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Joe Petosa Senior Passes Away
The Accordion It's Not Just for Polkas
Free Italian Festival
New Accordion Method Books Released
16th Annual Galla-Rini Camp
UMKC Community Orchestra Concert
AFNA to Celebrate 50th Anniversary
Puerto Rico Accordion Club to tour Argentina
11th Annual Master Class in NY City
American Accordionists' Association Festival
International Jazz Competition at ATG
Frank Busso Jnr. New Air Force Accordionist
Iona Reed Trio Releases new CD
Multi Media Conference in Canada
Orkestar Bez Ime's CD Release Party
Canelo Salomons performs in Mexico
Bernadette Conlon to tour USA and Canada
Songs of the Homeland DVD
WMAS Summers Schedule
Showstoppers Orchestra & Dancers Concert
Shockheaded Peter Ends Off Broadway Run
San Francisco Accordion Festival
Exciting Finish to VIP Accordion Competition

Joe Petosa Senior Passes Away

Less than a month after his spectacular 80th Birthday celebration in Seattle, the accordion world sadly announces the loss of Joe Petosa Senior who passed away on June 3, 2005.

The son of Carl Petosa, Joe helped in every aspect of the business run by his father. Joe began playing the accordion at age 10 under the tutelage of Joe Parente and Anthony Facciuto, his first and only teachers. By age 12, it became apparent that Joe could become a serious musician.

But, he also had a keen interest in learning to build accordions, and his father was eager to teach him the trade. Joe made the choice to follow in his father's steps, focusing on the art of building accordions rather than playing them as a career.

Joe Petosa described the accordion: "At the heart of the instrument are the 448 reeds that sing in the wind from the bellows."

In lieu of flowers, the family requests that a donation be made to an accordion club, or organization in his name. Further details will be announced as they become available.

The Accordion - It's Not Just for Polkas
The American Accordionists' Association is sponsoring a free concert on Wednesday, June 22, 2005 at 7.00 PM at the Montville Public Library, 90 Horseneck Road, Montville, New Jersey.

The concert features the world renowned "K" Trio and Jazz artist Eddie Monteiro.

It will be a fabulous evening. Do not miss this special free concert!

The Montville Public Library is located off exit 47 of Rt. 287. For further information please call 973-402-0900.

Free Italian Festival on June 12, 2005
Accordionist Lenny Feldmann will be appearing at the Italian Festival from 10.00 AM - 6:00 PM on Sunday June 12, 2005.

Lenny (aka The CordeenMan) will be appearing live from 11:30 AM - 2:30 PM.

This free festival will be held at the PNC Bank Arts Center in Holmdel, New Jersey located on the Garden State Parkway at Exit #116.

New Books Released in Accordion Method Series

Authors Jay Latulippe and Sonny Doss have just released two new books in the Accordion Method series which is published by Santorella Publications.

Following the Primer (left) and 1B Books (right), Books 2 and 3 in the exciting accordion tutorial authored by Jay Latulippe and Sonny Doss provide an upbeat, contemporary and most of all practical approach to learning the accordion in the new Millennium.

In addition to advancing such fundamentals as bellows control, bass techniques, key signatures and other skills traditionally associated with classical music, this method also offers an introduction to improvisation and transposition which can be used when performing more contemporary styles such as folk, blues and jazz.

The student can enjoy studying at his or her own pace while following the clearly structured information, musical selections, written assignments and optional challenges and suggestions, making this book an ideal supplement to any existing accordion course, or it can be used as a stand-alone method. In addition, each of the selections can be performed as a solo or with one of the accompanying CD backing tracks.

The authors have drawn on their decades of experience in performing, teaching and composing to ensure that the student will develop a well rounded level of competency in a variety of musical styles while performing music ranging from originals, through to well known and popular music from many countries around the world.

In addition to writing, arranging and composing, Jay Latulippe teaches music at his studio and at the college level. He received his degree in accordion performance from the University of Missouri - Kansas City conservatory of Music where he studied with Joan Cochran Sommers.

Jay is the co-author of several accordion books including Let's Play Jazz and More published by Santorella Publications. He lives in New Hampshire with his wife and their four children.

Sonny Doss graduated from the University of Houston with a Bachelor of Music Degree under the instruction of Bill Palmer and Bill Hughes. He has taught hundreds of students over the years in addition to touring as a professional accordionist and keyboard player throughout the United States, Canada and Puerto Rico. Sonny has written many originals and arrangements for students and musicians. Sonny is the coauthor of Let's Play Jazz and More published by Santorella Publications. His lives in New Hampshire with his wife Clara.

With each of these new method books, the student can enjoy studying at his or her own pace while following the clearly structured information, musical selections, written assignments & optional challenges & suggestions. In addition, each of the selections can be performed solo or with the accompanying CD.

New Book Details:
Book ACCORDION: 1742977

Table of Contents: Good Vibes - Fais Dodo - Beautiful Brown Eyes - Standing In The Need Of Prayer - Long Long Ago - Po Atarau (Now Is The Hour) - Down In The Valley - Morning - Carnival of Venice - Egyptian Dance - Patriots March - 1 3 5 Blues - Hail To The Chief - Tic Tock Polka - Sur Le Pont - Texas Polka - Too Ra Loo Ra Loo Ral - Your Song - Big Rock Candy Mountain - The Bear Went Over The Mountain - MacNamera's Band - Morning Has Broken - Habanera - Swing It Down - Cocoa Beach Bossa.

New Book Details:
Book ACCORDION: 1742984

Table of Contents: Merry Widow Waltz - I'm Always Chasing Rainbows - Ear Training - Ear Training Blues - You Are My Sunshine - Spring Song - Sixteenth Notes - Toreador Song - Waltzing Matilda - Banana Boat Song - Polly Wolly Doodle - Eighth Note Triples - Triumphal March - Pizzato Polka - Lead Sheet - Fake Book Tunes - Comping - Ornaments - St. Louis Blues - Bellows Shake - Take The "J" Train - The Spider Intrigue - Musetta's Waltz - Swing Review - Just A Closer Walk With Thee - OK' Boogie - If You're Happy And You Know It - Playing The Accordion For Fun And Profit - Scales - Chords

For information: http://www.santorellapublication.com/accordionmethod.htm

16th Annual Galla-Rini Camp in San Diego

The 16th Annual Galla-Rini Camp will take place from Sunday July 24 to Friday July 29, 2005 at the University of San Diego, CA. This will be the 16th consecutive year of the camp in the name of the now '101 year old' Maestro Anthony Galla-Rini.

