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U.S. National Accordion News - 01-Jun-2012
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Titano Accordion Company


Editor's Note
Octoberfest Las Vegas International Accordion Festival Ready to Start - USA
SEVDAH SONGS by Merima Kljuco and Eva S. Prmack
Vivant! & Fremar in Concert with Frank Busso, Jr.Trio
AAA July Festival in Baltimore
Fisitalia Accordions Now Represented in the US Market!
ATG Festival Information Online
Mick Jagger Group Features Accordion on Saturday Night TV Program - USA
Mary Tokarski Featured at Long Island Accordion Alliance
Watch Frédéric Deschamps Teach Live Online!
Dr.William Schimmel at Cape May Music Festival
Accordion Pops Orchestra Spring Concert
18 Accordionists Invited to Record Hollywood Film Score
Marko Petricic to Perform at ATG in July

Voci Armoniche

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

Dr. Robert Young McMahan in Performances
23rd Annual Accordion Kings & Queens Festival on June 2
Accordionist is Featured by American Idol Contestant
The Peter Soave Music Academy in Italy in July
Tor Stumo: Playing the Accordion is Cool!
Famous Accordion Orchestra in Concert
Joseph Soprani Performs at Philadelphia Art Exhibit

Pigini USA distributor Ernest Deffner

Future events

The Gene Van Accordion Orchestra to Appear in Concerts
AAA 18th Master Class and Concert Series July 27-29
Baker-Bridge Duet at KIOTAC in Canada
ACCORDIONS NOW! 2012 on August 17-18 in New Hampshire
Peter Stan and Slavic Soul Party Celebrate New CD
Accordion Camp in Silver Falls State Park, Oregon

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



Editor's Note

by Rita Barnea
Rita Davidson, USA EditorWe are excited to announce that, beginning with this issue, the USA News can now publish videos in the news articles! You will see the first examples of that in the June news.This is another exciting dimension to add to our news. If you would like to send a video, it must be a video of a new recent event, not a past video.

What do Mick Jagger and American Idol have in common?

Accordions, of course! All over the place!The accordion is becoming more and more prominent. You will realize this as you read this months USA news/

Are you ready for the summer? Hope you are planning on attending an accordion event somewhere in the USA and/or Canada. The July USA news will have additional artists and events.

Have a great accordion summer!

Accordion Repairs Made Easy by John Reuther

Octoberfest Las Vegas International Accordion Festival Ready to Start - USA

by Heather Masefield, Secretary, New Zealand Accordion Association
Octoberfest Las Vegas International Accordion Festival
Paul PasqualiNewsletter cover, Octoberfest Las Vegas International Accordion FestivalI am writing this on the plane flying internationally to Las Vegas for the Octoberfest Las Vegas International from 15th to 18th October at the Gold Coast Hotel and Casino, Las Vegas.

Paul Betken & Jerry Cigler are newly added to a great line up of stars (list below) with lots of great seats still available! Want to hop a plane to come and enjoy this exciting festival?

Newsletter (picture right) with full information: 2018LVACnews.pdf
Picture left: Event organizer Paul Pasquali

The lineup starts with visionary accordionist Cory Pesaturo and bookends with a grand finale starring Grayson Masefield and the International Accordion Orchestra under the direction of the legendary Prof. Joan Sommers.

You can register online at or contact Paul Pasquali, event organizer, by phone at 1-800-472-1695 or (801) 485-5840, email:
Footer Octoberfest Las Vegas International Accordion Festival

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

SEVDAH SONGS by Merima Kljuco and Eva S. Prmack

by Rita Barnea
Merima Ključo and Eva Salina PrimackSEVDAH SONGS will be presented on Friday, June 1, 2012 9 PM. SEVDAH SONGS is a collaboration between Merima Ključo and Eva Salina Primack. Merima is a Bosnian-born contemporary concert accordionist, and Eva is a singer with many years of experience in traditional music, particularly from Eastern Europe.

Merima and Eva have recently begun working together, using Merima's song cycle, SEVDAH SONGS, as the foundation, and expanding the repertoire to include source songs from many neighboring Balkan traditions. Their performance at Alwan for the Arts will be the US debut of this collaboration.

SEVDAH SONGS is a song cycle by Merima Ključo composed between 2006-2008. It consists of arrangements of well-known and well-loved songs that have been handed down through the generations in Bosnia, and compositions based on this tradition. It is scored for contemporary accordion and voice, with the voice adhering more closely to the traditional song melodies. Ključo's conceptual idea is to introduce a new, radical approach to accordion playing, creating a context for modern contemporary music to meet traditional song.

Merima Ključo, accordionist, performs internationally as a recitalist and has been guest soloist with orchestras, including the Scottish Chamber Orchestra, Holland Symphonia and the Netherlands Radio Philharmonic Orchestra. As a soloist, she has participated in a number of renowned festivals, including the St. Magnus Festival (Scotland), the City of London Festival, the Gaudeamus Festival (Amsterdam) and the Gubaidulina Festival. She is a member of the Checkpoint KBK (with Iva Bittova and David Krakauer) and Serendipity 4 (with singers Theodore Bikel and Shura Lipovsky and pianist Tamara Brooks), and has worked with MusikFabrik, the Asko/Schönberg Ensemble and the Nederlands Blazers Ensemble.

Her performances have been broadcast by the BBC, and networks in the Netherlands, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Germany, Hungary and Israel. In 2006, Merima composed music for the radio drama "Wie der Soldat das Grammofon repariert," based on the book by Saša Stanišic and directed by Leonhar Koppelmann, now available as an audio book through Random House. She has contributed music for the following films: "In the Land of Blood and Honey" by Angelina Jolie, "Jack" by Sergej Kreso, "Journey 4 Artists" by Michele Noble, and "Stories of Sevdah" by Robert Golden. In the field of Opera and Theatre, Merima has performed with the National Jewish Theater, Bremer Theater, Nederlandse Kinder Theater, and worked with directors Daniel Landau and Joaquim Sabates. In 2009/10,

Merima was invited as accordionist and one of the musical arrangers/composers for Theodor Bikel's legendary one-man play, "Sholom Aleichem: Laughter Through Tears,” which was produced by the National Jewish Theater and played in Washington, D.C., Florida, Toronto, San Francisco and New York.Merima's involvement in and love for world music, and the music of Bosnia in particular, brings a new dimension to her work and is something she seeks to share with audiences everywhere. As producer, composer and arranger for her highly acclaimed album "Zumra" (with singer Amira Medunjanin) (Gramofon, 2009/ Harmonia Mundi UK / World Village 2010), her work was voted number 4 in the top 10 world music albums by the Sunday Times (UK) in 2010.

In April 2012, in commemoration of the 20th anniversary of the Siege of Sarajevo, EastWest Theater Company and renowned Bosnian theater director Haris Pasovic invited Merima as musical director to compose, arrange, and perform a music poem, Sarajevo Red Line (Sarajevska Crvena Linija). The piece, which incorporated traditional songs, pop songs, and classical music--music with deep cultural significance that honored many types of people, was performed on April 6, 2012 to an audience of 11, 541 empty red chairs lining the main boulevard in Sarajevo, with one chair for every life lost in the siege. On that day, thousands of people from all walks of life congregated to witness and remember.

Merima has taught workshops and master classes in many conservatories and universities, including the Guildhall School of Music (England), the University of Edinburgh (Scotland) and Syracuse and Georgetown universities (USA). She was a faculty member at Yellow Barn (Putney, VT) during the 2011 Summer season. In the last three years, Merima has published two books, "Eastern European Folk Tunes for Accordion" and "Klezmer and Sephardic Tunes for Accordion" through Schott Music. Her accordion studies began at the Srednja Muzička Škola in Sarajevo, continued at the Rotterdam Conservatory with Miny Dekkers, and culminated at the University of the Arts, Bremen with Margit Kern, where she was granted a postgraduate scholarship for exceptional talent and graduated Cum Laude.

A native of Santa Cruz, California, Eva Salina Primack has been studying, performing, and teaching Balkan music since she was a young child. She has studied with some of the greatest living singers of Balkan traditional music. Eva's rich, versatile, agile, deep and powerful voice and her enthusiastic, skillful, inspired and inspiring teaching have led her to quickly become known as a preeminent singer, interpreter, and teacher of Traditional Balkan vocal music, singing through the traditions of Albania, Bulgaria, Greece, Macedonia, Serbia, Turkey and the Romani people. She has also studied Georgian, Corsican, Traditional American, and Ukrainian singing.

