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U.S. National Accordion News - 01-Apr-2021
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Titano Accordion Company

Highlights

Editor's Note
Passing of Carol Ann Ettore-Asimou
International Women's Day👩🏼‍🤝‍👩🏽💚 8th March
William Schimmel 2021 AAA Master Class & Concert Series in New York - USA
Virtual Presentation: Linda Soley Reed AAA Lifetime Achievement Award
National Accordion Association News Release
Bridge & Wolak play "Gankino Concerto" in USA & Canada
ATAM Goes Virtual Once Again For 59th Annual New England Music Festival
Join the AAA Today
Mary & Frank Tokarski Musical Arts Fund - USA
The Accordionists & Teachers Guild, International Has Something New!
The Business of ”Music Birthday Parties for Children"

Voci Armoniche

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

Sam Falcetti Introduces his 7 Pop Music Ideas Books to the Accordion World
Bachtopus Accordion Ensemble Workshop is Online on April 11
Dallas Vietty Teaches "Creativity for Accordionists" Zoom Series
Zoom Vancouver Squeezebox Circle on April 1
Rachel Bell Releases Tune Book, “This Part of the World”
Bachtopus Performs: "Scintillation In Isolation" by Will Holshouser
Accordion Star International Competition-Festival 2021
Free: Rob Howard’s Generously Offers Out of Print Books Free as pdf
World Accordion Day Online: Sharon Schrul Performs in Whistler Public Library Event
Central Texas Accordion Association Restarts In Person Club Meetings
Cancelled: Vancouver Folk Music Festival – Canada

Pigini USA distributor Ernest Deffner

Children's Corner

Children's Corner: Young Accordionist Daniel Mecher is Involved in Many Musical endeavors

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

Future events

Dick Contino Tribute at A World of Accordions Museum on May 6-8
Alex Meixner Band at Rock’N RiverWalk - USA
Important Message from CAF Director Scott Goree
2021 World Cup on the Accordion Virtual Polka Championship

PANcordion

New and Updated Sites

Updated Site: AAA Site Announcements


Accordion Repairs Made Easy by John Reuther

Highlights


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

Editor's Note

by Rita Davidson Barnea, Editor USA Accordion News
Editor Rita BarneaTo all our accordionists and accordion enthusiasts:

The April www.accordionusa.com news is now online. We at AWW hope that you and your family are continuing to do well during this world crisis. It is most unfortunate that the spread of Covid-19 has led to the postponement or cancellation of many international and national accordion events. We ask organizers to please keep us informed so we can let all our readers know.

We are happy to report, however, that many concerts, festivals, and workshops are planned to be live events in the upcoming months. Doesn’t it feel great to be able to perform with or watch our musical friends in person?

Please continue to email Editor Rita Barnea at Ritabelll@aol.com with details of your upcoming concerts, CD releases, competitions, festivals, performances etc. We will update any changes as received.

We hope that next month we will be able to publicize even more upcoming live concerts. In the meantime, when you are home, watch the online performances of many accordionists around the world, take the time to take Skype lessons and practice your accordion. And please remember to be supportive of the artists who perform online by making a donation to them. It will be greatly appreciated.

Remember that May 6, 2021 is World Accordion Day! Please send info of your WAD events to Ritabelll@aol.com.

Titano Accordion Company

Passing of Carol Ann Ettore-Asimou

by Rita Davidson Barnea, Editor USA Accordion News
Carol Ann Ettore-Asimou
Carol Ann Ettore-Asimou (picture above), 63, beloved wife, mother and grandmother, of Andover NJ, passed away on March 19, 2021. An only child, born in Newark to Eugene and Concetta Ettore, Mrs. Ettore-Asimou lived most of her life in Livingston and settled in Andover in 2016.

For many years, she was an event planner for LAPP Corp. in Florham Park. In her spare time, she enjoyed traveling to Greece during the summer and spending time with her family. Crafting was a passion of hers, especially the art of Rosary making. She will be dearly missed by all who knew her and will be remembered for her caring nature.

Her father, Eugene Ettore, was a prominent composer, teacher and accordionist who made important contributions to the accordion world. Carol and her family attended Eugene Ettore events including a Memorial Scholarship Concert held in her father’s honor in Livingston, New Jersey which featured many prominent accordionists. Rita Barnea also organized and performed in a Memorial Concert for him in 2010.

She is survived by her beloved husband of 36 years, John Asimou; her devoted sons, Eugene A. Asimou and his wife,Taryn Alysha, and Christopher J. Asimou, and granddaughter, Bella. She is also survived by many aunts, nieces, nephews, extended relatives and dear friends. Services were held on Sunday, March 21, at the Shook-Farmer Funeral Home in Roseland. Cremation services were private. The family suggests that donations may be made in the memory of Mrs. Ettore-Asimou to the charity of the donor’s choice.

Voci Armoniche

International Women's Day👩🏼‍🤝‍👩🏽💚 8th March

by Harley Jones
International Women's Day header
International Women's DayBig HUGE thank you to all the great accordion women out there!

The celebration of International Women's Day on the 8th March turned my mind to the enormous contribution women around the world have made to the accordion development and history as teachers, performers, association executive and conductors.

A number of great "accordion ladies" who I have had the pleasure of knowing over many years immediately came to my mind and some very sadly are no longer with us. I was ready to start listing, when I thought, NO.

Any list, is going to immediately miss a lot of super "accordion ladies" and for that reason, this THANK YOU to so many "accordion ladies" will not mention one name.

Instead, please give a thought to these important ladies that you personally know or know about. I believe, every reader knows accordion ladies who they greatly respect for their efforts and achievements in music and all they have done.

A deep thank you to all our "accordion ladies" all over the world.
International Women's Day logo

Accordion Jazz Chords

William Schimmel 2021 AAA Master Class & Concert Series in New York - USA

by Harley Jones
The Twilight Time AAA Workshop Flier
Dr William SchimmelThe American Accordionists' Association (AAA) will present a 2021 Master Class & Concert Series with Dr William Schimmel, moderator and curator from July 30th to August 1st, 2021. This event will be held online the same as the very successful 2020 event.

Entitled "The Twilight Time" (The magical place from light to darkness), the AAA Master Class and Concert Series will feature daily masterclasses from 3pm to 4pm and concerts from 4pm to 5 pm.

Download the AAA Masterclass flier for a full list of participants and reservation information: 2021AAAMasterClass.pdf Online reservations at: http://www.ameraccord.com/annualmasterclass.php

PANcordion

Virtual Presentation: Linda Soley Reed AAA Lifetime Achievement Award

by Joan Grauman, AAA Historian
AAA Logo
Linda ReedPlease mark your calendars and plan to join us as the American Accordionists' Association (AAA) honors our 2021 AAA Lifetime Achievement Award recipient, Linda Soley Reed, on May 23 at 3:PM EST.

Educator, performer, conductor, former AAA President, adjudicator and active AAA Board member for decades, Linda's extraordinary achievements will be celebrated in style!