This world-renowned music camp caters to all levels of playing skills from beginner to professional. During this week, you will learn better techniques for the accordion and being part of his orchestra ensemble of accordionists, playing arrangements especially prepared for this year.

If you have never been part of a large ensemble, you are in for a thrill of a lifetime. The Maestro has arranged his selections for between six and thirteen parts. The experience is exhilarating, even for those of us who have done this for the past 15 years. There is much hands-on playing time, combined with musical tutorials.

Each morning the entire camp is under the baton of Joan Cochran Sommers and Joe Smiell. In the early afternoons on Monday-Wednesday, special sessions will be held by Joan Cochran Sommers, Joe Smiell, Esther Lanting, Joe Baccellieri and Stella Allison.

For those who wish to take lessons from any of the four teachers and the Maestro, there will be sign-up sheets in a special place. Lessons are $45.00 for a full hour and $25.00 for a one-half hour. Each of these teachers is a great musician and master of the keyboard.

There is ample time to practice, jam, and rehearse with small groups and to mix and mingle with a large group of multitalented people. Many people have attended camp each year from the first camp in 1990. The facility has four large classrooms for afternoon classes, group rehearsals and nightly get-togethers and jams. Stella Allison will organize camp attendees to play in the cafeteria during the lunch and dinner periods.

Selections for the Galla-Rini ensemble will be

  • Selections from My Fair Lady
  • In a Persian Market
  • Light Calvary Overture
    arranged by Joe Smiell

  • Syncopated Clock
  • Gershwin
  • Waltz from Sleeping Beauty Ballet
    arranged by Joan Cochran Sommers

  • Omaggio a Pietro
  • Orientale, Op. 50, No. 9
  • Oxen Menuet
    arranged by Anthony Galla-Rini

The campus facilities are quiet, comfortable and smoke-free in all rooms and halls. The accommodations are double occupancy rooms with bath and shower in each room; all towels and sheets are provided. The option of a single room is also available at an additional charge.

Galla-Rini Accordion Camp 2005 is the place to mingle with many talented musicians. All you need is your accordion and music stand. Dress is casual.

For those attending the camp, you are invited to visit Maestro Anthony Galla-Rini at his assisted living home in Corona, CA which is approximately 95 miles north of San Diego.

If you would like to attend this one-of-a-kind camp experience, please request an enrollment form and additional information from: Friends of Galla-Rini, C/O Kjell Holmes, 4779 Cather Ave, San Diego, CA 92122 or Phone: 858 453 5486.


UMKC Community Accordion Orchestra in Concert

The UMKC Community Accordion Orchestra announces the presentation of its annual Spring Concert, Sunday, June 12, at 2:00 PM. This will take place on the UMKC campus at White Recital Hall, 4949 Cherry Street, in Kansas City, Missouri. The concert is open to the public and is a free event.

The one and a half hour concert will include classical transcriptions of Polovetsian Dances from "Prince Igor" by Borodin, Abduction from The Seraglio - Overture by Mozart, Dornroschen Waltz by Tschaikowsky, and Granada by Lara. Other arrangements to be performed will include Gershwin Melodies, Andrew Lloyd Webber Broadway Hits, Show Boat selections, and a new exciting version of Jalousie. An original accordion orchestral composition, Toccata Diavolesca by Jonas Tamulionis, will show the diversity the instrument has to offer. The group's concertmaster, Karen Fremar, will also be featured in a solo performance.

This performing group, conducted by Professor Emerita, Joan Cochran Sommers, has members of all ages hailing from the general Kansas City area including Blue Springs, Independence, Smithville, and Overland Park. The group has performed worldwide in countries including Italy, Germany, Russia, and New Zealand.

The concert is a preview to performances that will take place in Dallas the following week at the Accordionist & Teachers Guild 2005 International Festival. Donations will be accepted at the concert on Sunday to help with the group's expenses.

Contact Information: Joan Cochran Sommers, 913-722-5625
E-mail: sommersjoanc@sbcglobal.net or visit: http://www.accordions.com/umkc

AFNA to Celebrate 50th Anniversary
The Accordion Federation of North America (AFNA) is celebrating its 50th Annual Music Festival this year and is inviting its present and past winners of the Queen and King categories to participate in the festivities.

AFNA has lost contact with some of these winners and would appreciate help in locating them. A list of the Queens and Kings is available at the AFNA website http://afnafestival.org along with the information of who to contact with the information. The 50th Anniversary Festival will be held August 12-14, 2005, in Los Angeles at the Gateway Sheraton Hotel.

On October 30, 1955, Anthony Aretta and Andrew Ferraro called a special luncheon meeting to discuss the formation of a new accordion organization which went on to be called the Accordion Association of Southern California.

It didn't take long for the AASC to decide to participate in the Western States Accordion Festival. A coordinating committee was formed, consisting of members from both organizations: AASC's members were George Howell, Anthony Aretta, Andrew Ferraro and Peggy Milne; Accordionists and Teachers Guild, International (ATG) members were Sidney Dawson, PhD., Nik Nevel, Sylvia Prior and Ann Randall.

The ATG members had experience in structuring the competitions, but the AASC members also had experience in nationwide competitions, having visited and judged in several. They all agreed to include procedures which had proved successful for others.

The annual Festival proved to be popular and in 1972 the association adopted its new name the 'Accordion Federation of North America' which reflected its far greater reach to the accordion population than Southern California which was implied by its former name.

AFNA hosted many events in addition to its annual Competition and Festival, such as the Spring Concerts and the International Grand Prix.

All those involved with the AFNA organization over the years to are invited to attend this special anniversary celebration. For full details, AFNA History, festival activities, please visit http://afnafestival.org or e-mail: afna@musician.org

Puerto Rico Accordion Association to tour Argentina

The Puerto Rican Accordion Orchestra from the Accordion Association of Puerto Rico will be touring Argentina from June 2-13. It is the first international accordion orchestra to tour Argentina. The first appearance will be in Colonia Caroya, (Córdoba) for the First National and International Meeting of Accordionists from June 3-5, 2005 where the orchestra and members will give concerts and workshop, followed by a concert on Friday, June 10 at 9:00 PM at the Carlos Gardel Hall in Buenos Aires, sponsored by Dept. of Tourism and A.I.D.A. (International Accordionists Association of Buenos Aires) with the final concert being given on Sunday, June 12, 2005 with a performance in conjunction with the 125th anniversary of the Red Cross at San Andrés de Giles.