The concert takes place at Alwan for the Arts, 16 Bewaver Street, 4th Fl., NYC. Doors open at 8:30 pm, performance at 9:PM. Tickets: $20 General, $15 Members, Seniors, Students - available at the door or online.
For further information:

Titano Accordion Company

Vivant! & Fremar in Concert with Frank Busso, Jr.Trio

by Rita Barnea
Vivant! Concert Poster
Vivant!Vivant! will perform with the Frank Busso, Jr. Trio on the Fremar Foundation for Accordion Arts Concert, "Music & Merlot" on Saturday, June 23rd @ 7 p.m.  New works featuring the accordion by composer Karen Fremar will be premiered.  The concert will be at All Souls Unitarian in Kansas City, MO.  The public event is free. Donations will be accepted at the door.

The concert with feature the Frank Busso, Jr. Trio (from the Air Force Strolling Strings, Wahsington, D.C. and Accordionist and composer, Karen Fremar with Vivant! with special guests Ronda Adams (Electric violin/viola) and Melody Stroth (Piano).

The Frank Busso Jr. Trio consists of three outstanding musicians who serve our country as servicemen in the US Air Force Strings.  They regularly perform a wide variety of enjoyable music at the White House and on Capitol Hill. AAA Board of Directors member, Technical Sergeant Frnak Busso, Jr. is the son of well-known accordionist and teacher Frank Busso, Sr. from Staten Island, New York. The trio frequently appears in their off-duty time as the Frank Busso Jr. Trio and features virtuoso accordionist, Frank Busso, Jr., with Henry Tyszler, violin, and William Hones, string bass.

Karen Fremar was born into a musical family that operated a music studio in Fort Scott, Kansas, and began playing the accordion at age 2. She is the composer/arranger for Vivant! and remembers composing "giant music" on the piano when she was very little and had to stand and reach up to play the keyboard. Karen is a member of ASCAP and also holds a Performance degree from UMKC in Accordion, as well as Masters and Doctorate degrees in Composition and Music Theory from UMKC and the University of Kansas. She won the United States Accordion Championship and a World Accordion Entertainment Championship title in Sweden. Karen has toured internationally playing accordion with several music groups and also played accordion with Pavarotti on his World Farewell Tour. An accomplished composer, Karen has written numerous compositions including the test pieces for the Coupe Mondiale World Accordion Competition and most recently performed in New York City at Tavern on the Green premiering a piece commissioned by the American Accordion Association in honor of Faithe Deffner.

Vivant! will perform a mix of popular music including Latin, Tango, R&B, swing, and patriotic. All of the multi-talented Vivant! members are international and national prize-winning musicians who initially trained at the Conservatory of Music at the University of Missouri-Kansas City. They all have active professional music careers, having performed many concerts throughout the United States and around the world. 

The members of Vivant! are 
Julie Silfverberg, accordion/keys; Karen Fremar, accordion/keys/vocals; Dee Sligar, bass; Janne Silfverberg, trombone/Latin percussion; and David Sager, drums.  The group will be joined by Melody Stroth, piano, and Ronda Adams, electric violin, for two new works by Karen Fremar that feature the accordion titled "Grasping for the Wind" and "Vexation." 

Vivant! is made up of multi-talented musicians whose primary musical training centered around the accordion, in addition to various keyboard instruments and other acoustic and percussion instruments. The focus of the group is to share the unique versatility of the accordion and the various styles of music that are possible to produce with the instrument. The accordionists in Vivant! all began studying the instrument at a young age. They are highly decorated musicians in both ensemble and solo performing. Most have toured professionally, and collectively they have concertized in most of the United States and in 28 countries throughout the world. Several of the musicians chose the accordion as their major area of emphasis in college and have continued to play professionally.

The sound of Vivant! combines the richness of the acoustic accordion with the electronic sounds of synthesizers, trombone, and various percussion instruments. Their style combines the art of virtuoso concert accordion with jazz, pop, Latin and tango. Vivant! explores original music written for the accordion, Baroque and other classical works suitable for the instrument, as well, as tango, jazz and other popular works. Above all, their music is exciting, captivating and alive!

Janne Silferberg has lived in the KC area his whole life. He played the accordion for a few years before switching to the trombone in the 4 th grade. Janne is currently a senior at the Music Conservatory at UMKC majoring in Trombone Performance. While trombone is his first love, Janne is a big fan of Mexican and Italian food, likes classic cars and Slurpees at 7 Eleven.

Julie Siflverberg grew up in Ft. Scott, Kansas. When Julie was 8, her mom came home one day and asked her if she would like to learn how to play the accordion. Julie said 'Sure!'..... a couple of years later, she added piano lessons. Margie Fremar was her teacher. Julie successfully participated in many music festivals. She was the Kansas Accordion Virtuoso Champion for three consecutive years. In 1980, Julie received her Bachelor of Music degree in Accordion at the University of Missouri - Kansas City, married Juha from Finland, and they lived in Helsinki for the next five years. They moved back to the States in 1985. Julie is a member of the accordion group, The International Trio (Julie, Juha, and Kevin Friedrich) that has toured in Finland, New Zealand, Estonia and the USA. Julie runs a very successful music studio in Overland Park, KS., where she teaches accordion and piano to students five years to adult. She was past president of both Federated Teachers of Fine Arts., Inc. and the Mid-America Music Association (M.A.M.A.)

Dee Sligar began studying the accordion at the UMKC Conservatory at the age of twelve. She continued studying accordion through college and now her music career is culminating with the Vivant! Adventure. Dee had the privilege of touring with a USO tour through Europe and the Azores, was a featured artist with the Young Audiences National Program, and played lots of gigs through the years.

During their individual careers, the members of Vivant! have toured and concertized as accordionists in most of the states in the continental USA and in the following countries, islands, and principalities: Austria, Azores, Czech Republic, Denmark, Egypt, England, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Guam, Hungary, Israel, Italy, Japan, Liechtenstein, Midway Island, Monaco, Netherlands, New Zealand, Okinawa, Philippines, Saudi Arabia, Scotland, South Korea, Sweden, Switzerland, and Taiwan.

It's going to be a fun evening with great music performed by some extraordinary musicians!  A special collection of various types of accordions will be on display in the lobby, and CDs of guest artists will be available for purchase.  We invite you to join us.  Cocktails and appetizers begin at 6:30 p.m. in the lobby.  

The Fremar Foundation is a 501(c)(3) charitable organization that presents outstanding accordion artists in concert from around the nation and the world, supports the creation of new works for the accordion, and provides education about the accordion, its music and musicians, and its history. 

The concert is sponsored in part by Husch Blackwell, LLP; the Courtney S. Turner Trust--Daniel C. Weary and Bank of America, Trustees; and the H. R. Block Foundation, Inc.

For further information:
Frank Busso Jr. Trio

Voci Armoniche

AAA July Festival in Baltimore

by Rita Barnea
Baltimore Inner Harbot
Stas VenglevskiThe American Accordionists' Association presents the 2012 AAA Festival from July 11-15th, 2012, featuring world renowned accordionist and conductor, Stas Venglevski, at the Sheraton City Center Hotel in Baltimore, Maryland. Wonderful workshops, performances, competitions, youth programs and exhibits are scheduled throughout the weekend. Come and join us for a celebration of the accordion surrounded by the celebrated Baltimore city attractions!

The AAA Festival will present another great event! New this year is the Junior Festival Orchestra under the direction of Mary Tokarski. This event is designed for those young people who are not quite ready to participate in the Festival Orchestra or who have never had the experience of performing with other accordionists. Mary has selected some fun pieces, and rehearsals will be scheduled to avoid competition schedule conflicts. Interested participants should contact Mary at

Another new addition is the “Finale” workshop which will be a hands-on workshop with the basics of learning this music writing program. AAA member, Don Gerundo, will conduct the workshop with support materials supplied by the people at Finale.

Additional Workshop Presenters Include:

Linda Ann Warren…."Music 2 My Ears: Do You Hear What I Hear?”

Dr. Robert Young McMahan…."Accordions in the Movies"

Mary Kathryn Archuleta…."Opening Doors to the Wonderful World of the Accordion"

Marion Jacobson, PhD….."Squeeze This" Meet the Author

Dallas Vietty…."Swing Musette and Gypsy Jazz for the American Piano Accordionist"
Mary Tokarski …."Playing Together"
Gabe Hall-Rodrigues…."Jazz Licks"

Click here to view the festival flyer:

Click here to view the full Workshop Schedule: 2012.pdf

Back by popular demand will be the Youth Outreach Jazz Ensemble with select young musicians from the Baltimore school system partnered with ambitious young accordionists. Both the Junior Festival Orchestra and the Youth Outreach Jazz Ensemble will perform at the Awards Concert on Saturday afternoon, July 14th. If you want to participate in the great (and fun) Jazz Ensemble program, contact Marilyn O’Neil ( or Mary Tokarski ( for the Junior Festival Orchestra. All of these events are included in the registration.

