photo by Anthony Sinagoga

For further information:jsop119@comcast.net

The Art of Playing the Accordion Artistically by Friedrich Lips

Happy Xmas from the Accordion USA News

by Holda Paoletti-Kampl
Christmas message
Happy Xmas from the Accordion USA News, Roberto Mangosi and Accordions Worldwide

4 Music Books by Stas Venglevski

2012 AAA Festival in Baltimore

by Rita Barnea
2012 AAA Logo
The American Accordionists' Association will present their 2012 AAA Festival from July 11-15th, 2012 at the Sheraton City Center Hotel in Baltimore, Maryland.

Plan next summer around the festival's exciting days of workshops, exhibits, cabaret, luncheon concert, gala concert, and Festival Orchestra.

The AAA is proud to announce its 2nd Annual Youth Involvement Program which was very successful at the 2011 Festival. Come and see young accordionists play jazz with other young insturmentalists led by the renowned jazz artist, Eddie Monteiro.

Virtuoso accordionist, Stas Venglevski, will be the Guest Artist and Guest Conductor of the Festival Orchestra. He delights all with his friendly and humorous manner, educating and entertaining at the same time. Truly a unique experience.

Further details about the AAA 2012 Festival will appear in future articles. The Sheraton Baltimore City Center Hotel offers a great location for business and pleasure, directly across from the 1st Mariner Arena, close to the Baltimore Convention Center. Among the sights which you can easily see are the Hippodrome Theatre, Camden Yards, Ravens Stadium, National Aquarium, and Maryland Science Center. Top restaurants, harbor activities….there is so much to do and see conveniently within walking distance of the hotel!

For further information: aaa1938@aol.com

Amy Jo Sawyer CD titled According to Amy

62nd Trophée Mondial 2012 in Spokane, Washington

by Rita Barnea
CMA Banner
Patricia Bartell and  Frédéric DeschampsThe 62nd Trophée Mondial 2012 will be held in Spokane, Washington, USA from October 23-27, 2012. Experience world class accordion music in Spokane, Washington, the first city to host this prestigious event in the USA. Patricia Bartell (picture right) of Spokane is one of the organizers of this event.

Frédéric Deschamps (picture lower right), President of the 
Confédération Mondiale de l'Accordéon welcomes all to attend and participate in the 2012 Confédération Mondiale de l'Accordéon in Spokane, Washington. With the World Premiere of Web TV "Channel CMA", it was possible to follow all seven categories of the 2011 Trophée Mondial. More than 140,000 minutes of music were viewed. All thoese videos of Trophée Mondial 2011 are available in the library of CMA Channel.

Patricia Bartell holds a B.A. in Music Education and Performance. She teaches accordion and piano full time in Spokane Washington and travels worldwide as an adjudicator, professional performer and teacher. She conducts the Spokane Accordion Ensemble, is involved in an Argentine Tango Quartet (Tango Volcado) and is the guest artist for the Hot Club of Spokane – a fantastic swing jazz group. She performs and teaches a wide variety of music. Patricia is the permanent USA delegate (and a member of the jury) for the international competition of the CMA Trophée Mondial, one of the very important international accordion competitions held annually.

The Executive Committee of the CMA also includes: Raymond Bodell - Vice President, Jacques Mornet - Secretary General, Alexander Selivanov - Chairman of the Artistic Committee and Anna Bodell - Administrator.

The CMA constantly tries to expand and has made every effort to be global since the re organization of its Executive Board in 2005. Many new delegations have joined the CMA such as Lithuania, New Zealand, Chile, China, among others: the United States - the host of the 2012 Trophée Mondial. This is the first time the Trophée Mondial will be in North America, thanks to the talent and determination of Patricia Bartell and her dedicated team.

To find all the information Rules, Regulations and procedures for registration (Entry Forms), Proposed timetable ,Visa Application information, information on hotels (Accommodation), transportation to get to Spokane (Spokane Travel) and all the necessary contacts of the Executive of the CMA are available on the CMA website. Important information: A hosting system "homestay" has been organized for candidates who wish to be accommodated in a family home.

Candidates will therefore pay NO FEES for accommodation, food and transport to the place of the contest. Only travel costs to the Trophée Mondial will remain the responsibility of the candidate. Host families will take the candidates to the various rooms and activities of the competition and will also help them explore the city and surrounding areas at the convenience of candidates. For candidates who do not want to be housed in family homes, there is a list of hotels with special rates in the section about accommodations.

Recent past winners:
2011 PINETO (Italy)
Xu Xiaonan (China) Senior Classique
Alexander Kolovski (Serbia) National Trophée
Nikolay Bolotin (Russia) Junior Classique
Dorin Grama (Moldavia) Senior Variété
Yohann Lopes (Protugal) Senior Variété Diatonic
Lorenzo Bosica (Italy) Junior Variété
Alessandro Guglilmi (Italy) Junior Variété Diatonic

2010 VIGO (Spain)
Grayson Masefield (New Zealand) Senior Classique
Joao Barradas (Portugal) Junior Classique
Radu Laxgang (Moldavia) Junior Variété
Alexander Veretennikov (Russia) Senior Variété
Nikola Pekovic (Serbia) National Trophée

2009 ALBUFEIRA (Portugal)
Petar Maric (Serbia), senior classique
Aleksander Andjelkovic (Serbia), junior classique
Benoit Nortier (France), junior variété
Pietro Adragna (Italy), senior variété