The Puerto Rico Accordion Orchestra is the musical group representing the Puerto Rico Accordionists Association, a nonprofit organization devoted to promoting the accordion. It was created in 1996 under the direction of Esther Eugenia Bertieaux, a well-known Puerto Rican accordionist and teacher for many years. It is composed of 18 members, all professionals in many different fields. Included among the members is a flute player recently retired from the Puerto Rico Symphony Orchestra after 30 years, and two percussionists.

Affiliated with the Institute of Puerto Rican Culture, the orchestra performs concerts throughout the Island of Puerto Rico and abroad. Among the places abroad that it has played are Italy (Rome, Castelfidardo, Parma and Verona), New Orleans, Orlando, two cruise ships (Nordic Empress - Royal Caribbean; Norwegian Majesty - Norwegian Cruise Line) and now Argentina.

In late 2003 it recorded its first CD of Latin American music, which has had great success, and was selected as one of the 20 best productions that year. Their repertoire will include a variety of classical, popular and Latin pieces which will give the public the opportunity to appreciate the versatility of the accordion.

Concert repertoire will be chosen from the following:


For further details on this upcoming tour, please e-mail Jane Berkovitz at: janeberkovitz@msn.com

11th Annual Master Class & Concert Series in NY

Once a year and only once a year, the accordion mainstream meets with the accordion fringe; the cutting edge meets with the tried and true; the young pischers meet with the old farts; bad players with good ideas meet with braindead players sporting motherfreakin chops. And here's a place where you can shed your hipness and become totally square. We invented that.

The accordion is often associated with eating and drinking. Join Dr. William Schimmel (right) for a weekend of lectures, workshops, seminars and concerts dedicated to exploring accordion culture with all of its splendors, tastes, smells, appetites, menus and……. Indigestions.

There will be food for the mind, food for the soul and food for the spirit. (food for the body can be purchased nearby). We will give you stuff to bite, chew, swallow and drink in to your heart's content.So arrive hungry and we will take you to Hungary... arrive thirsty and we will fill your cup, arrive curious and we will give you more to be curious about! Come to the seminars with an open heart an open mind and two open ears.


There's plenty o'meal in Elliot Carter's Canon for Three. We'll do an accordion/melodica version. Savor Kamala Sankram's Goth take on Mozart's Magic Flute, Bite into Benjamin Ickie's Punk cruisine, sample Rembert Block's Four Second Morsels (and some larger ones) and drink in Dr. Schimmel's monologue : How I Beat the Draft - and he's not talking about draft beer - or anything Canadian.


Learn how to do a proper catering house laminated version of The Mexican Hat Dance, complete with foot charts, historical DATA AND ANECDOTES - ENABLING YOU TO PUT YOUR BEST FOOT FORWARD.

Dr. Robert Young McMahan's presentations are always gourmet--and he will present a lecture: 12 Tone Music and good Beer allowing us to experience 12 tone in everyday life. Eminent choreographer, film maker (The Unforgivable Sin) and fitness expert Micki Goodman will discuss proper diet for accordionists... especially in concert preparation and touring. Micki s new video work, Civil War Tangos, will launch the weekend...it deals with our own personal demons and inner spiritual civil wars. She is also dramatic director for all of Dr. Schimmel s performances.

There will be a Requiem Suite, which combines the Mozart Requiem with the execution of Haddy, a good boy and a vegetarian. Remember the story about Charlie, who couldn't get off the MTA 'cause he didn't have a nickel? Everyday his wife tossed him a sandwich. Why didn t she toss him a nickel? HE NEEDED TO GET HIS EATS!

Join Paul Stein in a new rendition of this classic along with other chestnuts that you can virtually taste. Speaking of taste, Will Holshouser (King of Downtown Squeezers) will give us plenty of it in a Nouvelle Cuisine of Jazz inspired pieces that blend the seasonings of the world.

The Cyber Accordionist Mahir says: I Kiss You! Dr. Schimmel says: I Bite You! - with a new Punk Prelude and Fugue that (in the words of Punk Accordion Summit's Benjamin Ickies) puts the FU back in Fugue. Ms Sankram will play and sing it - and - discuss Branding and introduce her Indo/Film-Noire. You've heard of the Church of Stop Shopping? Welcome to the Temple of Consumption, where you can buy, buy and more buy - cds, books, videos as well as whoopee cushions, rubber vomit and other blue collar and white trash fetishes.

There's nothing like an afterdinner Cuban cigar, says King of Ragtime, Dr. Mark J. Birnbaum. Watch and listen to him smoke in a new afro-Cuban ragtime mini-concerto. The Haircombing Salon - A seminar on How to be a Cube - which is worse than a square (in the words of the famous Kookie - Ed Byrne - 77 Sunset Strip). A Clarinet Concerto - The Four Seasons (The Restaurant) - featuring world famous clarinetist, William Blount - with accordion as the orchestra.

A new premiere casserole by Dr. Robert Young McMahan, continuing the Seminar tradition of innovative duos as well as his usual performance of AAA commissions.


New right/left brain etudes by Marni Rice (former host of Accordion Nite) - giving a whole grain approach to learning technique - as well as her usual Franco-American panache. Michael Sahl (The Tango Project) offers an accordion pig-out with Hearts of Palm.

Allyssa Lamb (Las Rubias del Norte) will show off her chops as a vocalist and melodica player in two new Realities by Dr. Schimmel: Zen and the Art of the Foxtrot, where Tea for Two meets the tea ceremony - and In the Shadow, where the Symphonies of Beethoven meet the Fado bar. Lee McClure, founder of Eclectix, will offer eclectic cruisine in the realm of comfort and not so comfort food - using his digital flute (with a menu of sonorities) guaranteed to satisfy any palate.

Godfrey Nelson and Lorraine Nelson Wolf will continue their new age cooking that simmers to the extreme points of marination more and more each year. Peter Davis will make us salivate with his American Portfolio - a work about Tibetan chanting and TV jingles - back by popular demand. A performance of Composers Collaborative's Jed Distler's Aria of Edie the Egg Lady from his Opera, Pink Flamingos - based on the John Waters cult classic. Jed is famous for his Mr. Softee and 99 Bottles of Beer on the Wall Variations.