The Festival will also see the return of the Digital Entertainment category and inclusion of the Coupe Mondiale qualification categories, so be sure to visit for the PDF files to download all Festival application forms.

Thursday night will feature an Italian Cabaret night. Enjoy a delicious Italian dinner while being entertained by wonderful accordion music by the Potomac Ensemble conducted by Joan Grauman. Enjoy singers, Joy Bechtler, soprano, and Joe McKesson, tenor and Dr. Robert Young McMahan, as well as entertainment by Cody McSherry, and siblings, Amanda and Michael Parziale, voice and accordion playing and singing your favorite Italian songs!

The Friday Luncheon will feature music by Frank Petrilli and Gabe Hall-Rodrigues, Joe Zale and Vladimir Mollov with his wife Annie Mollova (accordion & violin).

Friday’s Gala Concert includes Tatiana Semichastnaya, Vladimir Mollov accompanied by renowned Balkan drummer, Emily Geller (daughter of AAA Board member, Joan Grauman), Dr. Robert Young McMahan with saxophonist Dr.Paul Cohen and the AAA Festival’s guest artist - virtuoso accordionist Stas Venglevski. Stas delights all with his friendly and humorous manner, educating and entertaining at the same time. Truly a unique experience you will want to see and hear.

The Saturday Gala Banquet will begin with the magnificent music of the United States Army Strolling Strings with AAA’s own Manny Bobenrieth on accordion at the helm, and will feature the Festival Orchestra conducted by Stas Venglevski, with Mary Tokarski as soloist. Please indicate on your registration form if you would like to participate in the Festival Orchestra.

Plan this summer around the festival's exciting days of Workshops, Exhibits, Cabaret, Luncheon Concert, Gala Concert, and Festival Orchestras. The event will be held at the Sheraton City Center in Baltimore. It is surrounded by shops, restaurants, and in walking distance of the famous Baltimore Inner Harbor, National Aquarium, Maryland Science Center and numerous other attractions.

Come to Baltimore for this educational and entertaining festival! Please refer to the AAA Website and the USA news for updates on the festival. 
For further information email:
AAA Festival

Accordion Jazz Chords

Fisitalia Accordions Now Represented in the US Market!

by Holda Paoletti-Kampl
The US accordion market is one of the largest and most interesting areas for accordion producers.

Since April 2012, Fisitalia Accordions established a trade/commercial collaboration with Accordions by De Vincenzo, based in the state of North Carolina.

Accordions by De Vincenzo's owner Pablo De Vincenzo is an Italian/Venezuelan descendent accordion player, who loves to share and play his international accordion music with everyone, particularly the refined and romantic style performances, giving his best to keep up his national traditions.

With 25 years of experience in the musical accordion world, Accordions by De Vincenzo stands for perfection where quality is the subject; dealing only with high quality instruments, presenting them in his store and on his new website.

All Fisitalia instruments will receive technical support in regards of warranty. For any information check out his website or call, to discuss directly what is best for your needs and to discover the easy and economical way to buy a new or pre-owned high quality accordion.

For further information "Pablo de Vincezo" email: or


ATG Festival Information Online

by Kevin Friedrich, CIA Ambassador
ATG Logo
The Accordionists and Teachers Guild, International (ATG) Festival information is now online including ATG Festival Competitions (Solo, Duet, Ensemble for all ages and Adult Hobby), two Special Competitions including the Competition in Honor of Frank Marocco and US Championship, and the various categories of Coupe Mondiale qualifying competitions.

This year, the 72nd ATG Competition and Festival will feature renowned Russian accordionist Ioisf Puritz, Jazz accordionist Jeff Lisenby, Roland artist Alicia Baker, University teacher Marko Petričić and popular Milwaukee based artist Stas Venglesvki. In addition, the festival will showcase the Gene Van Accordion Orchestra, the UMKC Chamber Accordion Ensemble, the Soundscape Trio, Betty Jo Simon, Amy Jo Sawyer, Tony Hermanek, Donna Dee Anderson, Esther Lanting, Gordon Kohl and Marion Jacobson.

This year, the 2012 ATG Festival Orchestra coordinated by Joan C. Sommers will unite all attendees, and will be joined in concert by the renowned Youth Choir from Chicago ‘ANIMA’. Just returning from an exciting Concert Tour of Europe, ANIMA will be featured with the Festival Orchestra on the magnificent arrangement of ‘Let There Be Peace on Earth’.

The three day festival will feature Competitions, Workshops, Concerts, with full details being found at

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

Mick Jagger Group Features Accordion on Saturday Night TV Program - USA

by Harley Jones
Mick JaggerThe original of the Saturday Night video has been removed from the NBC website. You can hear the song only on this video clip.

Reader Pamela Tom wrote about Mick Jagger and Arcade Fire group on Saturday Night TV Program, "This was soo cool! I liked the accordionist…she has style and the way the camera focused on her was great. She had a lot of personality (she also plays keyboard and drums in other Arcade Fire videos). Mick Jagger is timeless!"

Arcade Fire is an rock band based in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. It consists of the husband and wife duo Win Butler and Régine Chassagne, along with Richard Reed Parry, Tim Kingsbury, Jeremy Gara, and Sarah Neufeld. They have also accompanied David Bowie and Cyndi Lauper.

Pigini USA distributor Ernest Deffner

Mary Tokarski Featured at Long Island Accordion Alliance

by Rita Barnea
Mary TokarskiThe Long Island Accordion Alliance (LIAA) will feature internationally acclaimed guest accordionist, Mary Tokarski, on June 5th at 7 PM at La Villini Restaurant, 288 Larkfield Road, East Northport, NY 11731 (631 261 6344). Push / Pause from Fios1 (Verizon Cable) will be there to do a video shoot of the concert.

Concert Accordionist, Mary Tokarski performs both nationally and internationally as a soloist, with Symphony Orchestra and as a member of The 'K' Trio. For 20 years Mary served as Director of Music Education at Tokarski Music Center in North Haven, Connecticut, where she taught piano and accordion, as well as conducted the choral & ensemble programs, and supervised the pre-school programs.

Mary currently teaches piano and accordion at her home in Northford, Connecticut.

She also serves as a Music Educator in the North Haven Department of Education's Early Childhood Development Program at Green Acres Elementary School. Currently, Mary serves as a Board of Director with both The American Accordionists' Association (AAA) and the Accordionists and Teachers Guild, International (ATG) which are the two national member organizations of the Confederation Interntaionale des Accordeonistes, (IMC-UNESCO).

For further information:

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

Watch Frédéric Deschamps Teach Live Online!

by Kevin Friedrich, CIA Ambassador
Fred Deschamps
Renowned French teacher Frédéric Deschamps (teacher of multiple World Champions in both Classical and Entertainment Music, including Grayson Masefield who recently toured the USA), conducts many of his lessons online, live and free viewing to a worldwide Internet audience! Simply logon to and watch.

Christopher Gorton has been viewed by many in the USA as he takes his lessons live from the East Coast of the USA via internet video connection to France where Frédéric is based. The current students taking lessons include those preparing for the Klingenthal International Competition in Germany in May.

In addition to the students, it also includes guests preparing their concert programs such as: Radu Laxgang (Moldavia), Pietro Adragna (Italy), Dorin Grama (Moldavia), Guillaume Fric (France), Elsa Gourdy (France), Grayson Masefield (New Zealand). If no activities are currently taking place, the home page will advise you of the next scheduled activity.

To view archives lessons, simply visit where videos include performances by students and International guests such as Petr Vacek (Czech Republic), Delphine Lahaye (France), Leo Pernet (France), Alexander Kolomitsev (Russia), Alexander Veretennikov (Russia), Evin Kelly (Ireland), Petri Makkonen (Finland), Pavel Zyabko (Russia), Danilo di Paolonicola (Italy), Ivano de Simone (Italy), Alexander Vidakovic (Serbia), The Royal sQueeze BOX (UK/Germany), Grayson Masefield (New Zealand), Patricia Bartell (USA) and Douglas Borsatti (Brazil).