2008 SARAJEVO (Bosnia and Herzegovina)
Dimitri Bouclier (France), senior classique
Nikola Tanaskoviæ, junior classique
Mario D'Amario (Italy), junior variété
Grayson Masefield (New Zealand), senior variété

For further information: Patricia Bartell: Admin@worldtrophyaccordion.org

Website:CMA website

Jeff Lisenby CD A Spy In Tortuga

Mary Tokarski Performs with Hamden Symphony Orchestra

by Rita Barnea
Mary Tokarski and Vesna MehinovicConcert accordionist, Mary Tokarski, performed Gary Daverne's "Rhapsody for Accordion and Orchestra" with the Hamden Symphony Orchestra in celebration of its 50th Anniversary. The special event took place on November 6, 2011 at the Hamden Middle School in Hamden, Connecticut.

This performance held great significance because not only was it the 50th Anniversary of the Hamden Symphony but it was also the first time an accordionist had ever performed as soloist with the symphony. The selection of Mary Tokarski playing Gary Daverne's "Rhapsody" was an excellent and successful choice. The audience gave Mary a well deserved standing ovation for her spirited and technically flawless performance. AAA Board members Kevin Friedrich, Marilyn O'Neil, CAO members, Don Gerundo, Julie Kasprzyk Cardona, and I were there to witness this historic event along with many other accordion and symphony orchestra enthusiasts.

2011 marked the beginning of their 50th season as all-volunteer orchestra of more than 50 members from the Greater New Haven area and beyond. Members include teachers, doctors, lawyers, grandparents as well as both students and faculty from local universities.

Photo of Accordionist Mary Tokarski and Conductor Vesna Mehinovic

Founded in 1962 by Ruth Brooks –who continues to perform with the group– the orchestra provides cultural enrichment to the Hamden and southern communities through its series of concerts, its annual Young Musicians Concerto Competition, the Ruth T. Brooks Scholarship Award, the annual Benefit Concert, and by the orchestral experience it offers area musicians and soloists.

The Hamden Symphony Orchestra was under the baton of Paul Gacek for thirty-eight years, and in 2008 Vesna Mehinovic became the Music Director. Mrs. Mehinovic was the first female conductor in Bosnia and Herzegovina and is also the first female conductor of the Hamden Symphony Orchestra. She conducts the Waterbury Principal Youth Symphony Orchestra and has won multiple awards for conducting as well as pedagogy.

AAA and ATG Board member Mary Tokarski performs both nationally and internationally as a soloist, with Symphony Orchestra, with String Quartets, and a member of The "K" Trio. Mary toured mainland China the Mantovani Orchestra, perfuming both in the orchestra, and as soloist, and performed with the Wolf Trap Performance Arts Center Orchestra in the complete sound track for "Lord of the Rings: Return of the King," complete with the film.

Mary has released two solo CD's, "Music with Mary…..with my friends!" and "Music with Mary…for my friends!"- both of which received international acclaim. In collaboration with Karen Mala-Uribe and Joan Geller Grauman, Mary narrate and performs the music for the book, "An Accordion! What is That?". The book was written as an early childhood reader with many text features not often found in books for children of this age.. as well as introducing the accordion to the "Next generation" of musicians.

Gary Daverne is one of New Zealand's most internationally acclaimed composer, arranger, and conductor. Gary Daverne started his musical career in brass bands as a euphonium player, later changing to clarinet, playing in symphony orchestras, jazz combos, and top NZ rock bands during the 60's. Gary is New Zealand's most prolific and successful composer and arranger of music for the accordion. His musical arrangements and compositions for accordion orchestra and solo accordion are played extensively around the world.

For more information: mary.tokarski@comcast.net

Jon Hammond CD's for Sale

Dr. Schimmel's Tour, New CD.DVD, Other Performances and the Seminars

by William Schimmel
Dr. William SchimmelDr. William Schimmel will perform Hindemith's "Kammermusik No 1" with the Orpheus Chamber Ensemble in it's European tour from December 6 to 12 – Baden Baden, Cologne, Frankfurt and Dusseldorf Germany.

Dr. Schimmel has performed this work many times in his career and has already performed it with Orpheus on November 20 at the Galapagos Art Space in Brooklyn (Dumbo section) and will perform it in the U.S. at Easton Pennsylvania on December 2 and Carnegie Hall on December 3. The Orpheus Chamber Ensemble is one of America's premiere ensembles and they perform without a conductor.

Dr. Schimmel also has also performed his own version of "Carnival of Venice" at the very last minute last Sunday, November 27, at the Danny Kaye Playhouse on a program entitled Christmas in Italy starring Christina Fontinelli. Remembering various versions including, of course, Frosini's, Dr. Schimmel improvised his own version on the spot. Since it was so well received, he decided to write it out.

Dr. Schimmel will perform in a concert version of "She Loves Me" (Harnick and Bock) at The Stephen Sondheim Theater Manhattan sponsored by the Roundabout Theater Company on December 5. The concert will be conducted by Paul Gemignani.

