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Thursday, March 05, 2009
THE ACCORDION ORCHESTRA
of The University of Missouri - Kansas City Director JOAN COCHRAN SOMMERS
LABEL UNKNOWN SR-8683 1978
The UMKC Accordion Orchestra under the direction of Joan Cochran Sommers has won innumerable first place awards at the various music contests held throughout the United States. The orchestra consists of about 35 accordionists plus the usual percussionists and a timpanist. Two of the accordionists often switch to the Hohner Electroniums and two or three people always play bass and tenor accordions which are amplified. No other accordions are amplified.
The musical education of each and every musician in the orchestra has always been the primary purpose for the existence of the orchestra and even though it has been a tremendous honor and a great responsibility to win the coveted first place each year, this priority has never been forgotten.
The pressures of a performance often cause embarrassing learning experiences for the novice in a group like this and you may hear a few on this live recording of about half of our last university concert. Nothing has been taken out except the audience applause...which we hope you will add after hearing our efforts!
THE UMKC ACCORDION ORCHESTRA IN CONCERT --April 9, 1978
THE MOLDAU (Symphonic Poem)- Smetana Arranged by A. Galla-Rini BALKAN IMPRESSIONS - Mohr PROCESSION OF THE SARDAR from Caucasian Sketches - Ippolitov-Ivanov Arranged by R. Sattler
Editor's note: I was a little disappointed to read that the entire orchestra wasn't accordions but I suppose that's to be expected. That would be like a band of 28 guitarists or drummers or bass players. That's just crazy. Crazy is what I hoped for. Nope, this is just plain old good orchestra music highlighted by accordions. Nothing wrong with that whatsoever. No drag out, to the floor, key-bending solos: not so right. Maybe in the next life there will be 30 Yngwie Malmsteens of the accordion and they will all find each other and burn down the house of music with a celebratorial jam.
I came across this record on a few blogs and managed to track down some audio from WFMU's site. I would love to hear more from this honky-tonkin' caterwaulin' queen. Listen to the tracks below and I think you will too!