The Art of Playing the Accordion Artistically by Friedrich Lips

Dr.William Schimmel at Cape May Music Festival

by Rita Barnea
Dr. William SchimmelDr. William Schimmel will be the featured guest artist along with soprano Ariadne Grief and The New York Chamber Ensemble directed by Alan Kay at the Cape May Music Festival in Cape May New Jersey. The title of the concert, TOP OF THE TWENTIETH, will feature the significant moments of Twentieth Century classical and popular music and the lines blurred in between. Works by Richard Strauss, Gustav Mahler, Osvaldo Pugliese, Irving Berlin, Louie Prima, Harry Warren, Kurt Weill, George Gershwin, Jerome Kern, Cole Porter, William Schimmel and Igor Stravinsky will be featured.The concert will take place on June 12 at the Episcopal Church of the Advent in Cape May at 8 PM.

Starting on June 14, Dr Schimmel will be the featured accordionist in THE MOST HAPPY FELLA at the Di Capo Opera Company in New York. The performances will run until July 8th.

William Schimmel is one of the principal architects in the resurgence of the accordion, the revival of the Tango in America, and the philosophy of "Musical Reality" (composition with pre-existing music). He holds Bachelor of Music, Master of Science and Doctor of Musical Arts degrees in composition from the Juilliard School, along with a diploma from the Neupauer Conservatory of Music in performance/composition.

He performs music in many genres, has commissioned and premiered hundreds of new works, has written a number of books and articles and has made numerous recordings and videos. His music has been featured in a number of films and television shows.

Dr. Schimmel received a Composers' Citation from The American Accordionists' Association in honor of his composition, "The Spring Street Ritual", which was the test piece for the 1979 Coupe Mondiale World Competition. He received The Confederations Internationale Association Merit Award for his contributions as a composer, performer and philosopher on the international accordion scene.

He received a Merit Award from the American Accordionists' Association for his contributions spanning fifty years plus the "Accordionist of the Year" Award in 1988. He received the Keyboard magazine readers' poll award in 1992 as "Best Accordionist".

He has performed with many major symphony orchestras in the U.S, many different chamber groups, as well as with rock, jazz, and avant-garde groups. In addition, he has appeared on numerous radio programs as a guest performer and commentator, and now hosts his own internet radio show, The Old In and Out, on WS Accordion Radio. He is Artist in Residence of The American Accordionist's where he also serves as Distinguished Lecturer in Residence and member of the Governing Board.

For further information:,

Titano Accordion Company

Accordion Pops Orchestra Spring Concert

by Rita Barnea
Accordion Pops Orchestra Logo
The Accordion Pops Orchestra directed by Al Terzo will present their Spring Concert on Sunday June 10, 2012 at 2:00 PM to thank their generous practice hall hosts at the
Imperial Music Center
48 Appleby Ave.
South River, NJ 08882
Tickets $10.00, available at door

Renowned accordion champions Beverly Curnow and Mary Tokarski will perform as guest artists. Also featured are Albert Manginelli (accordion) and Nicole D'Angelo (piano), champions from the recent 2012 Mid Atlantic Music Teachers Guild competition.

Al Terzo is a teacher, conductor and arranger and has been a member of the orchestra since it began in 1970. He is a member of the New Jersey Music Teachers Association and National Association of Music Educators. He is also on the governing board of the American Accordionists' Association an a founding member of the Mid-Atlantic Music Teachers Guild. As an accomplished accordionist, he has given performances at the Garden State Arts Center and Newark Symphony Hall. He also teachers accordion and piano in New Jersey.

The orchestra's roots can be traced to 1970, when it was organized by the Accordion Teachers' Association of New Jersey. Over the next ten years it performed at various community functions throughout the state under the direction of its first conductor, Dr.Jacob Neupauer of Philadelphia.

In 1980 the orchestra members took a leave of absence, but four years later the membership was reorganized under the direction of the late Eugene Ettore of Livingston, New Jersey. In 1985, Daniel Desiderio was invited to act as a guest conductor of the orchestra and a few years later the A.T.A. of NJ appointed him as conductor in residence. The name of the orchestra was formally changed to the Accordion Pops Orchestra and its membership was expanded beyond the original members from New Jersey to include performers from Connecticut, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, New York, Delaware, Maryland, and Rhode Island. Maestro Desiderio retired as conductor in May 2011 and turned over the baton to Al Terzo.

The largest professional accordion orchestra of its kind on the East Coast, the group consists entirely of accordions plus percussion instruments. In addition, the orchestra often accompanies guest soloists including pianists and vocal artists. 

For further information: if you are interested in engaging the orchestra for a concert or for more info about future concerts or join the orchestra.

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

18 Accordionists Invited to Record Hollywood Film Score

by Kevin Friedrich, CIA Ambassador
World renowned Hollywood based Academy Award Nominated composer John Powell (83rd Academy Award Nomination for Best Score with “How to Train Your Dragon”) sent a call out for 18 accordionists to perform on his new score for the latest movie in the Ice Age series: Ice Age: Continental Drift. 

The Fox Studios Scoring Stage was the set for the monumental accordion project, and featured some familiar names in the accordion world including Los Angeles based accordionist and Music Copyist Liz Finch (Interim President of the Accordionists and Teachers Guild, (ATG), Mike Boddicker (son of the late accordion identities Gerry and Arlene Boddicker), John Torcello (USA 1972 CIA Coupe Mondiale Winner) and well known California based artist Nick Ariondo.

John Powell, the composer for movies such as the previous Ice Age Movies, Happy Feet, Rio, Kung Fu Panda, The Bourne Ultimatum, The Bourne Supremacy, Robots and many others, called for 14 accordions and 4 bass accordions to perform his works in this current Ice Age movie. Randy Kerber, one of the top film session pianists that works for Powell played one of the bass accordion parts. The accordionists were conducted by Pete Anthony, who had spent all day conducting a Symphony Orchestras, and conducts almost 50% of all the scores recorded in Los Angeles. The regular accordion parts were scored for both hands and utilized a variety of registers, giving a very orchestral blend.

John Powell had purchased an accordion to use as research for his score, and was thrilled with the outcome of the take. He even brought his accordion to the session, in case it was needed, and delighted in wearing it while taking a picture with the accordionists at the conclusion of the recording session.

The interesting spectacle at the Fox Studios of 18 accordionists conducted by one of Hollywood’s most sought after musical directors, performing the music of one of Film’s superstar composers drew a couple of producers who attended out of curiosity, and were delighted with the outcome. The entire project served as a very positive showcase for the accordion. Ice Age: Continental Drift will be released 13 July 2012.

Gary Daverne CD's and eSheet music available online

Marko Petricic to Perform at ATG in July

by Rita Barnea
Marko PetricicAccordionist Marko Petricic will be a guest artist at the 2012 ATG Festival July in Lisle, Illinois.

Mr. Petričić holds D.M.A. and M.M. degrees from Indiana University where he studied with Christopher Young, and a Bachelor of Music degree, summa cum laude, from Ohio University where his teacher was H. Joseph Butler. Mr. Petričić recently taught applied organ lessons and organ literature at Indiana University, and is currently teaching music history at the University of Indianapolis. He was the Assistant Organist/Choirmaster at Christ Church Cathedral, Indianapolis, between 2003 and 2006.

As an accomplished bayan-accordion performer, Marko Petričić has won awards at International competitions in Italy, Germany, Yugoslavia, and the United States. He has performed for the Yugoslav National Radio and Television, and more recently, with the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra.

His passion for various musical genres led to a concert of Spanish and South American music for the Embassy of Spain in Puerto Rico, as a result of a prize won at the Latin American Music Center competition at Indiana University. Furthermore, Marko Petričić performs Balkan folk music together with Mathieu Névéol, an exceptional violinist from the Paris Orchestra, France.

For further

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Amy Jo Sawyer CD titled According to Amy

Dr. Robert Young McMahan in Performances

by Rita Barnea
Dr. Robert Young McMahan and On May 17, 18, and 20, Dr. Robert Young McMahan performed on stage and in costume with the Philadelphia based Center City Opera, in the east coast premiere of Il Postino (“The Postman”), by Daniel Catán (1949-2011). The production took place at the Prince Music Theater, near City Hall.

The opera is based upon a popular 1994 Italian film directed by Michael Radford, and starring Philippe Noiret, Massimo Troisi, and Maria Grazia Cucinotta (not to be confused with the later American film, also entitled “The Postman”, starring Nicholas Cage and carrying an entirely different script). It is a fictional story in which the real life Chilean poet Pablo Neruda (temporarily exiled from his country) forms a relationship with a simple Italian postman who learns to love poetry. The screenplay was adapted by Anna Pavignano, Michael Radford, Furio Scarpelli, Giacomo Scarpelli, and Massimo Troisi from the novel Ardiente paciencia by Antonio Skármeta. Skármeta himself had previously adapted his novel for the screen in 1985 as Ardiente paciencia ("Burning Patience").

