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U.S. National Accordion News - 01-Oct-2017
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Titano Accordion Company


Editor's Note
Octoberfest Las Vegas International Accordion Festival Ready to Start - USA
Nathan Chapeton: 2017 USA Coupe Mondiale Representative in Italy
Guy Klucevsek to Perform with University of Pittsburgh Orchestra
Hotel Almost Sold Out for Las Vegas International Accordion Convention
Stas Venglevski in October Concert
National Accordion Association (NAA) Automated "Open Call" - USA
Joseph Soprani in October Concerts
Simone Baron Performs with Arco Belo Ensemble
Cody McSherry in Octoberfest

Voci Armoniche

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

Remembering Bob Vitale
Recent and Future Performances by Robert Young McMahan
“Accordion Lessons and Life Lessons from Anton J. (Tony) Rozance ”
New Accordion Club in Ohio: “We Love Accordion!"
Bill Schimmel in "Astrobiology/Accordionology" at Cornelia Street Cafe
Gary Dahl Releases El Choclo Tango Arrangement - USA
Video: Roland Demonstrate New Software for FR8X at Coupe Mondiale - Italy
Musette Duo at La Villini
Video: Button Box Fest, Reading, Pennsylvania - USA
Roland Digital Accordion Orchestra in July Performance
Accordion Students Celebrate Lou Jacklich’s 89th Birthday
Annual NAAC Member Meeting 2017
Joe DeClemente at La Villini
♫ Inspired by Pete
3rd Annual Student Scholarships Program at Cotati a Winner

Pigini USA distributor Ernest Deffner


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

Editor's Note

by Rita Barnea
Rita BarneaWhen you think about which person or persons in your life had a major influence on you, do you sometimes think of your instrumental music teacher? I have met many people who feel that their music teachers influenced not only their formal music education, but also had far reaching effects on them in terms of developing their attitudes toward life, helping them achieve goals, and demonstrating to them the way to live life. This, of course, is a brief introduction to what can be an interesting subject to pursue: How my music teacher shaped my life.

In the October USA news, you will read about the far reaching effects that several accordion teachers had on their students. Be sure to read the heartfelt tributes to Bob Vitale, Lou Jacklich, and Tony Rozance.

I am interested in learning more about how YOUR accordion/music teacher impacted your life. Would you like to share it? If so, please send your memories and thoughts to me at


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

Accordion Repairs Made Easy by John Reuther

Nathan Chapeton: 2017 USA Coupe Mondiale Representative in Italy

by Rita Barnea
Nathan ChaperonVideo: Contestant No. 13 Chapeton, Nathan (USA)
Franck Angelis, "Impasse", 1st Movement
Scarlatti, "Sonata In F Minor, K. 386"
Williams/Semionov, "Unforgettable"
Tcherepnin, "Partita"

Accordionist Nathan Chapeton was the USA Representative to the 2017 70th Coupe Mondiale to be held in Osimo, Italy September 5-10, 2017.

Nathan Chapeton is a young musician who became interested in playing the accordion at the age of eight when he heard his teacher, Mary Tokarski perform in concert. He has attended multiple music festivals sponsored by the American Accordionists’ Association and the Mid-Atlantic Music Teachers Guild (where he captured the Virtuoso Category prize twice so far!)

Mr. Chapeton has appeared as a guest artist in many local musical organizations including the Long Island Accordion Alliance, the Brooklyn Accordion Club, and as a frequent performer at Connecticut Accordion Association events. Nathan has earned the privilege of representing the United States-AAA at the Coupe Mondiale (World Accordion Championships) three times so far.

At the Coupe Mondiale in Austria (2014) and Russia (2016) he was among the best accordionists and musicians from around the world. His plan now includes learning baroque and classical music and to compete in more rigorous categories at the competition.

Nathan additionally plays with the Jazz Ensemble at Middletown High playing his accordion, piano, and other miscellaneous keyboard instruments. His interest in jazz was sparked when he was part of the Youth Involvement Program jazz ensemble at an American Accordionists’ Association festival, with other young accordionists and instrumentalists.

This year Nathan auditioned for the honor to perform with the New Haven Symphony when his school, Middletown High School (Connecticut) Goes to the Symphony on May 22, 2017 and the Hamden Symphony Orchestra (Connecticut) on April 30, 2017. He was selected by BOTH to be a guest performer for their concerto concerts featuring soloists on violin, cello, piano . . . and the accordion!

Nathan's ultimate goal is to reincorporate the accordion in modern jazz and classical music in a way that no one has ever seen before. Being one of the few young accordionists in our area, he is very thankful and happy to have the opportunity to perform for you!

AWW wishes Nathan Chapeton continuing successes in all his musical endeavors.

Teachers and potential contestants can view videos of all the Coupe Mondialecategory contestants at:

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

Guy Klucevsek to Perform with University of Pittsburgh Orchestra

by Rita Barnea
Guy KlucevsekFrom the University of Pittsburgh website announcing the performance of the University of Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra with Guy Klucevsek on October 11, 2017 at 8PM, Bellefield Hall Auditorium, Free Admission.

This homecoming week concert will feature Pitt alumnus Guy Klucevsek (MA ’71 in composition and theory), world famous accordionist/composer, performing his Ratatatatouille for accordion and orchestra. Klucevsek will also perform his compositions Wave Hill (1995) with string orchestra, Flying Vegetables of the Apocalypse (1988) with string quartet, Dvorak Largo: Variations and Theme (accordion solo), and Stolen Memories (1993). Theprogram also includes Igor Stravinsky's Concerto in D for string orchestra and Johannes Brahms's Variations on a Theme by Haydn, op. 56a.

Guy Klucevsek is one of the world’s most versatile and highly-respected accordionists. He has performed and/or recorded with Laurie Anderson, Bang On a Can, Brave Combo, Anthony Braxton, Anthony Coleman, Dave Douglas, Bill Frisell, Rahim al Haj, Robin Holcomb, Kepa Junkera, the Kronos Quartet, Natalie Merchant, Present Music, Relâche, Zeitgeist, and John Zorn.

He is the recipient of a 2010 United States Artists Collins Fellowship, an unrestricted $50,000 award given annually to "America's finest artists."
He has premiered over 50 solo accordion pieces, including his own, as well as those he has commissioned from Mary Ellen Childs, William Duckworth, Fred Frith, Aaron Jay Kernis, Jerome Kitzke, Stephen Montague, Somei Satoh, Lois V Vierk, and John Zorn.

Performances include the Ten Days on the Island Festival (Tasmania), the Adelaide Festival (Australia), the Berlin Jazz Festival, Lincoln Center, Spoleto Festival/USA, BAM Next Wave Festival, Cotati Accordion Festival, San Antonio International Accordion Festival, Vienna International Accordion Festival, and the children’s television show “Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood.”

For further information:

Titano Accordion Company

Hotel Almost Sold Out for Las Vegas International Accordion Convention

by Paul Pasquali Event Organizer
Las Vegas International Accordion Convention Heather
Joan SommersLas Vegas International Accordion Convention Event Organizer Paul Pasquali writes: "This year the hotel is actually sold out - BUT what I did do was hold a group of rooms in my name - so there are a limited number of rooms available directly from me.

If you contact me direct, I can book the room for you at the convention rate of $39/$47 - deluxe/premium room. This small block of rooms is available until they are sold, so I am urging those who want to come, to contact me immediately at:
1-800-472-1695 (+01 486-1695) or
email me at:

There is going to be an amazing "Tribute to Dick Contino" and you can read all about that at:
and see how three stars, Grayson Masefield, Stas Venglevski and Cory Pesaturo are also part of this exciting tribute arranged by Joan Sommers (picture right) as the Finale of the 2017 Convention.

