NAA Convention Band Director: Dick Albreski
Dick will direct both the Saturday "NAA Youth Band" and the all-convention Thursday "NAA Fun Band."
NAA Famous Fun Band
All youth, from 6 to 18 are welcomed into the NAA Youth Band.
The music is arranged to meet all levels of experience. Each student performing in the Youth Band is required to play a solo of their choice that distinguish them from the others. This is the time when aspiring young accordionists can show the audience that they are future accordion champions. They may join as a youth, however become adult when they perform in this concert.
Rehearsal Time: Spurs Youth Center, Saturday at 9:00 - 10:00 am., and 11:00 until noon.
When one reads “Fun Band” their thoughts could venture all over the music world. That’s not the intent. The intent is exactly what the name implies. You are going to have “Fun”. The accordion is KING, and the players are ROLALTY. This is when a major group of accordionists join in a “controlled jam” to express themselves with no repercussions. The music is simple (tailored to your level of experience) the embellishments are few and the rhythm & meter is strenuous to the player. Does this format work in a convention? Just ask the repeat players for their opinion. See you at the FUN BAND.
Sam Falcetti: Springfield, MA. www.FalcettiMusic.com/
Sam Falcetti will conduct a 100% digital Orchestra.
Conventioneers must sign up before the convention on a first come first serve bases. He will provide sheet music upfront and also files for a USB drive to practice. Sam is requesting a minimum of 12 digital players.
Digital Orchestra Selections:
1. Celebration (3:00 minutes)
2. If I Were a Rich Man - Fiddler on the Roof (3:30 minutes)
3. Mexican Hat Dance (3:15 minutes)
4. Fly me to the Moon (2:30 minutes)
5. God Bless America (2:45 minutes)
The Whole World including Texas! www.SheliaLee.wordpress.com/
Introduced in 2019, returning in 2020, the NAA Dance Band
continues with the hits of yesterday also known as evergreens in Germany. The band music includes Line dance, Rock N Roll, Slow Country, Latin, Dreamy Slow – yes, all the bases are covered!!!
2020 NAA Dance Band Music
1. Achy Breaky Heart 1992 / Elvira 1981
2. Old Time Rockin Roll - Bob Seger 1978
3. Crazy Patsy Cline 1961 - Willie Nelson - 1962
4. You've Lost that Loving Feeling - Righteous Brothers 1964
5. Twist and Shout - Beatles 1964
6. What a Wonderful World 1967 / Over the Rainbow 1939
7. Save the Last Dance for Me (Latin) Ben E King 1960
2020 Symphonic Orchestra director: Matthias Matzke
Rehearsal Times: Ballroom Thursday 9:00 - 10:20 am., Friday and Saturday 11:00 am. until noon.
Matzke is sending his favorite musical arrangements. After the initial read-through, Matthias and the orchestra participants will select the actual arrangements to be preformed on the evening concert.
Symphonic Orchestra Musical Selections:
Wintergames (David Foster, Arr.: Matthias Matzke)
Maestro Matzke explains:
The Legend of Zelda 25th Anniversary Medley (Koji Kondo, Arr.: Matthias Matzke)
November Rain (Guns n’ Roses, Arr.: Matthias Matzke)
Trossinger Morgensupp (Georg Penz)
Conga del Fuego Nuevo (Arturo Marquez)
1. Wintergames is an orchestral overture with a pop touch.
2. The Legend of Zelda classical sound track.
3. November Rain would compliment the rock workshop very well.
4. Trossingen Morgensupp is an uplifting polka from "Hohner City“ Trossingen.
5. Conga del Fuego Nuevo is classical music with latin influences.
Oklahoma City Accordion Club www.OklahomaAccordionClub
Dick Albreski: When I was 6 years old my dad asked me if I wanted to play the accordion. At 6, your answer is sure. Well for 6 weeks I loved my dad and for 7/1/2 years I hated him. In those days, when Dad gave you an instrument you practiced each and every day.
Gary Blair: Scotland
My first teach was Harry Osiecki who gave me a lot of incentive and encouragements. After several years of instruction, I was promoted to a junior teacher in his school. AS I progressed, I was able to study with Russ Messina from Buffalo, NY. I had to audition, prior to be accepted as a student. I was informed that I really played all wrong, but I was told I have talent and that I should overcome my imperfections, so I was accepted after all. Russ turned me around and allowed me to become a more respected accordionist.
