Accordions Worldwide "The Squeeze"
23rd July 1999
- Weekly news from around the world-
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Accordions Worldwide Office Manager Tatiana Lanchtchikova traveled to Sydney last week to perform with players of the Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra at a lawyer's function. In this weeks news we have reports of orchestras from Germany and Puerto Rico visiting overseas countries.

These groups enjoyed successful concerts with enthusiastic audiences and already plan to return in the future. The Puerto Rico Accordion Orchestra say they look forward to sharing more experiences with other countries, using the International language - Music!

These international cultural activities can only enhance the popularity of our beloved instrument as well as provide enjoyment to many audiences.

Wayne Knights Webmaster

Click here to visit the Strasser Harmonikas site!


Click here to visit the Strasser Harmonikas site!
Master Seminar - Poland

Contributed by Dr Herbert Scheibenreif

The 1999 Polish Master Seminar for accordionists took place from June 30th to July 13th in Mietne (50 km south of Warsaw). All members of the teaching staff were international artists, teachers and prizewinners of national and international competitions. Tutors included Professor Lech Puchnowski (Poland - seminar leader), Professor Alfred Melichar (Austria), Professor Bogdan Dowlasz (Poland), Professor Jerzy Jurek (Poland), Professor Jerzy Kaszuba (Poland), Assistant Professor Jerzy Lukasiewicz (Poland), Klaudiusz Baran (Poland) and Adriana Kuwaczka (Poland). Danuta Kaniewska was the organizing Director of the seminar.

The seminar program consisted of individual and chamber music classes given to participants who had prepared a 20 minute concert program. Their program included original music and arrangements of different style and character. An outstanding concert performance was given by Alfred Melichar (bandoneon) who played works by E. Denissov ("From the dark to the light"), D. Kaufmann ("Le grand jeu") and tangos by A. Piazzolla.

Participants also enjoyed some leisure time relaxing in the swimming pool and cafeteria.


Cathy Sommers Wins United States Championships - USA

Joan & Cathy SommersContributed by Kevin Friedrich

Cathy Sommers won the United States Accordion Championships at the Accordionists and Teachers Guild (ATG) International Festival in Branson, Missouri this weekend. This is the first time that a mother/daughter team have won this honor. Cathy's mother, Joan Sommers, Professor of Accordion at the University of Missouri, Kansas City won this esteemed title in 1955 and 1956.

Dan McGheeOther crown events at this weekend's competitions were also won by students of Joan Sommers. Jason Stephen won the Virtuoso Entertainment category at the ATG competition and Dan McGhee, won the Myron Floren Polka Competition. Both Cathy and Jason will represent the ATG at the Coupe Mondiale World Accordion Championships in Trossingen, Germany in November. Dan will return to Branson to perform with Myron Floren and the Welk Orchestra in October.

Results were as follows:

  • Jason StephenChampionship 15 years: Sam McGhee (student of Joan Sommers, UMKC)
  • Championship 14 years: Jorge Reyna (student of International School of Music, Chicago)
  • Championship 13 years: Shanxi Upsdell (student of Joan Sommers, UMKC)

Joan Sommers was just elected as President of the ATG, taking over from Amy Jo Sawyer who has held this office for the last four years. To show you what a small world this is, in 1956 Joan Sommers and Amy Jo Sawyer were joint winners in the ATG National Championships, and both represented the ATG at the World Accordion Championships. Amy Jo will now serve as a Board of Director for the ATG as well as the editor of the ATG Bulletin.


Towersey Festival - UK

Contributed by Steve Heap, Festival Director

The 35th Towersey festival will be held from August 27th to 30th in Towersey, Oxfordshire. The festival will include performances by accordion entertainers, concerts, ceilidh dances, children's festival, craft and music fair, market stalls and a variety of popular music including zydeco, cajun, French and Afro Caribbean. Performers include "Daisy-Belle", "Calico", "The Banana Band" and many more.


German Accordion Orchestra in Canadian Rockies

Contributed by Winfried HaushalterFirst Cologne Accordion Orchestra

Due to an invitation to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the "Kimberley International Old Time Accordion Championships" the First Cologne Accordion Orchestra 1935 toured the Canadian Rocky Mountains from July 6th to 19th. During the trip, the orchestra played several concerts that they regard as some of the most important successes within the 64-year-old history of the orchestra.

The orchestra performed at the "Banff Springs Hotel" (Banff), a festival concert and dance music in the Kimberley Arena to an audience of over 1900, an open air concert in the "Platzl" (Kimberley), a concert for the "German Canadian Cultural Association" (Edmonton) and at the EURO Centre of the "Euro-Canadian Cultural Centre" (Calgary) together with "The Jarosh Ensemble".