Dr. Schimmel and Pianist Dr. Hugo Goldenzweig have released a new CD entitled: "A Chopin/Beethoven/Schimmel/Frosini Mix". It contains Chopin's "Piano Preludes" performed by Dr. Goldenzweig and Chopin "Accordion Prelude"s composed and performed by Dr. Schimmel. It is followed by Beethoven's "Pathetique "(1st Movement) interspersed with Frosini's "Rhapsody No 2" (The Vaudevillian Pathetique) and the first movement of Beethoven's "Appassionata". Dr. Schimmel adds “spectral” improvisations on accordion to Dr. Goldenzweig's piano performances. The CD is available on the IPS/STUDIO-MUSE label.

Dr. Schimmel also performs with the New York Philharmonic on the new CD/DVD release: "Concerto - Andrea Bocelli in Central Park" available in CD, DVD and Blue Ray. This concert includes Celine Dion, Tony Bennett and Chris Botti. Other performances and recordings include: "The Blue Flower" (off -Broadway), a recording project with singer/songwriter/poet Vince Bell, an upcoming CD release of a new work by Anthony Cornicello and a recording of the highlights of Kiki Baby (off-Broadway).

On July 27, 28 and 29, Dr. Schimmel will present his 2012 Seminars entitled: Redemption – The Radar off the Radar. This event is sponsored by The American Accordionists' Association and it also appears under the title of : The American Accordionists' Association Master Class and Concert Series. It will be the 18th year for this successful series and it will feature a distinguished array of presenters and performers. The event will take place at The Tenri Cultural Institute in New York and the Master Classes will be at 3 PM and the Concerts will be at 7 PM.

If you are interested in performing in one of the Master Classes for comments, constructive criticism and encouragment, contact Dr. Schimmel at
billschimmel@billschimmel.com.

Editor Rob Howard Releases New Book, "Vintage Accordions"

by Rita Barnea
Vintage AccordionsRob Howard's new book, Catalog No: robaccord05 "Vintage Accordions", now available from MusicforAccordion.com is a colorful, pictorial history of the accordion, in its various forms, from the early 19th Century onwards up to the present time. There are 300 pictures plus information and some interesting historical articles. This book is a limited edition, A4 sized, 60 pages, and in hardback.

The idea for this book came from Ken Hopkins in Ireland, who gave Rob the idea. Ken owns what must be the world's largest private collection of accordions. He has 1,000 accordions of all types in his house. Rob Howard said, "There's not much room for people! My daughter lives not far away and on my visits over there I have taken quite a lots of photos, and these form the basis of Vintage Accordions."
 
The book is set out chronologically. Rob wrote some articles to provide a linking narrative. In the section on Castelfidardo, he lists the main accordion manufacturers in the town, and also elsewhere in Italy and beyond including the year each manufacturer began, and also the year of cessation where applicable. Getting the correct data was not easy. Rob believes the details in "Vintage Accordions" to be accurate, having done much checking and cross referencing.
 
Rob Howard includes a disclaimer early in the book saying that "Vintage Accordions" is not the definitive guide to accordions through the years. "As I delved into this topic I became increasingly aware of the sheer number of makes and brand names there are and have been. To cover all these would result in a series rivalling Encyclopedia Brittanica! My modest effort presents a representative sample that gives an overview of the accordion's evolution"
 
"It was great fun to take the pictures and put the book together, and I've had lots of encouraging comments. The trouble with getting praise is that it makes me think in terms of doing another book, whatever that might be!! These books are taking my life over!"

This book is the perfect holiday gift for accordion lovers everywhere! It is available online with secure server credit card purchase in Euro or US$ Catalog No: robaccord05 "Vintage Accordions".

For more information: robaccord5@hotmail.com

Accordion Repairs Made Easy by John Reuther

Mario Tacca and Mary Mancini in Christmas Concerts

by Rita Barnea
Accordion virtuoso Mario Tacca and internationally acclaimed vocal artist. Mary Mancini will present a candlelight evening of glorious Christmas Music on December 16, 7PM at the Church of the Assumption, First Street, in Peekskill, NY. The Victor Lionti String Quartet will also perform.

Mario Tacca was born in Italy. During his childhood, his family moved to the Alsace Lorraine region of France where he began his musical studies.  This is where his love and intense desire to play the accordion began. He would pick up the accordion and imitate some of the songs his mother used to sing. The desire and love never diminished, despite having to walk three miles weekly to his teacher with his instrument strapped to his back!
While in France, he was the winner of many regional and national accordion competitions.

Mario became a world champion, winning the World Cup of Italy, the Grand Prix of Paris, the US National Competition and the International Accordion competition held at Carnegie Hall in New York City.
 Mario Tacca dazzles audiences across the US and around the world with his unmatched virtuosity on the accordion and his exciting interpretations of international music, the classics and pop.
 
Mario has recently been seen on MTV in a commercial for a pilot Italian Food program.  Also, he was seen on the Food Network in a commercial for “Throwdown with Bobby Flay.” His latest recording, “Journey Through the Classics” features great melodies from the Classic Repertoire.  Also, he and Mary Mancini have just released their latest duet CD, “Ricordi.”  It is a collection of Italian melodies, featuring Mary and Mario together, and, Mario performing solo.

Internationally acclaimed vocal artist Mary Mancini has been featured in the New York Times, the Forth Worth Star-Telegram, and the Journal News and has performed in a variety of venues around the world. Able to sing in eight languages, Mary draws from a deep repertory reservoir.  She is adept at pop, show tunes, operatic arias, and sacred music and has received worldwide acclaim.  Le Republicain Lorrain, in Alsace-Lorraine, France, writes that the “purity of her voice, the ease with which she interpreted the most difficult pieces showed that she is a great artist.”  The Spring City Evening News in Kunming, China, writes that “audiences were greatly impressed by Mary Mancini’s singing ability…Through her music, we see her heart is smiling.”