I joined a small trio and began playing shows and weddings. With my polish background it was relatively easy for us to play the traditional music. I continued to play in a quartet.
I continued to teach accordion, manage a music store and play a lot of evening and weekend jobs. This was great for me, but with my wife and 2 kids and a third on the way something needed to change. So, went to industry where I achieved my college degree. After many years working I was told that I no longer had a job. Soon I became the master for my own and returned to the accordion.
I teach, I play, I repair, and I buy and sell. Besides the love of my wife Evie, accordion has kept me young and I intend to squeeze all the remaining years of my life out of the accordion.
Workshop 1: Tricks and tips on Accordion techniques
1. Gary will show how to achieve a better technique, playing style, and proper bellows control.
2. How to make any style, more authentic.
3. The do’s and don’ts of playing the accordion.
Workshop 2: How to play authentic Scottish and Irish music.
1. Gary will show the various techniques required, to play Celtic music properly.
2. How to articulate and add Ornaments to enhance any tune.
Gary plays a wide variety of music from many different cultures and countries. His styles include dance, popular, classical, Celtic and traditional accordion. Gary began playing accordion at age 8, learning from his father Jimmy — a renowned musician, teacher and band leader, and has competed in and won scores of accordion competitions, and is highly sought after as an adjudicator at competitions.
Gail Campanella, California.
He has appeared on TV and radio, and often performs at accordion gatherings and festivals around the world. Gary teaches in private as well as by Skype with pupils around the world.
He performs solo, as a performer and director of the Jimmy Blair Orchestra, as the leader of the Gary Blair Ceilidh Band and with other accordionists.
He has been honored with the title "Honored friend of the Accordion " by the CIA and title " Veterani della fisarmonica " by the Rossini institute in Italy. He is in great demand around the world.
It's not about YOU.
The Handout will include ALL resources from which the workshop was built.
Workshop: How to Make a Party Fun!
How to get audience participation at a Jewish wedding, bar or Bat Mitzvah with Israeli, and Jewish Music and at a Spanish party or program. Sample of Israeli music appropriate for different Jewish occasions, and some Spanish party music.
Born in La Paz, Bolivia from Jewish parents, at the age of nine I started playing the Accordion by ear, learned how to read music, but continued playing by ear and learning songs in many different languages. Came to the US at the age of 18, continued playing the Accordion, learned how to play Guitar in the army after being drafted during the Vietnam war, and other instruments such as Piano, Recorder and any other instrument that I had in front of me.
Bob Donovan: Nashville, TN www.Facebook.com/Bob.Donavan.73
Workshop 1: Getting started with configuring the FR8x
Bob's workshops will feature the sounds of Classic Rock, Country, TexMex, Zydeco, and Celtic music.
Workshop 2: Advanced programming of the Roland FR8x
This class will focus on getting beginners of the Roland FR8x familiar with the basic operation of the accordion, how to backup, and restore, how to set bellow curves and audio settings. We will also cover Sets and user programs.
The class will cover how to create a user program to recall favorite voices:
1. Review basic settings
2. Backup and restore
3. Sets and User programs
4. Saving a favorite voice into a user program
This workshop will focus on advanced editing of the FR8x using the program editor. The class will focus on editing voices, reverb, chorus, delay, and multi-effects to get the desired sound for your performances.
Elena Fainshtein: Richardson, Texas
Workshop: Russian folk music for intermediate level
1. Connecting the editor to the 8x
Bob has performed at various Oktoberfest events as well as beer houses in Cincinnati and Nashville. Also Bob has performed with various bands that play Classic Rock, Country, TexMex, Zydeco, and Celtic music
2. Editing a User Program, changing the voice and other sound characteristics
3. Copy a user program
4. Creating a user program bank for performing genres of music"
Don’t miss this particular workshop with Elena. She will present several famous Russian tunes for attendees to learn during this session and then play with her! Elena, a native of Belarus, will share secrets of her style, improvisation, and her firsthand knowledge of the cultural aspects of songs chosen from the rich depth of Russian folk music. This participation-rich session is guaranteed to be not only informative but a lot of fun and surprises! Come play, come learn, come enjoy! Elena will provide music of Russian Tunes for beginning and intermediate level Interactive Workshop with conventioneers participating.
Elena is a professional accordion performer, teacher and conductor.