The stars listed in the banner above include Gordon Kohl who is to be presented the 2017 Honorary Director Award. He joins a renowned family of musicians in this exclusive club that includes Art Van Damme, Dick Contino, Myron Floren, Gina Brannelli, Joan Sommers, Peter Soave, Iona Reed Pukara, Walter Ostanek, Carl Fortina, Pete Barbutti, Frank Marocco, Angelo Di Pippo, Jeff Lisenby, Joey Miskulin, Stas Venglevski, Mary Tokarski, and Mario Pedone.

Gordon Kohl is a treasured performer who has supported and contributed every year of the convention since the inception and been a great role model for other accordionists. Gordon Kohl is a knowledgeable, skilled, dedicated, “multi-cultural” accordionist. His playing credentials, which include commercials, video tracks, and work with TV shows and stars, would fill an entire page. He maintains a busy schedule performing, teaching, and conducting workshops.

For more information about the Las Vegas International Accordion Convention, please visit: "
Cory Pesaturo, Grayson Masefield and Stas Venglevski

Voci Armoniche

Stas Venglevski in October Concert

by Rita Barnea
Stas Venglevski
Bayanist, accordionist and composer Stas Venglevski will perform on October 22, 2017 6:30 PM at St. Matthew Lutheran Church, 5315 Main St., Houston, Texas. He will also be a featured guest artist and clinician at the 18th Annual Las Vegas International Accordion Convention in Las Vegas October 23-26, 2017.

Excerpts from his website: His artistry, dazzling technical command, and sensitivity have brought Stanislav, "Stas," Venglevski, a native of the Republic of Moldova, part of the former Soviet Union, increasing acclaim as a virtuoso of the Bayan. A two-time first prize winner of Bayan competition in the Republic of Moldova, Stas is a graduate of the Russian Academy of Music in Moscow where he received his Masters Degree in Music under the tutelage of the famed Russian Bayanist, Friedrich Lips. In 1992 he immigrated to the United States.
Stas is an Accordionist, a Musician, an Arranger, an Entertainer and a Teacher. Stas' repertoire includes his original compositions, a broad range of classical, contemporary and ethnic music. He has toured extensively as a soloist throughout the former Soviet Union, Canada, Europe, and the United States, including numerous performances with Doc Severinsen, Steve Allen and with Garrison Keillor on the Prairie Home Companion Show. Additionally, he has performed with symphony orchestras throughout the United States. He performed the world premiere of Concerto No. 2 by Anthony Galla-Rini and also the world premiere of Bayan and Beyond, composed for Stas by Dan Lawitts.He is also former president of the ATG.

Stas has many wonderful CD’s and musical compositions including solos, duets, and ensembles available for purchase. Contact him at his email address.

For further information on the Houston concert:
For more information on Stas:

Accordion Jazz Chords

National Accordion Association (NAA) Automated "Open Call" - USA

by Norman Seaton, NAA President
NAA Logo
NAANational Accordion Association (NAA) President Norman Seaton (picture below) announced the new Automated "Open Call" for Accordion Convention Presenters, Concert Artists, and Vendors.

The National Accordion Convention, March 8-10, 2018 has the theme: "Moving Beyond the Past - Launching the Future" and is all about "Enjoying the Journey".

The NAA Convention is the opening event of the 2018 North American accordion convention and festival season. The NAA has purposely selected March every year so their annual Convention does not compete with the other excellent accordion events scheduled annually.

The Automated "Open Call" is an innovative scheduling process for Accordion Convention Presenters, Concert Artists, and Vendors for the period October 1 - 31, 2017, which allows conventioneers the opportunity of designing the convention.

In turn, the automated process places all the information into one file and enables presenters, artists, and vendors to propose new methods for meeting the conventioneers' stated desires, aiming to create a responsive and exciting convention.

For full information and to participate in the Automated "Open Call", visit the website: National Accordion Association (NAA).
NAA photos


Joseph Soprani in October Concerts

by Rita Barnea
Joseph SopraniTwo mandolin-based trios - Hampton Trio (Hampton, CT) and Sycamore Muse Trio (Philadelphia, PA) - will present two concerts in the Philadelphia area October 7 and 8, 2017. October 7, 2:PM at Swarthmore Friends Meeting House: Whittier Room (on the campus of Swarthmore College) October 8, 3:00 PM at the Ethical Society Building on Rittenhouse Square (in Center City, Philadelphia) Hampton Trio - Mark Davis (mandolin), Robert Margo (mandola), Beverly Davis (guitar) Sycamore Muse Trio - Joe Todaro (mandolin & guitar), Mark Linkins (mandolin & guitar), Joe Soprani (accordion)

Accordionist Joseph Soprani presents two concerts on October 7 and 8, 2017 - Two Trios Concerts (at Swarthmore College and Ethical Society on Rittenhouse Square). He will perform in a trio setting with mandolin and guitar sharing the program with the Connecticut-based Hampton Trio. The program is presented by the Mandolin Society of Philadelphia including the Connecticut-based Hampton Trio and the Philadelphia-based Sycamore Muse Trio in concert together in two regional venues.

The Hampton Trio includes Mark Davis (mandolin), Robert Margo (mandola), and Beverly Davis. The Hampton Trio performs original music and arrangements for ensemble of mandolin, mandola, and classical guitar. Inspired by the groundbreaking work of groups such as Trio Nuovo (Japan) and Trio Chamorro (Spain), the Hampton Trios goal is to popularize and add to the existing repertoire for this instrumentation. In addition to their trio repertoire, the groups programs often include classical guitar duos by Mark and Beverly Davis, and mandolin solos by Robert A. Margo. Mark Davis conducts the acclaimed New American Mandolin Ensemble (NAME) and the Providence Mandolin Orchestra (PMO). Beverly Davis and Robert Margo are members of NAME and PMO.

Excerpts from the Sycamore Muse website: Formed in 2011, the mandolin and guitar duo Sycamore Muse performs regularly at Chef Joey Baldinos acclaimed eateries: Zeppoli, in Collingswood, NJ, and the Palizzi Social Club, in South Philadelphia. Joe Todaro and Mark Linkins who share mandolin and guitar duties also perform for weddings, receptions, art openings, and winery events throughout the Delaware Valley. The Sycamore Muse Trio includes the addition of internationally renowned accordionist Joe Soprani, also known to accordion enthusiasts as "Dizzy Fingers.”

Philadelphia-based Mandolin and guitar duo Sycamore Muse performs an eclectic repertoire drawing from classical, popular, and world music traditions. Joe Todaro and Mark Linkins have been performing together as an instrumental duo since 2011. Their unique blend of mandolin and guitar lends itself to a diverse range of musical styles, including classical, baroque, pop, standards, and world music. Visit the Audio Samples page to hear the duo. Sycamore Muse performs for a variety of private and public events, including weddings, anniversary parties, corporate functions, concerts, and cultural/musical festivals. The duo also performs regularly at Zeppoli, a Sicilian restaurant in Collingswood, New Jersey. Sycamore Muse‘s distinctive sound will lend a special touch to your special event.
Sycamore Muse is also available as a trio. The trio format includes the addition of internationally recognized accordion virtuoso Joe Soprani. Over the course of six decades, Joe performed with Pavarotti, the Philadelphia Orchestra, Jon Bon Jovi, and countless other world class artists and orchestras. His career is documented in the film documentary Dizzy Fingers: The Life of Joe Soprani.

The October 7 concert will be presented at 2:00 PM in the Whittier Room, in the Swarthmore Friends Meeting House, on the campus of Swarthmore College.

