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09 April 2004 This weeks news | Past News | Send news

Editors Note

It is interesting to see the steadily increasing number of accordion festivals and other music festivals where the accordion is strongly featured. The popularity of the accordion is constantly evolving and festivals is an area of growth with larger audiences and much greater participation, than only a few years ago.

Lets hope, that these growth activities mean a future increase in the number of children starting to learn the accordion. Starting numbers are most difficult to assess but according to industry experts, they have declined in recent years. Maybe a change is starting?

Harley Jones
Acccordions Worldwide Director

This Weeks News

Frankfurt Musikmesse 2004 - Germany

Pictures of all the fun at the Frankfurt Musikmesse last weekend..

ATAM Festival in New England - USA
Contributed by Kevin Friedrich
The Accordion Teachers' Association of Massachusetts (ATAM) celebrated their 42nd Annual New England Music Competition and Festival in Boston, Masachusetts where ATAM President David Lewis welcomed hundreds of contestants who took part in competitions for all ages and levels in solos, duos, ensembles and orchestras.

During the awards banquet, accordionist Sylvia Tobin was awarded the premiere solo title of ATAM New England Accordion Champion and the top Senior Ensemble was won by the Paolo School of Music. Silvia is a student of Roger Latulippe at the Rosita Lee Music Studio. Other winners in the New England Championship were as follows: 1st: Sylvia Tobin, 2nd: Derek Rollend, 3rd: Anthony Falco and 4th: Andrew Berard.

This year several hundred people attended the annual Banquet, where the music was provided by the popular 'K' Trio comprising Mary Tokarski, Julie Cardona and Walter Kasprzyk. In addition to The 'K' Trio, last years ATAM New England Accordion Champion Christopher Gorton was also featured. Christopher won the New England Championship a record three times. The top orchestra title was won by the Arruda Accordion Orchestra - August Arruda, Director (pictured).

Each year the ATAM Festival concludes with a showcase of performances by Festival Bands which this year included performances by: The Lowel Accordion Orchestra (directed by Donna Michael), The Springfield Accordion and Guitar Orchestra (directed by Michael Falcetti), The Showstoppers Accordion Orchestra and Dancers (directed by Rosita Lee Latulippe).

Co-chairpersons of the festival Peggy Falcetti and Roger Latluippe reported that entries were up on last year and already plans are underway for the 2005 Festival.

For further information, email:

Accordionist and accordion music online - Spain
Contributed by Patricia Garza Santos

Musica Presente, an organization which promotes Spanish music all around the world recently launched its website, showcasing key figures of Spanish contemporary music.

Spanish accordionist Angel Luis Castaño is a member of Musica Presente. Castaño's contribution to the development of accordion in Spain has been invaluable since his return from his studies in Denmark in 1993. He has commissioned and worked with most of Spain's prominent composers in writing works for accordion, bringing the reputation of the instrument to a much higher level. Angel Luis Castaño and the rest of Musica Presente are artists-in-residence in the Festivals of New York and Jakarta this year.

Musica Presente contains the most updated news and information on the who's who of Spanish contemporary music, their activities, providing a forum to discuss everything about music including information on concerts all over the world concerning Spanish music, with introduction in six languages. If you happen to live in the city where an event of Musica Presente is happening, you could also win a free ticket to attend it! Check them out at

For more information, email:


Cajun/Creole Week in the USA

The Cajun/Creole Week celebration will be held on the 11th to 16th July at Augusta Heritage Center of Davis and Elkins College, West Virginia. Laissez les bon temps rouler!

Cajun/Creole Week celebrates the French traditions of southwest Louisiana through music, dance, song, crafts, folklore and food. The event features senior artists and young inheritors of these traditions. Coordinator Lynne Terr has assembled a "who's who" of Cajun culture including the Savoy family, three members of the Miller family and Zydeco Force, a band with many ties to the late Delton Broussard.

Again, the event offers several levels of fiddle and accordion, including classes for complete beginners. Each day starts with a choice of jam sessions or visits to the Cajun Resource room where you can browse, visit with the "accordion doctor," and enjoy many other activities.