This virtual presentation will feature a slideshow, videos, and performances by Frank Busso, Sr., Joe Cerrito, Don Gerundo, Guy Klucevsek, Dan Mastroiani, Eddie Monteiro, Alexander Poeluev, Mario Tacca, Mary Tokarski, Frank Toscano, and the world premiere of a piece composed for Linda by Dr. Robert Young McMahan.

There will be a tax deductible registration fee of $25 to attend the event. Please click on the link to purchase an "Event Ticket" at AAA-Store. You will receive a confirmation email and a link for Zoom prior to the May 23 event.

Hope to see you there!!

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

National Accordion Association News Release

by Sharon Seaton, Ed.D.
Virtual Horizons
Sharon SeatonVirtual Horizons for the Accordion Community! Virtual Accordion Teachers Wanted!

Send Sharon Seaton a YouTube and/or ZOOM Training Session AccordionSharon@yahoo.com

Virtual Horizons! (also known as ZOOM, SKYPE, JoinMe, Google Meetings, etc.)
Effective April 1, 2021, National Accordion Association officials are upgrading the web-based National Training Center to include Virtual Horizons for future accordion events. The COVID-19 Survival Kit information will be removed.

Rough History:
Since the accordion was introduced to the USA and Canada communities in the 1800s and popularized by the general population in the Vaudeville days, the accordion has survived many worldwide wars, depressions, unusual political actions, terrorist attacks, public scorn, and just about everything else. Yet, accordionists are survivalists. While COVID-19 has slowed us down for a year, it also opened many new horizons of opportunities.

Virtual Meetings:
Computer technology as we know it started in the mid-1960s with the introduction of computer operating systems. While virtual meetings are rapidly gaining in popularity since the beginning of the 2000s, COVID-19 has forced the public to engage in digital activities such as family meetings, business practices, medical appointments, educational activities, musical performances, and recreational pleasures. The only other option is to disengage and to lose contact with others. Accordionists survive on social contact and are very resistant to losing contact with others, especially the accordion communities.

Giving Back to our Community we Serve:
The National Accordion Association is giving back to the community we serve by offering a connecting service among students and instructors, regardless of the current playing skills. We are encouraging all teachers to allow the NAA to list your name and contact information on our website. Additionally, we are asking for a short interactive YouTube recording demonstrating your virtual teaching techniques. View our website www.Accordions.com/naa and Virtual Horizons in the title bar for live examples.
Do not become a COVID-19 victim! Get involved with the virtual accordion community.

National Accordion Conventions:
The NAA conventions will continue to be held at the Hyatt Regency Hotel in North Dallas Hotel until further notice.
The scheduled dates are:
* March 16-19, 2022
* March 15-18, 2023

Pigini USA distributor Ernest Deffner

Bridge & Wolak play "Gankino Concerto" in USA & Canada

by Rita Davidson Barnea, Editor USA Accordion News
Video: Filmed July 2020, at the Isabel Bader Centre for the Performing Arts in Kingston, Ontario, Canada.

Michael Bridge (accordion & piano) and Kornel Wolak (clarinet & piano) have created this elaborate fantasia, based on the popular Bulgarian folk tune, Gankino Horo.”

The video is part of Bridge & Wolak's film "From Bach to Benny Goodman." The complete show was filmed in July 2020 at the Isabel Bader Centre for the Performing Arts in Kingston, Ontario. Without a live audience, Bridge & Wolak took the opportunity to film in typically-unseen locations around the hall, including an intimate backstage tour of The Isabel. The complete film is 1h 6m.

Michael Bridge and Kornel Wolak are an internationally-acclaimed music & comedy duo, integrating traditional acoustic instruments with 21st century digital technology.

They perform their own uniquely re-imagined repertoire of classical, world and jazz fusion. With deft virtuosity and endless wit, Bridge & Wolak have been called the “Victor Borges of the 21st Century.”

Future 2021 performances include:

• April 17th: Port Ludlow Bay Club @ 7pm Port Ludlow, WA, United States

• April 18th: Bishop Centre for the Performing Arts @ 2pm, Aberdeen, WA, United States

• April 25th: Hobson Public School @ 8pm Hobson, MT, United States

• April 27th: Fort Benton Elementary School @ 8pm Fort Benton, MT, United States

• April 29th: Seeley Swan High School @ 8pm Seeley Lake, MT, United States

• April 30th: Belt Performing Arts Center @ 8pm Belt, MT, United States

• May 5th: The Sanderson Centre for the Performing Arts @ 7.30pm Brantford, ON, Canada

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

ATAM Goes Virtual Once Again For 59th Annual New England Music Festival

by Peggy Falcetti
New England Music FestivalAs the Covid-19 pandemic continues across the world, the Accordion Teachers Association of Massachusetts (ATAM) is working hard once again to virtually host their 59th Annual New England Music Festival. For the first 57 years of this competition, the annual New England Music Festival has been held during a weekend in April where over 600 students and their families gather to compete and showcase their musical abilities.

This event usually draws 2,000-3,000 people over the competition weekend. With categories for accordion, drums, guitar, piano, voice, and violin players, there is a wide variety of musicians represented. The competition includes many music studios throughout New England. Also, just two years ago, the ATAM added categories for adult musicians as well. The adult categories (for Accordion, Drums, Guitar, Piano, and Voice) are open to all musicians age 23 and older across the United States, with no affiliation to a specific music studio necessary. The ATAM also distributes over $5,000 in cash awards and scholarships each year at this event.

The 59th Festival is being held in the month of April from when the Videos and entries are sent in, to creating the contest, to settling the judges with the videos, score sheets, and clean copies if needed, and assigning which categories they will judge.  The judging will be done from April 26th to May 2nd and  the final results and awarding of trophies will be done the week of May 9, 2021.

Last year, for their 58th annual competition, the ATAM had to transition their competition to a fully virtual event. Over 800 video entries were submitted and judged during last year’s virtual competition. After originally postponing the event, which was to be held during the last weekend of March 2020 at the Boston Marriott in Newton MA, the competition was originally moved to the last weekend in July 2020. Because of the Covid-19 pandemic, the association was unable to hold this event at the Boston Marriott Newton last year, and had to transition to a virtual competition. Mike Silvia, secretary of the ATAM, was the virtual competition coordinator and was instrumental in making this competition a reality. The decision did not come easily, but was determined to be the safest and most effective way to hold the competition during the uncertain times of Covid-19. With this transition to a virtual competition, the students who had worked so hard to prepare their competition pieces were still able to perform.

The ATAM worked hard last year to find a virtual format that was efficient and simple, so that all of the original contestants would have the opportunity to remain in the competition. With the inability to host a live, in-person competition at the Boston Marriott Newton in 2021, the ATAM is utilizing a similar virtual format this year in order to continue their annual music festival. The competition process is already in motion for this year and it appears as though there will be upwards of 500 video entries for this year’s virtual festival. The students will be working with their teachers and studios to record their performance and post a video for each of their categories onto YouTube. The judges will then be sent a scoresheet and video for each contestant and will score and critique each performance. This alternative design is not the ideal way to host a music competition, but the ATAM thought it was important to continue with their 59th Annual New England Music Festival, even if it must be held virtually. During the difficult times of this pandemic, it is important for these contestants to keep doing what they love, playing music, while making sure they are staying safe.