The October 8 concert will be presented at 3:00 PM at the Ethical Society Building on Rittenhouse Square, in Center City Philadelphia.

October 8 Tickets are: $20.00 ($21.69 w/service fee)
Advanced - $15; Door - $20

October 7 tickets are:$15.00 ($16.52 w/service fee)
Advanced - $15; Door - $20

For further information:

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

Simone Baron Performs with Arco Belo Ensemble

by Rita Barnea
Simone Baron
Arco BeloThe Arco Belo Ensemble will perform on Monday, October 9, 2017, at 7:30 PM at Alices’s Jazz and Cultural Society, 2813 12th St. NE, Washington, DC. Tickets are $8.

Accordionist Simone Baron reimagines and expands the accordion’s possibilities with her hybrid chamber jazz ensemble, Arco Belo. Drawing from Balkan, Romanian and Armenian repertoires, as well as original work, the troupe skips effortlessly from odd and infectious meters to funk grooves, neo-baroque compositions and post-romantic cadenzas.

Bold, innovative, and gloriously off-beat, Arco Belo serves as an intoxicating introduction to the virtuosic creativity of WJMF’s 2017 Artist-in-Residence, Simone Baron.

Box office number: 201-777-3250

Pigini USA distributor Ernest Deffner

Cody McSherry in Octoberfest

by Pat McSherry
LHCS Poster
Cody McSherryOn Saturday, October 14, 2017 Lancaster, Pennsylvania will again be dancing to the music of Cody McSherry and his band “Polterabend.” This is the third annual Oktoberfest concert and dance to be held to benefit the Fine and Performing Arts Department of Lancaster Catholic High School.

Cody McSherry, now fourteen years of age, has entered Lancaster Catholic High School as a freshman this year. Though he is new to the school as a student, his performances are not. Cody formed his band at the suggestion of Tony Brill, the head of the school’s Fine and Performing Arts Department, three years ago while Cody was still in 7th grade. The band’s name, “Polterabend,” is German for “noisy night,” a name Cody found fitting. Performing on piano accordion, diatonic accordion and voice, Cody will be backed up by Dr. Al Schulz on keyboard, Jim Martin on drums, and Mike Bitts on bass. The band specializes in polka and waltz music from Germany, Austria, and Slovenia, as well as many American favorites.

Cody has enjoyed the transition to the high school and the many musical opportunities it presents. He will be playing accordion and baritone saxophone in the school’s concert and jazz bands, as well as performing on marimba with a percussion ensemble, and singing in the concert choir, Mass chair and the competitive acapella group, Vox Pop. He relishes bringing the accordion to a new and young audience, and has been very appreciative of his teachers’ embracing of his interest in the instrument. This year, the Oktoberfest event will be alcohol free to allow for the school’s students and other young people to come and hear this music, which will be a new experience for many.

The Oktoberfest event will be held in the cafeteria at Lancaster Catholic High School, 650 Juliette Avenue, Lancaster, PA, and begins at 7:30 AM. Doors open at 7:00 PM. The cost is $10 per person or $85 for a table of ten. Please RSVP by Tuesday, October 10th by emailing Tony Brill at or calling him at (717) 509-0310. Please give full name / phone number and total count attending. Payment can be made at the door. Light refreshments will be served.

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

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

The Art of Playing the Accordion Artistically by Friedrich Lips

Remembering Bob Vitale

by Marilyn O'Neil, Youth Involvement Program Coordinator
Bob Vitale
On Sunday, September 24,2017, at the Waverly Tavern in Cheshire, CT, the Connecticut Accordion Association dedicated its gathering to Bob Vitale, who passed away last July 15. The crowd of some 75 CAA members viewed a slide show dedicated to Bob and heard tributes from his 2 sons, Michael and Mark Vitale.

They were entertained by Eddie Monteiro, joined by Mitchell Guido on Sax and Jack Varanelli on drums. All 3 of these musicians had the pleasure of knowing Bob personally as well as professionally and shared a mutual respect for each other as musicians. Eddie paid a visit to Bob during his last days, coming to Bob's house and delivering a private concert to Bob just days before he passed. Mitchell Guido, Conductor of the AAA's Youth Involvement Jazz Ensemble in 2016 and 2017, played under Bob as a participant of that program. Jack Varanelli is a well known and respected jazz percussionist who played alongside Bob in their younger days as well as with the CAA orchestra.

The program closed with a video of Bob leading the AAA's Youth Involvement Jazz Ensemble, which he directed in Alexandria, VA in 2015. Finally, AAA Vice President Joe Ciccone presented a declaration from the AAA officially naming the Youth Involvement Program after Bob.

The following tribute, composed by Marilyn O'Neil, was distributed at the September 22, 2017 gathering of the Connecticut Accordion Association.

We've all already noticed that this group is not the same without Bob.

Last Saturday, orchestra members arrived to the first rehearsal of the season to find the doors of the church where we practice locked shut. I saw the crowd standing there with their equipment, uncertain as to what would happen next. This was our stark jolt into the reality of our life in the CAA without Bob Vitale.

A common site for orchestra members was the sight of Bob's Honda parked on the side of the church, doors to the church wide open and Bob lugging in the tub of music, setting up the bass accordion and amplifier, working furiously to set chairs up, putting out doughnuts he bought, greeting people with a smile as they arrived.

If we viewed the CAA as a large table, Bob Vitale was one of the legs. He was instrumental in every aspect of keeping this organization functioning. And so was his FAMILY. His contributions included finding the CAA orchestra a place to have its rehearsals, playing for the church functions to insure that we kept the space, making sure we contribute to church food drives for the needy, running off fliers for CAA meetings and getting the mailings out, managing the CAA library of music, tutoring us in our parts, putting fingering on music, setting up, breaking down rehearsals and performances, attending numerous accordion functions and working at them without being asked.

Then, there were what I call the humanitarian efforts: visiting sick CAA members at the hospital, playing regularly at a local nursing home where one of his former students was a resident, bringing broken accordions to Emilio to be fixed......

That's the short list. I invite you to ponder your own, because I know he's helped many of us in this room in too many ways to count.

It's times like these, when life “chops off one of your legs,” that we are reminded of 2 of the most important lessons that our parents teach us as children: How to say “please” and how to say “thank you.” How many of us asked Bob for assistance, drawing upon his vast fund of knowledge not only about music, but about real estate, business and, well, life in general? And how often were we all the recipients of not only his musical talent, but his innate kindness and sense of commitment?

So today is about saying THANK YOU to the man who is likely very exasperated at me right now from his place in what he called “the big orchestra” in heaven. Exasperated because he never expected recognition of ANY kind, despite his immense musical talent recognized by some of the best jazz musicians in the industry. He excelled at EVERYTHING he did. Bob and Barbara Vitale passed their legacy of success and compassion down to his boys and his grandchildren. To his sons and grandchildren: he gushed with pride when he spoke of you...

You will hear the ensemble known as Vitality play in Bob's honor shortly. Bob, along with several members of “Vitality” had the honor of playing at the Frank Marocco Accordion Event, held in Mesa,Arizona and in Castelfidardo, Italy. That orchestra was conducted by the late, great Frank Marocco, who had tremendous respect for Bob's musical talent, and who considered Bob a cherished friend.