Elena was born and grew up in Belarus. She studied at the music college in Minsk and studied further at the State Academy of music. She works as a teacher of accordion more than 30 years, last 16 years in her own Musical Expression Accordion School here in Texas. She teaches in private as well as by Skype and have students all over the world. Several of her students won championships in the “Big Squeeze” contest in recent years. Last Elena established an Accordion Orchestra. She is playing in a duo with her husband Gregory and has toured through Europe, North America and Israel.
Sam Falcetti: Springfield, MA.
Workshop 1. How to learn more about styles and patterns in the left hand
This is the number one question asked by those playing an accordion. They want to play more than just alternating bass & chords. This workshop has a handout with examples and suggested songs with 20 patterns & styles. If you attend you will be able to learn how to walk the basses like the “pro’s”.
Workshop 2. MP3 Files: Using your USB port to play along with an MP3 file:
Guaranteed! Back in the 60’s and 70’s I wrote 7 “Popular Music Ideas” books and used them exclusively at Falcetti Music. Recently I have upgraded these books and now make them available to my fellow accordionists.
Some of you might remember the “Music Minus One” and other systems that followed but none were as good as what Roland created in 2009 on the Roland 7X model with the use of the Thumb Drive. We will talk about playing along with original recordings by the artists both instrumental and vocal. Some questions that are often asked are what sounds do I use? When do I play melody or chords? fill in patterns? and how about the transposition to accommodate different keys? The complete package that I use in teaching my Roland students is now available.
Workshop 3. Two for one:
Memorize a short song in 5 minutes & how to fake a song in 5 minutes After over 50 years of teaching I have heard from many students that he or she cannot play anything by memory. Many years ago, I developed a system in teaching to help people overcome this stumbling block. This workshop has a handout that will give you the ability to be able to memorize quickly.
The second part is a little more involved, but the results are the same. It works! What a thrill it is to play a song for which you’ve never played or seen the music. The handout takes you step by step on how to accomplish this. We start with very simple folk songs and move on from there.
Anselmo (Sam) Falcetti, Westfield, Ma.,
Sam started on the accordion at the age of 10 and began home teaching at the age of 16. Before graduating from the University of Hartford with a bachelor’s degree in Theory & Composition, he opened his first accordion teaching studio in Westfield, Ma. As the years progressed Sam became President and CEO of Falcetti
Music, a 50-year, eight store music chain in both Massachusetts and Connecticut.
Workshop 1: You CAN Play from Lead Sheets - Part 1:
In the 70’s and 80’s he was an adjunct professor at both Holyoke Community College and Westfield State University where over 20 of his students graduated with a major on the accordion. During this period his accordion college ensemble performed twice at Carnegie Hall in New York City. Sam has adjudicated and presented his workshops all over the USA. Throughout his career many of his students became professional educators and performers and in 2011 he was selected to represent the USA as a judge at the 5th Roland International Festival in Rome, Italy.
Mr. Falcetti was the founder and conductor of the Springfield Accordion Orchestra, a group who performed at the 1970 World’s Fair in Osaka, Japan and appeared in 1971 on National TV’s David Frost show along with the vocalist Roberta Flack. The Orchestra also toured Italy in 1973, performed at Disney World in 1975 and performed at the 1980 Coupe Mondiale in New Zealand
Since his retirement Sam returned to his 1st love of teaching students on the Roland Digital Accordion. As New England’s Roland Digital Accordion distributor he provides sales and service throughout the USA.
He also formed the only Digital Accordion Orchestra in the USA who have performed many concerts throughout New England. In October of 2019, Sam was chosen as the very first “IDEAS FACULTY SCHOLAR”. This position is a Lifetime honorary appointment to the Symposium Faculty. He is on the Board of Directors of the AAA, ATAM, and a member of the MAAA.
Tris Gour: Indiana
This course will provide attendees with a basic understanding of how to play using lead sheets (i.e. Fakebook). For this course, a lead sheet will be provided to all attendees with notated descriptions and other important tips at least 60 days prior to the convention date.
Workshop 2: It's YOUR Turn - You CAN Play from Lead Sheets - Part 2:
This class will introduce or review for the attendees, using both instructor lead and additional descriptive materials, the basic concepts of:
1. Chord Symbols - The defining characteristic component of a lead sheet
2. Tempo, Styles, Clef, Key and Time Signatures - These provide a basic orientation of the lead sheet
3. Melody - An explanation of the single-line melody and how to effectively incorporate it into your performance
4. Roadmaps, Repeats, and Arrangement Direction - An explanation of why lead sheets are kept concise using multiple passes through a section, multiple ending systems, codas, and even segnos
5. Lyrics - How to incorporate this common addition to clarify communication between the performer and additional performers and/or a vocalist
The instructor will assist the participants in understanding the most common information contained in a lead sheet and using it to maximize their performance. A demonstration will be provided showing participants how to achieve an improved level of creative freedom with lead sheets.