Additionally, the ATAM is hopeful that they will be able to host a Battle of the Bands competition on October 24th, 2021 at the Hard Rock Café in Boston, MA. As long as Covid-19 regulations allow this event to take place, the date has already been reserved and planning for this event is well underway. With the inability to have groups perform and compete virtually the past two competitions, this event would be a great opportunity for the students to showcase their abilities in a group setting. The ATAM will be sharing additional information about this event as it becomes available. The ATAM is looking forward to hopefully hosting the 60th Annual New England Music Festival at the Boston Marriott Newton on April 8th, 9th & 10th 2022, but for now they are capitalizing on the advantages of technology to continue spreading joy through music during these tough times!

For any adult contestant interested in participating in this year’s competition, please contact ATAM Chairperson, Peggy Falcetti at peggyf1944@gmail.com.

The Art of Playing the Accordion Artistically by Friedrich Lips

Join the AAA Today

by Rita Davidson Barnea, Editor USA Accordion News
The AAA is a very active organization of accordion enthusiasts. Membership is open to all. The American Accordionists' Association is a non-profit organization founded in 1938. AAA presents an educational and enjoyable accordion events each year in different parts of the country featuring world class accordionists as guest artists and workshop presenters. Currently meeting and events are being held online.

Membership includes access to the AAA newsletter, special discounts for AAA events, opportunities to participate in workshops and events sponsored by the AAA, attend open meetings and network with accordionists from around the world including today’s artists and more.

Please click on AAA to explore the AAA and its history. Using the website, consider becoming a member if you are not one already. you can sign up to become a member of which there are several options. Membership ranges from $20.00 to $65.00 depending on the type of membership you choose.

Online application: AAA Shopping Cart or http://www.ameraccord.com/cart.aspx

What is the purpose of the AAA?
- To provide the media and public with information to stimulate an increasing awareness of, knowledge about, and appreciation for the accordion.
- To promote unity within the accordion community by encouraging cooperation among members and with their organizations which work on behalf of the instrument.
- To set and maintain high standards for those interested in the accordion, thereby working to facilitate and coordinate the various segments of the accordion world.
- To increase the number of people playing and studying the accordion with a particular emphasis on young people.
- To honor achievement throughout the accordion community.
- To organize, sponsor and support competition for accordionists at all levels and dispense scholarships and/or honors to those who distinguish themselves through outstanding performance.
- To organize, sponsor and support workshops, advancing educational standards and artistic levels of accordion enthusiasts.
- To promote communication among segments of the accordion world.
- To assist all accordion-related organizations with a forum for discussion of matters affecting the accordion in particular, and music in general, both nationally and internationally.

Types of AAA Memberships:
Professionals, Teachers, Students and Hobbyists: Professional Membership (Full Membership), Associate Membership, Affiliated Organization Membership, and Student Membership. International Members of the AAA will receive newsletters, forms and other information in electronic form. Professional Membership (Full Membership) is offered to individuals who work with the accordion in a professional capacity such as performers, teachers, manufacturers, publishers and composers. Professional (Full) Members receive bi-monthly Newsletters, special discounts for AAA Events, opportunities to participate in workshops and events sponsored by the AAA, attend Open Meetings, and network with accordionists from around the world, including today's artists. The annual fee for a Professional Membership is $65 USD.

ASSOCIATE Membership is offered to individuals who are interested in supporting and attending accordion events. Associate Members receive bi-monthly Newsletters, opportunities to participate in workshops and events sponsored by the AAA, attend Open Meetings, and network with accordionists from around the world, including today's artists. The annual fee for an Associate Membership is $35 USD.

AFFILIATED ORGANIZATION Membership offers local or regional clubs and organizations to take part in AAA's national and international coverage. Your group will be listed on the AAA's Affiliations Page as an Affiliated Organization. Your organization will benefit from being part of the AAA's network, while at the same time helping support the accordion programs and activities sponsored by the AAA. Contact Dr. Joseph A. Ciccone at drjciccone@aol.com for more information.

STUDENT Membership is offered to high school and college students. Students receive bi-monthly Newsletters, special discounts for AAA Events, opportunities to participate in workshops and events sponsored by the AAA, attend Open Meetings, and network with accordionists from around the world, including today's artists. The annual fee for a Student Membership is $20 USD.

AAA Affiliations:
Confédération Internationale des Accordéonistes (CIA)
International Music Council (IMC), official NGO partner of UNESCO.
National Music Council of the United States (NMC)
A World of Accordions Museum, Superior, WI, Dr. Helmi Harrington - Director
NEW - Organization Affiliation!

Contact the AAA Executive Office:
American Accordionists' Association (AAA)
Dr. Joseph A. Ciccone, President 2 Gramatan Ave., Suite 206 Mt. Vernon, NY 10550 USA
Phone: 914-224-1241, Fax: 914-664-1383
E-mail: ameraccord1938@gmail.com

Titano Accordion Company

Mary & Frank Tokarski Musical Arts Fund - USA

by Harley Jones
Mary & Frank Tokarski Musical Arts Fund
Mary & Frank TokarskiEst. 2018 by Mary Tokarski.

In 2018, Mary Tokarski established the Mary & Frank Tokarski Musical Arts Fund managed by The Community Foundation for Greater New Haven so that young people can “experience the enrichment and the joy that comes from making music.”

The Fund bears her husband’s name to honor the endless support he had for the music career of Mary Tokarski.

Beginning in July of 2021, the Fund will begin presenting one or more Scholarships and Grants to young musicians (up to the age of 26) seeking educational advancement and/or to improve their musical skills on the accordion through extra-curricular programs and events, and require financial help to do so.

North Haven High School students, American Accordionists’ Association (AAA) festival participants and students of AAA members can apply.

The deadline for applications is May 15th, 2021, and one (or more) awards of varying amounts will be announced at the July AAA Festival event – whether in person or virtual.

The Mary & Frank Tokarski Musical Arts Fund will award scholarships based on financial need and academic achievement to young musicians who are currently enrolled or have applied for admission to a degree program of an accredited college or university, with the required curriculum leading to a bachelor’s or associate’s degree in music, preferably with the accordion as a major instrument.

Special consideration will be given to those who plan to use the accordion as an integral part of their career plans.

Application forms and all required paperwork should be posted or emailed to:
mary.tokarski@comcast.net
The Mary & Frank Tokarski Musical Arts Fund
835 Mix Avenue
Apartment T1
Hamden, CT 06514

Applications and Information: Mary & Frank Tokarski Musical Arts Fund
Questions, clarifications and requests for applications should be sent to Mary Tokarski at: mary.tokarski@comcast.net.

Larry Malmberg eSheet music, sent by email, secure bank server

The Accordionists & Teachers Guild, International Has Something New!

by Rita Davidson Barnea, Editor USA Accordion News
ATG New Online
Join the Accordionists & Teachers Guild, International (ATG) for one of their new 30-minute online Wednesday Workshops. 7:30 PM Central USA.

Workshops are free to ATG members, $15 for non-members.

