Faithe Deffner Introduction
Welcome, Biography, Passion for Accordion Translated into Action
See below for: Lifetime Achievement Award Honoring Faithe Deffner

Cocktail Reception, Presentation, Award Dinner, Presentations and Concert
Accolades and Wishes and Additional Activities
Accolades, Wishes and Additional Activities in New York City
Above left: AAA Presidential Advisor Steve Stolaruk, Award Honoree and current AAA Executive Secretary Faithe Deffner and AAA President Linda Soley Reed greeting guests as they arrive at the prestigious Tavern on the Green in Central Park for the Cocktail hour.
Above right: The weather was perfect and warm for the Tavern on the Green Patio Cocktail Reception. Located in the heart of Central Park in New York City, this lovely outdoor setting was made even more enjoyable with the beautiful music of the Frank Busso Jr. Trio. Comprising Henry Tyszler (violin), AAA Governing Board member Frank Busso Jr. (accordion) and Bill Hone (double bass) they entertained during the Cocktail hour and dinner.
Above left: Barbara Stefanelli and Lorraine DeBellis.
 Above right: Linda Solely Reed greeting Robyn Leersnyder (Washington DC) and Tony Davies-Jones (New Zealand).
AAA First Vice-President Frank Busso Sr. and Carmela Busso, Faithe Deffner, Christina Busso wife of accordionist Frank Busso Jr.(background).
Lou Coppola, Peggy Falcetti, AAA Governing Board member Sam Falcetti, Micheline and Sid Kowalczyk.
Above left: Doug and Patricia Cowgill and Anne Bargou.
 Above right: Faithe Deffner and Harley Jones, owner of Accordions Worldwide (
Above left: Verne Deffner Levin, Ronald Uvezean and Faithe Deffner.
 Above right: Christina Busso Lammers, August and Judy Arruda.
Above left: Marshall Lammers and Roger Latulippe.
Above right: Rita Davidson, Suzanne Busso, Joan Grauman and Emily Geller.
Above left: Dominic Karcic and Don Gerundo.
Above right: Carmela Busso, Harley Jones and Rita Davidson, Editor of the USA Accordion News.
Above left: Master of Ceremonies for the event Kevin Friedrich and Carmela Busso.
Above right: Linda Soley Reed enjoying the fine music of the Strolling Strings accordionist, Frank Busso Jr.
Above left: Valerie Piali and Faithe Deffner.
Above right: Tom O'Neil (Connecticut), Walter Kasprzyk (of The K Trio) and Sam Falcetti.
Above left: Guest artist Alexander Poeluev (Russia).
Above right: Faithe Deffner conferring with Master of Ceremonies Kevin Friedrich just before the dinner starts.
Kevin Friedrich opened the official proceedings with a welcome to all the guests followed by a blessing of the food.

Dinner Blessing
by Amy Jo & Keith Sawyer

Our Father in Heaven. We acknowledge thee as the source of all our many blessings. We deem it a special blessing to honor our friend and mentor, Faithe Deffner, as she receives this well deserved Lifetime Achievement Award from the American Accordionists' Association. We beseech Thee to bless her with health and vitality to enjoy life, and to continue her life's dedication to our Accordion world. We love her and thank thee for her positive influence in our lives. Now, we ask a blessing upon the food that has been prepared for us, that it will benefit us and sustain us in health and strength as we rededicate ourselves to serving Thee and our fellow beings. We humbly pray for these favors and blessings in the name of the Holy Creator of Heaven and Earth, and all that in them is. Amen

The tables were beautifully presented and included a 40 page booklet for the Lifetime Achievement Award of Faithe Deffner,
including all information about the performers, well wishes from friends and the event information.
Above left: Master of Ceremonies welcoming guests and introducing the guest of honor, Faithe Deffner.
Above right: Honoree Faithe Deffner enjoying the introduction by Kevin Friedrich.
Above: Frank Busso Jr. Trio. Comprising Henry Tyszler (violin), AAA Governing Board member Frank Busso Jr. (accordion)
and Bill Hone (double bass) as they entertained during the Lifetime Achievement Award Dinner.
Above left: fellow New Zealand citizens living abroad including Kevin Friedrich (USA), Tony Davies-Jones (Cook Islands), Harley Jones (Fiji).
Above right: Dr. Helmi Harrington, curator of A World of Accordion Museum in Superior, Wisconsin, and Joan Grauman, AAA Historian and Board Member.
Frank Busso Jr. Trio began playing around the tables
during the Award Dinner
The magnificent Titano cake was a gift from the
Connecticut Accordion Association prepared by Judy Sehnal.
Above: Mary Tokarski, Dee Langley, Harley Jones, Rita Davidson and Joan Grauman.
Joanna Arnold Darrow and Dean Ratzin
Guy Klucevsek, Harley Jones and Frank Busso Sr.
To create innovative and imaginative ways of expanding and promoting the appeal of the accordion takes not only dedication and hard work, but genius. Faithe Deffner, in her craft, is truly a genius. A dynamic personality in the accordion world, Faithe Deffner has translated her passion for accordion into action as she devoted her life's work to elevating and advancing the instrument worldwide.

