World Accordion Orchestra

waoFollowing the very successful inaugural Confédération Internationale des Accordéonistes World Accordion Orchestra debut performance at the Coupe Mondiale 2007 under the Musical Direction of Joan C. Sommers, the CIA has continued this tradition of uniting accordionists with the magic of music, as performers from around the globe join together to form a unique and magnificent International 'World Accordion Orchestra.'
 
Joan C. Sommers, founder of the CIA World Accordion Orchestra was awarded the title of Professor Emerita upon her retirement from the University of Missouri – Kansas City Conservatory of Music (USA), where she established and taught the accordion degree program for forty years. She has arranged innumerable works for the accordion orchestra over many years, often for the UMKC Accordion Orchestra, a large symphonic accordion orchestra, which, under her direction, competed in and won more First Prizes in Virtuoso Accordion Orchestra Competitions than any other similar American group. This is a record still unbroken today.
 
In both 1955 and 1956 she earned the right to represent the USA in the Coupe Mondiale and, although she didn’t win, it was those experiences which opened her eyes to the tremendous opportunities available to accordionists; perhaps it also fixed her life-long interest in worldwide accordion activities. Most recently, she celebrated the 50th Anniversary of her UMKC Accordion Orchestra when they presented their 50th Gala Concert at the University.
 
As the arranger, Joan has had many years of experience as a teacher, a conductor, and an arranger for accordion orchestras at all levels. Many of these arrangements were used by her own orchestras in competitions held throughout the USA and on the many tours made by her groups overseas as well.
 
joan sommersJoan C. Sommers has held positions in several music organizations, including the Accordionists & Teachers Guild International (ATG) and the Confédération Internationale des Accordéonistes (CIA – IMC-UNESCO). Today, Professor Sommers enjoys performing with fellow accordionists in duo, with other instrumentalists and with the UMKC Chamber Accordion Ensemble.
 
In addition to her performing, she continues to adjudicate, coach soloists, prepare accordion orchestra arrangements, and conduct accordion orchestras regularly. After her retirement as CIA Vice President, she was unanimously awarded the status of CIA Honorary Member.

World Accordion Orchestra I

Alexandria, VA (Washington, DC) - USA

Saturday, 18 August 2007
Conductor: Joan Cochran Sommers

Hands Across the Sea March by John Philip Sousa

Lest We Forget by Leonard Stack (World Premiere)

Let There Be Peace on Earth by Sy Miller and Jill Jackson
arranged by Joan Cochran Sommers

World Accordion Orchestra II

Glasgow, Scotland

Saturday, 25 October 2008
Conductors: Joan Cochran Sommers, Graham Laurie, Elaine Beecham, Ronnie Brown & Brian Laurie

A Scottish March Selection - Traditional, arranged by Graham Laurie
conducted by Graham Laurie

Film Noir: City at Night by Leonard (Lenny) Stack (World Premiere)
conducted by Joan C. Sommers (USA)

Springtime Symphony by Graham Romani
Dedicated to the B.C.A. Orchestra in memory of Matyas Seiber (1905-60)
I Movement: conducted by Elaine Beecham
II Movement: conducted by Ronnie Brown
III Movement: conducted by Brian Laurie
IV Movement: conducted by Elaine Beecham

World Accordion Orchestra III

North Shore City (Auckland), New Zealand

Saturday, 29 August 2009
Conductors: Joan Cochran Sommers & Gary Daverne

Pocket Overture by Gary Daverne
conducted by Gary Daverne

Auckland March by Gary Daverne (World Premiere Performance)
commissioned by the NZAA to commemorate the 2009 Coupe Mondiale World Championships & Festival
conducted by Gary Daverne

Suite from "Video Games Live"
arranged and conducted by Joan C. Sommers

Radetzky March, Op. 228 by Johann Strauss, Sr. arr. by Willi Münch
conducted by Joan Cochran Sommers

World Accordion Orchestra IV

Varaždin, Croatia

Saturday, 23 October 2010
Conductors: Joan Cochran Sommers & Slavko Magdić

Iconosphere by John Franceschina (World Premiere Performance)
1. Prologue, 2. Parados, 3. Parabasis, 4. Agon, 5. Syzygy, 6. Cordax
conducted by Joan Cochran Sommers

Werziade I by Fritz Dobler
conducted by Joan Cochran Sommers

Wither, Wither Violet by Josip Matanoviæ and Saša Bastalec
arrangement based on a Croatian Folk Song
conducted by Slavko Magdić

World Accordion Orchestra V

Shanghai, China

Thursday, 6 October 2011
Conductors: Joan Cochran Sommers & Chen Weiliang

Spring Festival Overture by Li Huanzhi
arranged by Li Rui and Chen Weiliang
conducted by Chen Weiliang

Jasmine - Trad. Chinese Folk Song
arranged by Li Rui and Chen Weiliang
with Children's Choir: China Welfare Institute Children's Palace & Little Companion Art Troupe Chorus
conducted by Chen Wiliang

Gershwin! (a medley) - George Gershwin
arranged and conducted by Joan Cochran Sommers

World Accordion Orchestra VI

Spoleto, Italy

Friday, 24 August 2012
Conductors: Joan Cochran Sommers & Torsten Petzold

March by Anthony Galla-Rini
conducted by Torsten Petzold

Selections from E.T. (The Extra-Terrestrial) by John Williams
arranged and conducted by Joan Cochran Sommers

Paragon
arranged and conducted by Joan Cochran Sommers

World Accordion Orchestra VII

Victoria BC, Canada

Tuesday, 20 August 2013
Conductors: Joan Cochran Sommers & Maureen Jarosh

Danse Villageoise by Claude Champagne
conducted by Maureen Jarosh

Selections from Les Miserables by Schönberg & Kretzmer
featuring Lionel Reekie, Tenor (New Zealand)
arranged and conducted by Joan Cochran Sommers

World Accordion Orchestra VIII

Salzburg, Austria

Saturday, 1 November 2014
Conductors: Joan Cochran Sommers, Jacob Noordzij and Werner Weibert

The Sound of Music by Richard Rodgers
arranged by Werner Weibert conducted by Jacob Noordzij

A Tribute to Bernstein by Leonard Bernstein
arranged and conducted by Werner Weibert

Let There Be Peace on Earth by Sy Miller and Jill Jackson
with Choir prepared and directed by Sylvia Zobek and Helmut Zeilner
arranged and conducted by Joan Cochran Sommers

World Accordion Orchestra IX

Osimo, Italy

Sunday, 10 September 2017
Conductor: Joan Cochran Sommers

Omaggio a Pietro Overture by Pietro Frosini, arr. Anthony Galla-Rini
arranged by Anthony Galla-Rini, conducted by Joan Cochran Sommers

Medley from La La Land byy Justin Hurwitz
Another Day of Sun, Audition (The Fools Who Dream), A Lovely Night, City of Stars,
Mia & Sebastian’s Theme, and Someone In The Crowd
arranged by Elizabeth Finch, conducted by Joan Cochran Sommers

Medley from Beauty and The Beast by Alan Menken
Belle, Beauty and The Beast and Be Our Guest
arranged and conducted by Joan Cochran Sommers