Upcoming 2021 workshops:
April 7 – "The Anatomy of the Accordion" by Frank Busso
April 14 – "Friedrich Lips Life Achievements" by Dr. Herbert Scheibenreif

To request a Zoom link, email: atg.accordioniststeachersguild@gmail.com

Gary Daverne CD's and eSheet music available online

The Business of ”Music Birthday Parties for Children"

by Rita Davidson Barnea, Editor USA Accordion News
Rita BarneaIn addition to being a full time public school music teacher who used the accordion every day in the classroom for many years, I also ran a music birthday party business centered around the accordion. It was fun, interesting and a great way to supplement my income. It took me many years of trial and error to come up with a great plan to entertain at parties ages 1-10 years.

What a fun and educational way to celebrate a child’s birthday! With music including songs, games, and instruments. Using your accordion is an ideal way to be totally portable! You can provide entertainment in any venue be it someone’s home, outdoors or in a restaurant. I know you will find this to be both profitable, educational, entertaining and a great way to promote the accordion! I was very busy and always booked more parties from people in attendance.

For many years, I had a successful children’s birthday party business featuring the accordion. It is a unique and fun way for you to earn extra income. I suggest that you experiment with your ideas and program by entertaining relatives and friends children, volunteering at daycare center or nursery school. Below are some of the ideas which I implemented. I have shared these ideas at accordion conventions. The ideas below represent many years of entertaining at children parties, ages 1 to 10. I include one year old parties because they include the older siblings and relatives and friends children:

Who says a party must be indoors? When kids are involved, outdoor events are often the better choice! Included here are some fun activities I offer for the great outdoors (and indoors) All these activities promote camaraderie and good positive values among the youngsters from ages 1 to about 10 years of age.

Music is timeless. All will enjoy your entertainment. By all, I mean the children as well as the adults who are watching (and most likely, will want to join in!) Have some extra jingles ready to give out to the little ones that are held on the lap of parents and friends.
Equipment needed:

1. YOUR ACCORDION!!😀 If you really get into doing parties, I suggest a smaller sized red accordion that you can decorate with stickers!
2. A selection of rhythm instruments including: jingle bells, maracas, tambourines, bongo drums, triangles, etc. I do not recommend rhythm sticks since they sometimes go from being an instrument to being a weapon!!! (Believe me from personal experience!)
3. A selection of prerecorded songs for dancing and games including: “The Chicken Dance”, “Limbo” “Hokey Pokey” etc. Of course if you know the music, you can play it on your accordion.
4. Broom stick or long scarf to serve as a limbo stick.
5. Fun and silly party hats for the guests with a special hat for the birthday child.
6. A baton for the birthday child to lead the band. You can use a light up stick or decorate a stick which you can purchase at any party store. Have an extra one so the birthday child can choose a friend to also be the conductor.
7. To order musical instruments, hats, batons, etc. online, I suggest you google the desired items. The Oriental Catalog is a popular site to order party supplies.
8. If you also plan to present an art project, one of the simplest and most useful one is for the children to: create their own tambourines. All you need is paper plates, stickers ( music stickers or cartoon characters, etc.), dried beans, glue sticks, stapler. The children decorate the paper plates, glue together, add beans and then seal. They can use them during your presentation or take them home as a party favor. This is very economical for the parents of the birthday child. Bring all supplies with you.
9. Your outfit: Colorful, musical…. a musical scarf or pin, shirt etc.

Main Part of Party Entertainment:

The birthday child is the center of attention, the leader of his very own band! Have the child stand next to you. Give him or her the special hat and baton. Tell them you have something very special in your case (accordion case). Ask him if he thinks it is an animal (go through a list) or a pizza! ( or other type of food) or anything else you think the child would enjoy. Have him tap on the case. Then open it very slowly and they will be surprised to see your accordion. “Wow, What is that?” It may be the first time he ever saw an accordion!

Tell them that each button is a special song. Of course any button they press is the song you want to play or that you know they would like to hear. …… Press a button…….maybe it will be “Happy Birthday” or “ABC”s” 😉

Show the child how to use the baton to conduct. Have the friends clap and stop clapping according to the stop and go of the baton.

Most important!!!!!!!!………. REST POSITION…… first of the hands and then after the instruments. “When I stop conducting, you stop playing. Put your hands or instruments in your lap, in rest position”

Hand out instruments. Put instrument on floor in front of child and tell them not to play until the signal is given which is the waving of the baton.

List of songs you may choose from (add your own!):
1. “ABC"
2. "Wheels on the Bus”
3. “Old Macdonald Farm”
4. “BINGO”
5. “Mary Had a Little Lamb”
6. "Twinkle Twinkle Little Star"
7. "Row Row Row Your Boat"
8. "Its Bitsy Spider"
9. "Head Shoulders Knees & Toes"
10. "If You're Happy & You Know It”
11. The Grand Finale to the party is the Big Parade….. you can consult with the parents of the birthday child and march the children to the lunch or birthday cake table. Everyone marches around the room, restaurant, or yard, etc. You lead the parade with your accordion followed by the birthday child band leader and friends. (Adults, too!). You will be surprised at how many adult relatives and friends like to participate and, why not? Music is timeless and universal.
12. The point is to be flexible. Some parents want the entertainment first before refreshments. Some like the entertainment after eating.

Guaranteed Success Every Time! Many times I was booked again for the following year for the same child, siblings, friends, or relatives. Every party is individualized and unique.

Additional suggestions: As time allows, you can also have the birthday child ask a friend or two to take a turn conducting the band to a song. The children will truly love this special honor.

The parents and guests usually are watching the program. You can also give the grandparents or aunts and friends an instrument which they will enjoy playing also. You might even give a jingle to the baby they are holding on their lap.

You might consider having a business card made including your contact info, etc. My business was called: “Happy Birthday Party Productions”. You are welcome to use this name if you like it.

If you have any questions or concerns, you are always welcome to contact me at Ritabelll@aol.com. I am happy to offer more ideas and suggestions to help you create your own unique children’s birthday party business. Good luck!

4 Music Books by Stas Venglevski

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


Amy Jo Sawyer CD titled According to Amy

Sam Falcetti Introduces his 7 Pop Music Ideas Books to the Accordion World

by Rita Davidson Barnea, Editor USA Accordion News
Back in the early 60’s, Sam started writing his Pop Music Ideas so that hundreds of accordion students at the Falcetti Music stores could have fun playing all of the current songs. The books helped the students to incorporate the different rhythms and rock beats of the 60’s. He also thought it was important that the students learn the theory behind dressing up a song.

Sam feels that it is important that teachers not just write the embellishments in, otherwise the student never learns how to do this on their own. Also during this period, Sam, who has a B.M. in Theory & Composition from the University of Hartford, CT. figured out how to walk the basses in the left hand and play more interesting bass and chord combinations instead of just oom-pah.

Bill Palmer and Bill Hughes, who were performing artists at the Falcetti Music Concerts in the 60’s, perused the first 3 Pop Music Ideas books and made the comment that they hadn’t seen anything like them in the entire United States. By the time we reached the early 70’s, Mr. Falcetti completed his 7th book.

