Daily Reports from the 68th ATG Annual Festival - Nashville, TN

Workshop #6
The MIDI Accordion
Presented by Gordon Kohl (Los Angeles, CA)

Appearing at the ATG for the first time, Gordon's workshop pertained to work with the MIDI accordion and utilizing it to enhance the performance. Gordon uses the Concerto accordion MIDI system. Gordon's workshop covered material such as voicing your music and the use of sounds to enhance various styles of music including Pop, Country, Latin, Big Band, Classical, Rock, Polka, Dixieland etc...

Workshop #7
Left Hand Bass Patterns
Presented by Betty Jo Simon (Overland Park, KS)

Betty JO gave a workshop detailing the setup and utilization of the left hand of the accordion. The workshop covered fingering for various scales, the layout and structure of the left hand bass system. Topics included the circle of fifths, switches, how the left hand chords are formed, walking bass and bass patterns for various styles including Pop, Slow Rock, Country, Waltz, Jazz Waltz, Country Waltz, Viennese Waltz, Boogie, Rumba, Tango, Cha-Cha, Bossa Nova, Calypso and Ballard.

Workshop #8
Instant Zydeco
Presented by Murl Allen Sanders

Murl Allen Sanders conducted a hands-on workshop delivering Instant Zydeco. Beginning with the pentatonic scale and the rhythmic bass patterns, he developed the basic melody of Shortnin' Bread into Z'ydeco style. Murl's workshop discussed the Zydeco and Cajun origins, similarities and differences, instrumentation and various tools and artists helpful in learning the style.

Workshop #9
How to Put Your Musical Ideas on Paper
Presented by Liz Finch (Studio City, CA)

Liz Finch, a music copyist and orchestrator in Los Angeles, gave a workshop about the do's and dont's of putting your musical ideas on paper. The workshop showed examples of how 'not' to put things on paper as well as the Ten Commandments for Arrangers. Examples of various types of manuscript sketches and scores from composers such as John Williams, Hans Zimmer and others were given.
The example below is a real example of a copyist's nightmare sktech that was presented to work with.
By contrast, below is an example of a sketch where the composer's intention is clearly defined.

Workshop #10
Polka Is Good For the Soul
Presented by Karen Yatuzis (Smyrna, TN)

Karen Yatuzis gave an entertaining and lively workshop about how Polka is good for the soul. The presentation included history of the Polka, the name and origins, when it jumped the Big Puddle to the USA, Americanized Polka Styles, the Popularity of the Polka with many references to Irish Polka, Polish Polka, German Polka, Latino Polka etc... Karen's philosophy is that Polka Music adds years to your life and life to your years!

The 2008 Festival Orchestra:

  • Menuet from "Don Giovanni" by W. A. Mozart (1756 - 1791)
  • Polonaise in Bb by Franz Schubert (1797 - 1828)
    featuring Samantha Jarquio as Clarinet Soloist
  • Juntos (Tango) by Amy Jo Sawyer
  • Route 66 ("Get Your Kicks on Route 66") by Bobby Troup
  • Portrait (A Medley of Show Tunes) by Richard Rodgers (1902 - 1979)

    The ATG 2008 Festival Orchestra
    Conducted by Joan Cochran Sommers

    Members of the 2008 Festival Orchestra: Mary Tokarski, Betty Jo Simon, Amy Jo Sawyer, Kevin Friedrich, Samantha Jarquio, Dan Wright, Liz Finch, Donna Dee Ray, Barbara Scott, Gordon Kohl, James Wadowick, Joanna Darrow, Megan Jarquio, Esther Lanting, Sundi O'Mara, Barbara Beier, Esti Fernandez, Christine Jarquio

Murl Allen Sanders:
  • Mystery Medley
  • Lightnin' by Sanders
  • Malandrinho by Noguiera
  • The Way You Look Tonight by Jerome Kern
  • La Bonne Caniche by Sanders
  • Life Took Away My Bone by Sanders
  • Concerto # 1 Theme by Sanders
  • Concerto #2 Theme by Sanders
  • But Not For Me by George Gershwin
  • All Right, OK, You Win by Wyche, Watts
  • Love Is Here To Stay by George Gershwin
    Murl Allen Sanders, Accordion Soloist