AAA's distinguished Lecturer-in residence, Dr. William Schimmel, will present his lecture-performance of Why I didn t marry Maria Braun-or-If Germany won the War. Learn about Das Akkordeon, Rack and Rall (roll the rs), Mr. Bill and Goot Essen. It will feature actress Kathleen Tipton, last year's host.

Other distinguished performers and guests include: Elsie M. Bennett, Faithe Deffner, Cristina Speligene (Branding expert), cyber artist Rachid Eladlouni, Brian Dewan (a regular performer at Tonic), Croation accordionist Dragica Banic-Curcic (from Vienna Cafehaus to the Composers Concordance's Patrick Hardish classic: Accordioclusterville), performance artist Ray Rue (Elvis--peanut butter and banana sandwiches), Main Squeeze's Walter Kuhr (who will squeeze out Roman Fountains), Swedish dancer/yogini Marika Du Reitz, composers David Stoler (piano tuner to the stars) and Liam Robinson (In a China Shop), virtuoso E(a)ttore specialist Rita Davidson, Ukranian accordionist/ethnomusicologist Maria Sonvygsky (the accordion as smellavision ), The Nups (a wedding band that only plays family events) and David First, who recently received honorable mention for the Leonardo Award for his acoustical research and who turned an entire Belgian city into his own image and likeness - including a Dave's Luncheonette.

The "K" Trio will present their K Rations in their usual generous, distinguished and perfected way. And - a rebound version of Shock Headed Peter - under the title of Just Desserts. There will be AAA commissioned works by David Diamond (no fan of Dr. Schimmel's) who regarded 120 millimeter More cigarettes as delicious.

The late Vincent Persichetti responded (back in '75): Looks like Japanese cigarettes to me, David. AT LEAST YOU GET YOUR EATS is a phrase told to Dr. Schimmel by well meaning family members when he was drafted during the Vietnam War.


WILL THERE BE FOOD AT THE SEMINARS? Yes! - food for thought (Food and Memory), food for the mind (We're all Pavlov's dog), food for the spirit (Overeaters not-so-anonymous) and food for the soul (The Seder and the accordion). There'll be food around the corner for the body at yer local eateries. See you at the Seminars.


AUGUST 26, 27 & 28, 2005
The Tenri Cultural Institute of New York
43 A West 13th Street (Between 5th & 6th Avenues)

Seating is limited - reserve now!

Full Three-Day Session - Master Class and Concerts - $110.00
Daily Full Session - Master Class and Concert - $40.00 per day
Daily Master Class only - $20.00 per day
Daily Concerts only - $25.00 per day

For more information, please visit: www.ameraccord.com

American Accordionists' Association Festival


  • International Entertainment Competition, Thursday, July 7. Contestants from China, Russia, France, Italy, Canada as well as the United States vie for $10,000 grand prize.
  • Massed Accordion Band Performance in Frankenmuth, "Michigan's Little Bavaria", July 8, 2005
  • Detroit's Own Tony Dannon, Accordion Jazz Giant, to be Honored with AAA Lifetime Achievement Award, Saturday, July 9 at Gala Banquet
  • Kickoff Media Event - "Press and Squeeze" Party - Wednesday, July 6, 6 PM

Dearborn, MI - "Motor City" is revving up to welcome hundreds of accordionists and accordion aficionados converging from all over the world to attend the Annual Festival and Competition sponsored by the American Accordionists' Association at the Hyatt Regency in Dearborn, Michigan from July 6 through 10, 2005. The visitors will transform this city into the "Accordion Capital of the World" while demonstrating their passion for the musical instrument that continues to soar to new heights of popularity.

Local resident Steve Stolaruk, President of the Accordion Society of Michigan and a lifetime accordion enthusiast, is collaborating with the AAA to host the event. He is responsible for a Festival highlight, The Vivian Vivio Stolaruk International Entertainment Competition for Accordionists which takes place on Thursday July 7, and will feature top contenders from the U.S., China, Russia, Canada, Mexico, France and Italy, vying for the $10,000.00 Grand Prize and $15,000.00 in total cash prizes. This special contest is in memory of the late Vivian Stolaruk, who, with her husband Steve, played a prominent role in US accordion mentoring.

Another Festival spectacular is a performance by the AAA Massed Band at the Chamber of Commerce "Platz" in "Michigan's Little Bavaria", Frankenmuth, at 11:00 AM Friday, July 8. It will feature a multitude of accordionists performing Rogers & Hammerstein's "Edelweiss" from the classic The Sound of Music, creating a wondrous auditory and visual spectacle!

In a special recognition ceremony, Detroit jazz giant, instructor extraordinaire and staunch supporter of AAA activities for many decades, Mr. Tony Dannon (right) will be honored on Saturday evening, July 9 at a Gala Banquet where he will receive the Oscar of the accordion community, AAA's coveted "Lifetime Achievement Award."

"Our event attracts accordionists and accordion music lovers from across the country and overseas because the instrument is significant to so many cultures and music styles," says AAA President Linda Soley Reed. "We are especially pleased to gather in metro Detroit this year, a city with rich musical history -- from blues musician John Lee Hooker to the great Motown sounds of artists like Diana Ross and the Supremes, Marvin Gaye, Smokey Robinson, and Stevie Wonder.

The 2005 Festival will spotlight a kaleidoscope of noted accordionists performing in the full spectrum of musical idioms ranging from jazz to pop to polkas to rock to folk to world music and more. The many colorful accordion events will include concerts, workshops, master classes and an array of competitions for all playing levels and in many music styles, for youngsters and adults. Winners will receive honors, cash awards and scholarships. Special categories celebrating the 100th Birthday of Charles Magnante, a world-renowned accordion pioneer who brought recognition to the accordion as a serious instrument, have been included in the competition.

Local guest artists in addition to Mr. Dannon include Peter Soave, Madeleine Soave, Lana Gore, Ray Battani and Linda Lee Brown, as well as international and national performing artists Carmelo Pino, The "K" Trio, Joe Cerrito, Joan Grauman and Stella Allison, Bart Beninco, Tony Lovello, John Scaffeo, Emanuele Rastelli and last but certainly not least, Mr. Entertainer himself, Dick Contino. Peter Soave will premiere a composition by John Franceschina entitled, "For Elsie." The piece was written for long-time AAA board member and chair of Composers Commissioning, Elsie Bennett, on the occasion of her 86th birthday. Ms. Bennett, who hails from Detroit, will attend this event.