Part 2 of this workshop will provide interested participants the opportunity to demonstrate to others what they've learned as they interpret a lead sheet. Once the first attendee has demonstrated what they've learned and accomplished, it's likely that others will do the same. The goal of Part 2 is to show that any person can become a good accordion player without necessarily being the greatest music notation reader. It's important to understand that becoming a good notation reader does not equal, nor is it a requirement for, becoming a good accordion player.
Workshop 3: Accordion for Singers - Quickly Learn to Accompany Yourself and Others:
This workshop will enhance the attendees' ability to accompany themselves or other vocalists with confidence. Most attendees also notice an improvement in their singing due to an increased knowledge of harmonics and timing. This course is focused on learning to be able quickly to perform live, record videos for YouTube or Facebook, and find engagements that are suitable for the performer’s level of experience.
This course will cover:
Workshop 4: Secrets to Begin Improvising with Success:
1. Music theory introducing harmonics and rhythm
2. Creating a 'bed’ for your vocal
3. Selecting the appropriate key to enhance your vocal ability
4. Playing to a level that will entertain your audience
5. Choosing and adapting repertoire
6. Obtaining appropriate lead sheets
7. Equipment needed
8. Reading an audience and playing what they want
This workshop will introduce a collection of five notes that will sound good regardless of when or how they are played. Many accordion players have struggled to learn to play a simple solo only to become frustrated and give up. This workshop will present the pentatonic scale which is one of the great secrets of improvisation. Creative musicians around the world, playing in many different styles, rely on these notes as a basis for their improvisations.
Tris Gour makes his home in Northern Indiana with his wife Gloria.
The reason is simple: with no half steps to create dissonance, the pentatonic scale sounds good over any chord progression that stays in one key!
Highlights of this workshop include:
1. Variations in rhythms using combinations of half, quarter, and eighth notes
2. Learning that it is not necessary to fill all the empty space in an improvisation as sometimes less is more
3. How to include articulations and dynamics that add sophistication to your improvisations
4. Learning to not always stop and judge your performance
5. How to continue to explore until you discover creative solo's you like
He has been a musician, performer, and accordionist from a very young age. Tris began his studies at the age of 8 with the prestigious Gene Van Accordion Conservatory of Northern Indiana. Tris won numerous state accordion championships in several divisions and went on to receive the first runner-up in the AAA US Open Pop Solo division and winning the US Open Jazz Combo division.
Tris started playing professionally at the age of 13 and by age 15 was playing 50 weeks per year. During his later teen years, Tris lead a top tier band that performed throughout the Midwest at popular hotel chains, night clubs, and private and corporate events in addition to being featured as a guest act for famous entertainers. More recently, Tris performed with a prominent R&B Tribute Band that included musicians who toured with Marvin Gaye, The Temptations, Curtis Mayfield, Junior Walker, George Michael, and Aretha Franklin.
Tris currently owns and operates August Dream Studios LLC, through which he has provided music for commercial and film scoring projects, music equipment manufacturers, and has aided in the development of software sample libraries. After the unexpected passing of his last teacher Gary Dahl, Tris began managing Gary Dahl - The Legacy Continues and teaches accordion to students located all over the globe.
Gordon Kohl: California www.GordonKohlAccordions.com/
1. Playing the Beautiful Music of Austria.
2. Accordion styling for both a Tango waltz and a new pop musette piece.
3. Playing Dance Standards with musical flair.
4. Teaching plan and music used in a 12-week elementary school program (including the cost for accordions, stands, and music.)
Matthias Matzke: Germany www.facebook.com/MatzkeMatthias/
Workshop 1. Reading Music vs. Understanding Music.
Matthias demonstrates his approach to prepare songs:
1. Efficiently and to expand your memorized repertoire.
Workshop 2. Transcribe Pop Hits to "Cool" Accordion Music:
2. Connecting music theory with accordion methodology.
3. Sustain musical creativity from the first moment of sight-reading until the final stage of performance.
4. Improvisation and/or composition.
Learn to transcribe pop hits from the radio and learn patterns and arrangement tricks to bring them to a “cool” sound on the accordion and digital accordion.
