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16 July 2004 This weeks news | Past News  | Send news

This Weeks News

  • Versatility of Accordionists - USA
  • 8th World Music Festival, Innsbruck - Austria
  • Malcolm Gee's - St Audries Bay Summer Accordion Week - UK
  • Bobby Raye at Delaware Accordion Club Event - USA
  • 3rd National Accordion Festival - Argentina
  • Accordion Players: The U.S. Military Wants You - USA
  • 57th Coupe Mondiale - France
  • Rainforest World Music Festival - Malaysia
  • UMKC Accordion Orchestra in Concert - USA
  • Accordions via Radio Fremantle on the Internet - Australia
  • Guy Klucevsek in Concert in New York - USA
  • Accordionists Join Orange Marchers on Annual Odyssey - Ireland
  • First Annual Accordian Jam at the German Alps Festival - USA
  • Cranleigh Arts Centre Accordion Legend's Evening - UK
  • German Alps Festival - USA
  • Showstoppers Orchestra and Dancers in Concert - USA
  • Quote of the Week
  • CD Review
  • New and Updated Sites
  • Fisitalia

    Versatility of Accordionists - USA

    Successful accordionists often excel in more than one interest and for Peter Shearer of Accordion-O-Rama Inc, his other interest is sailing his Hobie catamaran - pictured. Having the Accordion-O-Rama super-store so close to the water now that the office is in South Amboy NJ, makes it easier for Peter to enjoy his Hobie hobby.

    Peter writes: "Sailing and the accordion have a lot in common. I get a big rush when the wind is up and I am zooming. This is the same rush you get playing for a big audience or making an elegant repair or even selling something special. Skill is a big factor in these pursuits. Most people can't just grab an accordion or a pure sailboat (no motor) and expect to do well.

    The satisfaction comes from both thorough "practicing" and learning the skill. This can be a new song, a new bit of technology, teaching something or just making things work better. Both pursuits keep you learning."



    8th World Music Festival, Innsbruck - Austria

    There was a strong attendance of orchestras, ensembles, duos and soloists from 13 countries at this years World Music Festival in Innsbruck, Austria recently. Competitions were in 12 categories with top performances given on the accordion, the mouth organ and the “Steirische Harmonica”.

    An official reception marked the start of the 8th World Music Festival 2004 which was attended by the highest culture official from the Tyrol area, Mrs. Zanon-zur Nedden PhD; the Mayoress of Innsbruck, Hilde Zach; the cultural speaker of Tyrol Mr. Meixner MA and Georg Lamp, director of Congress Innsbruck.

    Pictured left to right are Lothar Wölfle the Mayor of the Music Town; Elisabeth Zanon the official in charge of culture of Tirol; Ernst Pfister, the member of parliament "Landtag" of Baden-Württemberg and president of the German Accordion Assoziation; Hilde Zach Burgomaster (Mayor) of Innsbruck and Arnold Kutzli Manager and Vice-President of the German Accordion Association.

    Performances at the gala concert included the accordion orchestra Untergrombach conducted by Wolfgang Pfeffer and the Accordion County Youth Orchestra Baden-Wuerttemberg conducted by Udo Penz and Fritz Dobler. The presentation of their Afro World Musik Project “Nomade” was simply sensational.

    Download results of the World Music Festival in Excel format


    Malcolm Gee's - St Audries Bay Summer Accordion Week - UK

    The annual St Audries Bay Summer Accordion Week, in memory of the late British accordionist Malcolm Gee will be held from 17th to 24th July. This accordion festival is popular as members of the audience participate in the entertainment the organizers say.

    The founder after whom the festival is named, began the tradition of the "accordionistic public entertaining themselves" and ever since, this has proven to be extremely popular with ticket sales selling out in advance. The family run St Audries Bay Holiday Club which is the venue for the festival is operated by Mary, Paul & Mark Randle who have worked hard at making the environment a "fantastic place for accordionists to visit." This will also be the venue for The Folk/Accordion Week to be held from the 4th to 11th of September.