Following are excerpts from a biographical article I wrote about Bob a few years after he returned to the accordion world:

Despite the 40 -year time span that has passed since he owned Bob Vitale Music School in Waterbury, CT, Bob is still “the teacher” to 5 of his former students. They play as an ensemble, rehearsing every Monday night at his real estate office in Waterbury. Kathleen (La Porta) Di Cocco, Judy (Pellitier) Sehnal, Mary (Salvio) Mascolo, Art Daigle and yours truly, Marilyn Grosso O’Neil all took lessons from Bob in the “heyday of the accordion.” A member of this ensemble, the infamous Karen Buccitti, (a former student of Vincent Spiotti), has been “adopted” by the group. We consider ourselves lucky on many accounts, but especially because we took lessons with the youngest veteran of the accordion era in Waterbury. The other accordion teachers have either passed on or abandoned the accordion for other instruments. NOT OUR BOB! I will say, he had to be coaxed, since it had been years since he’d last played. But when he saw how the CAA orchestra was blossoming, all he needed was someone to gently place an accordion on his lap. The rest, as they say, is history in the making.

He joined the Connecticut Accordion Association, and became an active participant in the orchestra. He eventually came to serve on its advisory board. Along with former accordion teachers in Waterbury, Bob was honored at the CAA’s official debut performance at Seven Angels Theatre. He performs regularly as bass accordionist with the CAA orchestra at both local and out of state events and was part of an ensemble specifically chosen to play at the 2006 opening season of the Waterbury Symphony Orchestra. Bob discovered how much he enjoyed being a member of an accordion orchestra, and this discovery prompted him to join the Accordion Pops Orchestra, a group of accordionists who reside in the Northeastern US and play under the direction of Daniel Desiderio of New Jersey. In 2007, Bob was chosen to play in the premiere World Accordion Orchestra as part of the Coupe Mondiale International Accordion Festival held in conjunction with the AAA Festival in Alexandria, VA.

What about Bob’s history??

Bob is a native of Waterbury, the eldest of 4 sons born to Rose and Michael Vitale. Michael sang Barbershop. A younger brother, Anthony, played saxophone and clarinet. Bob’s eldest son, Michael, is a drummer. And Mark Vitale, Bob’s second son, played accordion as a child and won a championship title at competition.

Bob showed promise as a musician early in life. He studied accordion from the age of 7 through 18 with Charles Deloisio and Bob Mobilio. Coaxed by his father, he was strolling the streets of Waterbury at 13, entertaining people in their homes. This was the start of his professional career, as he began performing at hotels, restaurants and weddings with several bands, most notably the Stardusters and the G.A.B. He started teaching at Leogrande Music School at age 17, meanwhile studying theory and harmony with Charles (“Chic”) Chichetti (conductor and arranger for Sergio Franchi), as well as with a professor of Jazz Music at Yale University.

At the tender age of 21, Bob opened Vitale Music School, where some 300-400 youngsters studied piano, clarinet, saxophone, guitar, drums and, of course, the accordion. Bob’s accordion students regularly earned trophies for individual, duet, ensemble and orchestra performances in statewide competition. At that time, Bob was the youngest of the founding fathers of the Accordion Teachers Association of Connecticut.

Bob’s life took a different turn once he left the music studio in 1970. He began what would be a 7-year proprietorship of a restaurant in Waterbury called The Melody Room, where jazz was regularly heard by its patrons. (Bob on accordion, of course!). Bob eventually left the restaurant business and opened Vitale Realty, where he still works today with his wife, Barbara, and his sons, Michael and Mark.

While I will always remember the man who came to our door selling accordion lessons, who demanded perfection and earned respect from his students, the teacher who taught us about music and lots of other things (how to study, work at and achieve a goal)…. the man clothed in childhood memories, I echo the sentiments of Linda Soley-Reed, CAA orchestra conductor and President of the American Accordionists Association. Linda describes Bob as “a man who gets lost in his music, is generous to a fault, always there to lend a hand. He is friendly, outgoing and affectionate, referring to the women in the CAA orchestra as “beautiful,” which no woman is too old to hear.”

I would also add that unlike many folks in the music world, he is so obviously not “full of himself,” a quality that can often spoil even the best musician’s performance. Nonetheless, Bob lights up a room when he enters it, always a smile on his face, his booming voice full of warmth. His music isn’t only technically masterful; it is heartfelt and flows freely and frequently at CAA gatherings. For those reasons alone, audiences clamor to hear him, loving the familiar jazz standards and the creative style that Bob brings to his listener’s ears.

He still makes me so proud to call him “Teacher.”

Play with the angels, Bob.

Photo of Youth Involvement 2014 with Bob Vitale and Ivy
Bob Vitale

Titano Accordion Company

Recent and Future Performances by Robert Young McMahan

by Rita Barnea
Recent and Future Performances by Robert Young McMahan
of Original Contemporary Works for or Including Accordion

Robert Young McMahan premiered his latest composition, Romp 5, for violin, cello, and accordion, at the 2017 AAA Master Class and Concert Series, at the Tenri Institute, in New York, July 28, with Emmanual Borowsky, violin, Cecylia Barczyk, cello, and McMahan, accordion. The work will be performed again by the same artists in a concert entitled “Music Off the Beaten Path,” at Towson University (near Baltimore), in the Music Department Recital Hall, on Sunday, October 22, at 3:00 PM; and a joint concert entitled “Bellows and Bows,” featuring contemporary works for violin and cello, and violin, cello, and accordion at The College of New Jersey, Ewing NJ (near Trenton), on February 3, 2018, at 8:00 PM. In addition to McMahan’s work on the latter program, the trio will also perform the AAA commission Triologue, for violin, cello, and accordion, by Lukas Foss (which the ensemble also performed at the Friday evening concert of the AAA Festival in Princeton, NJ, on July 14), and Introduction and Allegro, for cello and accordion, by Mátyás Seiber.

In addition to his own Romp 5, Dr. McMahan also participated as a performer in the premieres of three other new works at the above mentioned concert at the Tenri Institute: Entropic Orbit, for bassoon and accordion (2017), by Devon Tipp: with Tipp on bassoon; Ozymandias, for sho and accordion (2017), by Devon Tipp: with Zachary Hap Seligman Karen on sho; De Witt Etudes, nos. 1, 8 (2017), by Dave Soldier (one of the AAA commissioned composers of the past): with William Schimmel, accordion; Devon Tipp, bassoon; Denise Lutter, flute; Dan Cooper, 7-string electric bass.

Dr. McMahan also played Curriculum Vitae, by Lukas Foss, at Tenri on Sunday of that annual, three-day event. This solo piece was the first of the two Foss works commissioned by the AAA (the above mentioned Triologue, being the second).

The performances of all of the above works were video taped and may be heard and seen on Youtube, with the exceptions of the Seiber and Soldier selections.

Dr. McMahan is Professor of Music Theory and Composition at The College of New Jersey, where a major in Accordion is also offered

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

“Accordion Lessons and Life Lessons from Anton J. (Tony) Rozance ”

by Laura Niland, President of the San Antonio Accordion Association
Tony RozanceMemories from his student, Laura Jean DeWitt-Niland, September 2017

A walk through the back entrance of the Rozance School of Music Studio on North St. Mary’s Street in San Antonio, Texas, greeted you with sounds of students playing their accordions within the many practice rooms, while Trudie and Tony Rozance were channeling their energies into teaching students at their appointed lesson times. Mrs. Copple, the studio secretary, sat in the huge director’s chair at the front desk, keeping parents occupied in conversations, recording in the daily ledger various credits and debits, and encouraging all the young kids to keep up their lessons and practice. There were new and old accordions on display, and occasionally a guitar, though Tony would quickly steer you away from thinking about guitar lessons.