"A World of Accordions Museum" and its curator, Dr. Helmi Harrington, will showcase an exhibit of historic and unique accordions representing a small part of the museum's extensive collection in Superior, Wisconsin.

According to AAA President Linda Reed (left), "The accordion remains an integral part of our popular culture because it mirrors our ethnic heritage. You can see and hear the instrument in every media." Accordion enthusiasm is rapidly approaching a national phenomenon as the instrument is frequently seen in films, heard on cinema sound-tracks, often used for background music in radio and TV commercials, and assumes an ever-growing prominence in the music of rock and pop stars such as Paul Simon, Tom Waits, the Rolling Stones, Pearl Jam, the Talking Heads, They Might Be Giants, Bon Jovi, ABBA, Los Lobos, Sheryl Crow, Nora Jones and others.

Festival registration begins at noon on Wednesday July 6, with competitions commencing at 3:00 PM, followed by an evening "Press and Squeeze" party for the media to sample some of the lavish musical talent assembled by the American Accordionists' Association.

Don't miss this giant fun event of the summer!!! For further information, please visit: www.ameraccord.com

ATG Sponsors International Jazz Competition

Accordionists from as far away as France and around the United States will assemble in Richardson, Texas from June 15-19, 2005 to participate in The Art Van Damme International Jazz Competition including a special Frank Marocco Category, sponsored by the Accordionists and Teachers Guild, International. The competition will be held in conjunction with the annual ATG Competition and Festival.

Prizes for the International Jazz Competition are:

  • Art Van Damme First Prize - $3,000.00
  • Art Van Damme Runner Up Prize - $1,500.00
  • Frank Marocco Prize - $1,000.00

The Art Van Damme International Jazz Competition including a special Frank Marocco Category will be held in three round. In the first round, each entrant will perform two selections of different styles, such as Jazz, Blues, Latin Jazz, Musette, Jazz Waltz.

In the second round, each entrant will perform two selections. from a list of songs Art Van Damme has recorded. The sheet music will give a melody line with chord symbols. The entrant will improvise over the melody line. The second selection will be a lead sheet with only chord symbols where the entrant will improvise over this chord progression. The chord symbols will be from a song Art Van Damme has performed.

In the third round, the entrant will perform two pieces, one will be selected from a list of four arrangements by Frank Marocco and the second will be open to the entrants choice of any published jazz number.
Candidates will be judged on their musicianship, technique, expression and stage presence.

  • Round 1 Thursday 16th June from 3:00 PM - 5:00 PM
  • Round 2 Friday 17th June 3:00 PM - 5:00 PM
  • Round 3 Saturday 18 June from 2:00 PM - 4:00 PM

For further information, please visit www.accordions.com/atg


Frank Busso Jnr. Selected as New Air Force Accordionist

Frank Busso Junior from Staten Island, NY has been selected for the coveted accordion position in the United States Air Force Strolling Strings.

The Air Force has been looking to replace the accordion player of its band’s Strolling Strings music ensemble since the musician retired two years ago and now after a long search, they have found just the person they are looking for.

“It is very hard to find the right person for this job, but it’s a great job for the right person,” said Chief Master Sgt. Jane Bockenek, the Strolling Strings’ music director who plays the violin in the group. With little feedback after spreading the word accross the country to teachers, colleges and studios, the Air Force decided that since the accordion players were not coming to the Air Force, the Air Force was going to go to the accordion players.

Sgt. Bockenek attended the American Accordionists' Association Festival in Boston last year and set up several auditions, however the search proved fruitless.

Earlier this year Frank Busso Junior was at the right time in his career to audition for the position, and the Air Force knew right away they had found just the person they were looking for. They found someone that fit all their criteria musically, and also someone who fit the parameters of the United States Air Force.

First step for Frank before he begins performing with the 22-member group at the White House, State Functions and such, will be to endure six weeks of rigorous basic training.
“They’ll have to go through boot camp like every other recruit, but they will also be entitled to all the benefits of being in the military,” Sgt. Bockenek said.

“What is so terrific about being in this band is that we are doing something so important from a diplomatic standpoint,” Bockenek went on to say. “Keeping up morale for the troops is an important part of our job. Not many musicians can say what they do has the impact that we have.”

A case in point is Sgt. Maj. Manuel Bobenreith, the accordion player in the U.S. Army’s Band, and the military’s only official accordion player until Frank joins the ranks later this summer. “I consider myself lucky that I am the only accordion player out of more than 490,000 active-duty soldiers,” said Bobenreith, who has been the Army’s accordionist for 18 years.

Frank is the son of Frank Busso Senior, who owns and operates the Staten Island Music School in Staten Island, New York.


Iona Reed Releases new CD

Accordionist and former CIA Coupe Mondiale World Accordion Champion Iona Reed has just released a new CD with the Iona Reed Trio called "For Lovers Only".

Iona Reed (Pukara) won the Coupe Mondiale in 1962 held in Prague, Czechoslovakia. She and her teacher, Karl Pukara (who later became her husband), made several recordings together as well as performing and adjudicating in throughout Ontario and Quebec, in the United States and in Europe. Each of the three musicians in this outstanding trio has earned a reputation for excellence and success throughout a long period of musical activity in Canada.

Joined by fellow musicians Ron Kelly (Guitar) and Bill Tuttle (Drums and Percussion) the Trio's new CD features Latin, Continental and Broadway standards.

CD Tracks include:

  • Voya Apa Gar La Luz (Manzanero)
  • El Once (Osvaldo Frescedo
  • Boulevard of Broken Dreams (Harry Warren)
  • La Petite Waltz (Joe Hayne)
  • Autumn Leaves (Kosma)
  • Por Favor (Joe Sherman)
  • Choo-Choo Samba (B. P. Godinho)
  • Do You Know What it Means (Lewis Alter)
  • Devine Un Peu Pourquoi (Jean Dinardo)
  • Robbie's Polka (Frankie Yankovic)
  • Dos Cruces (C. Larroa)
  • Take the 'A' Train (Billy Strayhorn)
  • Poinciana (Nat Simon)
  • Nuages (Yvan Allouche)
    That's All (Brandt & Haymes)

The CD sells for $20.00 Canadian and the price includes all taxes plus a donation to the Palliative Care Society. Purchases may be made by e-mailing ron.kelly051@sympatico.ca

For a full review, please visit: Accordions Worldwide CD review by Joan Cochran Sommers (May 2005)

The Accordion Multi Media Conference in Montreal, Canada

A conference for accordionists took place in St-Michel, Montreal. The organizer, Mario Bruneau commented ”The main goal of such a conference is to give the accordionist the necessary tools to further his knowledge of the accordion. The amateur will understand what type of accordion he needs in order to better perform his preferred music style.