With the knowledge gained from the books, many of Falcetti Music’s students began performing in bands throughout Western Massachusetts and Connecticut. Fast forward to the last five years, Sam has given many workshops for Falcetti Music, AAA, MAAA, Accordion’s Now, and the IDEAS Digital Accordion Symposium. Most of the attendees knew little or nothing about the contents of these books, and thought they were just written a couple of years ago. Sam has recently updated all 7 of his Pop Music Ideas books.

For more information, please email samfalcetti@gmail.com or call Sam at 413-204-5522.

Titano Accordion Company

Bachtopus Accordion Ensemble Workshop is Online on April 11

by Rita Davidson Barnea, Editor USA Accordion News
Bachtopus
BAC logoThe Bachtopus Accordion Ensemble will hold an online workshop on April 11th, 2021 at 2:PM (NYC time) organized by the Brooklyn Accordion Club entitled “Musical Collaborations During the Pandemic”. The ensemble includes accordionists Robert Duncan, Peter Flint, Denise Koncelik, Mayumi Miyaoka and Jeanne Velonis. The music director of Bachtopus, Robert Duncan will talk about recognizing the unique affordances of presenting art online, applying for a grant, working with composers, collaborating together, recording, mixing, and learning to make videos during the pandemic.

Excerpts from their website: Bachtopus is a contemporary accordion ensemble from New York City that performs music by living composers and Johann Sebastian Bach. The ensemble was borne out of a fruitful musical duet between Robert Duncan and Mayumi Miyaoka, who partnered during the Winter of 2011. Denise Koncelik and Peter Flint, who were members of the Brooklyn Accordion Club, joined the duet to play Bach’s organ music, which is well suited to the accordion.

The group soon shifted focus to become one of the few accordion ensembles in the United States that plays new music. Having established a large repertoire in just a few years, Bachtopus seeks to play more original compositions, commissioned works, and contemporary music that is interesting, accessible, and grounded in traditional folk music.

The ensemble has performed for diverse audiences, and previous performance highlights include: Make Music New York, Bach in the Subways, The New Museum, Accordions Around the World, Meetup.com, and the American Accordion Association Seminars. Bachtopus performs music by and is inspired by Accordion Tribe, Motion Trio, the Kronos Quartet, Arvo Pärt, Philip Glass, Stas Venglevski, the Bang On a Can All-Stars, and Jacques Cousteau. The group features original compositions by Peter Flint and Sy Kushner, and arrangements by Robert Duncan and Denise Koncelik.

Robert Duncan, is an Associate Professor of Psychology and Neuroscience at the City University of New York and received a BA in Music Humanities at the University of California at San Diego. He is the founder and director of Bachtopus. Peter Flint has degrees in electronic music, history, and composition from Oberlin College and Conservatory and New England Conservatory. He has studied accordion with Walter Kuehr, William Schimmel, and Rob Curto, Conrad Cummings, Michael Gandolfi, Scott Wheeler, and Lee Hyla. He is deeply interested in Afro-Cuban music and recently had an orchestral composition performed in Havana, Cuba by the Camerata Romeu.He is on the board of directors at the Third Street Music School Settlement.

Denise Koncelik, DMA, is a freelance musician and arranger with degrees in music theory/composition, pedagogy, and performance, and taught at Midwestern State University and Texas Woman’s University. Dr. Koncelik played piccolo/3rd flute and jazz piano with the Wichita Falls Symphony Orchestra for 13 seasons, and has performed at Symphony Space, Joe’s Pub and le poisson rouge. She is co-director of the New York Flute Club Ensemble Program, a member of the Chelsea Musica, and plays bass accordion in NYC’s Main Squeeze Orchestra. Mayumi Miyaoka, is an Academic Librarian/Archivist by day, and accordionist by night. She is the founder/organizer of Brooklyn Accordion Club, and is the compiler/editor of a self-published magazine, SqueeZine! – Chronicles of Accordionists. Mayumi studied with Stanley and Joanna Darrow at ACME Accordion School in NJ, and with Dr. William Schimmel in NYC. Jeanne Velonis is a classical recording engineer and the newest member of Bachtopus. Initially self-taught, she has studied accordion with Leah Barkan and Mary Tokarski.

For further information: sinolev@yahoo.com

Everyone is welcome. For workshop details email: brooklynaccordionclub@gmail.com

Jeff Lisenby CD A Spy In Tortuga

Dallas Vietty Teaches "Creativity for Accordionists" Zoom Series

by Rita Davidson Barnea, Editor USA Accordion News
Creativity for AccordionistsAccordionist Dallas Vietty is offering a 9 week zoom course on “Creativity for Accordionists”. The Spring Session, which includes 6 lessons, runs from the week of April 5th through June 18th. Dallas shares, “Students will begin before the first class by filling out a questionnaire designed to help them understand their own creative desires, help them describe places which they feel could benefit from more creativity, and begin to describe the current relationship and perspective they have with musical creativity. The answers here will help us stay true to our own creative identity and make sure each student is honoring their own self. 

Creativity for adults and specifically music students is more about permitting/helping the process to happen, than it is about needing to give all kinds of tools. As such, the subject we will be talking about will be broader than a music theory or a composition class would cover. And will be designed to motivate and spark creativity with all of us. Each week's assignment will be making musical things: embellishments, arrangements, compositions. And by doing so we will be forced to ultimately look at our musical selves in the mirror. And in this class we will smile and accept what we have made. Embracing it as a reflection of ourselves and our impulse to express. We will make, listen, evaluate and learn with love, compassion and openness.

The classes will be geared for all levels. It is you the student who must accept that you are ready to be creative. If you're brand new to music and you feel you're ready, then hop right on. If you're a musical veteran and you feel you're ready, then you're ready. No prior experience is necessary. No amount of musical theory is necessary. If you want to make more, this is for you.”

Curriculum:
Class 1: Who are you if you only have what you have now?
Class 2: lets find your 'voice'
Class 3: the purpose of music
Class 4: nature, voice, musical instruments
Class 5: fear and let's make something really awful
Class 6: how does an accordion sound?
Class 7: palmer & hughes & you
Class 8: for someone: ode, elegy, tribute
Class 9: pizza party

Award-winning accordionist and educator Dallas Vietty is a versatile musician performing jazz and swing in the United States today. Dallas’ unique style comes from his background in the American jazz tradition, as well as study and immersion in the European swing tradition of Django Reinhardt (Gypsy Jazz) and French accordionists. Dallas remains very active on the East Coast concert and festival scene. His groups have performed at some of the top U.S. festivals including: TEDx Philly, Djangoary Festival. As a sideman his performances have taken him to legendary venues like: The Iridium NYC, BB King’s Time Square, Dizzy's Club at Lincoln Center, and the Philadelphia Kimmel Center.