Matthias Matzke. Gingen an der Fils, Germany:
Matthias was one of the first Jazz Accordion Bachelors in Hans-Günther Kölz’s class at the Hohner Conservatory Trossingen and the Institute of Music at the University Osnabrück. Versed in many musical styles his repertoire reaches from classical music and original works to jazz, pop and rock. Besides solo projects on classical and digital accordion Matthias works as an arranger, composer and songwriter; amongst others for his Crossover Band „Synthonic Rock“ and different duo projects with Leonie Kratz featuring classical soprano and movement.
Milestones of his career are first prizes of numerous national and international contests such as „Deutscher Akkordeon Musikpreis“, „Jugend musiziert“, „Roland V-Accordion Festival“ and „Coupe Mondiale“. His musical activity also includes journalism, education and lectureships.
As a soloist, Matthias played works for accordion and symphony orchestra and is a member of Germany’s federal accordion orchestra.
He gained experience in radio and TV shows and played concerts all over the world (Shanghai, Peking, Seoul, Tokyo, Ankara, St. Petersburg, Costa Rica, the USA and Europe).
Matthias Matzke is known as pioneer for the digital accordion and also studied electronic music at the Hohner Conservatory.
Finding modern ways to express music on his instrument has always been his vision. The accordion may sometimes be underestimated - this, however, makes the instrument the more promising in his eyes.
( Cowtown USA
aka Fort Worth, Texas) www.GinnyMac.com/
Workshop - Accordions & Western Swing:
This session will focus on several renowned Western Swing accordionists and their playing styles. We will also cover improvisation and some quintessential Western Swing tunes to expand the repertoire!
Hailing from Fort Worth, TX, Ginny Mac fronts a dynamic group that brings a fresh and exciting twist to vocal and instrumental stylings in the Country & Western Swing, Americana, and Hot Jazz music genres. Ginny is a former member of the two-time Grammy Award winning group Brave Combo
based in Denton, TX. She has shared the stage with Ray Benson (Asleep At The Wheel
), Joey Miskulin, Riders In The Sky
, Tanya Tucker, Drew Carey
, members of Bob Wills & The Texas Playboys, and many others. She endorses Menghini s.r.l. Scandalli Accordions
based in Castelfidardo, Italy.
Accordion bellows in’s and outs
Randy is the Room Coordinator for Salon A. He does his own scheduling.
Accordion bellow repairs
Bellow tape repair, bellow corner service, repair bellow leaks, and bellow gasket repair
Mike Middleton, Temple, TX www.accordions.com/MikeMiddleton/
Enhance your acoustic accordion with MIDI Mike will showcase how to enhance your acoustic accordion using MIDI sounds. He will include in his presentation examples like the Texas Folk Medley, his popular Amazing Grace accordion variations and others.
Mike Middleton: Temple, Texas
Dr. Mike Middleton, an award-winning Texan accordionist, and will be interacting in various convention activities that includes Midi enhanced Accordion music and other accordion favorites from his recent albums and from his participation at the World Accordion Museum, where he serves as a Board Member. He also leads a popular band, “Mike & The Middletones”.
Dr. Mike's music is unique in that he utilizes Midi to enhance and modify his acoustic accordion sound. Selections could include: various Texas folk music pieces such as Ghost Riders in The Sky, Red River Valley, Yellow Rose of Texas, Waltz Across Texas, San Antonio Rose, and others featured with the 2017 Temple Symphony (Temple, Texas), as well as his unique Amazing Grace Accordion Variations. Mike is always ready to provide 30 minute or 1 hour of polka/waltzes and Texas folk music suitable for dancing.
Colin and Alastair Norton (Scotland)
Workshop 1. Electronics manufactured by MidiRig of Scotland including Information about MIDI systems, expanders, converters and other electronic accordion products.
Workshop 2. Midi systems and how to understand midi problems
Richard Noel (Bakersville, CA):
Proposed Workshop Titles
1. From Acoustic to Digital: A Transformative Journey.
2. Preparing and Playing Your Digital Accordion for All Occasions
Debra Peters, Austin, TX www.DebraPetersMusic.com
Bill Palmer, Houston, TX. www.BillPalmer.com/
Debra Peters and Bill Palmer: Folk Roots and Tex-Mex Accordion Music Bill and Deb’s dueling Tex-Mex. Digital Accordion vs. Acoustic Accordion! Debra Peters and Bill Palmer will demonstrate how any type of Accordion, is the perfect instrument to lead a band in Folk / Roots / Tex-Mex music. How to arrange the music required to form a professional trio or 4-piece band. Paper handout pages at class. Take this information and history of Texas music back home with you and “teach it” to your accordion students.
