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14-Jul-2017

Remembering Maddalena Belfiore-Greco by Cornelius White - USA

Maddalena Belfiore-GrecoCornelius White published a very nice memory of the famous Maddalena Belfiore ( - 2007), accordion performer, teacher and AAA President. Cornelius White also referred to a very excellent interview by Kevin Friedrich at: Maddalena Belfiore

Cornelius White, July 13.

Remembering Maddalena Belfiore-Greco.

A recent program on television brought back a very poignant memory for me, where at the age of twelve, I was coaxed by my accordion teacher, (Elsie M. Bennett of New York), to enter my first American Accordionists' Association (AAA) competition.

It was the first time being challenged to play a piece from memory in front of a judge and
Maddalena was that judge. Her reputation preceded her as a "barracuda who could shred you to pieces with a glare!" :)

Needless to say, I was scared to death, but I continued on presenting a little ditty entitled "Mammy Roll".

As I sat down to play, I started out fine when all of a sudden, my mind went blank!
I started again...same thing happened.
I told myself, "you know this piece, you can do this", but after the third time, I still couldn't jump that hurdle.
I was devastated, for I thought I had surely lost, when all of a sudden, Maddalena got up, grabbed a music stand, and placed the music in front of me.

It was only then that I played the piece, noticing the area I had forgotten, and playing the rest from memory.

I learned something that day. Maddalena championed me. She wanted me to win, and her heart superseded those rumors.

I came in second in my division, and took home what looked like to me my "little accordion man Oscar."

This was over 43 years ago, but I never forgot what that moment did for me.
3 years later, I came in 1st in an Open division which I never dreamed possible!

So, because of that triggered thought, I'd like to say....
Thank you Maddalena.
God Bless you, and rest in paradise.
Celebrity Interview at:
Obituary at: Maddalena Belfiore
http://www.accordions.com/memorials/mem/belfiore-greco_maddalena/index.shtml
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