Their program included William Tell Overture (Rossini), Kaiserwalzer (Strauss), Tritsch Tratsch Polka (Strauss), Rocky Mountains Suite, Walzer No.2 (Shostakovich), Morricone Special Medley (Hennecke), Salut to Sousa March, Beatles Medley (Hennecke), The Final Countdown (Hennecke), Amigos para sempre (Hennecke) and many more.

The audience was so enthusiastic about the Cologne orchestra's performance that they hope to return to Canada in the future.


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Puerto Rico Orchestra Tour - Italy

Contributed by Juan A. Casañas

Puerto Rico Accordion OrchestraThe Puerto Rico Accordionist Association's Orchestra returned recently from a tour to Italy. The successful tour included concerts at the Latin American Institute in Rome for the FAO, which is affiliated to the United Nations and in Castelfidardo where the group were treated to a banquet by the Municipality and a grand tour of the Cemex (Excelsior), Pigini and Bugari accordion factories.

Concerts were also performed at the St. John's Festival in Parma and with the Verona Accordion Orchestra in Verona. Both orchestras performed at the Teatro S. Massimo to an enthusiastic audience. Their program included "Saluti da Lugano", "Recuerdos de Borinquen" (Puertorrican Dance) and "Seis Chorreao".

The Puerto Rico Accordion Orchestra looks forward to sharing more experiences with other countries, using the International language - Music!


Myron Floren Welcomed with standing Ovation - USA

Contributed by Kevin Friedrich Joan Sommers, Myron Floren & Amy Jo Sawyer

As Myron Floren (a long time ATG member) walked on stage at the Accordionists and Teachers Guild International Festival last weekend (in Branson, Missouri) the 1,000 strong audience immediately rose in an emotional standing ovation.

Gracing the concert stage for the first time in over a year, Myron, the guest of honor of the ATG delighted the audience with two medleys of his well known selections. This unscheduled performance was a surprise for all, but Myron just couldn't resist doing what he loved to do most, and that is play the accordion! Complete with bellow shakes, which brought applause from the audience, Myron then went on to direct the ATG Festival Orchestra in three Polka selections, which was a fitting finale of the "Tribute to Myron" concert, held at the Welk Resort.

The reception that followed allowed Myron to greet his fans and sign autographs with all the admiring fans who had come to wish him a warm welcome and play under his direction.


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28th International Festival - Australia

Contributed by Elizabeth Jones, Director, Music Education Maroubra School

The 28th International Festival of the ASA was held in Melbourne from July 4th to 11th. The successful event included concerts, workshops and competitions with visitors from Australia, New Zealand and China. Winner of the ASA Australian National Championship was Alan Zvirkic from Wollongong, NSW.

A concert was held in the auditorium of the Austrian club in Melbourne to a full house with performances by ACE, George Butrumilis, the NSW Orchestra, Ross Maio, "Voxion" and a combined orchestra specially formed for the event.


Pauly Entertains Autistic Children - France

French accordionist Danielle Pauly performed recently at an end of school year celebration for autistic children aged from 5 years to young adult. The children's parents and the school principal believe that music can be used to communicate successfully with these children. Danielle found it very touching to see the thirty children reacting positively to accordion music, saying "They came close to me, danced and wanted to touch my instrument".

Danielle played light music, waltzes, polkas, marches and well known songs. The parents were also very moved, seeing a lot of joy in their children's eyes. Danielle believes it is important, as we get closer to the year 2000, to remember the elderly, the sick and the disadvantaged.

The following week Danielle performed with Marc Aurine's orchestra at the "L'Aquarius" disco near Clermont-Ferrand (central France). A large crowd thoroughly enjoyed themselves dancing the night away until 4 am.


Accordionist Featured on TV - Japan

Contributed by Toru Katou

Japanese accordionist Ryouzo Yokomori will perform on the Asahi TV program "Niknki-mono de yukou" (Let's go on being loved by everybody). The show will be aired on television in Japan on July 27th.


Accordion Camp and Festival - USA

Contributed by Malanie West

The Accordion Kings Camp and Festival will be held on August 28th and 29th at The Rabb House, Round Rock, Texas. The camp will include hour-long classes running throughout the event. Tutors include Steve Riley (cajun), Valerio Longoria (conjunto), Lawrence Ardoin (creole), Mark Halata (Czech Polka), Debra Peters (roots & rock), Mike Maddux (roots & more) and Rosendo Sanchez (conjunto).

A dance will be held on the Saturday night at 8pm at Old Settlers Park, Lakeview Pavilion, Round Rock. Entertainment will be provided by Steve Riley and the Mamou Playboys and Valerio Longoria y Su Conjunto. A jam session is planned to follow the dance. For further information email:


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"Celebrity Interviews"

Questions for the "Celebrity Interview" with Professor Li Wei Ming, Head of Department and Accordion Tutor at Xia Men University have now closed. The interview will be published on July 30th.