Throughout her career, Faithe Deffner has participated in almost every aspect of the accordion world including manufacturing and distribution, publishing music, Magazines and Newsletters, running a Music School, representing the interests of the USA Internationally as a delegate, media promotions, artist management, National and International festival organization and the leading of Associations and Organizations.

As a business leader supporting our industry, she proudly takes her firm into its 75th Anniversary this month. The firm includes Pancordion, the Titano Accordion Co., Pigini Accordions and Ernest Deffner Publications.

The real hallmark of Faithe's work has been her vision to bring together accordionists of all ages and from all corners of the world. Working on behalf of the American Accordionists' Association as the organization's president, Ms. Deffner introduced new concepts to bring public attention to the accordion.

Whether helping to fill the decks of a cruise ship with 700 accordionists playing Anchors Aweigh as they sailed past the Statue of Liberty, or staging the 2007 Coupe Mondiale in Alexandria, Virginia where it was attended by over 1,000 participants, or arranging for Myron Floren to conduct six busloads of accordionists performing at the Liberty Bell in Philadelphia, or collaborating with the Lawrence Welk Resort in a two-year "Search for the Hottest" accordionist, Faithe Deffner has created numerous significant opportunities to publicly showcase talented accordionists.

She has also served on numerous boards and committees in many accordion organizations. Not afraid to think outside the box, she has been a driving force and motivation for many groups including the Accordionists and Teachers Guild, International, the Accordion Industry Council, the Confederation Internationale des Accordeonistes, and the Accordion Federation of North America, and the AAA. For over 50 years she has been a staunch supporter of American Accordionists Association, as a member of its board and she has also been the longest serving President of the association.

Acknowledging the respect she commands from within our industry, Faithe Deffner has been the recipient of numerous honors, such as CIA Merit Award, the ATG Hall of Fame Award and recently the New Zealand Accordion Association Merit Award to name just a few.

Faithe, it is impossible to do true justice to this lifetime of work in this brief summary, but we hope that today, as you listen to the words and performances of your friends and peers, that you see how much we salute your lifetime of work and inspiration.

AAA President Linda Soley Reed - Presentation of Lifetime Award to Faithe Deffner.
Standing ovation after Kevin Friedrich's speech for Faithe Deffner.
Faithe Deffner acknowledging the long standing ovation.
AAA President Linda Soley Reed presenting the Lifetime Achievement Award to Faithe Deffner which initiated another lengthy standing ovation.
MARY TOKARSKI (member of the AAA Board of Directors) has performed worldwide as a soloist and as a guest artist with Symphony orchestras as far a field as the Moravian Philharmonic in the Czech Republic to the Auckland Symphony in New Zealand to the Mantovani Orchestra tours throughout China.
DR. WILLIAM SCHIMMEL (member of the AAA Board of Directors) graduated from the Juilliard School has performed with virtually every major symphony orchestra in the United States as well as with Chamber groups and a variety of Productions and Shows in New York. An avid composer he has been commissioned for many different projects in all genres. Dr. Schimmel performed a composition written in honor of Faithe Deffner.
BEVERLY ROBERTS CURNOW (member of the AAA Board of Directors) a United States Champion, won the CIA Coupe Mondiale World Accordion Championships in Malta. Remaining an active accordionist throughout her teaching career she has made many guest appearances for the AAA including giving the recent world premier of their most recent Commission, Samuel Adler's 'Canto XVIII' (18).
THE BUSSO TRIO unites brother and sister Frank Junior (member of the AAA Board of Directors) and Christina with their father Frank Snr. (member of the AAA Board of Directors) into a dynamic family ensemble. Each a champion in their own right, the Trio have performed at many events and festivals in the United States.