    For further information, email


    Bobby Raye at Delaware Accordion Club Event - USA

    Bobby Raye will be at the Delaware Accordion Club open meeting at Adria Café, 230 East Main Street, Newark, Delaware on 18th July from 2pm to 5pm. The event is free and open to all players, listeners and lovers of accordion music of all ages and abilities.

    For further information, email


    3rd National Accordion Festival - Argentina

    The National Festival of Accordion, organized by the Marchigiana Association of San Jorge will be held in San Jorge from 22nd to 24th July.

    Venues for the various performances will be held within the local municipality of San Jorge in collaboration with the San Jorge Lions Club and the Italian Society. The winner of the top competition class wins a seven day trip to Italy to participate in the 28th City of Castelfidardo International Accordion Competition in October.


    Accordion Players: The U.S. Military Wants You - USA

    A United States Air Force representative is attending the American Accordionists' Association Festival which ends in Boston this weekend. The significance of this is that Chief Master Sgt. Jane Bockenek of the United States Air Force Strolling Strings is looking for one good accordion player to replace the last accordionist who retired from the Air Force two years ago. Army Sgt. Maj. Manuel Bobenrieth is currently the military's only official accordion player.

    Chief Master Sgt. Bockenek, who is also the lead violinist for the Strings, says there is a catch, "six weeks in boot camp." The Air Force has been looking to replace its accordion player but the search has been fruitless so far."It is very hard to find the right person for this job, but it's a great job for the right person," said Chief Master Sgt. Jane Bockenek, also the Strolling Strings' music director. So, since the accordion players aren't coming to the Air Force, the Air Force is going to the accordion players.

    Bockenek interviewed a half-dozen people when the AAA festival opened last Sunday and was scheduled through to Monday. She is looking for more than an accomplished musician. "They have to be under age 35, they have to fit our weight and fitness requirements, and they have to be able to get a security clearance," she said. "We are looking for someone who's not just qualified to do the job, but who fits the parameters of the United States Air Force." They also will have to endure six weeks of rigorous basic training, "they'll have to go through boot camp like every other recruit, but they will also be entitled to all the benefits of being in the military." she said.

    Those who join the band are unlikely to see combat, she said, but they may be assigned administrative work such as maintaining the band's motor pool or coordinating its performances. The 22-member ensemble plays state functions at the White House and entertains troops. "What is so terrific about being in this band is that we are doing something so important from a diplomatic standpoint," Bockenek said. "And keeping up morale for the troops is an important part of our job. Not many musicians can say what they do has the impact that we have."

    A case in point is Sgt. Maj. Manuel Bobenrieth, the accordion player in the U.S. Army's band and the military's only official accordion player for now. "I consider myself lucky that I am the only accordion player out of more than 490,000 active-duty soldiers," said Bobenrieth, who has been the Army's accordionist for 18 years.

    Story from The Associated Press

    Ángel Luis Castaño

    57th Coupe Mondiale - France
    Contributed by Kevin Friedrich

    The 57th Coupe Mondiale will be held on 19th to 24th October in Pontarlier, France hosted by the CNFA led by President Lydie Kotala and main organizer Frederic Deschamps. For the first time this year, contestants may enter the competition online at the Coupe Mondiale website where they can also pay entry fees by credit card, offering a complete and simplified entry process. Everyone is reminded that the entry closing date is 1st August 2004.

    The website is also updated with a lot of information about the upcoming competitions, the town of Pontarlier, a preliminary schedule and information about accommodation and how to book.

    The 2004 Coupe Mondiale will offer six categories including:
    Coupe Mondiale
    Junior Coupe Mondiale
    International Competition for Piano Accordion
    Virtuoso Entertainment Competition
    Junior Virtuoso Entertainment Competition
    International Competition for Chamber Music

    The Coupe Mondiale, which is organized by the Confederation Internationale des Accordeonistes (CIA) is the first international competition to offer a complete on-line entry process from offering the Test Piece on-line to entering the competitions. This improved technology has proven popular, with the Test Piece having been emailed to, and on-line entries having been received from contestants in many countries around the world.