The "Celebrity Interview" with accordion manufacturer Peter (Stormy) Hyde from Hyde Accordions in Australia is now online.

The next "Celebrity Interview" is with famous Russian concert artist, teacher and composer Vladimir Zubitsky. Please send your questions to Moderator Wallace Liggett by August 9th. The interview will be published on August 16th.


Bydgoszcz Musical Impressions - Poland

"Akord"Contributed by Artur Zajkowski

Polish group "Akord" performed at the 22nd Bydgoszcz Musical Impressions (BIM) on July 7th in Bydgoszcz. The six-member accordion group was awarded the "Bydgoszcz Youth Palace Principal" prize.

Choirs, chamber music orchestras and vocal and instrumental groups from eleven countries including Belorus, China, Czech Republic, France, "Babszen" from Hungary, "Beani Cracoviensens" from Poland, Romania, Slovakia, "Jamachine" from Sweden, Ukraine and "Orleta" from the U.S.A. played at the event.


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"Beker der Vlaanderen Accordeon" Competition - Belgium

Contributed by Julien Blocken

The "Beker der Vlaanderen Accordeon" Competition will be held at the Cultureel Centrum in Zwevegem on October 17th organized by P. Depoortere, President of the Accordeoncomité Zwevegem V.Z.W. The contest is open to European contestants of all ages with classes for solos, duos and ensembles. Entries must be received by October 8th 1999.

Prizemoney of 23.500 Bfr. has been donated by the Culturele Dienst van de Provincie West-Vlaanderen and the Oostvlaamse Accordeonfederatie (AFPOV).

For further information phone or fax: + 32


Forzando Orchestra Promotes Cultural Activities - Netherlands

Contributed by Hillebrand van der Veen

Amsterdam Accordion Club "Forzando" recently ended a busy first half of 1999, which included seven concerts, of which three were at open air venues attracting many people. The orchestra performs a broad range of music including popular Dutch songs from the forties, modern music written by composers like Friedrich Haag, old jazz (Duke Ellington) and classical music.

From September 5th "Forzando" will begin a concert program to promote cultural activities in the northern part of Amsterdam. For further information email:


"SWAP" Tours Great Britain

"SWAP"Contributed by Jan Lucas

Popular group "SWAP" which includes Karen Tweed (accordion), Ian Carr (guitar) and Swedish musicians Ola Backstrom and Carina Normansson (violins) will tour Great Britain from August 18th to 29th. The group has enjoyed success touring Swedish Primary Schools, giving workshops and performing concerts in Sweden, Denmark and the UK.

For further information email:


French Accordionist Tours China

Contributed by Li Cong

French accordionist Jean Louis Noton has begun his tour of China, organized by Miss Ren Li Hong (accordion major graduate of the China Tianjin Music Institute). Noton will perform Concerts in Neimenggu, Qinghai, Shanghai, Tianjin, and Guazhou. In addition he will give lectures to Chinese accordion fans and perform MIDI accordion music to help promote the development of the accordion in China.

Last year, Noton was a judge at the Fifth International Accordion Competition and performed concerts in Beijing. He was also invited to visit many other cities including Haerbin.


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Accordion Duo - Japan

Contributed by Toru Katou

On July 24th, the "Tamagawa Bakustars" Duo (accordion and guitar) will perform at the Cafe De Fiyu in Tokyo at 8pm. For further information phone the Cafe De Fiyu: + 81 42-592-8839


New Accordion Watch - Germany

Accordion Watch German accordionist Uli Ebner has designed a new accordion watch. The design includes three types: Goldline (see photo), Blackline and Palladium Line. The watches contain a Swiss made mechanism, are water resistant up to 30 meters and are made in Germany. The watch has also been designed for other instruments.

For further information email: after August 8th.


Bridgnorth Folk Festival - UK

Contributed by Paul Asher

UK group M_C_Cajun (which includes accordion, violin, guitar, rubboard and percussion) will perform at the Bridgnorth Folk Festival, Bridgnorth, Shropshire on August 28th. The area is famous for the birth of the Industrial Revolution with loads of history, industrial museums, railways etc. The festival will run all weekend with entertainment by other accordion driven cajun/zydeco groups including Daisy Belle, Zydeco Actice and Rees Wesson. M_C_Cajun will provide the music for a cajun dance from 1pm to 3pm.

For further information email:


Antique Accordion Information

Hohner AccordionEva Ordo has an antique Hohner burgundy/cherry red, pearlized 96 bass chromatic accordion. It was purchased in Germany in 1947 and is in very good condition. She would like to know the value of this instrument and is considering selling it. If you can help please email:


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New Sites Information on Orla musical instruments and MIDI equipment


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