Mrs. Copple knew every student and parent on a first name basis. Her daughter, Ann Copple Thompson, was also a student of Tony Rozance and Bill Palmer, who had a well-known studio in Houston (Palmer-Hughes). Ann also taught at the Rozance studio and so did Barbara Scott. Mrs. Copple kept track of all the new and old music, and would encourage you to browse through the material, saying: “ Ask Tony if this is a good level for you”, then later asking your parents if they could afford the extra music selections. She was keen about the struggles many of us faced during those times. Some days, Tony would sneak in an extra piece of music, for free, just to keep up your spirits when times were tough. Tony also wrote his own arrangements in an instant as you were practicing your scales, and set it on your music stand, just as you finished your lesson opening. I still have several of those penciled arrangements today.

It was the early 1960’s, and by then the world was embarking on many difficult changes. Having accordion lessons seemed to take away the anxious thoughts about politics, strife, war, and daily economic struggles. It wasn’t easy for my parents to afford weekly lessons, but somehow, they made a sacrifice for me and for that I am extremely grateful. Little did I know at the time, how much my life would be changed, and how much I would appreciate the talent of my music teacher, Tony Rozance.

Somehow, maybe because of Dad’s work schedule, I managed to get the best time for my accordion lesson. It was the last student on a Friday afternoon, just before Tony would have to leave for a regular gig, either on the road, or at the St Anthony Hotel. That time slot was so unique because Tony seemed to have a world of information to tell me at every lesson. He would talk about his days in Vaudeville, his travels across the US, his studio days in Pennsylvania, his enlistment in WWII and “tour” of the Pacific, which he termed as “Hell on the Water”. Some of his stories were almost too emotional especially for me, at an early age of 10. My father was also a WWII and Korean War veteran, yet he would only rarely recall a story, sparing me from too many harsh details. That was definitely the unusual side of a lesson with Tony Rozance. That late afternoon lesson often became longer, as he recognized my interests and talent.

My old accordion lesson ledger from 1964-1973 with every written lesson from Tony Rozance is still carefully preserved in my music cabinet. I also took lessons from 1962-1964 with Barbara

Rowland, one of Tony’s former student, just before I came to the Rozance Studio. I had heard much about Tony Rozance from Barbara, who was a high school student at the time. Barbara was playing professionally at a German restaurant and was an accomplished accordionist. When she left for college, I began taking lessons with Trudie Rozance, who soon pushed me to Tony’s studio.

Tony’s personal studio had a large glass insert, where you could see him teaching his students. Everyone in the main central lobby area could see you through the glass, including your parents. You could hear students playing through the closed door, and barely hear his voice talking to his student. He would speak softly to his students, and raise his voice only enough so that you knew he was trying to emphasize his instruction. If you played a particular piece extraordinarily well, he would gently push the door open during your performance so others could hear, including your parents. Sometimes it was hard to concentrate during your performance, especially when you could see him reach out for the door. At the same time it was his way of saying he was proud of you, without making it too emphatic. When he did that, you knew your practice had been perfected, and it gave you a sense of pride. That was enough to lift your spirits and make you try even harder for your next lesson.

There were boxes of music and files in his studio, as well as a record player with LPs of many great music artists, including master accordionists. He always had his accordion in the studio, to demonstrate technique, as well as a metronome and conducting baton to keep tempo. He would use the baton to tap out the time and keep his students working through a piece in proper tempo. If you played too fast, you would have to start over in the correct tempo and play all notes correctly. The rule was: play it correctly in a slow tempo, then practice at the corrected speed until it is mastered. A pencil and red pen was used to mark your music with areas of concern for practice. He always wrote the date you started your new music selection on the sheet music or book. The reason became more apparent to me years later, after rummaging through my files to find music. Those dates made me think about how much that music influenced my life over the years and made me reflect on all the effort needed to keep my skills at the same level in order to play a piece perfectly years later.

My first lessons with Tony started with scales: major and minor, 7th and diminished, with both hands, in unison and then contrary motion. There were practice writing lessons in the note- speller, arpeggios, work in the Chord Book, Czerny book, jazz improv with Tony Dannon, Traficante Series, Excercises in Bassland, Hannons for Accordion, classical and modern music pieces, readings in the Palmer-Hughes Lesson Books, and orders to memorize a song for the next lesson. Music theory and music performance were taught at every lesson. New material was added weekly only if you succeeded in the previous lesson. A new piece was usually taught in sections, perhaps only 8-16 bars of the piece per week. All lessons wrapped old material with new material, sometimes going back 2-4 years to keep up with skills and styles. Tony would often demonstrate how the song should be played, particularly if I was having difficulty, or if it was a new piece, and he wanted to foster my interest in working on it at home. He also would play along with you, as second accordion, especially when he knew you were really making an effort

to improve or improvise. Occasionally, he would let you select an older piece to play again for your next lesson. Memorization of certain pieces occurred regularly.

Lessons would contain between 4 and 12 different “orders” on what to practice each week. As your lesson progressed, he would check off the points that you mastered and leave others un- checked if you failed to perfect that “order”. Expect scales to be played 15 times a day or more, while other “orders” required 6-35 times a day, depending on the topic. Practice every day was a requirement for no less than one hour, preferably longer. Tony reminded me that he taught over 2000 students and in his lifetime he only knew one student who could play anything without practice, because he was an extraordinary gifted individual. Tony told me that he was one of those students who needed to practice every day, and reminded me that I needed to practice too! Each student was required to learn to read and write music. Sight-reading was an extremely important skill. That skill was an absolute, with no exceptions. He required these skills for a student to be musically literate. It is important to note that Tony knew several musicians who played by ear and never had formal musical training. These musicians were unique and extraordinary in their musical talent, but Tony also knew that reading and writing music gave you an edge to doing other tasks as well, such as teaching, composing and more. Tony never stopped emphasizing the importance of musical training.

Also, worthy of noting, Tony always knew when you practiced or when you didn’t. He could make you feel terribly guilty for wasting his time and your parent’s money, sometimes making you cry. When I did break down, he felt badly about the treating me so harshly, though he never said so in words. Fortunately, I was rather resilient, having an uncanny knack for “talking back” and standing up to the pressure, a virtue which I still possess. I don’t feel like I suffered from being disciplined in that manner, but others may not have felt the same. At any rate, I kept up with my practice, as was evident by reading my old lesson ledger which showed the many “ups and downs” through the years. Somehow it didn’t slow down my progress, but seemed to speed it up.

Tony had a strategy to every lesson. New music was always on his music stand, ready for you, if your lesson results were achieved. It didn’t matter if I liked the song he selected, so reluctantly, I had to learn it and play it well. As Tony pointed out, there is always something in each piece of music which is important to learn and appreciate such as: tempo, fingering, key signature changes, register changes, or even music history regarding the composer. Tony would stop and give a brief history of the composer and tell about the special accordion players he met during his lifetime, including their contributions to the music of the world. By the time the lesson finished, I had acquired an appreciation of every composer and arranger. Tony would point out those whom he liked and didn’t like, but I will keep that a secret.

Tony used to keep copies of photos of the “accordion greats” and give you a copy for your files. He felt it was important that you could attach a picture of the composer or arranger to the music you were learning. He would often say: “ I wish you could meet these great talents “. After all, this was before the time of the internet when LP records were the only way to hear these master performers. On occasion, Tony would start the record player, put on an LP from one of the

“greats” and just have you listen for a while. It was a moment of quiet reflection, just hearing how a master would play a particular piece that you were learning. He would note how each artist expressed his work, with proper intonation and bellows control. Tony would talk about the influence of master accordionists, such as, Anthony Galla-Rini, Charles Magnante, Guido Deiro, Peitro Deiro, Frosini, Charles Nunzio, Mindie Cere, Eugene Ettore, and so many other great accordionists of the Golden Age of the Accordion. He also was taught his students an appreciation of classical music: Mozart, Bach, and others. Thankfully, Tony made sure that my lessons included music from each of these great composers and many more.