Concert Interval Presentations and Remarks were made by the following:

  • Dee Langley Greetings from ATG President
  • Dr. Helmi Harrington Speech
  • Roger & DeeDee Latulippe Presentation
  • Sam and Peggy Falcetti Presentation from the ATAM
  • Steve Stolaruk
  • Dr. Salvatore Febbraio (Chairperson of the Lifetime Achievement Award Committee)
Presentation from Roger and DeeDee Latulippe and Sam and Peggy Falcetti and the Accordion Teachers Association of Massachusetts (ATAM).
Above left: President of Accordionists and Teachers Guild, International (ATG), Dee Langley making a speech in honor of Faithe Deffner on behalf of the ATG, for which Faithe Deffner has been a Board of Director for many years.
Above right: Dr. Helmi Harrington presentation to Faithe Deffner for her support of 'A World of Accordion Museum' in Superior, Wisconsin.
Above left: Steve Stolaruk making a speech in honor of Faithe Deffner.
Above right: Dr. Salvatore Febbraio, Chairperson of the Lifetime Achievement Award Committee.

KAREN FREMAR is a renowned performer, composer and arranger, currently writes for the musical group, Vivant! A United States Champion, Karen won the CIA World Championships for Entertainment Music in Stockholm and most recently performed with Pavarotti during his World Farewell Tour. SARRAH CANTRELL (percussion) is currently majoring in percussion at the University of Missouri at Kansas City and plays professionally with the Midwest-based group, Vivant! An assistant Director of Larson Percussion Studios, she also coaches the drum line for High School Marching Band. Karen was commissioned by the AAA to compose a work in honor of Faithe Deffner. The title was "Herricks Road" which is the address of the accordion businesses of Faithe Deffner.

Performance Notes for Herricks Road

Herricks Road in Mineola, New York, was the location of Deffner Enterprises from the early 1970s. The Ballad of this work portrays a thoughtful Faithe Deffner at sunrise arriving at the office considering her latest project. The traffic on Herricks Road begins to pick up as the djembe enters and cars zoom by. The accordion business in the shop begins in earnest with the entrance of the main theme at measure 24.

The middle section is a nod to Faithe Deffner's wonderful organizational skills in planning and orchestrating the many competitions and conventions on behalf of the national and international accordion organizations. She is heard ringing a hotel desk bell as she visits with the management of various hotels to find the great deals for which she is known. The conclusion of this section with grand chordal progressions underscored by suspended cymbal, illustrates the success of the events she has planned. Various shop sounds emerge again as the work returns to the facility on Herricks Road. The triumphant conclusion represents the many successes of Faithe Deffner and Ernest Deffner, Inc. over its 75 years of operations.

The composition was conceived for accordion, African djembe and other small percussion instruments, although the work will stand alone as an accordion solo. If performed as a solo, the accordion grill may be rhythmically tapped to compensate for the absence of the djembe entrance, or measure 14 may be omitted. If the performer does not have a converting bass instrument, the Ballad may be omitted and the work should commence with the upbeat to the Allegro.

Karen Fremar
September 20, 2009

GUY KLUCEVSEK has created a unique repertoire for accordion through his own composing and by commissioning over 50 works. He has performed on several John Williams scores, as well in numerous Broadway Shows.
DEE LANGLEY has performed with the Minnesota Orchestra and St. Paul Chamber Orchestra and is a member of the performing groups Orkestar Bez Ime and Wild Hollow. Dee is currently the President of the Accordionists and Teachers Guild, International.
Before the final performance of the afternoon, in recognition for her lifetime of work, Faithe Deffner was awarded the title of
AAA President Emerita surrounded by the AAA Board of Directors.
To conclude the afternoon Concert in honor of Faithe Deffner, CIA World Champion Alexander Poeluev (Russia) performed. Alexander received a standing ovation for his performance of the Viatcheslav Semionov composition 'Divertimento' written in honor of Faithe Deffner.
Above: Alexander with honoree Faithe Deffner
Above: Leaving the event are guest artist Alexander Poeluev, with honoree Faithe Deffner and friends Ann Bargou and Harley Jones.
Above left: Florida Accordion Association President Karen Kasprzyk with husband Walter Kasprzyk
Above right: Kevin Friedrich and Linda Soley Reed saying good-bye to Alexander Poeluev by the limo.
Enjoying a fun "eat your heart out" moment photo to send to his friends back in Russia, Alexander Poeluev poses for
a final photo opportunity as he steps into his limo.

It was a great day - "Accordionists Definitely Have More Fun".
Faithe Deffner Introduction
Welcome, Biography, Passion for Accordion Translated into Action
See above for: Lifetime Achievement Award Honoring Faithe Deffner

Cocktail Reception, Presentation, Award Dinner, Presentations and Concert
Accolades and Wishes and Additional Activities
Accolades, Wishes and Additional Activities in New York City

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