For further information, e-mail:


Cheapers play on! - Japan
Contributed by Toshihiro Aoyagi

They are Japanese but play music from around the world. They are the "Cheap Cheapers" or Cheapers for short.

Made up of 4 other musicians, the band was formed by Toshihiro Aoyagi, who comes from a vocal & multi string instrument background. While Toshihiro plays the diatonic Accordion, fellow band member Kumiko performs on the piano accordion and the rest of the members play the guitar and violin.

The Cheapers play in clubs around their home town of Yaging, playing original music influenced by Blues, Hawaiian, Tex-Mex, Cajun, Zydeco, French and Irish music.

Coppola records Strolling Strings 50th Anniversary CD - USA

Louis Coppola, the first accordionist to represent America in the Coup Mondiale in 1955, was recently called upon during March and April to record the 50th Anniversary CD with the United States Air Force Band's Strolling Strings. This is an unprecedented honor.

Lou Coppola was a member of the Air Force Strolling Strings for 28 years and was leader of the group before his retirement in 1985. Historically, the Strolling Strings has always featured the accordion as the centerpiece instrument of the group. When a vacancy recently occurred, the Air Force was unable to find a qualified performer and Lou was called in to fill the gap. He also performed on April 3 with the Strolling Strings for the prestigious annual Charity Ball, he in a tux and the others in uniform!

Lou Coppola has maintained his own highly successful enterprise, Stereo Strings, in the Washington, DC area for over 20 years, performing for the US Olympics in Barcelona, Seoul and Tokyo among thousands of other engagements.


Festival "Days of Macedonian Music 2004" - Macedonia

The annual festival "Days of Macedonian Music 2004", organized by the Composers Association of Macedonia - SOCOM, was held from March 25th to April 4th in Skopje. The festival program included a large number of premiere performances by Macedonian composers.

Two years ago, for "Days of Macedonian Music 2002", the composer Toma Manchev wrote a composition entitled "Exodus" which included the accordion playing in a symphonic orchestra, and dedicated this work to his ex-student Zorica Karakutovska. "Exodus" was the first composition performed on this prestigious festival that include instrument accordion.

This year on the "Days of Macedonian Music 2004" a few Macedonian composers presented their new works which included accordion. The composition "Odiseja Balkanika" for piano, bassoon, accordion, violin and 2 cellos by Darija Andovska, was performed on the Chamber concert of "Alea" Contemporary Music Ensemble held on March 31stin the "Museum of Skopje", and the works for accordion solo from Elizabeta Ilievska were performed on the Chamber concert of Young composers held on April 3rd in the "Museum of Skopje", played by the student of professor Zorica Karakutovska-Zoran Kirjakovski.

The compositions for accordion were very well received by the large audience and also received positive reviews from the music critics. The increased presence of accordion on the "Days of Macedonian Music 2004" is presentation of the big popularity and great reputation of this instrument in Macedonia lately.

Henry Doktorski in Alderson love CD - USA

Elizabethan love songs, French Renaissance music, Hammerstein tunes, Portuguese ballads from the turn of the last century, and classic songs by Edith Piaf, Ennio Mornicone and Buddy Holly - that was the result of a collaboration between popular American Accordionist, Henry Doktorski and contralto Daphne Alderson.

The CD, released recently is titled "Songs from the Heart" which was recorded at Heinz Chapel in December 2003 with Doktorski on accordion. "It's a real mix of opera and cabaret," Alderson said of the recording.

Doktorski said, "It is always a pleasure for me to perform and record with Daphne. Her voice is so dark and velvety and full of personality. And to top it off, she is one of the sweetest persons I have met!"


Island sounds aim to net tourists - Scotland

Crashing waves and accordion music are being used to entice bus passengers to travel to Scotland's islands. A sonic poster which plays classic Hebridean sound effects in bus shelters has been unveiled in Glasgow by the country's Tourism Minister Frank McAveety.