My recollection of Tony brings me to his Trio group with Spud Goodall and Curly Williams. The Trio used to play regularly at the St. Anthony Hotel and had a dedicated crowd who enjoyed their music. As my Friday evening lesson finished, Tony would put on his suit jacket and tie and begin talking about his work with the Trio. During the years that I knew Tony Rozance, he was also the head of the musician’s union and worked extensively to assist musicians acquire an appropriate fee for their work. He was also the leader of the HemisFair 1968 Band, which marched through the San Antonio downtown HemisFair grounds playing great music. He used to tell me how much work that was marching around in the heat in downtown San Antonio, but it gave quite a few musicians a regular paying job and they met people from all around the world. Years later, he organized a reunion of the HemisFair Band members. Tony also served as the President of the Accordionists and Teachers Guild, a prestigious association of master accordionists and teachers from across the USA. There he kept in contact with musicians who were influential in teaching accordion and performing, which he thoroughly enjoyed.

During one of my Google searches of “Tony Rozance”, I found several audio interviews with Tony Rozance in the archives of the University of Texas in Austin. One lengthy interview talks about his experiences as a musician in Texas and gives a personal history of some of the great musical artists of the time which he worked with and knew personally. He talks about a wide range of topics including stories about how musicians should be respected, a topic which ranked high on his list. If you have a chance to listen to his interviews, you will get a glimpse into the life of Tony Rozance and also great insight into his high standards of personal character.

Recently, I found a recital program from Rozance Accordion School by Tony and Trudie Rozance dated Sunday, April 13, 1969. The recital was help at the International Theatre on the HemisFair Grounds in San Antonio, Texas. To my surprise, there was a list of all the students who performed, as well as the name of each piece they played. I found my name and names of my friends, some who are still around, yet many of whom I have lost contact. There was even an accordion band performance with music selections from the Coffman Conservatory of Music in Houston Texas, where Jean Coffman was the director. The real surprise to me is the front cover, with a special note from Tony Rozance: MUSIC STAYS WITH YOU FOR LIFE !

I don’t think I could say it better than you, Tony. Thank you for the many great lifetime memories you gave to all of your students. Your teaching has meant a great deal to us all.

Gary Daverne CD's and eSheet music available online

New Accordion Club in Ohio: “We Love Accordion!"

by Rita Barnea
Joe NatoliThere’s a new accordion club in town…well in three towns actually. Joe Natoli (ATG 1st VP) had the idea for an accordion club that spanned three different cities and any of the areas in between, or even outside its perimeters for that matter. The three towns in question are Youngstown, Cleveland, and Columbus, Ohio. The hope is that by covering such a large area and rotating club meetings between the three cities, Ohio can have a quality club where many more people have a chance to join and be a part of their activities.

The club is called We Love Accordion! and their first meeting was held at Joe Natoli’s house where a great cookout was enjoyed by all out on the patio, followed by great accordion fellowship and a new arrangement for accordion orchestra by Joe Natoli written especially for the group. Joe hopes to write a new arrangement every month for this group until they have enough to perform locally for various venues.

The second meeting was held at Kathy and John Hodges home in Columbus Ohio on 9/23/17, and the club already experienced a 50% growth rate. Joe had yet another new arrangement ready for the group for all to enjoy.

The next club meeting is October 21, 2017 in Independence Ohio (near Cleveland). Following is the information on date and location:
Contact: Kenny Rybka
Branch: Independence
6361 Selig Dr, Independence, OH 44131
Room: Meeting Room
Date: Saturday, October 21, 2017
Time: 1:00 PM - 4:00 PM
Confirmation Number: WA2H7KE

Anyone in the area is welcome to join or attend. You can try out your first club meeting for free and after that, the club dues are $30 per year. Besides playing new arrangements, the accordion club will also focus on bringing in performers, providing workshops and knowledge share sessions, and of course there is always an open mic where anyone in the club can perform at each meeting. If you are from Ohio and are within driving distance to one of the three main cities, the group would love to have you join them. What better opportunities will accordionists have to enjoy new music, entertainment, perform, and have such a great venue to share everything accordion?

The club also invites you to visit, like, and join their new Facebook page also called “We Love Accordion!"

President Joseph Natoli said, "If you love the accordion, come join us. We would love to have you as a member to share in the joy of our instrument."

Direct all questions for membership to

4 Music Books by Stas Venglevski

Bill Schimmel in "Astrobiology/Accordionology" at Cornelia Street Cafe

by Rita Barnea
Excerpts from the website: Einstein once said that the most incomprehensible thing about the cosmos is that it's comprehensible. He didn't go far enough, the truly incomprehensible thing is that the universe can be comprehended by itself! Somehow this big, crazy universe has built structures out of itself capable of self-awareness, and capable of turning around and examining the universe in turn - the ultimate bootstrap. Piecing together how this happened is one of the 'big questions' facing science.

Join astrobiologist and author Caleb Scharf in examining some of the evidence so far, from cosmic webs and dark matter, to trillions of planets, Earth's apparent unusualness, and new ways of thinking about the phenomenon we call life.

Joining in this exploration of life in the universe is the exciting new musical group The Yorkvillians. From the term for residents of the Yorkville neighborhood on the UES of Manhattan - this instrumental combo led by composer-bassist Dan Cooper and composer-accordionist William Schimmel makes its Cornelia St. Café debut. With Michiyo Suzuki - clarinet, and Max Maples - drum set. Original compositions, including Cooper’s ‘El Planeta Rojo’ and ‘Moon Almost Alive,’ reflect upon the evening’s theme.

$10.00 cover plus $10.00 minimum

Cornelia Street Cafe
29 Cornelia Street, Greenwich Village, NY, 10014
For reservations: 212-989-9319

For further information:

Amy Jo Sawyer CD titled According to Amy

Gary Dahl Releases El Choclo Tango Arrangement - USA

by Harley Jones
Gary Dahl
Gary DahlGary Dahl has released an arrangement of the very famous tango El Choclo composed by Ángel Villoldo. Catalog: DH0262

El Choclo is one of the most popular tangos in Argentina and worldwide. The music has been performed and recorded by numerous bands, orchestras and accordion soloists all over the world. You can view a sample page at: Catalog: DH0262

Also, Gary Dahl announces an update of the arrangement of Ashokan, made famous from the PBS Series Soundtrack, The Civil War. Further information about Ashokan (US$5.95) including a sample page is at Catalog: DH0257

Gary Dahl now has released 218 arrangements and 10 great value eBooks in recent years with information at: Gary Dahl

DH01-eB - Latin Spectacular! - eBook US$35.50
DH02-eB - Favourite French Standards - eBook US$35.50
DH03-eB - The American Songbook - eBook US$35.50
DH04-eB - Favourite Waltzes and Polkas - eBook US$46.50
DH05-eB - Easy Listening Variety - eBook US$35.50
DH06-eB - Easy Listening Variety - eBook US$57.50
DH07-eB - Traditional Polish Carols - eBook US$16.50
DH08-eB - Italian Spectacular - eBook US$35.50
DH09-eB - Traditional Christmas Carols - eBook US$18.50
DH10-eB - Polka - eBook US$18.50

Titano Accordion Company

Video: Roland Demonstrate New Software for FR8X at Coupe Mondiale - Italy

by Harley Jones
Video: Ludovic Beier Performance at Coupe Mondiale Digital Accordion Concert.

On the last Sunday of the Coupe Mondiale in Osimo, manufacturers of digital accordions had been invited by the Confédération Internationale des Accordéonistes (CIA) to contribute a performer for a concert of "expert and high level digital accordion performance".