Bill is a multi-instrumentalist. In addition to the accordion, he also plays banjo, saxophone, bass, mandolin, guitar and a host of other instruments. Because of his connection to the Palmer-Hughes accordion course, Bill has been involved with the accordion for most of his life. In 2011, at the NAA convention, he had a chance to handle a Roland FR-7x, which was then the top of the line Roland V-accordion. He saw that it had many interesting possibilities and acquired one a few months later. As he began working with the instrument, he saw that there were several interesting aspects of the sound mechanism. The flexibility of the sound was amazing. Also, if you wanted to play free bass, there were several different systems built in. And it never would go out of tune. It also can produce hundreds of instrumental sounds. But there were also certain disadvantages, one of which was that the instrument was rather heavy.
is one of the well-known accordionists in Texas. She has constantly performed in Austin and around Texas with her band Debra Peters and the love Saints Band or as a soloist. Debra is a career singer / songwriter, accordionist, pianist and session musician. Traveling and performing in the North America, Europe, Japan and many other places, she is still bound to Texas. She is a regular at the National Accordion Convention
, participated as a Judge for the “Big Squeeze” competition in Austin and hosts regular performances at the Broken Spoke in Austin.
Cory Pesaturo (Worldwide Accordionist and Flirt)
1. Italian / French
Looking into the high level of flamboyance in French Musette Music, both in constant tempo changes, thumb slides and how to add notes / fills. We will also go over Tarantella rhythm, and the strange forms and phrasing of Italian music. Plus the Neapolitan b2. Musical examples will be played from recordings for each.
2. Klezmer / Balkan
: The scale is both these genres are very different than most music accordionists play. We’ll go over the intricacies of Klezmer, with the many different grooves it offers, and try to get Odd Meters into people’s playing for Balkan! 7/8, 11/8, 13/8, etc..
3. Tango / Brazilian:
How to play Not on the beat but a constant flow of being ahead & behind it; that is Tango. Also, various aspects of Brazilian music, including 3/3/2 & 3/4/4/3/2+ grooves. Musical examples will be played from recordings for each.
Cory says: I feel these workshops should Be Interactive, “Masterclass” style. I will be able to teach much better using examples as people try and figure out the details of which I am giving for each genre.
North Texas www.SharonSeaton.com
Sharon Seaton's "Circle of Confidence": "Circle of Confidence" Handout
Tutto a Dio (Lithuania)
Accordionists will come prepared to play one or two short musical selections for a small group of peer players. Dr. Sharon Seaton is encouraging each performer to play pieces needing some type of improvement. Prior to playing the music, the performer is to state the reason this music was selected. Then the other participants will be invited to comment on the performance, offering positive encouragement and possible suggestions for improvement as related to the performer's opening statements.
Participation in this workshop will be limited to 8-10 musicians but will be repeated as desired by the conventioneers. Skill level? The ability to hold an accordion and to play a minimum of one musical selection.
Dr. Sharon Seaton is a professional accordionist in the Dallas area. She teaches music at El Centro College, including private piano lessons. When working with private students, she incorporates technical skills, memorization, preparing for performance, and sight reading into student lessons.
Workshop 1: The art of musical improvisation“ (Tutto a Dio)
Arlyn Visentin - Houston, Texas area
YOU CAN BE FAMOUS!
The majority of classical musicians learn most pieces from written sheet of music. Nevertheless, we know a lot of jazz musicians that are able to create various melodies autonomously by following the harmonic chord line and become instant composers at once. This phenomenon we call musical improvisation.
The following questions will be answered:
1. Is everyone able to improvise?
We will discuss improvising and experiments during Workshop 1.
2. What are the secrets of improvising?
3. How can we reveal our own personalities through the improvisation?
Workshop 2: Improve your playing technique (Augustinas Rakauskas)
There are lots of approaches to improve your accordion technique.