He will also be more informed and will understand the vocabulary involved in expressing his preference regarding the sound he is looking after. Even the amateur tuner-repairer will obtain some good information. This conference covers the history, the construction, the physics involved in the accordion, the tuning, the new technologies and the performance”.

Accordionist, pianist and keyboardist, Mario Bruneau expresses himself in a variety of musical styles and repertoire ranging from jazz to new-age, passing through musette, chanson française and pop.  He began learning the accordion at eight years old and began the piano at age 14.  Since then, music always been his day-to-day companion.

Mario Bruneau currently owns and runs a recording studio where he composes and produces original tracks for TV5 (the biggest French-speaking television network in the world) as well as for theater, publicity and radio like CKMF Montreal.  His studio is equipped with the most recent Hi-Tech equipment available today.  Multi talented, Mario takes care of all the different aspect of a project, from the first concept right through the "ready for marketing" state.

A big fan of the accordion, Mario's multimedia presentations are always a big success where presented. For further information on future conferences, please e-mail mariobruneau@abcde.net

Orkestar Bez Ime's Dance Party and CD Release

On May 13th, the mainly female Balkan Band 'Orkestar Bez Ime' performed at a dance party at Cedar Cultural Center in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

The event coincided with the release of OBI's new CD, 'Nice Driveway Vol. 1, Cheers from the Land of the Freeze'. Orkestar Bez Ime (OBI), meaning "Orchestra Without a Name" in Bulgarian, met in the Ethnic Dance Theatre and has grown to be one of the American Midwest's hottest and most sought-after international dance bands, specializing in Balkan and Eastern European dance music.

Using a mix of folk and modern instruments - including accordion, clarinet, dumbek, flute, guitar, kaval, tambura, violin and voice - the group stays close to traditional Eastern Europe. Featuring Dee Langley on accordion, OBI focuses mainly on Balkan music, but presents the full range of international folk dance interests from Scandinavia to Israel to French Canada and beyond.

For further information e-mail obi@rogaria.com

Canelo Salomón's Busy Concert Schedule in Mexico
Mexican accordionist Canelo Salomon spent a very busy few weeks performing concerts in various venues throughout his country, including Mexico City. He used eight different programs, and his repertoire included various transcriptions of overtures to some of his own compositions, and his schedule also involved radio and television appearances.

The son of the famous diatonic accordionist Red Salomón, Canelo has been director of the school of music of the union of musicians in Celaya, academic director of the union of musicians in the state of Guanajuato and at the moment he is director of the music school Vidargas. Salomon has made recordings on piano accordion, but is also a pianist, organist, singer and percussionist.

Australian Bernadette Conlon to tour USA and Canada

Australian accordionist Bernadette Conlon is soon to perform in the USA and Canada with performances as follows:

  • June 21st - Salt Lake City Accordion Club, Utah.
  • June 23rd to 25th - Leavenworth International Accordion Convention.
  • June 26th to 29th - Las Vegas International Accordion Convention.
  • July 3rd - Victoria Accordion Club, Canada.
  • July 4th to 9th - Kimberley International Old Time Accordion Convention, Canada (Kimberley is hoping to break the Guinness Book of Records for having the most accordionists playing at the one time. Last year they had enough accordionists but not enough accordions!)

Bernadette was born with retro-lentil fibroplasia and is legally blind. This hasn't prevented her from achieving some remarkable accomplishments. Having less than one per cent sight, Bernadette has had to memorize all of the thousands of pieces in her repertoire. She even memorized the entire score to Fiddler on the Roof, while studying for her top accordion exam.

By the time she was 15 (1994), Bernadette was the Australian National Champion and Open Age Champion of both the Australian Accordion Teachers' Association and the Accordion Society of Australia - and has since gone on to win the National Championship at both organizations more times than any other competitors have been able to achieve in the history of either group.

Commonly referred to as the world's best piano accordionist indisputably, Australia's foremost virtuoso exponent and promoter of the accordion is Bernadette Conlon.

With a dazzling array of well over 100 first placings and awards to her credit, Bernadette has almost single-handedly re-ignited Melbourne's love for the accordion, through her remarkably varied repertoire, which touches the hearts of audiences, young and old.

From her upbringing in country Victoria, facing the monumental hurdles of being a visually impaired student, wanting to study music, Bernadette overcame insurmountable odds to become the top student, academically in her school, or Dux of her school, Camperdown College, despite having traveled to Europe twice during her final year for concert tours and study.

An unsympathetic school music teacher led her to take up and study to grade 5 level, alto sax, flute and clarinet, which she used, filling vacancies in the high school band.

When her parents found out she could not see well, they encouraged her to consider music as a career. Bernadette started learning the piano at the age of six, however she dreamed of being a concert violinist. Her piano teacher suggested an accordion, which arrived at Christmas. In spite of initial disappointment at the absence of a violin, Bernadette has not looked back. Although she has tried many instruments, which only intensify her understanding and appreciation for music, the accordion and instruments of the accordion family, remain her devoted passion.

Renowned in her local area, and having given hundreds of concerts for charity, whilst still at school, Bernadette took her dream to bring light and joy to the world through her music, to her local capital city, Melbourne - and to the world. The rest is history.

For further information e-mail accordionbernadette@bigpond.com

Songs of the Homeland released on DVD

Songs of the Homeland, the critically-acclaimed music documentary on the history of conjunto and Tejano music where the button accordion takes center stage, has just been released on DVD with bonus tracks featuring some of the best musical artists of the genre including accordion greats Valerio Longoria, Tony de la Rosa, and Mingo Saldivar.

Filmed on location throughout Texas, Songs of the Homeland tells the story of Tejano Music, from its early beginnings, starting with the Father of Conjunto Music, the great button accordion master Narciso Martinez. This critically acclaimed documentary features images of the past and present and includes performances and interviews with musical pioneers such as Tony de la Rosa, Valerio Longoria, Lydia Mendoza, Isidro Lopez, Sunny Ozuna, Mingo Saldivar (below left), and Little Joe Hernandez.