Mary has headlined numerous concert halls and festivals in North America, Europe, and China. She has performed at the Garden State Arts Center, Resorts International Casino Hotel, Taj Mahal in Atlantic City, and Mohegan Sun Resort Casino in CT. Mary, with Mario Tacca, has completed two concert tours of China.  As guests of the China Ministry of Culture, they toured five cities in three weeks and performed with three symphony orchestras.  Joining them on their tour was highly acclaimed Chinese tenor, Douglas Song.  In addition to performing with the symphony orchestras, some of the most memorable moments included a performance held at the 1600 seat True Color Jazz Supper Club in the booming city of Shenzhen and in the 3500 seat Golden Opera House.

In addition to a busy concert schedule, which keeps her on the road for over 200 days a year, Mary also maintains an active recording career.  On “Canzoni dal Cuore,” her CD of Italian Love Songs & Arias, Mary sings with passion many of the classic songs from the Italian repertoire. The album also includes her own composition, “Preghiera, Ninna-Nanna” set to the music of Pietro Mascagni. Together, Mary and Mario have just released their latest duet CD, “Ricordi.”  It is a collection of Italian melodies, featuring Mary and Mario together, and, Mario performing solo. The Red Cross selected Mary’s original composition, “With Open Arms,” to accompany its video tribute to the September 11 victims. 

Mary and Mario will also present a show at the Magnanini Winery, Wallkill, NY on Sunday, December 11 at 1:PM and a New Year's show, December 31st at 9:PM. For information: 845-895-2767

Tickets for the December 16th show in Peekskill are $15 for adults; $13 for seniors; $7 for under 17.  Light refreshments will be served after the concert.  For ticket information, contact the Assumption Rectory at 914-737-2071, or, Gioia Productions at 914-737-8872. email: mariobtacca@hotmail.com

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Reports for Concerts, Masterclasses, Competitions, Festivals, etc.


The Ins and Outs of the Accordion by famous accordion repairer and tuner Thierry Benetoux

Happy Xmas from the Accordion USA News and Accordions Worldwide

by Holda Paoletti-Kampl
christmas message
Happy Xmas from the Accordion USA News, Roberto Mangosi and Accordions Worldwide

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Accordion-Space4U.com Site Achieves Over 5,500 Individuals Monthly Traffic

by Harley Jones
Accordion-Space4u.com graphic
Since opening in April 2009 the Accordion-Space4u.com has been steadily growing in traffic. The site is now achieving traffic of over 5,500 individuals monthly with many of these visiting each day.

Accordion-Space4u.com is an accordion only, simple to use site, its an easy way to upload photos, sound files, videos and share them accordionists. Artists can have their own promotional pages and with one click, send information to all they have listed.

Especially attractive for performers is that all videos listed on our Accordion-Space4u.com site are being shown on all news editions on a rotation system. Each time a reader views any news editions, 'your video' might be the one showing. Take advantage of this great system and show YOUR video where over 5,800 people visit per day!

So log on to Accordion-Space4u.com to share your photos, sound files and videos with your fellow accordionists.

Dr. Robert Young McMahan Premieres New Work for Accordion

by Rita Barnea
Dr.Joanna Chao and composer, Dr. Robert Young McMahan
Dr. Robert Young McMahan and On Sunday, November 13th, 2011, AAA Board member, Dr. Robert Young McMahan and pianist Dr. Joanna Chao presented the world premiere of his new composition, "Romp III" at The Greater Princeton Steinway Society Concert in Lawrenceville, New Jersey. I witnessed a remarkable performance, a delightful dialogue between the piano and accordion. It is a lively work, with an intricate yet sensitive interplay showcasing the brilliant techniques of the two performers. They were very enthusiastically received by the audience which consisted of many TCNJ students, faculty, and members of the community.

The program was a joyous celebration of the music, history, and wonderful artistic resources of New Jersey and included works by Bach, Lerdahl, Babbitt, Walker, McMahan (world premiere), Sessions, Rachmaninoff and Barber.

Various composers in recent times have created series of works bearing a single generic title followed by the chronological number of the work. Davidovsky, for example, composed a series of ten electronic pieces with live instruments, all entitled, "Syncronisms". Samuel Adler created twenty-two "Cantos". "No. XVIII" is for accordion which Dr. McMahan commissioned through the AAA. Luciano Berio composed nineteen "Sequenza". No. XIII is for accordion.

In 2005, Dr. Robert McMahan composed a work entitled "Romp" for violin, accordion, and piano, renamed "Romp I". "Romp II" for soprano saxophone and accordion was composed in 2011 for Dr. Paul Cohen, prominent classical saxophonist, musicologist, publisher, and professor at many colleges. "Romp III". the last in the series, is dedicated to Dr.Chao, who commissioned the piece. Similar to the series by Davidovsky, Adler, and Berio, all three Romps are in one movement. As the title implies, the Romps are just that, lively, fascinating, and full of "misbehaviours".