The accordion appears in the last scene of Act 2, depicting the postman’s wedding reception, and accompanies Neruda (portrayed by tenor Hugo Vera in this production) in a love song. This is followed by a tango played by both accordion and orchestra in which the entire wedding party participates both in dancing and singing. Though the film was in Italian and the story takes plays in a remote island off the southern end of Italy in the mid-1950s, the libretto is in Spanish, reflecting the Princeton University educated Catán’s Mexican origins and his desire to reach Latino-American audiences.

The world premiere took place in Los Angeles in 2010, with the famed tenor Placido Domingo playing Neruda. Nick Ariondo was the accordionist for that production, which may be seen in its entirety on the PBS webiste, scroll to 1 hour, 31 minutes to see the accordion scene). The Center City Opera production was a smaller-scaled, lower budgeted one than that of the Los Angeles one, again fulfilling the late composer’s wish that his operas get out to more of the rank-and-file audiences on a wide scale via smaller companies. Catán’s widow was present at one of the Center City evenings to promote this passionate wish of her husband, who sadly died suddenly in 2011.

Upcoming performances by Dr.McMahan this summer:

Works by himself and arrangements of vocal works with soprano Joy Bechtler and tenor Joseph McKesson at the 2012 American Accordionists’ Association Festival in Baltimore, July 11-15;

With the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra, Mark Laycock, conductor, and boys chorus, July 26, 8:00 PM, Richardson Auditorium, Princeton, NJ, in a performance of Arrigo Boito’s Prologue to Mephistofele (see;

Eighteenth American Accordionists’ Association Master Class and Concert Series, Tenri Institute, New York City, July 27, 28, and 29, performances of his composition, Romp III, for accordion and piano (to be performed Friday night, July 27), with pianist Dr. Joanna Chao, of the celebrated New York based contemporary music ensemble Argento, AAA commissioned work Canto XVIII, for solo accordion, by Samuel Adler, Sonata Valtaro, by William Schimmel, and performed with the composer, and Italian arias with Joy Bechtler (see

A native of Washington, DC, Robert McMahan earned his Doctor of Musical Arts degree in composition from the Peabody Institute of the Johns Hopkins University, where he studied with Robert Hall Lewis, Jean Eichelberger Ivey, and Stefan Grove'. He also holds a master's degree in the Great Books program at St. John's College. He joined the music faculty of the College of New Jersey in 1991, where he is Professor of Music and head of theory, composition, ear training studies, and the accordion major. Previous to this appointment, he lived in the Baltimore area and taught music theory and related subjects at Towson University, Morgan State University, College of Notre Dame, Essex Community College, and the Peabody Preparatory School (of the Peabody Institute), where he was head of the Theory Department and developed its curriculum. He also taught classical accordion at the Peabody Preparatory School and the University of Maryland, Baltimore County.

Honors in composition include awards from the Annapolis Fine Arts Composers' Competition, the Contemporary Recording Society, and Peabody Institute. In addition, he has received a number of Meet the Composer grants since 1996. His compositions may be sampled on YouTube (robertyoungmcmahan). Dr. McMahan is also a recognized authority on the American composer Carl Ruggles, and has published articles in American Music, Sonneck Society Bulletin, New Grove Dictionary of Opera, and New Grove Dictionary of Music. He is presently working on a book on the life and works of Ruggles.

As a classical artist, Dr. McMahan has dedicated a major part of his career to the promotion of the accordion in serious contemporary music through recitals, concert appearances, teaching, recordings, publication of his music, journal articles, participation in contemporary music organizations, and including it in many of his own compositions. He has been instrumental in convincing other composers, such as Samuel Adler, Lukas Foss and Robert Hall Lewis, to use it in their music and has, himself, been commissioned to write works for it by various individuals and organizations, including the American Accordionists’ Association and the New York State Council on the Arts. He will be contributing to the first-time chapter for the accordion in the new edition of Dr. Adler’s celebrated textbook on orchestration. He has recorded on the CRS and Orion labels, was accordionist for the Baltimore Symphony during his years of residence in that region and has recently served in a similar way with the Princeton Symphony and the American Symphony.

Presently, he serves on the Board of Governors of the American Accordionists' Association as its Secretary and Chair of the Composers Commissioning Committee. In addition, he has written articles concerning contemporary music for the accordion for The Free Reed Journal and other publications. Besides his writings, he has been featured in articles by others in Keyboard Magazine, The Music Connoisseur; High Fidelity, The Baltimore Sun, The Trenton Times, Accordion Arts Magazine, Contemporary American Composers, and Who's Who in American Composers: Classical.

For further information:

Titano Accordion Company

23rd Annual Accordion Kings & Queens Festival on June 2

by Rita Barnea
2012 FinalistsThe 23rd Annual Accordion Kings and Queens Festival will be held on Saturday, June 2nd, at Houston's Miller Outdoor Theatre. It will be a once in a lifetime opportunity to see Grammy-winners and accordion legends Flaco Jiménez and Mingo Saldivar perform with Grammy Award-winning Los Texmaniacs under the starry sky at the Miller Outdoor Theatre in Houston’s Hermann Park. The night promises to be spectacular—not only with this historic performance—but also with performances by Dora and the Zydeco Entourage, the Ennis Czech Boys, and last year’s Big Squeeze Champion Ignacio “Nachito” Morales.

The star-studded affair will take place on Saturday, June 2, beginning at 6:00 PM. The festival is free and open to the music-loving public. Festival goers wanting seats in the pavilion area can pick up their free tickets the day of the festival at the Miller Box Office or become members of Texas Folklife and receive up to four reserved tickets.

The night will begin with The 2012 Big Squeeze Accordion Contest Playoffs. The finalists were selected at the Semifinals Concert and Playoffs at the Bob Bullock Texas History Museum in Austin in April.  This year’s finalists are: Peter Anzaldua, 15, of Brownsville; Omar Garza, 17, of Mission; Luis Gonzales, 16, of Grand Prairie; and Michael Ramos, 16, of Dallas. Texas Folklife’s Big Squeeze accordion contest 2012 finalists will compete for a grand prize package valued at $4500, including a $1000 cash prize, a brand new Hohner accordion and recording time at the historic Hacienda Records in Corpus Christi, as well as promotional support from SugarHill Recording Studios, Hohner, Inc., Hacienda Records and Texas Folklife, and other professional opportunities. The young accordionists will perform, and by the end of the night, the new Grand-Prize-Winner will be selected by a panel of esteemed judges and the festival crowd.

After the crowd has been primed by the young squeezeboxers, the accordion legends and stars will take over the stage. Flaco Jiménez and Mingo Saldivar are Texas music royalty and national treasures. Jiménez has received five Grammy awards over his sixty-year career—two of which were with the supergroups the Texas Tornadoes (Jiménez, Doug Sahm, Freddy Fender, and Augie Meyers) and Los Super Seven. His father was Santiago Jiménez, Sr., one of the pioneers of conjunto music. Jiménez has appeared in the film Picking up the Pieces with Woody Allen and Sharon Stone. He also appears on the soundtrack to that movie, and in many others, such as Y Tu Mamá También, The Border, and Tin Cup.

The Hohner company collaborated with Jiménez to create the Flaco Jiménez Signature Series of accordions. Mingo Saldivar’s career spans four decades. He is a two-time Grammy nominee, as well as a recipient of the prestigious National Heritage Award from the National Endowment for the Arts. Dubbed the “dancing cowboy” by fans, Saldivar is a conjunto music legend. Los Texmaniacs won the 2010 Grammy award for Best Tejano Album, Borders y Bailes, on the Smithsonian Folkways label. Their sound has been called “hip music everybody can relate to” and is comprised of conjunto, rock, and rhythm and blues.
Putting the Queen in Accordion Kings & Queens, Houston’s own Dora and the Zydeco Entourage will also be performing on this accordion-loving night.

This year’s festival all-star lineup includes the newly formed Ennis Czech Boys who will undoubtedly keep the crowd on its feet. Rounding out the night and proving why he is the reigning Big Squeeze Champ will be Ignacio “Nachito” Morales.

The Accordion Kings & Queens Festival and The Big Squeeze are funded in part by the Board of Texas Folklife, the City of Houston through the Miller Theatre Advisory Board, Houston Endowment, Hohner Inc., The Raven Grill, and FBA Design. Additional support for the contest is provided by the City of Dallas Office of Cultural Affairs, Hacienda Records, South Central Music Source, Cactus Music & Record Ranch, SugarHill Recording Studios, La Michoacana Stores, Embassy Suites Hotel Downtown Austin, the Still Water Foundation and the City of Austin through the Cultural Arts Division and by a grant from the Texas Commission on the Arts and an award from the National Endowment for the Arts, which believes that a great nation deserves great art.