What the critics say:

  • One of the most important documentaries ever produced on the history of Tejano Music... It is a compelling thought provoking piece not to be missed."
    -- San Antonio Express News
  • "You couldn't ask for a more comprehensive - or more accessible - introduction to Tejano music than Songs of the Homeland"
    -- Texas Monthly
  • "One of the Strengths of Songs of the Homeland is its multigenerational reach and the way it shows how the cultural sea changes were reflected in the music."
    -- City Paper, Baltimore

Songs of the Homeland is a one-hour documentary program that takes us on a journey through the Mexican American experience in Texas as told through its vibrant music. Spanning the period from the early 1900s to the present, during which a Mexican American identity was forged in the United States, the program documents the distinctive role played by folk music traditions as Tejanos - Texas Mexican Americans - adapted to a foreign and sometimes hostile society. The program is intended for a public television audience, and is produced and directed by nationally acclaimed, independent documentarian, Hector Galan.

A documentary depicting the story of Tejano music is timely not only because this music is currently enjoying a surge in popularity nationwide, but because it is a rich part of the fabric of American cultural history. From early in the century,when news on ranches and in the colonias traveled by song, to the Great Depression era when music was first recorded, to the more prosperous post-war period, Tejanos have turned to their unique musical tradition for inspiration, information and community.

The music, like the people, has been shaped by the unusual experience of existing between two cultures. The result is a synthesis which is not entirely Mexican nor entirely American. No other medium besides music so closely reflects the Mexican American spirit. Until now, this story has remained largely unknown to the general viewing public.

Songs of the Homeland brings the story of Tejano music to life by looking at musicians such as Lydia Mendoza, Valerio Longorio, Isidro Lopez and Little Joe Hernandez who have played key roles in keeping the tradition alive through succeeding generations. The continual emergence of young musicians such as David Lee Garza y Los Musicales, Selena Quintanilla, La Mafia and Los Chamacos provides testimony to the music's continued vitality.

San Antonio, Texas, as the traditional homeland and music capital for Mexican Americans throughout the United States, is the point of departure for Songs of the Homeland. Key filming and interviews is conducted in and around important landmarks such as El Azteca and the Guadalupe theaters, El Mercado (the central marketplace), and the early performance district, which together form the heart of traditional Tejano music. Additional contemporary photography in south Texas and along the border bring the history and the music to life, capturing the land and the people from which it emerged.

Songs of the Homeland makes use of rare private photo collections and early recordings. Old films, magazines, posters and record covers animate pivotal events in the Mexican
American experience. These elements, contemporary and archival footage, location interviews and live music performances, are layered with music recordings and photos to recreate the rich cultural experience of Tejanos from the 1920's to the present.

Songs of the Homeland traces the history of Tejano music through the eyes and voices of musicians who have helped to keep the tradition alive. In doing so, the program broadens understanding among music fans and the general public alike of the history behind a highly cherished musical tradition, while preserving the tradition itself through documentation. The journey which viewers make in Songs of the Homeland will entertain and inform them about the distinctive musical and social traditions responsible for creating and sustaining Tejano music.

Produced by Award Winning Filmmaker Hector Galan, for more info, go to www.galaninc.com or e-mail: Evy Ledesma at evy@galaninc.com

WMAS Summer Meetings

The Washington Metropolitan Accordion Society (WMAS) announces their summer meetings with:

  • June 14 meeting: Dale Wise on "How To Improvise." When it comes to improvisation, you don't have to wait for "divine intervention" to be creative with melody. Add your personal touch to the music you play by employing Non-Harmonic Tones (NHT).
  • July 12 meeting: Waltz Night. Sign up to play. Dance instruction will be provided by Michael B. Rubin.

WMAS meetings take place at the United Methodist Church, 3435 Sleepy Hollow Road, Falls Church, VA 22044.

For more information please visit www.washingtonaccordions.org, e-mail: wmas2002@cox.net or call: 703-671-5395.

Showstoppers Accordion Orchestra & Dancers Concert
Make sure you keep July 24 from 6:30 PM - 8:45 PM free, for a summer concert featuring the Showstoppers Accordion Orchestra and Dancers. The popular performers will provide a free concert at the Hampton Beach Seashell Stage on the Boardwalk in Hampton, NH.

The 45 member Showstoppers Orchestra and Dancers are students of the Rosita Lee Music & Dance Centers in Hudson, NH. Formed in 1970, the Showstoppers have toured the United States, Italy and Canada as well as all accross the United States including many shows at Walt Disney World in Florida. The orchestra is under the direction of Rosita Lee Latulippe and the dancers are under the direction of Shelly Latulippe-Klimas.

The show will include song and dance routines, audience participation selections, and is suited for family entertainment.

For information, please contact Roger Latulippe at 603/882-8940 or e-mail: info@rositalee.com

Shockheaded Peter Ends Off-Broadway Run

Shockheaded Peter, the dark New York City Off-Broadway entertainment about children in peril - one of the best-reviewed shows of the 2004-05 season in New York, closed on May 29. Members of the American company of the British-created show were told May 3 that sales at the Little Shubert Theatre have been softer than expected for the macabre musical work and that it would close May 29. A rave from the New York Times followed by feature stories in its arts section couldn't save poor Peter from its premature demise.

Dr. Heinrich Hoffmann, a Frankfurt 'medical man of the lunatic asylum', wrote and illustrated The Struwwelpeter (ShockHeaded Peter) more than 150 years ago because he couldn't find anything on the shelves to fire the imagination of his children. Today,
Shockheaded Peter is a hilariously gruesome musical staging of the classic 19th century children's book. A London smash hit and Olivier Award winner, Shockheaded Peter has beguiled and horrified audiences worldwide. Young Harriett and her pyrotechnic tendencies, little Conrad and his insatiable thumb-sucking, and many others come to gleefully gory ends in this acclaimed import which was hailed by London's The Guardian as "one of the must-sees of the decade for ages 10 to 110.

Shockheaded Peter is the collective nightmare of the visionary direction and design team of Phelim McDermott and Julian Crouch (co-founders of London's Improbable Theatre) and the underworld's favorite cabaret act, The Tiger Lillies, led by the bizarre and beautiful falsetto and accordion playing of Martyn Jacques. (Pictured left to right - Martyn Jacques, Adrian Huge and Adrian Stout). Set in a distorted Victorian toy theater, Shockheaded Peter evokes a lost world of theatrical illusion-a music box spinning out of control; an advent calendar with a different lunatic waiting behind every door. So sweet, so sinister, and so completely outrageous, Shockheaded Peter is a hilarious black comedy for sophisticated children, their dreadful parents, and anyone who has ever sucked their thumb.

