The Magic continued in Orlando during the 71st Annual ATG Competition and Festival. We invite you to enjoy these pictures and reviews from the festival.
ATG 2011 Festival News
The 71st Annual Competition and Festival of the Accordionists and Teachers Guild, International was held at the Renaissance Orlando Airport Hotel from the July 27-31, 2011.
Adding to the excitement of this years festival, was the welcome addition of the Roland US Festival, where Roland held a series of performances, competitions and workshops celebrating its commitment to expanding digital technology as it pertains to the accordion.
Special guests traveled from far and wide including renowned Russian accordionist Oleg Sharov, Zhu Jingbai and memrbers of the Tanjing Angels Arts School from China, the popular and entertaining Brian Laurie Show Band from Scotland, Italian accordion artist Sergio Scappini and fellow Italian diatonic accordionist Danilo Di Paolonicola.
American guests included the young Roland Virtuoso Chris Gorton, father and son duo Alex and Peter Chudolij, Grammy Nominee Alex Meixner, Roland artist and entertainer Steve Albini, Rock and Roll accordionist Bruce Gassman, Gordon Kohl (California) and the ATG's very own popular champion accordionist Jeff Lisenby.

2011 Guest Artists
Top: Oleg Sharov (Russia), Steve Albini (USA), Sergio Scappini (Italy), Gordon Kohl (USA)
Middle: Bruce Gassman (USA), Chris Gorton (USA), Alex Meixner (USA), Alex & Peter Chudolij (USA)
Bottom: Danilo DI Paolonicola (Italy), Jeff Lisenby (USA) and Brian Laurie Show Band (Scotland)

In addition to the outstanding concert performances presented by this stellar and diverse array of guest artists, the ATG featured many interesting workshops including: An Introduction to Roland V-Accordion" and "Roland V-Accordion, Part 2" - specific to V-Accordion owners by Steve Albini, "Teaching the Accordion" with a panel of leading educators moderated by Joan Sommers, "Insights to Performances Around the World" by Sergio Scappini, "Diatonic Accordion - An introduction to technique" by Danilo Di Paolonicola, "Performance Anxiety from Inside Out", "Mind Power: The Art of Concentration" and "Top Ten Heartfelt Truths for Adult Amateur Musicians" by Helen Spielman, "How to Practice" by Oleg Sharov, a hands on session called "Rock & Roll stylings" by Bruce Gassman, a hands on session called "Let's Improvise" by Jeff Lisenby and "Understanding and Being Prepared for the Jobs in Your Community" by Gordon Kohl.
A popular feature of the annual festival is the ATG Festival Orchestra. This year was no exception, and proved to be a popular success. The orchestra, conducted by Joan C. Sommers, Brian Laurie Esther Lanting and Bruce Gassman performed at the Saturday evening Gala Concert.
Above and Below: Tanjing Angels Arts School Members (Zhu Jingbai - Director)
performing as Winners of their Categories for Ensemble Music
Above left: Guest artist from Russia - Oleg Sharov with ATG member Donna Dee Ray
Above right: for ATG Presidents Amy Jo Sawyer (left) and Joan C. Sommers (right)
with Vera Trick (former ATG Treasurer)
Brian Laurie Show Band from Scotland
Above left: Melanie Mays joining the Jeff Lisenby Band
Above right: Oleg Sharov (Russia)

Above left: Steve Albini with Alex Meixner
Above right: Nick Balarini and Alex Meixner
Above left: Bruce Gassman
Above right: Danilo DI Paolonicola
Above left: Jeff Lisenby, Joan C. Sommers and Oleg Sharov (Russia)
Above right: Kevin Friedrich being serenaded by
Zhu Jingbai (China)
Bruce Gassman rehearsing the ATG Festival Orchestra
performing Rock ‘n Roll Trilogy, arr. by Bruce Gassman
Esther Lanting conducting the ATG Festival Orchestra
performing Paragon March by Anthony Galla-Rini
Brian Laurie conducting the ATG Festival Orchestra
performing Flash Dance by Giorgio Moroder, arr. by Jeff Lisenby
Joan C. Sommers conducting the ATG Festival Orchestra
performing Recuerdos (Memories) by Amy Jo Sawyer
Roland USA V-Accordion Competition

Held in Orlando, Florida in conjunction with the 71st Accordionists & Teachers Guild, International (ATG) Festival Competition and Festival, the Roland USA V-Accordion Festival featured 10 of the USA’s top young Roland accordionists.