Sean Montgomery, Accordion Product Manager of Roland Europe Group Ltd had announced that Ludovic Beier (France) would perform using the just released FR-8X version 2.5 software update with additional functions:
- Support for the new FR-8x Editor;
- 37 new orchestral sound taken from the FR-4X;
- New keyboard layouts;
- Various new parameters to give the player even more control of how the FR=8X can be programmed / played live;
- Various bug fixes.

Enjoy the performance video above.

Jeff Lisenby CD A Spy In Tortuga

Musette Duo at La Villini

by Rita Barnea
Dominic Karcic & Manny Corallo
La Villini Restaurant of East Northport, NY is sponsoring another wonderful evening of accordion music featuring the "Musette Duo" with Manny Corallo and Dominic Karcic on Wed., Oct. 18, 2017 at 6:PM. Don't miss this entertaining duo.

La Villini Restaurant is located at, 288 Larkfield Road, East Northport, NY 11731

For further information: 631 – 261 – 6344

Video: Button Box Fest, Reading, Pennsylvania - USA

by Dianna McSherry

Poster for 2017 Button Box FestThank you to Dan Grauman for providing the two videos above.

The Reading Liederkranz hosted the second annual Button Box Festival on September 2-3, 2017, which was well received by an appreciative crowd.

The festival, organized by Cody McSherry and his parents along with the Reading Liederkranz, brought together five of the best button box players from across the United States along with several very talented side musicians.

The button box players were Frank Vidergar, Jr. from Colorado, William Hayes from Virginia, Ron Pivovar from Pennsylvania, David Bey from North Carolina, and Cody McSherry from Pennsylvania. Hurricane remnants forced the festival indoors, but did not dampen the festive mood of the musicians and audience.

The button box players rotated through half hour sets accompanied by side musicians on bass, drums, keyboard, and even banjo-ukulele. Authentic German food was available for purchase throughout the event, and dancers enjoyed the opportunity to dance to live German and Slovenian polkas and waltzes.

The 2018 Button Box Festival is already in the works, so mark your calendars for Labor Day weekend next year.

Picture below: (l to r) David Bey, William Hayes, Ed Wasacz (bass), Cody McSherry, Jim Martin (drums), Ron Pivovar (guitar), Frank Vidergar, Jr.
(l to r) David Bey, William Hayes, Ed Wasacz (bass), Cody McSherry, Jim Martin (drums), Ron Pivovar (guitar), Frank Vidergar, Jr.

The International Trio, CD Available online, secure server

Roland Digital Accordion Orchestra in July Performance

by Rita Barnea

Video 1: “New York, New York”

The New England Digital Accordion Orchestra conducted by Sam Falcetti may sound like a brass band, a full-out symphony or a classic Big Band, but accordions are exactly what produced these musical styles and many more at two summer community concerts in Western, Massachusetts. These outdoor concerts were held on the West Springfield, Ma. Town Common, sponsored by the Mass. Arts Council, and also on the East Longmeadow, Ma. High School Campus, sponsored by the East Longmeadow Rotary Club and Channel WWLP TV. Both concerts were presented on a band shell provided by the sponsors.

Members of the Orchestra: James Avedisian-Millbury, Ma. John Camardella-Springfield, Ma. Barney Courtois-Granby, Ma. Bob Czarnecki-Colchester, Ct. Carmen D’Angelo-Stoneham, Ma. Tony D’Eramo-Ashland, Ma. Daniel/Michael Falcetti-Ludlow, Ma. Martha Flood-Adams, Ma Mark Galica-Westfield, Ma.David Gamache-Belmont, Ma.Paul Gluck-Longmeadow, Ma.Charles Gruszka-Harwich, Ma.John Kalinowski-Portland, Ct. Guyde Lombari-Providence, R.I. Jay Maggi-South Hadley, Ma. Bill Maver-West Granby, Ct. Stanley Midura-Gilbertsville, Ma. Robert Mozgala-Pittsfield, Ma. Liam McCool-Wilbraham, Ma. Pat Poehler-Palmer, Ma. Diane Quirbach-Milford, NH. Rachel Quirbach-Milford, N.H. Eddie Young-New London, Ct.

For more information:

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

Accordion Students Celebrate Lou Jacklich’s 89th Birthday

by Pamela Tom
LouLou and ColletteThirty-two people (including 16 current and past students with a cumulative total of over 100 years of lessons) gathered in August, 2017 to celebrate the 89th birthday of Northern California accordion maestro, Lou Jacklich.

Highlights included live accordion music during the pot-luck supper; a portrait cake with photo of Mr. Jacklich during his days on tour as a pioneer with the electronic accordion using the Lovell organ attachment; an interactive game to engage the audience and guest of honor in revealing his musical career and accomplishments captured on official proclamations printed on a framed eloquent Certificate of Recognition issued by California Senator Bob Wieckowski which was presented at the games’ conclusion; accordion and singing performances by students (with a demonstration of the Titano bass converter accordion with Bach melody); solo and duet performances by the maestro and hostess; and party favors of wrapped Hershey chocolate bars decorated to look like the master treble switch.

Due to a lack of time, Mr. Jacklich’s lecture and demonstration on jazz technique, and group band participation has been postponed for a future event (Birthday Celebration – Part 2!). A good time was had by all.

Photo Credits: Catherine Heusner - Violinist, Davis, CA

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

Annual NAAC Member Meeting 2017

by Rita Barnea
The Annual NAAC Member Meeting 2017 takes place on Sunday, October 15, 2017 from 6:30 PM to 8:PM.

Online via streaming or conferencing software Its time for the annual member meeting. Open for all NAAC members. This meeting will be held online through a streaming or video conferencing software to be named.

Every year on the third Sunday of October, the NAAC holds its annual member meeting. The meeting is open for attendance by any and all members of NAAC.

Members will vote on pertinent topics. Members will be given notice prior to the meeting via email.

The North American Accordion Collaborative is a non-profit organization that helps accordionists of varied interests by identifying their specific needs and by building opportunities to meet those needs.

For further information:

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

Joe DeClemente at La Villini

by Rita Barnea
Joe De Clemente
The Long Island Accordion Alliance (LIAA) presents guest performer, Papa Joe DeClemente at La Villini Restaurant on Wednesday, October 4, 2017 at 6:PM.

All are invited for an enjoyable evening of great music and food.

Mario Tacca and Mary Mancini will be featured performers on November 1, 2017.

The Art of Playing the Accordion Artistically by Friedrich Lips

♫ Inspired by Pete

by Dale Mathis
dale and peteDale MathisVideo: Roland FR 8x Accordion, Classical Free Bass Set, Bach performed by Dale Mathis 9/5/17

Pete Ayer is no longer here to motivate his students, but he lives on in the ways he challenged and changed their lives. He was the consummate teacher, having won the most popular teacher award on his campus several times. (Photo of Dale Mathis on keyboard and Pete Ayer on guitar)

I miss him.

I would call him occasionally and reminisce about driving home on snowy back-country roads after a Christmas party gig, or we would laugh about the New Year’s Eve job when I backed the truck over our drummer’s drums. Funny now, but we weren’t laughing that night, especially since I did it before the job started.

Although he was not my school advisor or counselor, he had a quirk for getting on his soapbox and expounding upon any subject that irked him. Early one Monday morning during my sophomore year, I stumbled into Western Music History class with a pounding headache. I slowly sat down next to two professional jazz musicians and commiserated about the inspirational benefits of alcohol on the job verses the next morning’s blues. The classroom was small and Professor Pete overheard our conversation.