...according to the New York Times: "Schockheaded Peter is a gorgeous 'nasty picture book' of a musical, in which badly behaved Victorian tots come to ghastly ends. Inspired by Heinrich Hoffman's droll collection of grisly bedtime stories from the mid-19th century, 'Shockheaded Peter' is both the silliest and most sinister show in town. It is also one of the smartest. Directed by Julian Crouch and Phelim McDermott, and featuring bizarrely beautiful songs by Martin Jacques, 'Shockheaded Peter' manages to wallow in and tear apart our enduring appetite for scaring ourselves. Though styled as a Victorian peep show, this British import makes contemporary self-spoofing horror exercises (like Wes Craven's 'Scream' movies) look like, well, child's play." - Ben Brantley, THE NEW YORK TIMES

The original accordionist in the show, Martyn Jacques (pictured) is the founder of group 'The Tiger Lillies' and spent much of his formative music training years living in the heart of London's Soho. He is musical director for Shockheaded Peter and his adaptation of the text is now published as a book, The Ultimate Shockheaded Peter. Photo Credit: Joan Marcus.

More recently the part of the accordionist/singer was taken over by actor/singer Luther Creek and his understudy Kevin Townley. Neither had played the accordion before, so Dr. William Schimmel of New York was hired by the Manhattan Theatre club to teach them the accordion for the show. In addition to teadching them to play the accordion, Dr. Schimmel also spent a great deal of time working with them to deal with the accordion in three dimensional space and to create a physical and historical sense of time and space - through constant exploration of movement and the history of the accordion as story teller, troubadour, town musician, mummer and Vaudevillian. Dr. Schimmel is listed in the playbill as their accordion instructor.


San Francisco Accordion Festival

We are very pleased to announce that the 15th annual San Francisco Accordion Festival, a free event celebrating National Accordion Awareness Month as well as highlighting San Francisco's official musical instrument, will be held on Sunday, June 5 in the Del Monte Square at the Cannery at Fisherman's Wharf. 

This event goes from Noon - 6:00 PM and features a wide variety of accordion-based bands and will include the San Francisco's Main Squeeze Pageant.

The festival schedule is as follows:

  • Noon-12:40 p.m. The San Francisco Accordion Club Fun Band-15 accordionists!
  • 12:50 p.m.-1:10 p.m. Steve Shen - Chinese accordion soloist/vocalist...He sings Italian arias
  • 1:20 p.m.-1:50 p.m. Highgates - Traditional Irish music
  • 2:00 p.m.-2:40 p.m. Simka - Klezmer music
  • 2:50 p.m.-3:30 p.m. Conjunto Romero-Traditional Tejano/Conjunto music
  • 3:40 p.m.- 4:20 p.m. Big Lou's Polka Casserole (right)
  • 4:30 p.m.-5:00 p.m. San Francisco's Main Squeeze finals
  • 5:10 p.m.-6:00 p.m. Bella Ciao-Italiano music from the late '50s

For more information, please contact Tom Torriglia at All Things Accordion at 415 440 0800 or the Marketing department at the Cannery at 415 771 3112.

Exciting Finish to new VIP Accordion Competition
NB: While this event took place in France, it is included to show US accordionists what is available to them. Details for the 2006 Competition will be announced soon.

French accordionist Mickeal Vigneau narrowly took first prize during an exciting international competition held this past weekend in France. Ten contestants representing Scotland, Bulgaria, Serbia, France, Portugal, Finland, Russia, Belarus and France took part in the 1st International Accordion Competition in Pontarlier, France. This invitational competition finished in dramatic style, with the top four candidates being separated by less than one point!

After the tremendous success of the recent CIA Coupe Mondiale in Pontarlier, city officials collaborated with Frederic Deschamps to host this exciting interactive accordion event combining the work of the International Jury with the vote of the general public after a live Radio Show and public concert.

The aim of this new annual VIP World Accordion Show and Competition is to feature the side of the contemporary accordion repertoire that relates to entertainment music. The qualities necessary for this 'popular' repertoire include musicality, technique, feeling and also rhythmic sense, stage presence, rapport with the audience, the ability to work with other instrumentalists, charisma as well as excellent style of arrangements for the pieces chosen.

New York based accordionist Kevin Friedrich served as President of the International Jury which included Nadia Vestica - Serbia and Montenegro, Kimmo Mattila - Finland, Sabrina Guislain - Belgium and Raymond Bodell – United Kingdom. (Pictured above are Jury and Candidates).

The opening concert featured local accordionist and 3rd Place Winner of the CIA Virtuoso Entertainment Competition Benoit Chabod, the 2004 CIA Virtuoso Entertainment Champion Phil Bouvier, 2nd Place CIA Coupe Mondiale Winner - Rade Mijatovic from Serbia and Montenegro and the popular Classic Buskers comprising Ian Moore (accordion) and Michael Copley (wind instruments) from the United Kingdom.

Contestants performed three rounds including: (1) an own choice program, judged by the jury, (2) the broadcast of a pre-recorded piece on France Bleu Besançon (Radio) where listeners voted by telephone and text message and (3) a final round where contestants performed one piece with the Jérôme Richard International Orchestra that was judged by both the jury and the live audience.

The Radio Show listeners voted Julien Gonzales (France) 1st, Simon Gachez Mauroz (France) 2nd, and Nenad Ercegovcevic (Serbia) 3rd, while the live audience vote saw the three French candidates Julien Gonzales 1st, Mickeal Vigneau 2nd, and Simon Gachez-Mauroz 3rd. Combined with the work of the International Jury, the overall top results separated by less than one point were:
  • 1st: Mickeal Vigneau - left (France) 191.2
  • 2nd. Julian Gonzales - center (France) 191.0
  • 3rd. Alex Shirunov - right (Russia) 190.9
  • 4th. Ann-Marie Kanniainen (Finland) 190.5

Unique to this competition was the fact that all expenses including airfare, hotel and accommodation for the contestants were provided for by the organizers. Due to the time limitations of organizing this first festival, candidates were invited to attend, however future competitions will be open to application. Further details will be announced in the near future.


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