Texas Folklife is a statewide non-profit organization dedicated to presenting and preserving the diverse cultures and living heritage of the Lone Star State. For more than 25 years, Texas Folklife has honored the authentic cultural traditions passed down within communities, explored their importance in contemporary society, and celebrated them by providing accessible and joyful arts experiences. It is located in Austin, Texas, in the SoCo neighborhood—one of the city’s vibrant commercial and arts districts.
For further information:
Sheree Scarborough / (512) 922-5483
Big Squeeze information:
Sarah Rucker: (512) 441-9255 /

In Photo: from left: Michael Ramos, Luis Gonzales, Peter Anzaldua, Omar Garza

Photo by Michelle Mejia, 2012, Texas Folklife

Jeff Lisenby CD A Spy In Tortuga

Accordionist is Featured by American Idol Contestant

by Rita Barnea
Elise TestoneSeason 11 American Idol closed with Phillip Phillips taking the title. But it was contestant Elise Testone that caught the eye of accordionists around from across the USA and as far away as New Zealand where the show is broadcast the following day, when she sang Billy Joel's "Vienna" with only a pianist and accordionist on stage with her.

Elise Nicole Testone is an American singer and songwriter from Mount Pleasant, South Carolina. She placed sixth on the eleventh season of American Idol. She grew up in Kinnelon, New Jersey. At the age of 13, Testone took lessons with New York City vocal coach Judy Hages. After graduating from Kinnelon High School in 2001, Testone attended Coastal Carolina University in Conway, South Carolina, earning a bachelors degree in music in 2005.

Testone has performed as an opening act for various other artists, including Snoop Dogg, Nappy Roots, Seven Mary Three, and Kevin Costner and Modern West. She plays the piano, guitar, drums, tambourine, and cello.

Sean “P Diddy” Combs joined Jimmy Iovine to mentor contestants who were required to select songs from Billy Joel for their performance. Both were concerned that Testone’s choice of “Vienna,” a song that only hardcore Billy Joel fans know, was a bad move, however, all were proven wrong, and in the words of a writer at the Hollywood Reporter “she he absolutely nailed it, complete with the sultry, bluesy, jazzy, late-night cigarettes and booze delivery that the song demands. I loved the accordion, loved the hair, the dress, the delivery - all of it!”
Elise earned a standing ovation from all three judges, and many subsequent reports on the show complimented her on her use of the accordion as musical backing in her performance.

The Peter Soave Music Academy in Italy in July

by Rita Barnea
Peter and Mady SoaveThe Peter Soave Music Academy is an International Summer School for musicians and music lovers. PSMA generously offers a rich musical experience that plunges each participant into the depths of musical artistry. The sessions will include workshops, intensive coaching, master classes, chamber music, and rehearsals culminating in concerts where participants and professionals will be playing side by side.

The picturesque setting for PSMA is Sauris, a tiny alpine village nestled in the Dolomite mountains of Italy, bordering Austria, 2 hours north of Venice, where participants will make musical discoveries that last a life time. Peter said, "Personally, PSMA is a vehicle for me to share my life experiences in music with others. I have found through teaching we all can learn from one another! My wife, Madeleine, and I have worked passionately to realize this project and create a multifaceted program and environment to equip instrumentalists from around the world with the knowledge and skills they need to perform music."

The dates of the workshops are:
Week 1: Sunday, July 22-29 2012

Week 2: Sunday, July 29-August 5,, 2012

Week 3: VIP Sunday, September 2-9, 2012

2013 Dates: 10-Day Seminar Thursday, July 25-August 4

The Hotel Morgenleit provides rooms of 1, 2, 3 or 4 people, with private bathroom and fully furnished with television, minifridge, telephone, toileties. Guests will enjoy the common experience of residing at a quaint and sparkling clean hotel resort, fresh and clean mountain air and nature, regional culture and outstanding regional cuisine.

The faculty includes: Peter Soave, Mady Soave, Dennis Tini, Mary Tokarski, Ralf Bethke, Trio Sasusi,and Gabi Guthöhrlein

Workshops include:
Dennis Tini....Jazz Improvisation & Jazz Styles
Ralf Bethke....First Aid on your Accordion & Maintenance
Trio Sãsusi.....Rhythm - Comprehension, Problems & Solutions
Mary Tokarski....Performance Confidence
Workshops run 45 minutes, Monday thru Friday.
All workshops are simultaneously translated in English, French, German & Italian.

Sign up for this unique opportunity to enhance your accordion skills in a beautiful and peaceful setting.
For further

tel: +

The International Trio, CD Available online, secure server

Tor Stumo: Playing the Accordion is Cool!

by Rita Barnea
Tor StumoThe May issue of the Smithsonian Magazine included an article on "The 10 Best Small Towns in America". On page 53, there is a wonderful photo of 13 year old Tor Stumo playing his accordion in Great Barrington, MA, a town featured in the article as a top small town.

Tor studies with AAA Board member, Mary Tokarski and is one of the young accordionists who will participate in the Youth Jazz Ensemble in July at the 2012 AAA Accordion Festival in Baltimore.

Beginning accordion at age 9, Tor is very enthusiastic about his accordion spending his time going to lessons, competitions, and places where he and his older siblings who play other instruments, can busk to earn money.

What do Tor's friends say about his playing the accordion? Tor says, "All the kids I've shown it to, they think, 'Oh my gosh, that instrument is really cool'."

For further information:

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Famous Accordion Orchestra in Concert

by Rita Barnea
Bob GoldbergJune is a fine time to hear the dulcet and accordions and more! The Famous Accordion Orchestra 2012 World tour of Brooklyn Gardens continues this Saturday, June 2, at the Local Produce Festival in Park Slope. At 2:PM accordionist Bob Goldberg will be playing with clarinetist Adrian Mira and percussionist Greg Burrows at the President Street Garden, President Street and Fifth Avenue, Brooklyn, NY.

Bob will be joined by students from PS 295 for a singalong of favorite tunes, courtesy of the Brooklyn Conservatory Music Partners program. Other appearances include:
Friday June 8, 7:30 PM Dixon Place for monthly romp.
The Lounge at Dixon Place
161 a Chrystie Street

Saturday, June 9, 3:00 PM
Famous Accordion Orchestra
at the Jane Bailey Memorial Garden
327-329 Greene Ave
bet. Franklin & Classon Aves

The Famous Accordion Orchestra, led by composer/accordionist Bob Goldberg bridges the traditional and the post-modern. The Orchestra is flexible in size and makeup, and has appeared as a duo, trio, quartet, and larger ensemble. Their repertoire ranges from Stephen Foster, Rossini, Bach, Offenbach, Guy Klucevsek, Lars Hollmer, Paolo Conte, Duke Ellington and Kraftwerk, waltzes, marches, tangos and sound environments.

The core group consists of Bob Goldberg, with founding members Genevieve Leloup and Mark Nathanson, along with Melissa Elledge and Rachel Swaner (both veterans of Angels and Accordions and members of Main Squeeze Orchestra) and the rhythm section of Greg Burrows on drums and Joe "Tuba" Keady on tuba. As a large group, the Orchestra has performed site-specific works such as "Accordion Forest/Neighborhood Suite", at Make Music New York 2009, and forms the musical core of "Angels and Accordions", an annual event at Brooklyn's Green-wood Cemetery, as well as private parties and events.

The Famous Accordion Orchestra's 2012 World Tour of Brooklyn is sponsored, in part, by the Greater New York Arts Development Fund of the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, administered by the Brooklyn Arts Council, Inc. (BAC).

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

Joseph Soprani Performs at Philadelphia Art Exhibit

by Rita Barnea
Left to right: Martin Vardedoe, Joseph Soprani, Robert Colletti
Joseph Soprani and Tony AffigatoJoseph Soprani recently performed when the Consulate General of Italy and the America-Italy Society of Philadelphia presented an Art Exhibit at the Ethical Society of the art works of Philadelphia's own Martin Varnedoe. Varnedoe's recent collection attempts to capture moments of vibrancy, intimacy and mystery of Italy, everyday situations of ordinary activity in extraordinary settings as seen through the eyes of the artist.

Varnedoe's works may be found in both private collections and in public spaces throughout the United States, abroad and Mexico. Among his most notable portraits, his paintings of renown pianist Lili Kraus was shown at Lincoln Center and now hangs in the Kraus family permanent collection. Varnedoe has a Master of Fine Arts from Pratt institute of New York. The art work of Robert Colletti , also a Philadelphian, was on display.