    For complete information about the CIA please visit and for information about the Coupe Mondiale, please visit

    Rainforest World Music Festival - Malaysia

    If the show of hands requested by emcee Kevin Nila was anything to go by, then the average crowd of 10,000 each night at this year's Rainforest World Music Festival is expected to be the same, if not larger next year. The RWMF 2004 was held on 9th to 11th July at the Sarawak Cultural Village, Kuching Malaysia.

    Kevin, who had earlier asked the multi-racial and multi-national crowd if they would all return next year, was immediately met with rapturous voice of approval and show of hands. The finale of the Rainforest World Music Festival (RWMF) 2004 saw an eclectic mix of music and dance as it emulates the formula of popular music festivals such as the Dynamo Festival in Holland and the Woodstock.

    The three-day, three-night event ended in a spectacular finale Sunday night, as men and women of all ages, ethnicity as well as nationality, swayed along to the beats and rhythms played by the performers from almost every corner of the globe and almost every genre including accordionists.

    While most attention is on main stage shows, there were some very informative and fun-filled accordion workshops that met with a lot of enthusiasm from the appreciative crowd. Ranging from 45 minutes to hour-long sessions, participants of the accordion workshops learnt the basics of how different genres of music could be played. Classes included the "The Magic of Bamboo" and "Black and White and Sometimes Brown" for different types

    Story by Sarawak Press, Malaysia


    UMKC Accordion Orchestra in Concert - USA
    Contributed by Kevin Friedrich

    The University of Missouri - Kansas City Community Accordion Orchestra under the direction of Joan C. Sommers will present a concert on 18th July at 2pm.

    The concert to be held in White Recital Hall in the Center for the Performing Arts on the UMKC Campus, 4949 Cherry, Kansas City, will feature the program that they will present in Milwaukee at the Accordionists and Teachers Guild, International (ATG) Festival later this month. At the ATG Festival, the UMKC will perform at the Friday night concert as well as at an outdoor performance at the Peck Pavilion in downtown Milwaukee.

    Accordions via Radio Fremantle on the Internet - Australia

    Accordion lovers in Western Australian are not the only ones that will get to enjoy107.9fm Radio Fremantle, now that it is on the internet. Accordion lovers everywhere can now listen to this radio station and even hear a special accordion show which is aired live via the internet every Tuesday.

    The program VOCE AMICA (Friendly Voice) presented by Robert Gesmundo includes 30 minutes of the World of the Accordion each Tuesday from 7.00pm to 9.00pm Perth (Australia) time. The "World of the Accordion" show goes to air at approximately 8pm and usually includes selected tracks from accordion CD's from all over the world. Radio Fremantle can be accessed on



    Guy Klucevsek in Concert in New York - USA

    Accordionist Guy Klucevsek will present a solo concert on 18th July at 2pm at the Jacques Marchais Museum of Tibetan Art located at 388 Lighthouse Ave., Staten Island, NY.

    The one hour program will feature performances titled, "The Well-Tampered Accordion", "Return of the Microids", "Four Portraits" and "Accordion Misdemeanors."



    Accordionists Join Orange Marchers on Annual Odyssey - Ireland

    As holidaymakers queued at airport check-ins across the country yesterday in anticipation of their annual dose of sun, sea and sand, the McArthur family was also setting off on its annual trip. Several hours and one ferry crossing later the McArthurs disembarked at Belfast along with fellow members of the Queen Elizabeth Accordion Band to begin preparations to take part in Northern Ireland's Orange parades, which start today. Harry McArthur, 57, and his wife Agnes cross the Irish Sea from Glasgow every year, and they do not travel light. Three generations of their family, including sons George, William and Harry and grandsons William, Jordan and Greg, take part in the trip.