For further information on the course: dallasvietty@gmail.com

Zoom Vancouver Squeezebox Circle on April 1

by Rita Davidson Barnea, Editor USA Accordion News
VancouverThe Vancouver Squeezebox Circle meets on Zoom on April 1, 2021. The Zoom link for this month's session is:

https://us02web.zoom.us/j/85700486344?pwd=K0RNaVNQLzMyMzlzY0I4YldmaG5Hdz09

Here's what you need to know about Zoom Squeezebox Circle gatherings
* The meetings run from 7-9 PM.  As a convenience, the video chat will open starting at 6:45 PM.
* The proceedings work best if you can pre-select some songs that you feel confident enough to lead a round of. Ideally these songs are present as sheet music in the Squeezebox Circle Library.
* No payment is needed to participate in the sessions, but if you enjoy yourself and would like to see them continue, do please feel free to make a donation (toward 2021's paid Zoom account) via squeezeboxcircle@gmail.com

The International Trio, CD Available online, secure server

Rachel Bell Releases Tune Book, “This Part of the World”

by Rita Davidson Barnea, Editor USA Accordion News
Rachel BellRachel Bell announces that Pre-orders for her tune book, “This Part of the World”, will begin on April 2, 2021 on Bandcamp. Rachel said, “It will be really exciting to get this out into the world! 80 jigs, reels, marches, waltzes, mazurkas, bourrees, and more, along with the stories of how and why I wrote them.”

Rachel Bell is performer, tunesmith, and teacher who is sought after for concerts, contra dances, French bal folk dances, English country dances, workshops, and festivals–all in virtual form during the pandemic. Rachel dreams every day of the time when all of these activities can resume as joyous, in-person, community experiences.

She plays with Eloise & Co., Peregrine Road, Alchemy, and Old World Charm School. Her playing spans an enormous range of emotion, from nuanced and sensitive to exhilarating and powerful. Excerpts from her website: Over a decade of musical travel has landed her smack-dab in the middle of some of her most exciting projects ever. A vibrant and versatile collaboration with Karen Axelrod, exquisite violin and viola sounds from Eric Martin, a rich and energetic contra dance band called Seaglass, and a slew of French-focused music and dance adventures with Susan Kevra are just the tip of the iceberg.

A recent addition has been a joyful musical partnership with Becky Tracy, and other combinations often round out the mix. There is a CD available also.

Future 2021 Performances:
Mon Apr 12, 7:PM: Peregrine Road: Atlanta Disdance Virtual English Country Dance
Fri Apr 23 to Apr 25: Peregrine Road & Eloise & Co. at NEFFA online New England Folk Festival online! With tons of different performers, topics, workshops, dances, and concerts! Be sure to browse the schedule and see what all is happening throughout the weekend!
Mon May 3, 7:PM: Peregrine Road: Nashville English Country dance online Exact time TBA
Fri May 7, 10:PM: Peregrine Road: Lake City Contra Dance

For further information: rachel@rachelbellmusic.com
Rachel bell

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Bachtopus Performs: "Scintillation In Isolation" by Will Holshouser

by Rita Davidson Barnea, Editor USA Accordion News
Bachtopus is excited to release the fifth commission from their 2020 Composers Commissioning Fund, which was written by composer and accordionist Will Holshouser for Bachtopus. “Scintillation in Isolation” was composed during the general quarantine in New York City during the spring of 2020. The title refers to the quiet maintenance of hope in the midst of fear and chaos, and the sharing of that hope through music, arts, and acts of solidarity.

Will said, “Thanks to Bachtopus accordion quartet (Robert Duncan, Peter Flint, Mayumi Miyaoka, Jeanne Velonis) for commissioning this piece, and for their beautiful playing and hard work, and the kaleidoscopic accordion video! What a pleasure to be part of this project.”

Accordionist Robert Duncan said, “It was a pleasure working with Will Holshouser and the rest of Bachtopus on this piece! The timing in this piece had to be perfect, and I'm so grateful to have such patient and dedicated collaborators.”

Will Holshouser was given an accordion as a surprise when he was still young and impressionable. He has since found a unique niche for himself as an accordionist, improviser, and composer in many different areas of music. He tours regularly with jazz violinist Regina Carter and her band Reverse Thread.

He also plays in a collaborative trio with Amsterdam-based improvisers, drummer Han Bennink & saxophonist/clarinetist Michael Moore. This group has a new CD out and has toured in Europe, the US and Africa. Will's long-standing trio features Ron Horton on trumpet and David Phillips on bass. Together since 1998, these three have developed a truly unified group sound. The trio has three CDs out on the Portuguese label Clean Feed. Their third CD, Palace Ghosts and Drunken Hymns was recorded in Portugal with the late, brilliant pianist Bernardo Sassetti as special guest.

Will has also played with David Krakauer, Antony and the Johnsons, Martha Wainwright, Loudon Wainwright, Andy Statman, Phillip Johnston, Matt Munisteri & Brock Mumford, the Raymond Scott (tribute) Orchestrette, Roberto Rodriguez, Mark Morris Dance, New York City Ballet, Brooklyn Philharmonic Orchestra, and many others.

Will studied composition with Anthony Braxton and Bill Barron at Wesleyan University, where he received a grant to research Cajun and Creole music in Louisiana. After moving to New York in the early 1990s, he studied accordion with Dr. William Schimmel. He now lives in Brooklyn, New York with his wife and daughter.

Bachtopus is Robert Duncan, Peter Flint, Mayumi Miyaoka, and Jeanne Velonis. Recorded at our respective homes during quarantine. Audio mixing and video editing by Rob Duncan.
The Bachtopus Accordion Ensemble’s 2020 Composer Commissioning Fund is sponsored, in part, by the Greater New York Arts Development Fund of the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, administered by Brooklyn Arts Council (BAC).

Contributors:
• Brooklyn Arts Council
• New York City Department of Cultural Affairs
Will H

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

Accordion Star International Competition-Festival 2021

by Rita Davidson Barnea, Editor USA Accordion News
Accordion Star
The Accordion Star International 2021 Competition-Festival! International will have a jury of musicians from 26 countries, Money prizes in all Categories! The event is from April 16, 2021 at 4:AM EDT until April 26, 2021 2:AM EDT.

In addition to the competitive program, the festival will feature concert performances, master classes, interviews and presentations by members of the jury and guests of the festival.

Everyone is invited to take part in the grand celebration of our instrument, challenge the best of the best by participating in one of the most prestigious and fair world competitions, where the names of the new champions of 2021 will be announced!

Apply for the competition by April 7, 2021.

Download competition rules here: 2021AccordionStarRules.pdf

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

Free: Rob Howard’s Generously Offers Out of Print Books Free as pdf

by Rita Davidson Barnea, Editor USA Accordion News
Vintage 1Vintage 2Rob Howard’s two out-of-print books 'Vintage Accordions' (catalog robaccord05) and 'Accordion: A Pictorial History' (catalog robaccord06) are available free as printable PDFs to anybody who emails asking for them. Thank you to Rob Howard for this extremely generous gift to the accordion world. Email: robaccord5@hotmail.com

Each book has 300+ color photos of accordions through the ages plus notes and articles, telling the story of the accordion in its various forms from the early 19th Century to the present time.

Included are flutinas, the Shand Morino, the Uniform keyboard, and all other sorts of designs that make up the accordion family.