Dr. Robert Young McMahan is Professor of Music and Coordinator of Music Theory and Composition Studies, as well as of the Accordion major, at the The College of New Jersey. (TCNJ). He studied accordion with the noted artist, Lous Coppola. Dr. McMahan holds degrees (MB, MM, DM) In Music Theory and Composition from the Peabody Institute of Music and Liberal Arts from St. John's College. He is an award-winning composer, noted and recorded classical accordionist, and published musicologist. He is active as both a classical accordionist and composer in several contemporary music venues in the middle states region. He is also on the Governing Board of the AAA, heading the Commissioning Committee.

Pianist Dr.Joanna Chao has concertized in the USA and abroad as soloist and chamber musician in concert venues such as Carnegie Weill Hall, Merkin Concert Hall, Alice Tully Hall and in venues in the NY area. She has soloed with orchestras such as Moscow Philharmonic Orchestra, Manhattan Chamber Orchestra, appeared on the New York Philharmonic Chamber Ensemble Series, and collaborated with artists such as Robert while, Paula Robison, and Hai-Ye Ni. She has won many competitions including the Kosciuszko Foundation Chopin Piano Competition.A strong advocate for new music, she is a member of the critically aclaimed Argento Chamber Ensemble.

This is the Steinway Society's Twenty-second Season. Founded in 1989, The Steinway Society is dedicated to developing the talents of young piano students as future performers of classical music. Funds for competitive scholarships and annual developmental awards based on need are raised solely from membership fees, proceeds from Sunday musicales, sponsors, and benefactors.

Dr. McMahan and Dr.Chao gave a wonderful repeat performance of "Romp III" in her scheduled recital for the Argento Contemporary Music Organization on November 27 in NYC. 

Dr. Robert Young McMahan will present his "Romps" at the 2012 AAA Festival in Baltimore, July 11-15th. Be there to hear the composer and virtuoso pianist, Dr. Joanna Chao perform this valuable addition to the accordion and piano repertoire. For further information: grillmyr@gmail.com

Sounding Out the Accordion by Thierry Benetoux

Ludovic Beier Performs at Birdland in NYC

by Rita Barnea
Ludovic Beier
Cory Pesaturo, Ludovic Beier, Rita DavidsonCory Pesaturo, Ludovic Beier, and Editor Rita Davidson at Django Reinhardt Festival

On November 4th, 2011, I heard French accordionist, Ludovic Beier, when I attended the 12th Annual Django Reinhardt NY Festival presented by Air France.The event was held at the famous Birdland Jazz Club. Ludovic performed with the Gypsy legend, guitarist Dorado Schmitt. At that time, I met well known jazz accordionist, Cory Pesaturo, for the first time. We enjoyed Ludovic's performance and had the opportunity to speak with Ludovic after it was over.

The DJANGO REINHARDT NY Festival celebrates the music of legendary gypsy guitarist Django Reinahrdt who teamed with famed jazz violinist Stephane Grappelli in the 30’s and 40’s to create the Quintette du Hot Club de France (“Hot Club of France Quintet”) that went on to become one of the most important jazz partnerships in history.

This ’hot-swing’ form of jazz has its roots in American popular music and in the reverence for Duke Ellington, Louis Armstrong, and other great American jazz figures. Django played with a virtuosity unmatched to this day and an originality that inspires young guitarists all over the world to continue perpetuating his legacy. Django not only performed with tremendous talent but was a highly regarded composer having written such standards as "Nuages".

The Django Reinhardt NY Festival serves to carry on this legacy, gathering top players from Europe with America’s great jazz stars to bring joy to the pubic with its swinging sound, virtuosity, romantic melodies, and comradry amongst the musicians.

Ludovic Beier learned the accordion from his father and benefits from being part of a musical family. He was brought up in the French tradition of the instrument and turned to jazz a few years ago. He has a spirited and adventured style of playing.

Ludovic performs all over the world on the French and European scene with some of the top players of the Django/Swing Jazz style including Angelo Debarre, Dorado Schmitt, Florin Niculescu…He certainly is giving the accordion a new name as his fingers go across the keys in an almost unbelievable way, both swinging and amazingly creative in his improvisation. Along with his virtuoso playing, he composes and arranges, and has his own band, Ludovic Beier Quartet, to perform his “cool and latin” French jazz.

Ludovic has an impressive technique and also a great dose of lyricism with a band that keeps him at full stretch. Accordion will never be the same under his knowledgeable hands, and the new directions he takes. Besides playing around Europe at top festivals and clubs, he appeared in the States with the Django Reinhardt Project, performing at Birdland (NYC) with guests such as Paquito D’Rivera, at Lincoln Center with Joe Lovano, at Yoshis (CA) with David Sanchez, and last summer at the Montreal International Jazz Festival with Angelo Debarre and James Carter where he brought the house down. He also had the honour to perform at Carnegie Hall with Toots Thielemans among a prestigious line up including Herbie Hancock, Ivan Lins and Eliane Elias.

Next time Ludovic is performing in NYC at Birdland, I suggest that you be there to experience a memorable evening of accordion jazz.

The Art of Playing the Accordion Artistically by Friedrich Lips

NAA Celebrates 25 Years!

by Rita Barnea
NAA Logo
NAA President Norman SeatonIn 2012 there will be a special Celebration…the 25th annual convention of the NAA to be held March 15-17, 2012 at the Westin Park Central Hotel in Dallas, Texas. Greg Klugevicz will be the convention manager again.