    The parades are "an absolutely unbelievable experience", Harry said. "Vast, vast crowds. You really need to be in the parade to appreciate it." This year's parade is a long one for the McArthurs. At 8.30am the Queen Mother's Accordion Band should leave Sandy Row and march to the Shankill Road then on to Denmark Street, where they meet the main parade. The procession of Orangemen, women and children carrying flags, playing drums and flutes then snakes its way on an eight-mile trip around Belfast. Mr McArthur's grandparents were from Ulster and he has marched with the Queen Elizabeth Accordion Band since the age of three. He added: "I'm there for a celebration."

    Story by Kay Jardine of the Newsquest Herald & Times Limited

    First Annual Accordian Jam at the German Alps Festival - USA

    The First Annual Accordion Jam will be held on 8th August at 3pm in the main tent of the German Alps Festival in Hunter, NY.

    The German Alps Festival is inviting anyone that plays accordion or button box to participate at the event and has offered free admission to jam session participants as well as awarded them with a one day ski pass to the Hunter Mt Ski Area for participating, according to Eric Baal, the festival's musical coordinator. Eric will be putting together a play list of popular tunes for the Jam Session that will be sent in advance to participants after they register.

    For further information, email

    Cranleigh Arts Centre Accordion Legend's Evening - UK

    Cranleigh Arts Centre will hold an "Accordion Legend's Evening" on 1st October at the centre in Cranleigh, Surrey, England. The evening will feature performances by Jack Emblow & Tony Compton, Harry Hussey and the Crawley Accordion Orchestra (director Bill Booth). Jack Emblow has featured in many BBC productions & broadcasts over the past 50 years including "Last of the Summer Wine" "Allo' Allo' " & "Sing Something Simple". The concert starts at 7.45 pm.

    For further information, email


    German Alps Festival - USA

    The German Alps Festival will be held on 7th and 8th August at the Mt Hunter Ski Resort, New York. The Festival has been wowing Germans and non-Germans, young and old alike for over 25 years. This festival tries to give a taste of the famous Munich Oktoberfest, complete with big tent, and features entertainers direct from Germany as well as some of the best German-American bands.

    Some of the bands featuring accordion music at the festival include fourteen-time Grammy Winner Jimmy Sturr and His Orchestra who were once voted "The #1 Polka Band in the country." There will also be performances by Munchner Zwietracht which was a popular band at the past seven years at the Oktoberfest in Munich, Germany. Then there is Mike Kilmer and The Dominos International Orchestra which have been one of the main attractions of the festival for many years. Their authentic style of German music and personalities bring excitement to the festival stage. Mike Kilmer, leader of the Dominos and the Master of Ceremonies for the German Alps Festival brings his unique style of entertainment and knowledge of the music field to the delight of all in attendance.

    Showstoppers Orchestra and Dancers in Concert - USA

    The popular Showstoppers Accordion Orchestra & Dancers from the Rosita Lee Music and Dance Center in New Hampshire will present two concerts in Frankenmuth, Michigan this month.

    The concerts will be on 22nd July at the Bavarian Inn from 7pm to 9pm and on 23rd July at the River Place from 7pm to 9pm.



    Quote of the Week

    Teaching Quote of the Week Edited by Willoughby Walshe

    "Concentrate on producing convincing intonation, logical phrasing, and genuine expression rather than correcting falsely played notes."

    Find out More…The Art of Bayan Playing or Playing the Accordion Artistically by Friedrich Lips.


    CD Review

    A review of a video titled, "Accordion Evolution" at the International Accordion Convention in Las Vegas".
    Reviewed by Professor Joan C. Sommers.


    New & Updated Sites - a new celebrity interview of Coupe Mondiale winner, Russian accordionist Pavel Mangasarian. - updated information on the Chinese language section of accordion manufacturer Fisitalia. A new Celebrity Interview of Vladimir Zubitsky


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