In this session, we will discuss a number of aspects such as:
1. The role of both left and right hands
2. Chord technique
3. The development of velocity
4. Control of the bellows
5. And more in in order to improve your playing skills and discover your individual relationship with the instrument.
I will present certain series of exercises that I have studied myself as well as the exercises of the renowned French professor Frédéric Deschamps that contributed a lot while building my own technique. I will be happy to share my suggestions in practice during this workshop.
Duo „Tutto a Dio“
Greta Staponkutė-Rakau (viola) & Augustinas Rakauskas (accordion)
“Tutto a Dio” – it is a duet of two exceptional Lithuanian musicians: Greta Staponkutė (viola) and Augustinas Rakauskas (accordion). The duet is appreciated for their exquisite performances colored by professional and creative musicality. “Tutto a Dio” won the first prize at the prestigious “Trophée Mondial - 2017” in France. In addition this, the duo is the 1st prize winner of the most prominent international competitions as “Coupe Mondiale – 2018” (Lithuania), “Premio Internazionale di Castelfidardo 2017” (Italy), Grand Prix „Sion-2014” (Switzerland). “Tutto a Dio” performances enchanted the audience in California, Maine, Colorado, Florida, Denver, New York, New Hampshire, Massachusetts (USA), Switzerland, Latvia, Finland, Germany, Luxembourg, Italy, France, Bulgaria, Greece, Turkey, etc. The duo is invited to participate in various international events in Europe and North America, as well as in Lithuanian embassies abroad. Both duet members have set up their international careers individually. Augustinas Rakauskas became a vice champion of the “Trophée Mondial” in Victoria B.C., Canada in 2018, the 3rd Prize winner of the “Coupe Mondiale” in Lithuania as well as the 1st Prize winner of the Kiefer Hablizel | Göhner Foundation Music Competition in Switzerland in two consecutive years. Over the recent years he has performed a lot in Europe, USA, Canada, China, featuring in major music festivals. After finishing her internship in Lausanne Chamber Orchestra (Switzerland) Greta Staponkutė-Rakau has been touring with the prestigious chamber orchestras such as Kremerata Baltica and Lausanne Soloists. As the first solo viola of this orchestras, she has performed with major conductors and soloists such as Martha Argerich, Gidon Kremer, Chick Corea, Renaud Capuçon, Mirga Gražinytė-Tyla, etc. Curiosity and constant aspiration for improvement are another prominent features of the members of „Tutto a Dio”: Greta and Augustinas are the Master graduates at the Lausanne Academy of Music in Switzerland.
Neringa Radėnaitė (soprano)
The soprano Neringa Radėnaitė has graduated from the Lithuanian Academy of Music and Theatre possessing two bachelors in choir-conducting and vocal performance. She later received her Master’s in Opera Singing at the Conservatorio di Santa Cecilia in Rome. Neringa has performed worldwide together with duo “Tutto a Dio” touring in Europe and USA as well as the production cast opera singer in luxury cruise line “Silversea” where she won an artistic audition in 2017 to go on the music tours in Europe, Africa & Asia. She has received several international scholarships such as Ministero degli Affari Esteri scholarship for music education, Fondaziione Alimondo Ciampi scholarship as well as the scholarship of Associazione Maria Cristina di Savoia. Neringa has been awarded with the Special Maria Malibran prize in Maria Malibran International lyric singing competition in Milano, in 2018.
Claim Your 15 Minutes of Fame in 2020
Did you bring your accordion to the convention but left it hidden in your hotel room? Well, go get it and claim your 15 Minutes of Fame! Come and show us your treasured instrument. Play your favorite music to a nonjudgmental group of enthusiasts. Perform solo or with your friends and make new friends. Musicians playing other instruments and vocalists are also welcome to accompany the accordionists, if desired. The possibilities for fun are endless! All participants receive a chance to win the door prize of the day. Hang out here and socialize between workshops. This is one of the most popular events at the NAA Convention and you make it happen.
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Arlyn was honored to receive the 2019 Achievement Award at last year’s convention, “For Promoting Others to Advance Their Talents.” Arlyn wants to say, “Thank you”, to NAA and all of the music enthusiasts and accordionists who have participated and helped to make 15 Minutes of Fame a success!
Arlyn says: Music enthusiasts and other instruments are welcome too.
We love accordions. We love having fun with music and you’re invited! Let us hear your accordion and let’s become famous at the Convention! Don’t miss it!
Arlyn is the master in managing the "fame" event and taking pictures for the NAA web-based photo gallery.