Friday Night will feature a Polka Party with Molly B and the Squeezebox Band. There will be two accordion orchestras on Thursday night and a youth orchestra on Saturday afternoon

For 2012, Gordon Kohl returns to the National Accordion Convention as an accordion band director: "Thank you for scheduling me as an orchestra leader this year. I always enjoy the Texas convention because of the freedom and willingness to work as a group to play music. This includes the many jam sessions, bands, and accordion orchestras. For my session I intend to experiment with the instrumentation, arrangements, and interpretations. Who knows, maybe we can even set some trends for all festival and convention-based accordion orchestras."

Norman Seaton: "Gordon Kohl has definitely expressed the true Spirit of the National Accordion Association! To me, the purpose of the convention-based orchestras is for organized teamwork including learning to listen to other players and instruments, group dynamics, and expression, and just plain ole fun."

Be part of three days of great workshops and top flight accordion performances. More details will be listed in the January 2012 www.accordionusa.com news.

Photo of NAA President Norman Seaton

For further information: Norman Seaton, NAA President:
NatlAccordion@sbcglobal.net 
Greg Klugevicz, Convention Manager: gklugie@verizon.net

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Future events


Accordion Repairs Made Easy by John Reuther

Happy Xmas from Accordion USA News, Roberto Mangosi and Accordions Worldwide

by Holda Paoletti-Kampl

Accordion Teachers Association of Massachusetts Celebrates 50 Years

by Rita Barnea
ATAM LogoThe Accordion Teachers Association of Massachusetts invites you to celebrate their 50th year of "Making Music" at the New England Music Competition and Festival to be held at the Marriott Hotel, Newton, MA, April 13-15, 2012.

The event will include competitions, exhibits, workshops, scholarships, cash awards, banquet plus more! Peggy Falcetti and Roger LaTulippe are contest co-chairmen.

The ATAM is proud to announce the New Super Accordion Championship sponsored by Dr. Emilian Badea. This all new category is open to all former accordion champions excluding Coupe Mondiale winners. The age limit as of April 1, 2012 is 32 years old. There will be a $1,000 Cash Award to the 1st Place Winner. It is open to piano-accordion competitors only.

More details will be available in the January 2012 Accordion USA News. For further information: peggyf1944@gmail.com.

Gary Dahl eSheet music, sent by email, secure bank server system

Have YOU Organised An Event for World Accordion Day 2012?

by Harley Jones
World Accordion Day logoTo performers, accordion orchestra leaders, festival, concert and competition organizers: What are your plans to promote the accordion in your region on World Accordion Day, 6th May 2012?

World Accordion Day is held on 6th May because that is the day the accordion was first patented in 1829 in Vienna. World Accordion Day started in 2009 and everyone is urged to register their World Accordion Day activity on the website and send a report (and pictures) after the event.

World Accordion Day is a Confédération Internationale des Accordéonistes (CIA) international promotion and CIA President Raymond Bodell said “ALL accordion events celebrating World Accordion Day are welcome. This is a promotion for the accordion in which every accordion enthusiast can participate and help bring the accordion to the attention of the people of their country or region. I particularly ask all major associations and events organizers to plan a special promotion for the weekend of 6th May 2012."

For further information email: harleyaccordion@yahoo.com

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The Connecticut Accordion Orchestra in Holiday Concert

by Rita Barnea
Connecticut Accordion Association Logo
Linda Soley Reed, AAA PresidentThe Connecticut Accordion Orchestra, conducted by AAA President Linda Soley Reed, will present their Annual Holiday Concert on Saturday, December 10, 2011 at 2:00PM at the Blackstone Memorial Library, 758 Main Street, Branford, CT.

The accordion ensemble, Vitality, will also perform. The members are Don Gerundo, Kathleen DiCocco, Marilyn O"Neil, Bob Vitale, Mary Mascolo, Julie Cardona, and Karen Buccitti. The group is named after accordionist, Bob Vitale, who taught many of the members. Concert accordionist Mary Tokarski will perform several solos.

The Annual Holiday Party immediately follows the concert at POMPEO's RESTAURANT, 485 West Main Street, Branford, CT. The Buffet Menu includes:Salad, Ziti with Tomato Sauce, Meatballs, Roast Beef, Chicken with Potatoes, Broiled Scrod, Mixed Vegetables, Rolls and Butter, Dessert and Coffee. The coos is $35.00 per person

Please call to register by December 5. Make checks payable to CAA and mail to:Marilyn O'Neil, 1025 Marion Road, Cheshire, CT 06410. The proceeds from donations and sale of the orchestra's CD's will go toward the AAA Youth Program, a very successful program first presented at the 2011 AAA Festival in Charleston.

For further information: Call Marilyn O"Neil at (203) 272-1202 or e mail: Marilyn@CTAccordion.com

The Ins and Outs of the Accordion by famous accordion repairer and tuner Thierry Benetoux

WMAS Holiday Programs

by Rita Barnea
Potomac Ensemble
The Potomac Accordion Ensemble, affiliated with WMAS and directed by AAA Historian Joan Grauman since 2004, will perform at Dublin Roasters Coffee, a delightful, spacious coffeehouse, in Frederick, Maryland, on Saturday, December 3, at 2 pm and 3:15 pm. The ensemble will play seasonal music. For more information, contact Joan Grauman at joangrauman@verizon.net.