It is the first in Scotland to employ the system, which plays a three-minute tape of Hebridean sound effects as people wait in shelters. Accordion music is helping 4 billion-pound a year Scottish Tourism industry.

Mr McAveety added that it was important to use accordion music with Scotland's beaches, two of the country's major pulls. "It is vitally important and what they need to do is reach out for new markets and new audiences."

"It is designed to give people a taste of the sights and sounds of the Hebrides in a bid to excite and encourage them to come and see it for themselves."

Kimberley International Old Time Accordion Championships - Canada

Grab Your Dancing Shoes and Celebrate the 30th Annual Kimberley International Old Time Accordion Championships, 5th-11th July in Kimberley. The championship is offering over $12,000 in cash prizes during the 6 days of fun and festivities to be held at the Kimberley Civic Centre area.

One of the main highlights of the competition is the rule against the use of electronic or electrified accordion in the old-time category, except the Band category where participants in the lead must still play with the acoustic accordion.

Each contestant in all old-time categories will be required to prepare three old-time dance tunes for each category entered, including and old-time waltz, a polka, and a schottische.

For further information, email:

Las Vegas International Accordion Convention - USA

A world of entertainment event, is what the Las Vegas International Accordion Convention is set to be when it takes place from June 13 to 16, say organisers. Celebrating its Fifth Anniversary, the Las Vegas International will be held at the Plaza Hotel in downtown Las Vegas.

With the theme of "A World of Entertainment," focusing on the accordion's broad appeal, organisers have chosen to showcase and highlight artists and music from around the world, including several famous European accordionists. Although it has only recently been opened to participants for registration, organisers say some 250 people have already registered. "There are still a lot of good seats," organisers said. "Over 500 attendees are expected."

The Las Vegas International offers concerts, special events, master classes, workshops, and nightclub entertainment. Many exhibitors of accordion instruments, both conventional and electronic (digital), will be present at the four-nights-three-day event. Professional and amateur entertainers from around the world gather to perform, instruct and socialize at the convention. During the four days of the convention, over 40 workshops and master classes will be offered. Because most participants would be traveling from afar and usually by plane, organisers have re-structured the event without the necessity of having their own accordion present. Topics will range from posture and improvisation techniques, to accordion repair, and will encompass the various styles of Jazz, Classical and Ethnic music-including Polkas.

The convention also includes symposia and trade show exhibits of interest to polka fanciers, concert musicians, technicians, and non-playing enthusiasts alike. To celebrate its five-year milestone, the Convention is offering registration for the 2004 event at last year's low rate. Come join us for "A World of Entertainment". You'll be glad you did!

For further information, email


Stamp for Austrian Accordionist, Hubert von Goisern - Austria

So appreciated is the music of a successful accordionist, that a small town Austrian town has honoured one of its popular performer/citizens by releasing a stamp in his likeness.

The small town of Bad Goisern, home to popular accordionist, composer and pop-singer, Hubert Von Goisern, a name he took in honour of his hometown recently put out a stamp to reciprocate Goisern's loyalty.

During an award ceremony for famous son Hubert von Goisern the town worked with the Austrian Post Office to send out the stamp depicting the accordionist most popular CD. The personalised stamp features the cover of Von Goisern's "Iwasig" CD. Beginning with a run of 10,000 copies. The original run of 10,000 stamps sold out in just 5 days, but a second run is now on sale.


Quote of the Week

Did You Know? by Willoughby Walshe

Make a general register plan that considers the overall development of the piece.

Find out more….. "Walshe Essential Guide to Accordion and Harmonica Events"


CD Review

New CD "The Moon is Blue" by Kenny and Mary Kotwitz.


New Sites New site about performer Joe Martino Jean Marc Fabiano - French solo performer, conductor, conservatory professor
. a site about Spanish performer Angel Luis Castano a site about key figures in the Spanish music world

Updated Sites Silvio de Par advertising the Beautiful Music CD Una Sera con Silvio De Pra with information about Beltuna artists. new site with new products and information


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