Notes from the President
Our concert last Sunday was a huge success! At least 110 people attended,
enough to fill up the church social hall. The program offered a wonderful
variety of selections, styles and levels, so our members from the youngest
beginner to the oldest pro got a chance to perform, and the audience loved
Both Dan Grauman and Jim Vandelly recorded the concert, and eventually
they will make copies of their video and CD available to WMAS members.
We'll also be posting photos on the Web site. By the way, the concert
was mentioned ahead of time on www.accordionusa.com,
along with a photo from the Halloween parade and general info on WMAS.
Check it out!
A huge thank you to everyone who helped out with the concert! At the
risk of leaving someone out, we'd like to mention the following:
- Rev. Pam Egan and the congregation of Sleepy Hollow United Methodist
Church for allowing us to use their space;
- Joan Grauman for conducting -- and managing to whip us into shape;
- Dale Wise for MC'ing;
- Ron andLola Charvet, and their whole family, for providing the decorations
and huge pans of chicken and rice, and helping with setup and cleanup;
- Luis Uribe for managing the setup, potluck and cleanup, along with all
sorts of miscellaneous tasks;
- Brigitte and Ben Valenti for providing a whole ham and helping with
- Lee and Ron Poulsen for helping set up and clean up;
- Dan Grauman and Roy Allison for helping with cleanup;
- Elizabeth Nelson for hauling trash;
- Deann Wise, Lola Charvet and Terry Fox for helping in the kitchen;
- Mara's friends Malini Dominey for making the flyer and program and taking
photos, and Juliette Tahar for handling the "box office"; and
- Phil Fox for storing the decorations in his basement for next year.
And many thanks, also, to all the musicians who participated in the concert,
cooks who provided potluck dishes, and friends and family who came out
to hear us play!
Two days after the concert, December 14, was the second Tuesday of the
month, and a number of people showed up for our regular meeting which
featured Dale Wise's very educational workshop on "Bass Patterns
That Make a Difference." This was a hands-on deal: we tried out 50
different patterns, as Dale demonstrated the types of songs that go with
each one. Afterwards, some of us bought Dale's Pro Notes CD and sheet
music so we can work on the patterns at home. If you'd like a copy, see
If Sunday and Tuesday were not enough, a number of WMAS members also
performed or sat in the audience at Dale's AccordionPlus concert on Wednesday
night, December 15. This was another big success and a lot of fun. No
doubt some of us now are suffering from withdrawal -- we have nothing
big scheduled until after the holidays!
Joke Break (provided by Wendy Morrison)
So a B-flat, a D-flat, and an F walk into a bar. The bartender says to
them, "I'm sorry we don't serve minors here"...
The D-flat leaves and the B-flat and the F have an open fifth between
Our first meeting of 2005 will take place Tuesday, January 11; the program
will feature Steve Tchamouroff will performing European popular music.
We heard one piece from Steve at the holiday concert, and he's also played
for us on a couple of other occasions -- but only briefly, so we look
forward to hearing a bigger chunk of his repertoire.
Then, for the February meeting, we're planning a polka night. At this
point, we're thinking we'd like to have people sign up ahead of time for
a total of maybe 15 songs, and we're hoping we'll have dancers as well.
Maybe someone could teach the polka.
Rita Davidson Concert
On November 13, WMAS sponsored a truly enjoyable concert featuring virtuoso
accordionist Rita Weinbuch Davidson. Rita played a wonderful mix of classical
and folk music to a very appreciative audience consisting mainly of accordionists
from our area. Her warm personality came through everything she played,
and her accuracy -- even in the pieces she played with lightning speed
-- delighted the awestruck listeners. We hope to bring her back again
Rita is an elementary school music teacher in New Jersey. What a lucky
bunch of children to have such a kind person and superb musician as their
musical role model!!
January 15 Bayan Concert
The Washington Balalaika Society (WBS) will present a house concert featuring
the bayan player and vocalist from the Ossipov Orchestra of Moscow on
Saturday night, January 15, in Potomac, Md. The ticket price is $45 per
person, and WMAS members are welcome.
Dmitri Dmitrienko is considered one of the best bayanists in Russia;
Anna Litvenenko is the vocalist.
If you would like to attend, please contact Jim Vandelly ASAP at
firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com.
You can pay Jim at the January 11 WMAS meeting, or, if you are NOT going
to be at the January meeting, you can mail a check (no cash, please) to
James E. Vandelly
15508 Vine Cottage Drive
Centreville, VA 20120-3750
Please make the check payable to the WASHINGTON BALALAIKA SOCIETY for
$45/person. In the remarks section write: "Dmitrienko Concert"
to help the WBS treasurer sort the checks.
Please note that you'll need to dress up for the concert: coat and tie
for men (no blue jeans!) and dress slacks or dress for women (also no
Jim will send out directions before the concert.
Pat Potter reports that the accordionist Tom Brzostowski passed away
early last Tuesday, December 14, 2004. The following email came from his
Just a quick note to let you know the details.
Viewing & visiting on Monday, December 20, from 2 to 4 and 6 to 9pm.
Mass on Tuesday, December 21, at 10:00 am
Viewing and Mass will all be at at
Mother Seton Parish
19951 Father Hurley Boulevard
Germantown, MD 20874
Father Hurley Boulevard is Route 27 off 270. From 270 take Father Hurley
Blvd and go west almost to the end. The church will be on the left, right
after Middlebrook Road. Go to the next left and make a U-turn, then a
right into the parking lot.
We will have a light lunch after, and all are invited.
Instead of flowers you may make a donation to:
Mother Seton Parish
19951 Father Hurley Blvd
Germantown, MD 20874
Polish-American Arts Association
of Washington, DC
P.O. Box 9442
Washington, DC 20016
American Lung Association
Again thank you for your love, prayers and support.