Rob Howard has played the accordion since 1968. At present, he has served as the concert secretary, compere and 'public voice' of Stockport Accordion Club. He has played in a folk group, in accordion bands, entertained in restaurants and for French-themed evenings, performed in musicals, accompanied Irish step-dancing and Polish dancing, been a member of a Bavarian Oompah Band, played in several ceilidh bands, and leads 'wartime sing-a-alongs' at Stockport Air-Raid Shelters.

For more than 20 years he has contributed articles and reviews to specialist music magazines, and above all, is an enthusiast for the accordion. He was the Editor of www.accordions.com for many years. Available from Rob Howard, 42 Avondale Rd, Edgeley, Stockport SK3 9NY. Paypal available.

Rob shares, “When I was much younger I spent a lot of time boxing, and later became interested in playing the accordion. I have thus gone from boxer to squeezeboxer! The day job used to be teaching English (and other subjects) in secondary schools in Manchester, but after 33 years I am free of the 'chalk face', and now concentrate on playing music and writing.”

For further information: robaccord5@hotmail.com

The Art of Playing the Accordion Artistically by Friedrich Lips

World Accordion Day Online: Sharon Schrul Performs in Whistler Public Library Event

by Rita Davidson Barnea, Editor USA Accordion News
Sharon SchrulOn Thursday, May 6, 2021 at 2:PM EDT Sharon Schrul will perform on the Whistler Public Library Online Event. Admission is free. Little ones and their caregivers are invited to enjoy live classical music in a non-traditional, casual setting. Make sure you follow the program on Facebook to tune in live! The video will also be available after the live session is completed. This program is designed for children ages 0 to 5 and their caregivers, but all ages are welcome to join us for the livestream! The Whistler Public Library scheduled this performance to fall on World Accordion Day, so it's the perfect day to celebrate this instrument.

About the performer Sharon Schrul: “My family happened to have a small piano accordion kicking around the house, and my parents asked if I would be interested in learning to play it. I began taking formal lessons at age 6; I studied for about 10 years and achieved my Royal Conservatory of Music Grade 8 Piano Accordion certification. Throughout my childhood I participated in competitions, music festivals, and concerts as a soloist, in duets, trios, and an accordion band.

After a lengthy hiatus to establish my career and raise my family, I started playing again just a few years ago. I have put on recitals at the Whistler Museum, played at Whistler’s International Women’s Day fundraising concert in 2020, and played with the Whistler Children’s Chorus and Whistler Singers over the past few years. A real highlight for me was the Polka & Pilsner Night at the Point Artist-Run Centre in September 2019. I'm currently involved with the Vancouver Squeezebox Circle, a monthly get together for accordionists to play together and for each other (on zoom during COVID). I am always looking for opportunities to share my music.”

For further information:  publicservices@whistlerlibrary.ca

Accordion Repairs Made Easy by John Reuther

Central Texas Accordion Association Restarts In Person Club Meetings

by Rita Davidson Barnea, Editor USA Accordion News
Central TexasThe Central Texas Accordion Association restarts in-person club meetings in on Monday, April 26, 2021 at 7:PM. The previous host site, Casa Chapala Mexican Cuisine & Tequila Bar, has graciously agreed to host their meetings once again. The location is the private room at Casa Chapala (9041 Research Blvd., Austin, TX, 78758; NE corner of US 183 and Burnet Rd.). Wear your mask to enter the restaurant, as the mandate will still be in place locally. Come on back to the room, where there will br "open mic" all evening this time around. There will be a few announcements at the beginning, but no real "business meeting."

We hope to see you all there! Remember to bring your accordion (or your favorite musical instrument, there's room for all) and join in the fun.

Looking ahead to May 2021, Dr. Mike Middleton has graciously agreed to be the evening's entertainer on Monday, May 22, 2021 with Open Mic to follow.

The Central Texas Accordion Association meets the last Monday of each month (except June and the month of December) at Casa Chapala 9041 Research Blvd, Austin, Tx at 7:30 pm.
CTAA was organized in January of 1992, by a number of local musicians, and has been in operation ever since.

CTAA is devoted solely to the furtherance of accordion performance, instruction, understanding, and enjoyment. Visitors are welcome at the meetings. You do not have to own or play an accordion to become a member.

Dues are $20.00/year for a single member
$30.00/year for a family membership .

For further information: AustinAccordion@gmail.com

Cancelled: Vancouver Folk Music Festival – Canada

by Christine Johnstone
Vancouver Folk Music Festival
cancelled graphicOrganisers of the Vancouver Folk Music Festival regret to advise that after “countless hours of deliberation, they have made the difficult decision to cancel this year’s Folk Music Festival”, which was due to run from July 16th to 18th, 2021.

Due to the “uncertainty of current conditions, immunization timelines, and what may be possible as vaccines continue to rollout to the public at large, the safety of the community, staff, contractors, artists, volunteers, vendors, sponsors, suppliers, patrons and festival supporters continues to be of utmost importance.”

Refunds will be available for 2020 ticket holders. Organisers also wish to give people the opportunity to donate the cost of their ticket and all ticket holders will be contacted via email as soon as possible.

MusicForAccordion.com

Children's Corner

Children's Corner: Young Accordionist Daniel Mecher is Involved in Many Musical endeavors

by Shanna Mecherekov
Daniel Mecher
Daniel MecherAt just ten years old, Daniel began taking accordion lessons. His biggest fans were his dear grandpa and grandma who had a wish for anyone in their family to play an accordion that reminded them of their youth.

After a few different teachers, Daniel had stumbled upon Sam Falcetti who was the most influential teacher Daniel has ever met. His skills advanced rapidly and his desire grew faster. At every family gathering, Daniel was the center of attention for his newly learned pieces. But his diligence toward music went beyond the family circle. In 2018, there was a musical competition amongst private schools where Daniel was not only the very first accordion player, but he even won first place. Everyone was intrigued and couldn’t wait for his next performance.

Many of these performances were organized by his teacher, Sam Falcetti. There were indoor events as well as outdoor events at Chicopee Mass. outdoor park and at the Big E! Daniel got to perform on stage with the New England Digital Accordion Orchestra and play with many older professionals.

Today 14-year-old Daniel has accordion lessons every other week and is eagerly preparing for an upcoming competition that will be held in April of 2021 by the ATAM. Outside of his lessons, he is in two orchestras in his church. One, with about 20-30 other kids his age, where he plays the lead parts. And two, with about 20 other musicians creating a folk instrumental band with guitars, mandalins and other accordions.

Daniel’s enthusiasm for playing the accordion has inspired two of his friends and a few of his relatives to follow in his footsteps. Personally, as his older sister playing the bassoon, the amount of joy he brings with his jolly songs, even I wish I could play the accordion.
Daniel Mecher

Voci Armoniche

Future events


Pigini USA distributor Ernest Deffner

Dick Contino Tribute at A World of Accordions Museum on May 6-8

by Rita Davidson Barnea, Editor USA Accordion News
Dick ContinoDr. Mike MiddletonThe Dick Continuo Tribute Concert at A World of Accordion Museum will take place May 6-8, 2021 in celebration of World Accordion Day. Dr. Mike Middleton will perform.