In top photo L to R: Karen Malan-Uribe, Peter DiGiovanni, JoAnn Pankow, Joan Grauman, Mara Cherkasky, Yimeng Huang, Lee Paulson and Meryl Benenati (missing from photo is bass accordionist Lou Silvia)
 
WMAS will hold its popular Holiday Concert and Potluck Dinner on Sunday, December 11, at 4 pm. The festive event draws large crowds for the orchestra concert and sing-along, strolling soloists and great food. It will be held at the Sleepy Hollow United Methodist Church in Falls Church, Virginia. For more information, contact Mara Cherkasky at mcherkasky@verizon.net

The mission of WMAS is to bring together accordionists and promote accordion music in the national capital region. The organization meets at 4 pm on one Sunday every month (except August) at Sleepy Hollow United Methodist Church in Falls Church, Virginia.

In bottom photo: WMAS President Peter DiGiovanni, and Vice-President/Conductor, Joan Grauman welcome the audience as MC, Ken Kunec prepares to play at the 2010 concert.
Holiday Concert 2010

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Diatonic Categories For The 2012 Trophée Mondial, Spokane – USA

by Harley Jones
Trophee Mondial header
The Confederation Mondiale de L'Accordeon (CMA) 2012 Trophée Mondial will continue the Diatonic categories that were initiated in 2011.

This is the first time the Trophée Mondial has been to the North American continent with the 2012 Trophée Mondial being held in Spokane, Washington State, 23rd to 27th October, 2012.

The rules for the two diatonic categories are:
Junior Variety Diatonic Maximum Age : 18 years (Diatonic accordion)
1 Round, Own Choice Programme with maximum time limit of 10 mins to include at least two pieces of different style and character. The pieces chosen should be mainly original works for Diatonic accordion.

Senior Variety Diatonic Maximum Age : 35 years
(Diatonic accordion)
1st Round : Own Choice Programme with maximum time limit of 9 mins
2nd Round : Own Choice Programme with maximum time limit of 9 mins
Selections performed in the second round will be different from those performed in the first round. The pieces chosen should be mainly original works for Diatonic accordion.

Pigini USA distributor Ernest Deffner

Mario Pedone to Perform in Dallas

by Rita Barnea
Greg and Mario PedoneOn Tuesday, December 6, Mario Pedone will perform for the Dallas Accordion Association. According to organizer and President Greg Klugiewicz. " Mario is a wonderful and popular accordionist.... we are fortunate to get him to perform at our December meeting."  

The Dallas group meets at the IHOP restaurant on Centerville and LBJ the first Tuesday of each month at 7PM. This month's meeting will begin with a group playing Christmas Carols followed by a much-anticipated Pedone concert.

Mario is well-known in music circles. He is an accomplished accordionist and keyboardist who plays every style of music including jazz, Latin, European, country, folk, big band, traditional and much more.

Mario was a member of the Valencia Accordion Club and Co-founder of the Orquesta Latina .Together with the famous Spanish singer, Esteban Abarca, the Orquesta Latina performed across Venezuela. He has performed professionally in many countries including Colombia, Venezuela, Sweden, Italy and Canada.

Mario has his own recording studio in Sugar Land, TX were he has arranged and recorded hundreds of tunes including many of his own compositions. He also produces CDs and background music for other musicians and singers. Mario founded the Fort Bend County Accordion Club.

Mario Pedone was born in Valenzano, a small town near Bari in Southern, Italy. In order to improve the family's financial situation, they immigrated to Valencia, Venezuela in 1959. Mario's older brother Ludovico had begun to study the accordion and Mario was always watching him hoping that one day he also would play this wonderful Instrument. He persistently begged his father to let him start accordion lessons too and eventually succeeded.

His first teacher was Franco Cupertino a great professional accordion player. Mario devoted at least 4 to 5 hours per day for practicing the accordion. After a few years Professor Miguel Casas Auge from Spain the Founder of the Valencia Accordion Club and the conductor of the Valencia Symphony Orquesta assumed Mario's accordion education. He was followed by Professor Roberto Ruscitti, a renowned classical accordionist who provided his education for the next 7 years.

In 1972, Mario graduated as a Concertista from the School Academia de Acordeon Smith, directed by Roberto Ruscitti. In March 1974 he earned a Cum Laude diploma in accordion from the same school. In 1976 he graduated with a degree as Professor of Accordion. After graduation Mario founded his own accordion school, Academia Latina de Acordeon where he had over 125 students. Most of his former students are now playing professionally.

In 1981 in search for better future, Mario moved to Sugar Land, Texas USA with his wife, Marbella, and two children. He has performed professionally in many Countries including Colombia, Venezuela, Sweden, Italy and Canada. Mario has his own recording studio in Sugar Land, TX were he has arranged and recorded hundreds of tunes including many of his own compositions. His musical range includes, but is not limited to Classical, Latin, European, American Standards. In 2002 and 2003 Mario was invited to perform in the famous Accordion Festival celebrated in Ransäter, Sweden and now Mario’s composition " Bergen’s Polka " is well known in the Scandinavian Countries. Others performance venues include: San Antonio Accordion Club in Texas, special performance sponsored by Jack Stankus in Austin, TX, Arizona Accordion Club, Accordion Smash in Orlando, FL, Oklahoma Accordion Club.