After two extremely close competitions just one mark separated the top three place getters in the USA National Roland V-Accordion Festival Final, with Danielle Renzi from New England narrowly taking the top title from Gregory Fainshtein, who was awarded a special recognition of his performance with an Honored Performance Prize for his second place.

Photo right: Roland winners, Daniel Pavlotsky (Junior) and Danielle Renzi (Senior).

Danielle’s prize included a new V-Accordion and trip to Rome to compete in the International V-Accordion Festival. The Junior division was also closely contested, with the winner being Daniel Pavlotsky, with second place getter Olivia Luey being awarded an Honored Performance Prize.

Top Row: Senior Division contestants: Anthony Federici, Svetlana Ivanchenko,
Tatiana Semichastnova, Danielle Renzi and Gregory Fainshtein
Bottom Row: Junior Division contestants: Kassandra Patterson, Olivia Luey,
Rachael Renzi, Brian Aucoin and Daniel Pavlotsky
Jury: Kevin Friedrich, Jeff Lisenby, Danilo DI Paolonicola and Sergio Scappini.

The event was supported by a star studded cast of Roland Executives including Chris Bristol, President & CEO of Roland Corporation USA, Chris Halon, Roland US Director of Product Management, Yoshi Shibata, Liasison Manager for Roland US and the Japan Headquarters, Virginia Harmon USA Roland Festival Coordinator, Steve Albini Roland US V-Accordion Product Manager, Marco Cinaglia, V-Accordion Product Manager of Roland Europe and numerous others including guest artists Sergio Scappini - Roland V-Accordionist (Italy), Danilo DI Paolonicola - Roland Diatonic Accordionist (Italy), 2010 Roland US V-Accordion Festival winner Christopher Gorton (USA), Alex and Peter Chudolij (USA), 2007 Grammy nominee Alex Meixner (Roland V-Accordion and Diatonic Accordion).
Held at the Renaissance Orlando Hotel the competition was held in two categories Senior (age 18 and older) and Junior (age 17 and younger). Danielle won a trip to the International V-Accordion Festival to be held in Rome, Italy later in the year, the contestants who participated in the finals were as follows:
Youth Division contestants were Brian Aucoin, Olivia Luey, Kassandra Patterson, Daniel Pavlotsky and Rachael Renzi, and in the Senior Division contestants were Gregory Fainshtein, Anthony Federici, Svetlana Ivanchenko, Danielle Renzi and Tatiana Semichastnova.
Adjudicators for this competition were International Roland guest artist Sergio Scappini (Italy), Danilo DI Paolonicola (International Diatonic Artist), renowned Nashville Musician and former US Champion Jeff Lisenby and CIA Ambassador and accordionist Kevin Friedrich.
The exciting competition was hosted by Chris Halon, Roland US Director of Product Management, who also interviewed each contestant at the conclusion of their performance allowing the audience to learn a little more about each of the young artists. Both winners were featured on the ATG Gala Concert which was hosted by Roland and featured an exceptional line-up of Roland Artists covering many musical genre.
For further information, please contact:

Photo below, left to right: Chris Halon, Roland US Director of Product Management, Chris Bristol, President & CEO of Roland Corporation USA, Kevin Friedrich (Jury), Jeff Lisenby (Jury), Tatiana Semichastnova, Daniel Pavlotsky (Winner of the Junior Division), Danielle Renzi, Anthony Federici, Brian Aucoin, Olivia Luey, Rachael Renzi, Gregory Fainshtein, Svetlana Ivanchenko, Danilo DI Paolonicola (Jury), Sergio Scappini (Jury) and Steve Albini, Roland US V-Accordion Product Manager.

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