It’s not that Pete was a puritan; I knew he occasionally enjoyed, with his evening vegetarian meal, the brewed brand that had made Milwaukee famous. More likely, I think he knew that alcohol was not a necessary ingredient in the creative process. I had witnessed his pontification speeches before, but they were never directed squarely at me. I could barely keep my bloodshot eyes focused on him, but I knew his medicine would go down easier if I didn’t make a fuss. The sermon ended with a challenge – to play an entire gig without one sip of alcohol.

College life was changing my world view, but his quip seemed as if it came at me like a flying saucer from Mars. Actually, that might have been more real. Little green men would have come out of their space vehicle and declared, “Thou shalt not drink on the job.” I could have accepted that and experienced a paradigm shift before the term became a cliché.

Drinking and silly talk, in my opinion, were the only reasons for taverns to exist - they were the cultural norm I had grown up with. The alcohol relaxed my inherited stiff moral codes, allowing an introvert like me to socialize easier. As the week wore on, his call-to-resist continued to irritate me like a grain of sand in my oyster. By the weekend I decided the only thing to do was to take him on.

We were playing at one of our favorite spots; the barmaid knew our drinking habits by heart. “Just bring me Coke tonight,” I lied, wondering if withdrawal anxiety symptoms would win. We had a great crowd and the night went well. While packing up our equipment, I wasn’t sure if my euphoria was from having won the challenge, or because my mind was still clear. I decided to repeat the Coke routine at the next evening’s job, after which I knew it was the exhilaration of playing music that made me feel good, not the alcohol. I resolved to quit drinking.

That may sound a bit extreme, but I was ready. I may also have been influenced by the militancy of the 1960’s anti-war Wisconsin college environment. My decision was a statement about exercising control over my life and how I fit, or did not fit in with what we used to call “the establishment.” Anti-establishment sentiment was big among my college friends, but so was binge drinking. In my mind, I had graduated that weekend.

I went to class on Monday morning with clear eyes, but Professor Pete had forgotten his challenge statement. What, apparently, had meant little to him may have provided me with a lifeboat, saving me from wallowing in the sinkholes of alcoholic despair that I have since witnessed family and friends get helplessly sucked into.

I was a kid, a year out of high school when I met Pete. My primary goal in life – to graduate – had already been attained. I worked a factory job by day, that’s what my family expected me to do because that’s what they understood. Only a few of them still worked the family farms. But there was something different about me. I had taken an interest in music and had started playing gigs in our small-town Wisconsin taverns. I played polkas and country music on my accordion. Seventeen dollars and all the beer I could drink was the compensation for my first New Year’s gig when 1965 declared, “Auf Wiedersehen.” I was fifteen.

For sanity’s sake, everyone I knew at the factory had an outside passion. Mine was playing music. I suppose it’s not strange that a summer course in music literature caught my attention, although I feel it’s highly unlikely that I would have changed my life’s direction if the class had not been taught by Pete. It was a colliding of his classical music world into my colloquial rendition. Without his compassion and enthusiasm, I may have suffered death-by- madrigal and dropped out after the first night.

When he spoke, he was able to bring out creative listening aspirations within me. It wasn’t the classical form that caught me; it was his pure love of music – he made it contagious. The only cure, it seemed, was to drop out of factory life and be inoculated with music class serum.

While others were being drafted into the Vietnam War, I enlisted my name onto the college roll. My deferment arrived in the mail on the same day as the letter from the Department of Defense requiring me to come in for an Army physical. School buddies who had made it back from Vietnam had a knowing in their eyes that I didn’t envy. Today, for all I know, meeting Pete may have curtailed my early demise.

Even though I knew his time was spread thin, I needed a new guitar player for my group just after I graduated from Pete’s campus. Over the next twenty years we played more than a thousand weddings, reunions, parties, and community events together. In our band, he provided the rhythm and vocal harmony. Symbolically, I might say that he provided a rhythm style for me to emulate with my life.

Playing in the band was fun; he managed to find time for it along with his other interests. He worked his apple orchard, swam in his pool, flew his airplane, and performed with his professional vocal ensemble. But his greatest passions were his wife Carol...and teaching.

A few years before we left Wisconsin, Pete and Carol retired from the University and moved to Florida. They enjoyed the warm winters and Pete took a part-time position as a flight instructor at a local airport. An eighty-year-old student asked if he would pilot both of them up to a New York reunion in the student’s home built airplane – and oh – something I forgot to mention, Pete was also the men’s national high-dive champion for men over fifty-five. On their return flight, somewhere off the Georgia coast, Pete found himself in a diving position that he could not pull out of. Authorities found the student’s body on the shoreline, but Pete and the airplane were not recovered.

My friend is no longer here to sing in harmony with me at a reunion concert, but the mark of his passion for music has been left upon me.

If Pete Ayer had been assigned to be my mentor, it must have been by the music angel. This is a public expression of gratitude to that angel; you did a great job. Please keep up your good work by pairing other meandering souls with teachers as passionate about life as Pete.

For further information: Dale Mathis, Sun City, AZ

Accordion Repairs Made Easy by John Reuther

3rd Annual Student Scholarships Program at Cotati a Winner

by Sheri Mignano Crawford
StudentsAt the Annual 27th Cotati Accordion Festival (CAF) in Cotati California on August 19, 2017, well deserving young accordion students participating in the Annual CAF’s Student Stage were awarded a combined total of $1600. The Student Stage aims to minimize stress among young performers while providing a warm, welcoming ambiance with supportive teachers, parents, friends, family, and festival attendees.

Since August 2014, an annual fund raiser has been held the Friday evening prior to the festival. Its first year was held at Petaluma’s Aqus Café, and starting in 2015, Redwood Café in Cotati, California. Professional accordionists donate their time and talent. This year fundraising activities brought in nearly $800. Throughout the year, individuals, accordion clubs, and businesses donate to the scholarship fund. Together, the donations combine with an investment from the CAF's board of directors. 2017 was the first year that every student who competed was awarded a scholarship. These scholarships help them to continue their successful studies with their teachers.

The Student Stage competition is held inside the Social Hall of the Church of the Oaks, just a block from the polka tent (about two blocks from the south entrance to the festival). More than 45 enthusiastic parents, teachers, and first time visitors attended. Students prepared and presented several songs in a recital format for 10‐15 minutes. The judges follow the music scores and provide positive reinforcement in their evaluations. These comments serve as great encouragement for the students who are all outstanding! What hard work went into all their performances!

Photo of 2017 Winners with their teachers: Left to Right: Teachers: Dave Chelini, Mike Zampiceni, followed by students: Evan Yuan, Derek Yuan, Siouan Donnelly, Nicholas Plasichuk, Joey Matella and David Matella

The Student Stage scholarship competition is open to all students up to age 18, or still in high school. There is no regional limitation. The 2018 application form will be posted on the CAF web site early next year. In the meantime, we encourage everyone to let more students know about the Student Stage opportunity at the festival.

The benefits to competing include musical development, helpful feedback for improvement, and building self‐confidence. Having watched the children for three years now, I see the advancement and improvement in skills of each child. It is worth it to watch them grow up playing.

Until then, a thank you goes to every accordion club, business sponsor, and to every generous individual who wrote checks, stuffed $20, $40, or even $100 in my purse (!!) and said "give it to the kids." I'm grateful for your continued support and hope that this tradition will flourish and provide us with accordionists to perform at the Festival in 2050! Now that would be the best result of all! We want the accordion to remain front and center; moreover, we want the Festival to grow and continue to support the upcoming generation of new accordionists who will entertain, teach and bring musical joy to the world.

Sheri Mignano Crawford, Student Stage Coordinator
Please send checks to P.O. Box 2704 Petaluma, CA 94953‐2704. I will send a receipt and letter upon request with tax‐deductible information.
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