Entertainment was provided by accordionist Joseph Soprani throughout the evening and accompanied tenor Tony Affigato in a variety of Italian selections including "Parlami d'Amore Mariu" and "On An Evening in Roma". Classic Neapolitan songs and other Italian favorites were performed. See May USA news for more info on Joe Soprani.

Top photo: Left to right: Martin Varnedoe, Joseph Soprani, Robert Colletti
Left photo: Joseph Soprani and Tony Affigato

For further information:

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

Future events

The Art of Playing the Accordion Artistically by Friedrich Lips

The Gene Van Accordion Orchestra to Appear in Concerts

by Mary Ann VanPaemel
Gene Van Accordion Orchestra
The Gene Van Accordion Orchestra, under the direction of Mr. Gene Van, will be performing on Friday evening, July 27, at the 72nd Annual ATG Competition & Festival to be held in Lisle, Illinois. The orchestra is comprised of musicians from various states including Indiana, Illinois, Ohio, Michigan, Texas, South Carolina, Missouri, and Florida. Members of the group have individually, and collectively, achieved countless prestigious honors in state, regional, national, and international competitions. Mr.

Joseph Natoli, performer/composer/arranger and 1972 AAA U.S. Virtuoso Solo Champion, from central Ohio, along with Amy Jo Sawyer, performer/composer and 1956 ATG U.S. Virtuoso Solo Champion, from O’Fallon, Illinois, will once again be guest performers with the orchestra. In addition, performing with the group for the first time will be Joe Recchia and Lou Le Brun. Joe is a highly sought after performer in the Detroit area, as well as being the nephew of the late, renowned accordionist/teacher, Mr. Tony Dannon. He also serves as the Vice President for the Michigan Accordion Society. Lou is an avid performer and entertains on a regular basis in the Springfield, Missouri, area and has performed with various groups over the years.

The Gene Van Accordion Orchestra’s last national performance was in 2009, where they were a featured group at the National Accordion Association convention in Richardson, Texas. Over the last few years, they have devoted their time and efforts performing concerts to benefit local causes.

The group is planning on performing two concerts in South Bend, Indiana, the week of July 22, immediately before leaving to perform at the ATG Festival, to benefit two separate causes. The Gene Van Accordion Orchestra and Chorus, conducted by Mr. Gene Van, will perform two benefit concerts this summer entitled, “Accordions United,” sponsored by the Michiana Performing Arts Association. Members of the orchestra will be coming from as far away as Texas, Florida, South Carolina and Missouri, as well as Indiana, Illinois, Ohio and Michigan. Proceeds from both concerts will go toward paying medical-related expenses for two local women, Judy Stoll and Albertina Wassenhove, who have been diagnosed with cancer. Both women have direct ties to the orchestra and to the accordion, as they are accordionists themselves and are former members of the group.

The concerts will take place on Sunday, July 22, and on Monday, July 23, at the Kern Road Mennonite Church, 18211 Kern Road, South Bend, IN. Both concerts will start at 7:00 p.m. Tickets are $10 (children 12 and under free.)

For more information, contact Gene Van: (574) 262-0212, or Mary Ann VanPaemel at If you would like further information on any of their upcoming performances, or would like to request a list of available CDs and DVDs for purchase, please contact Gene Van at, or call 574-262-0212.

In photo: (Front Row Seated - left to right) Rebecca Ratliff, Laura Van, John S. Kovach, Esther Lanting
(Second Row - left to right) Jessica Faltot, Mary Ann VanPaemel, Gene Van
(Third Row - left to right) Kami Gunnoe, Kenn Baert, Carol Beehler, Joseph Natoli, Barbara Hums, Chuck Rumpf
Back Row - left to right) Heidi King, Terry Engeman, Vince DelPrete, Michael Kovatch

Accordion Repairs Made Easy by John Reuther

AAA 18th Master Class and Concert Series July 27-29

by William Schimmel
AAA LogoRemember to mark July 27, 28, 29th on your calendar. Those are the three days for the 2012 Accordion Master Class and Concert Series-The Seminars_ sponsored by the American Accordionists' Association moderated by Dr. William Schimmel at the Tenri Cultural Institute of New York.


It's a new kind of Radar!! Yes, and trust me, it's a new way of Redemption! It's the Radar off the Radar! The Seminars are 18 years old this year and they have found their own place in the marketplace of ideas in a new zone – off the Radar!! Yes, I say again – The Radar off the Radar!! It's a new kind of Radar – and it's looking for you!! It really is!! yes!

And you can find Redemption right smack in the middle of the accordion community. If I sound excited, I am – and it's OK to be excited

– Am I going too far with my enthusiasm? I don't think so but stay with me – I really mean what I SAY – and It's OK to be meaningful – it really is – I'm losing perspective – but that's OK – because perspective is relative to being in the radar – and we're talking about a new kind of radar – The Radar that's off the Radar!! Yes! - It's a new kind of Radar!! And Redemption is waiting for you there. Is it Salvation?? No, not exactly – It's Redemption – sort of like the Halleluia Chorus played by Dozens and Dozens of Accordionists – sort of like that – but not exactly –

Here's what our weekend will be!!
Here's what it will really be like – or something like it! And I really mean it – and that's OK.

Master Classes in the afternoon at 3 - you can play! Concerts in evening at 7 – distinguished lineup! Installations in the lobby.

Books – cds – dvds and other stuff sold in the lobby

Time to network and schmooze in the middle

Post concert fellowship at the end of the evening

JULY 27, 28, 29 – 2012 – and it's at

Concert No. 1 on July 27, 2012 at 7 PM includes:
plus much more……. creative musical performances!

MASTER CLASS NO.2 on July 28, 2012 at 3 PM includes:

These are just some of the programs offered during the seminars.For more information:

Baker-Bridge Duet at KIOTAC in Canada

by Rita Barnea
Michael Bridge and Alicia BakerMicheal Bridge and Alicia Baker will perform together at the KIOTAC Festival July 9-14, 2012 in Kimberley, Canada. They will perform in concert on Friday, July 13th.

Together, they have grown up in front of Kimberley audiences, have honed their individual accordion skills and shared them with Kimberley audiences for many years.
As long time competitors at KIOTAC they have formed a wonderful friendship and have had multiple wins in KIOTAC’s duet and solo competitions. Now, they have decided to expand the traditions and present their dual talents in an entire concert of special favorite selections. This young dynamic duo will dazzle you with their skills, magical chemistry and enthusiasm.

Michael Bridge is the 2011 Canadian Roland Digital Accordion Champion and a previous winner of the Happy Hans Open. He traveled to Italy last October to represent Canada at the International Roland Competition where he placed fourth in a field of fourteen national champions. He also competed last fall, in Shanghai, China in the 18 & Under Junior Coupe Mondiale, where he came in 4th out of champions from 21 countries.

In February of 2012, Michael was honored to perform with the internationally renowned Canadian quartet, Quartetto Gelato, in Santa Barbara, California. At sixteen, he performed live with the Boston Pops for the hit National Public Radio show, “From the Top”. At only 19 years old,his musical travels have already lead him to Croatia, China, Italy, France, and all over the USA and Canada. He performed solo concerts in 2009 and 2010 at the Las Vegas International Accordion Convention. A former student of Bev Fess, Michael is now is a first year student at the University of Toronto, studying under world-renowned accordion pedagogue Joseph Macerollo. His third solo album is being released this summer. Michael plays all genres of music on both accordion and piano. This young man is an engaging and talented entertainer, determined to raise the profile of the accordion for the next generation.

Alicia Baker is a 20 year old self-professed music fanatic from Milwaukie, Oregon. She has been playing the accordion since the age of 6, as well as studying piano and voice.  Alicia currently attends Oregon State University, where she is in her Junior year as a triple music major, working toward degrees in music education, piano performance, and vocal performance. Her future dreams include teaching choral music, along with performing every chance she gets! Alicia has had much success on the accordion, winning various competitions including the “Happy Hans Open” at the Kimberley International Old-Time Accordion Competition in 2007, 2010 and 2011. 

In addition, in 2009, Alicia won the privilege of representing the USA at the Roland International V-Accordion Competition in Rome, Italy. She has since performed solo concerts at the Kimberley & Leavenworth Old Time Accordion Festivals, American Accordion Association Convention, Cotati Accordion Festival, and the NAMM show. 

The summer of 2012 will prove to be another busy time for her as she performs concerts all over the USA and Canada. Alicia strives to play all genres of music well, showing the versatility of her abilities and of the instrument. Some of her favorites include polkas, french musettes, jazz, pop, and techno. Alicia currently works for Roland as an accordion product specialist, where she hopes to continue spreading the joy of accordion music as well as increase the popularity of this wonderful instrument.