Alexander Shirunov, the 2008 International guest artist from St. Petersburg, Russia performed a magnificant concert showcasing his magnificant techincal ability and rich musical style. The audience gave two standing ovations for his captivating recital. Alexander's program was as follows:
  • Prelude and Fugue in D from Book II from WLC by J.S. Bach
  • Prelude and Fugue in G from Book II from WLC by J.S. Bach
  • Te lucis ante terminum by A. Tuchowski
  • Etincelles by M. Moszkowski
  • Romance by F. Angelis
  • A la française by C. Bolling
  • Carnevale by R. Ruggieri, A. Shirunov
  • Omaggio ad Astor Piazzolla by V. Zubitsky
  • Monsieur Ferrero by E. Bouvelle, M. Larcange
  • L'Aquilon by A. Astier
  • Variations on a Ukrainian Theme by Yuri Kazakov
    Alexander Shirunov, Accordion Soloist

At the conclusion of the concert the enthusiastic audience were eager to be photographed with this outstanding young artist, and many of the pictures are included below.

Alexander Shirunov pictured above with Kevin Friedrich (left), Faithe Deffner (right), and below with Samantha Jarquio and Joan Sommers (left picture) and Liz Finch and Amy Jo Sawyer (right picture).
with Mary Tokarski
with Betty Jo Simon


"I am a member of the Accordionists and Teachers Guild, International because I love: fellowshipping with and hearing accordionists from all over the world, helping add to the accordion repertoire, the spirit of friendly competitions, the fine workshops, and the great concerts every year it gives us as members."

Jeff Lisenby, Member of the Board of Directors of the Accordionists and Teachers Guild, International (ATG)

"I strongly support the organization's ongoing endeavors to elevate the standard and awareness of the accordion both nationally and internationally, in addition to providing exciting musical opportunities for those that play it. Serving all those that are passionate about our instrument, the ATG provides an inspiring and exciting forum through which we can share ideas and goals while working for the advancement of the accordion with our fellow accordion professionals.

Kevin Friedrich, Member of the Board of Directors for both the Accordionists and Teachers Guild, International (ATG), the American Accordionists' Association and President of the
Confédération Internationale des Accordéonistes (CIA)

"I am a member of the Accordionists and Teachers Guild, International because of the influence of my teacher, Anton J. (Tony) Rozance, who was a past President and active participant in the ATG. He and his wife, Trudie, were like an aunt and uncle to me. They knew that I would become a member and work toward the recognition of the accordion as a major instrument when I grew up. I enjoy watching the contests, hearing the fantastic young players, playing in the orchestras and becoming better friends with those I have become close to through these events. Being a member of ATG helps me to keep playing through my so-called "golden" years and inspires me to work to become a better player."

Barbara Scott, Member of the Board of Directors of the Accordionists and Teachers Guild, International (ATG)

The ATG presented an award to Stanley Darrow in recognition of his services to the ATG.

Performers at the Dinner included Gordon Kohl, and Samantha Jarquio
Karen Yatuzis and Die Musik Meisters entertained during the dinner hour.
Joanna and Stanley Darrow
Norman and Sharon Seaton and Esther Lanting
Betty Jo Simon and Gordon Kohl
Mary and Frank Tokarski
Barbara Scott and Jim Waddowick
Faithe Deffner, Murl Sanders and Liz Finch
The lively dinner crowd!
Murl Allen Sanders and Joan C. Sommers
The 2008 Festival Orchestra rehearses for the Gala Concert

The ATG Thanks the following Advertisers for their support of the 2008 Festival:

  • Accordions International
  • Accordions Worldwide
  • American Accordionists' Association (AAA)
  • Deffner Publications
  • Hohner Accordions (USA)
  • Las Vegas International Accordion Convention
  • Pancordion
  • Petosa Accordions
  • Pigini Accordions (USA)
  • Roland Accordions (USA)
  • Titano Accordions International

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