For further information: gklugie@verizon.net

PANcordion

Best Wishes For A Wonderful Christmas & Successful 2012 - Worldwide

by Holda Paoletti-Kampl
Christmas message
Happy Xmas from Accordion USA News and Accordions Worldwide Staff - cartoons by Roberto Mangosi

Sounding Out the Accordion by Thierry Benetoux

CD Reviews


The International Trio, CD Available online, secure server

Manny Corallo Releases "It's An Accordion Christmas" CD

by Rita Barnea
Manny Corallo, member of the "Amazing Accordion Kings" has released a new CD, Cat No: mcorallo201 "It's An Accordion Christmas". It is an amazing CD of big band, swing, and traditional orchestral arrangements with the accordion as the lead instrument.

I enjoyed listening to every song on the album. Manny Corallo brings a refreshing and exciting new sound to traditional, favorite Christmas selections including: "Winter Wonderland", "Feliz Navidad", "Christmas Time is Here", "Oh Holy Night", "Sleigh Ride", "O Little Town of Bethlehem", " Hark the Herald Angels Sing", "Let It Snow", "Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas", "O Come All Ye Faithful", "Angels We Have Heard On High", "White Christmas", and "Ave Maria".

This festive CD, dedicated to his parents, was arranged and produced by Manny who played a Giulietti Supermodel accordion for the recording. Other musicians accompanying Manny on the CD are: Tony Drago (drums), David Finck (bass), Bob Mann (guitar), Richie Rodriguez (percussion), Ron Fox (trumpet), Rob Susman (trombone), Matt Cowan (saxophone), Belinda Whitney, Carol Pool, Cenovia Cummins (violins). Photos of Manny by Tanya Henigman.

Manny began his musical career early. At age 4 he began to play drums, and soon after that switched to accordion.“My father played accordion, and I started taking lessons from my father’s music teacher, Frank Toscano. It was a bonding thing for my father and I to play the same instrument. Sundays at my grandparents consisted of my father and I on accordion and my grandfather on mandolin and guitar. I remember how much fun that was when I was a kid.”

By age 13, Manny began piano lessons and continued to study with Frank. Frank provided Manny with proper classical training but he had a strong love for jazz and Manny developed the same love for it. “Frank is an incredible jazz accordionist and pianist, and a great friend too.” he said. ”He provided me with the solid musical foundation that I rely on today, and I always thank Frank for giving me that.”Manny met another great musician, Angelo DiPippo. “Angelo is another incredible jazz accordionist and is an accomplished and well known arranger and conductor.”

Inspired by Angelo’s accomplishments and albums, Manny found out that he too had an interest in arranging and began his career arranging for tenor Peter Colombo, and accompanied him on his Catskill Mountain tours as his piano conductor. “It was a good place to start. Writing rhythm section and horn charts for Peter and conducting for him gave me the confidence I needed.”

Manny also got his feet wet in the recording studio at this point, by arranging and recording 2 albums for Peter. Soon after the tours, Manny met record producer and engineer Gerry “Doc” Comito of Sonic Sound Recording Studio in Freeport, NY. “Gerry is another good friend of mine and we have worked on many recordings together. I have been hired as an arranger, pianist, and accordionist, by Sonic clients.” Manny’s next couple of projects enabled him to write for live strings - something he still loves to do to this day.

“I had a project where the client wanted a live string section. Still being a kid, I went home and sweated over every note. When I heard the strings on playback with a little reverb, I was hooked.” This led to another project with live strings and brass “Venezuela Princess” written by Al Pantino. After that Manny combined his arranging and playing on an Italian album.

Writing for live instruments was something he definitely enjoyed. Not every project needed live instruments once synths and midi became common, but just being in the studio was good enough for Manny. He started teaching piano privately and formed his own dance band, 'Prime Time Live'. “We started out as a five piece band and eventually wound up as ten pieces with 4 horns. Having my own horn section enabled me to arrange for horns all the time.” We performed in Atlantic City, opening up for acts such as comedians Sal Richards and Paula Poundstone. We also performed at the Brookhaven Amphitheater, as the opening act for the Count Basie orchestra.”

Manny returned to CW Post College to get his Bachelors degree in Music Education, and continued his arranging projects. Manny had regarded himself as an arranger for so long that it never occurred to him to try to compose music. He got a chance to score a TV commercial then realizing he truly loves to score music. Manny soon after arranged a Gospel album at this time, for Wayne E.N. Ireland-Cleghorne entitled “God’s Love” recorded at Sonic Sound.

“What a thrill for me, hearing the choir. To do something different, it was exciting to work on.” Around this time, Manny worked on many different projects playing accordion on various ethnic albums. But the desire to score was growing within him. Manny had the opportunity to score “Mr. Men & Little Miss” a children's cartoon, and the producer was so happy with the job that Manny did, that the next project that came along was to be given to Manny was “Pokemon” leading to Pokemon’s motion pictures and many more projects including the animated television series "Tama & Friends", "Kirby Right back at ya", "Fighting Foodons", "Shaman King", "Sonic X" and others.

Remember to order a copy of this unique and thoroughly delightful Christmas CD for everyone on your holiday list. This album is for sale either as an actual CD on his website or as an itunes download. Manny will release a new CD of Italian songs in spring 2012. The CD, Cat No: mcorallo201 "It's An Accordion Christmas" is $14.99 plus postage.

Contact Manny Corallo: manny@mannycorallo.com
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