Mike Middleton said, “I have the honor of paying tribute to the late great Dick Contino. Dick was one of the most successful and famous accordionists in US history. He was a hero of mine and many other accordionists. I'll be performing some selections including his signature song "Lady Of Spain" at the A World of Accordion Museum in Superior, Wisconsin (near Duluth, Minnesota) at which I serve on the Board of Directors....coming up in May for World Accordion Day.”

Dr. Mike Middleton is an accordionist and his main musical interests are Midi Enhanced Accordion music from all genres. He performs mainly for charity events and local festivals, including all styles of international accordion music. Mike also enjoys arranging compositions on the accordion, and has recently been performing at many churches and for senior groups throughout Central Texas. Mike’s latest performances include his renditions/arrangements of "Ghostriders in the Sky", "Variations on an Amazing Grace", "Beer Barrel Polka Variations", "Russian Minka Variations", and other favorites.

Dr. Middleton is currently employed as Director of Nuclear Medicine and Professor of Radiology, at the Scott & White Clinic/Texas A&M Health Science Center. He has served as President of the American College of Nuclear Physicians and the Southwest Chapter of the Society of Nuclear Medicine, Secretary/Treasurer of SNMMI, and other leadership positions. He has also been Secretary of the Scott & White Clinic Healthcare Board of Directors, 2008-present. Dr. Middleton has also been nominated for VP-Elect of the SNMMI.

Dr. Mike Middleton has been entertaining audiences in central Texas for over 3 decades. While in college, he was named Texas State Champion accordionist in 1981 & 1982, and had placed in several national competitions. To help pay for medical school, he was contracted as a repeat solo performer at the famed Wurstfest in New Braunfels, Texas as well as other venues. In 2001, after 2 decades of not competing, Dr. Middleton won the (one time only) Accordionist and Teachers Guild/Texas Accordion Association's International Texas Folk Accordionists Competition in San Antonio, Texas.

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Alex Meixner Band at Rock’N RiverWalk - USA

by Christine Johnstone
Alex Meixner
The Alex Meixner Band will entertain at the Rock’N Riverwalk Sunday concert series on April April 11th, 2021.

The event will be held in Downtown Stuart, Florida, USA from 1pm to 4pm.

For details email: info@alexmeixner.com

PANcordion

Important Message from CAF Director Scott Goree

by Rita Davidson Barnea, Editor USA Accordion News
CAF 2021
Here is the latest update on the Cotati Accordion Festival 2021 from CAF Director Scott Goree:

“The team at the Cotati Accordion Festival would like to update our fans as to what the status is of the festival this year. First of all, we have August 21 & 22, 2021 listed as the dates of our "live" event. This declaration is made in case the possibility of a live event, in some form, is allowed to take place. We are fully cognizant of the perilous nature of that date being a reality.

We would like everyone to know that the decision is not ours as to whether or not a festival takes place. It is up to Sonoma County and the City of Cotati. If the city refuses to issue a permit then we have no event. At this point in time the city has refused to even accept an application for a permit, but has not ruled anything out. They have told me that they have no idea if we will be able to apply for a permit or not. Our hands could not be tied behind our backs any more securely.

Meanwhile, we have frozen other dates in La Plaza Park. We froze the 25th & 26th of September 2021 and the 16th & 17th of October 2021 as back up possibilities. We also have the possibility of a virtual show on August 21 & 22, 2021. However, even that is at risk. While we have to wait on the city to decide what they will do we have our accordion acts getting booked all over the US this summer and fall. A sought after act is not going to play a virtual show while they are getting offerings of bookings at live events during the same time in other counties and states.

We are fully aware that this statement does not help anyone who wants to make plans around our annual treasured event. We apologize and pledge to keep the public updated as to any additional information that is revealed in the near future.”

Thank you,
Scott Goree
Executive Director
Cotati Accordion Festival

Accordion Repairs Made Easy by John Reuther

2021 World Cup on the Accordion Virtual Polka Championship

by Rita Davidson Barnea, Editor USA Accordion News
Button logoThe Button Akordion Rocks Club is pleased to announce that they will be hosting the 2021 World Cup on the Accordion Virtual Polka Championship on August 1 2021 from 2:PM-5:PM EDT. Canadian and International submissions will open soon. More details to follow.

This year the 2021 World Cup on the Accordion Virtual Polka Championship will have a new competition category: Canadian Polka Band Competition. Any Canadian polka band can enter to win the grand prize of $1000 CAD. Do you know a Canadian polka band that has what it takes to win the title? Submission details and information will follow shortly

The Button Akordion Rocks Club is a cultural organization that organizes musical events such as accordion competitions, exhibitions, seminars and concert performances. The Button Akordion Rocks Club is a not for profit organization registered in the province of Ontario, Canada.

Their primary mission is to encourage an interest in and appreciation for button accordion music, by organizing the following types of activities and events:
- Arranging for competitions, exhibitions and concert performances involving the button accordion
- Granting prizes and awards of achievements at button accordion events
- Bringing together in a social setting musicians and music lovers who have an interest and curiosity about the potential of the button accordion
- Encouraging youth in general to appreciate, embrace, develop mastery, and discover their own unique creative expression  through music.

The Button Akordion Rocks Club holds a bi-annual accordion championship in Ontario, Canada. Their goal is to spark a revival in the accordion as a cool instrument again. From the website: We hope to motivate the younger generation to proudly pick up and strap on the accordion like their parents and grandparents did before them, with the goal of increasing and surpassing the level of popularity the accordion enjoyed in North America in years gone by. We want to encourage the new generation of accordion musicians to discover their unique musical talents, explore creative new interpretations, and basically exercise the age-old prerogative of each new generation to leave their unique stamp, separate and distinct from their predecessors.  

In order to achieve these goals it is necessary to offer opportunities and settings for musicians to sharpen and perfect their skills to international standards of competition. One of the most effective ways to improve a skill is by regularly testing oneself against one’s peers. If one aspires to reach the highest potential, the fastest way is to compete with the best in your field. For example, to improve their game, athletes are encouraged to compete with opponents that are equal to or better than them. This is true in any arena, whether it be music, sports, chess, scientific discovery, literature, dramatic arts, etc. Many fields offer prestigious awards to their highest achievers. Competitions serve the dual purpose of offering their participants opportunities to realize their maximum potential, while at the same time advancing the particular field of endeavor towards new and unexplored summits.

The Organizing Committee includes: Martin Pusic, Franca Anderson, Tanja Trigiani, Matthew Lebar, Danny Šuštar, Majda Pusic, Sarah Larsen, Dave Pusic, Adrianna Šuštar,
and Vida Godina.

For further information: martin.pusic@rogers.com

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

New and Updated Sites


Titano Accordion Company

Updated Site: AAA Site Announcements

by Harley Jones
AAA Header
AAA is going Virtual for Festival 2021 Competition Categories

Virtual Contest Chairman, Mary Tokarski announces that the American Accordionists' Association (AAA) Festival 2021 Competition Categories will be virtual this year because of Covid-19.

The Rules, Regulations and Entry Forms will be included with the next AAA Newsletter and are online now at: http://www.ameraccord.com/festival2021.php
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