For further information: 1-888-454-6822

ACCORDIONS NOW! 2012 on August 17-18 in New Hampshire

by Rita Barnea
ACCORDIONS NOW! 2012 LogoTony Lovello, Christopher GortonThe Fifth Annual ACCORDIONS NOW! Music Festival, co-sponsored by New Hampshire Accordion Association and Accordion Connection LLC, will be held August 17-18, 2012 at the beautiful Courtyard Marriott in Nashua, New Hampshire. It will be a high-spirited weekend filled with warm friendship and great music. Sign up, bring your accordion, and join the fun!

Artists and presenters include: Tony Lovello, Christopher Gorton, Brent Buswell, Jeremiah McLane & Annemieke Spoelstra, Gary Morin, Donna Maria Regis, the ACCORDIONS NOW! Festival Orchestra, Dan Mackowiak, Sam Falcetti, and others to be announced soon.

Three educational sessions are scheduled – a workshop, a master class, and a lecture-demonstration.

Noted accordion educator Sam Falcetti will present a workshop, “Using the Left Hand to Enhance a Song.” Sam will demonstrate decorations, changes, and other useful bass techniques. These easy-to-learn and easy-to-implement enrichments will add color and flair to your music-making.  

With volunteers from the audience, multi-champion Christopher Gorton will present a master class in the unusual, even controversial, but undeniably championship-producing Deschamps Teaching Method. Attend and decide for yourself. Chris will also perform in the Gala Concert Saturday evening.

In a lecture-demonstration, “Arranging Solo Piano Works for Accordion and Piano,” accordionist Jeremiah McLane and pianist Annemieke Spoelstra will use 12 Armenian Folk Songs, op. 43 by Alan Hovhaness to discuss the challenges of conveying in duet format this 1963 solo piano work’s great variety of moods and textures. Jeremiah and Annemieke will also give an early-afternoon concert.

BE PART OF THE MUSICAL ACTION -- BRING YOUR ACCORDION! You have many opportunities to participate: Open Mike Night (to guarantee your spot, sign up when you register), Informal Jam Sessions, ACCORDIONS NOW! Festival Orchestra [ANFO] (sign up by July 20), and – new this year – Play Along Groups [no rehearsal].

You have two ways to participate in organized ensemble playing: the ACCORDIONS NOW! Festival Orchestra [ANFO] and/or in a Play-Along session, a new feature of the festival’s agenda. Dan Mackowiak, former president of the Massachusetts Accordion Association [MAAA], will coordinate the early afternoon Play-Along session, which will be an opportunity for everyone to join in the fun and excitement of playing music together. As Dan describes it, “The play-along serves two purposes: first, it gives everyone an opportunity to actively participate; and second, it provides a warm-up for players involved in [later] activities [such as ANFO]. While the music is distributed in advance, there is no rehearsal. So, the play-along involves a lot of spontaneity.” Incidentally, the music is arranged to be accessible to most players, but still be interesting to more experienced players.

Unlike the no-rehearsal Play-Along session, the ACCORDIONS NOW! Festival Orchestra [ANFO] conducted by Donna Maria Regis, requires participants to make a considerable commitment of time and effort to prepare for the 4 PM Saturday concert, which this year will showcase the exciting world premiere of “Sinatra” –Tony Lovello’s magnificent musical tribute to “Ol’ Blue Eyes."

You can be part of this special, once-in-a-lifetime musical experience! Register for ANFO by July 20. The parts and practice sound clips are ready for distribution to fully registered ANFO participants. Mandatory rehearsal 2 PM Saturday, August 18 in the Courtyard Nashua Grand Ballroom. Additional rehearsals [optional, but strongly encouraged] June 16 and July 21 at Accordion Connection LLC, Gilmanton NH. Don’t miss this chance to be involved in something wonderful!

Special hotel rates are available: $91 per room [+ tax] through July 27. Call Marriott Worldwide (800) 321-2211 or Courtyard Nashua (603) 880-9100. Mention "ACCORDIONS NOW! Festival, Courtyard Nashua." 


For more information: ACCORDIONS NOW! (603) 216-9582

Peter Stan and Slavic Soul Party Celebrate New CD

by Rita Barnea
Slavic Soul Party
Peter StanSlavic Soul Party Balkan Beats DJ Robert Šoko, and chef "Mamma Mila" Mitrović will drift around NY harbor on Sunday June 24th at 6 PM with great music, food, and drink.They are throwing a party for their friends and fans for only $18.

Join the band on the Cabana, a 300 capacity boat that will cruise NY Harbor and the East River, dance to glorious Balkan-inspired music, and enjoy drinks and amazing Balkan food. Boarding begins at 6 PM at East 23rd St. (at the FDR Drive), and the boat cruises from 6:30 to 9:30 PM.Appearing with them will be friends DJ Robert Šoko, Balkin dance music expert from Bosnia via Berlin, in a rare NYC appearance and Mila Mitrović who cooks amazing Balkan food.  

Slavic Soul Party is celebrating their latest album release, " New York Underground Tapes". The band funds tis own projets and creates its own sound. The group is looking ahead to its first vinyl 7” and even a wax cylinder recording (both on Electric Cowbell Records) and a tour in Eastern Europe (Aug/Sept 2012).

New York based Peter Stan is the accordionist for the group. Peter Stan is an accomplished professional accordionist who both performs and teaches.  His heritage is Romani Balkan, although he was born and raised in Australia prior to coming to the U.S. when he was 12 years old.  At an early age he began to learn how to play the accordion and was taught by his father, also an accordionist, for many years. His entire family is musical and they enjoyed playing together. Peter then went on to further studies with Matthew Aldini (Queensboro Institute of Music), Dr.Jacob Nupauer, Stanley Darrow, and Joan Arnold. He has won awards accordion competitions including those sponsored by the American Accordion Musicological Society and the Long Island Music Teachers Association.

Peter does a wide variety of performing as a soloist, with small groups and bands. He plays a broad range of musical styles including Balkan, classical, French favorites, Klezmer, popular, and contemporary. He has also performed in movies, appearing with James Earl Jones and Armando Assante, and has done numerous studio soundtrack recordings. Peter has performed on radio, cable television, off-Broadway, and for the famous Mark Morris dance group. When his schedule permits, Peter entertains (alone or with a group) at celebratory functions such as weddings, Bar Mitzvah’s, birthdays, and anniversaries.

Peter has been the lead accordionist with many bands including Slavic Soul Party, Harold Seletsky, The West End Klezmorim, and Hot Pstromi (Yale Strom). His wide range of performances includes playing at Carnegie Hall (1st Jazz and Jewish music concert),  Merkin Hall, Irving Plaza, and Joe’s Pub in New York City; the International Accordion Festival in San Antonio, Texas ; and the two-week annual Mayim Mayim Project in Fuerth, Germany.

He has toured in Hong Kong, France, Germany, Sweden, Turkey, Denmark, Serbia, and throughout much of the United States. In March 2008 Peter was interviewed by Francoise Jallot and appeared in a feature article about him and his work in the celebrated French magazine “Accordeon & Accordeonistes.”

Peter Stan’s music studio is located in the Ridgewood section of Queens, New York. He teaches private students of all ages, with skills ranging from beginner to advanced professional. He is regularly engaged as a music therapist and has received great reviews for teaching accordion at Eastern European folk life workshops.

For further information about June 24th: 
For further information about Peter Stan:

Voci Armoniche

Accordion Camp in Silver Falls State Park, Oregon

by Rita Barnea
Accordion Camp 2011
RCAC President Wayne Tiusanen announces that the Rose City Accordion Club Accordion Camp will be held Sunday, June 10 thru Friday, June 15 at the Silver Falls State Park Conference Center, Oregon. The Accordion Camp includes 5 days of intense workshops, individual one-on-one instruction, playing music as part of an accordion orchestra, jamming and making new friends.

Thursday, June 14 is "Concert Night." Two accordion orchestras will play songs they have rehearsed all week. If you have never heard accordion orchestras play in four part harmony, come on down and listen. The concert is open to the public and will be held on Thursday night June 14 between 7:00 PM and 10:00 PM.

The Rose City Accordion Club of Portland, Oregon, a non profit organization was formed in 1996 by a group of people of all ages who love playing the accordion. Many of the members go out into the community and volunteer to perform at senior citizen centers, schools, and retirement communities.

The Rose City Accordion Club is open to all accordion players, from beginners to professionals, their friends and families, and to anyone who enjoys music. Meetings are held monthly on the third Saturday of each month at the Milwaukie Public Safety Building, 3200 SE Harrison Street (SE 32nd and Harrison), Milwaukie OR, from 1:00 to 5:00 PM.

For further information
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