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

Members of the ATG Executive Committee - Kevin Friedrich (Information Specialist), Joan C. Sommers (President) and Joanna Arnold-Darrow (Secretary).
Joan C. Sommers (President) and
Joanna Arnold-Darrow (Secretary)
Members of the ATG Board of Directors
Members of the ATG Board of Directors

Front Row: Kevin Friedrich, Liz Finch, Amy Jo Sawyer,
Joan C. Sommers, Joanna Arnold-Darrow, Faithe Deffner
Back Row: Norman Seaton, Jeff Lisenby, Stanley Darrow, Esther Lanting,
Mary Tokarski, Betty Jo Simon and Barbara Scott.

Absent: Dee Langley, Stas Venglevski and Peter Giacalone

Workshop #1
Reinforcing Elements of Music Through Movement and Dance
Presented by Donna Dee Ray (Florida)

To open the Festival Workshop presentations, accordionist Donna Dee Ray provided a hands of workshop for both Musicians and Dancers, highlighting the basic elements of music including rhythm, melody, texture/harmony, form, timbre and expression through whole-body experience with movement and dance.

Donna Dee's dance step instruction and information about style included material on the Polka, Waltz, Minuet, Country Dance and Jig. Instruction included the relationship between dance and music as it relates to phrasing, and how dance sequences with new movements or changing directions require active listening for beginnings and endings of phrases. Donna Dee demonstrated how Folk dancing requires spatial awareness in order to arrive at designated formations at appropriate times, just as spatial awareness is required for conserving and planning bellows direction.

Dance steps were walked through and then set to live music performed by accordionists made up primarily of members of the ATG Board of Directors, as well as from her husband Dennis Ray performing on Banjo, which gave the opportunity for the ensemble members to participate in the dancing.
Workshop presenter Donna Dee Ray explaining some of the dance steps (left) and Mary Tokarski plays in the workshop orchestra, while being filmed by a local Nashville TV station. Accordionists pictured in the ensemble include Amy JO Sawyer, Mary Tokarski, Ron Barrow and Jeff Lisenby.
Festival participants taking part in the workshop by Donna Dee Ray.

The workshop introduced the cultural and historical influences and elements of the following dances, which were performed by 'The Directors and Friends Ensemble' directed by Joan C. Sommers:

  • Gigue - André-Ernest-Modeste Grétry (1741 - 1813)
  • Minuet - Luigi Boccherini (1743 - 1805)
  • Country Dance No. 1 - L. Beethoven (1770 - 1827)
  • Beautiful Dreamer Waltz - S. Foster (1826 - 1864)
    (All of the above repertoire - arranged by Anthony Galla-Rini)
  • Cirkus Polka - Andrew Walter (1914 - 1978)

ATG President Joan C. Sommers (Kansas) with International guest artist Alexander Shirunov (Russia).
ATG Executive Secretary Joanna Arnold-Darrow and ATG Historian Stanley Darrow (New Jersey).
Six time Grammy Award Winning accordionist Joey Miskulin (Nashville) pictured with lifelong friend, ATG Board Member Faithe Deffner (New York).
Dorris Lisenby (Kansas City) and son, ATG Board Member and guest artist Jeff Lisenby (Nashville).
ATG Board Members Kevin Friedrich (New York), Liz Finch (California) and Barbara Scott (Texas).
ATG member Charles Weyhaupt (Illinois) made an impromptu appearance with the "Music City Playboys" band who perform weekly at the Preston Hotel.

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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