welcome
 
The Hanni Strahl Concert Hall is acoustically ideal and seats 1,000 people on floor and balcony levels. The Helen and Theodore Miller Concert Series has presented dozens of the world’s greatest accordion artists and has elevated cultural prestige of the Midwest region. Focal highlight of the stage is a unique and beautiful ten-foot, two-manual harpsichord encased in gold and vermillion with eleven pedals controlling six plectra. At the hall’s west side is The Duane Sellman Special Exhibits Area that features displays honoring individuals who have significantly influenced American performance art, and whose estates are contained in the museum. The hall also serves community special events and weddings.
UPCOMING EVENTS
May 6, 2017
wad poster

World Accordion Day In conjunction with Dr. Willard A. Palmer Festival
Centenary and our Fifth Annual celebration of America’s great educator and artist

wad logo"World Accordion Day" May 6, 2017 to feature Invitational Accordion Orchestra Performance
 
May 6-7, 2017
At AWAM’s Strahl Concert Hall
All day
 
Stas Venglevski, Conductor Accordion Band and Orchestra
Participants:
Michael Bridge
Kevin Friedrich
Mike Middleton
Dee Langley
John Scaffeo
Carolyn Carver
Tracey Gibbens
 
Michael BridgeThe Harrington Arts Center (HARTS) is inviting all accordionists to consider joining in a unique production in honor of World Accordion Day, an initiative of the Confédération Internationale des Accordéonistes (CIA).    Scheduled for World Accordion Day on May 6, 2017, the event will take place in Superior, WI at the magnificent A World of Accordions Museum facility. 
 
Renowned soloist and composer Stas Venglevski will conduct an orchestral work performed by an orchestra comprising of visiting accordionists as they join this annual unified global effort to celebrate and promote the Accordion.
 
While enjoying this unique World Accordion Day event, participants will not only enjoy this worldwide effort to promote public awareness of the accordion and its many capabilities, they will also be afforded the opportunity to visit the vast resources and instruments found at A World of Accordions Museum.
 
Interested accordionists are invited to confirm their interest so that organizers can plan and prepare.  Accordionists are asked to affirm their intent and playing level via email and organizers are happy to assist with flight arrivals, accommodation (at special rates) and amenities. 
 
To participate or for further information, please contact Helmi Harrington at email: accordion@sprynet.com or phone: (715) 395-ARTS (2787)
 

Schedule - May 6, 2017
In Celebration of “World Accordion Day”
$60.00 Admission, Snacks provided

11:00 Kevin Friedrich: World Accordion Day: Its Importance and Consequence
(about the CIA, why and how WAD was established; where celebrated)
12-12:30 Converse with artists - enjoy Lunch snacks provided
1:00 Helmi Harrington: Accordions Have Secrets!
(Surprising examinations of what’s expected vs what’s really there)
2:00-2:45 Explaining an Interpretation: Stas Venglevski, Michael Bridge, John Scaffeo (public “lesson” on chosen pieces)
3:00-3:45 John Scaffeo
4:00-4:45 Panel Discussion, Open Forum: Memorization and Rapid Learning Techniques
5:00-5:45 Michael Bridge Concert
6:00-6:45 Snacks and Break Time; set stage for Band
7:00-7:30 Stas Venglevski Conducts:
Summer Sunshine (Stas Venglevski)
Kanon in D (Johann Pachelbel)
La Violatera (Jose Padilla)
The Lost Chord (Arthur Sullivan)
7:45 Jam Session: Just for Fun
 
Schedule - May 7, 2017
In Centenary Celebration of Dr. Willard A. Palmer
$60.00 Admission, Snacks provided
9:00 Board Meeting
11:00 Dr. Mike Middleton and Helmi Harrington:
Part One: Willard Palmer Changed the Musical World by Teaching Us How to Teach and Play
Part Two: Developments after Palmer’s Work (working with new repertories; handling the big instruments; advancing technical skills; increased reliance on excellent teachers;  more)
12:00-12:45 Converse with artists—enjoy snacks provided
1:00-1:45 Dee Langley Concert
2:00-2:45 Stas Venglevski Workshop:
Part One: On Composing, Conducting, Arranging
Part Two: Stage Presentation Styles Demo
3:00-3:45 Dee Langley Workshop: Playing from a Lead Sheet; Feeling and Understanding Balkan Rhythms
4:00-4:45 John Scaffeo (offering to be determined)
5:00-5:45 Stas Venglevski Concert
6:00-6:30 Snacks and Break Time; Set Stage for Band
6:30 Tracey Gibbens: On Conducting
Band Performances:
Morning in the Mountains (Rudolf Wuerthner)
Herbst Elegie (Hans Brehme)
Modern Love Waltz (Philip Glass)
Ashokan Farewell (Jay Ungar)
Accordion Waltz (Anon.)
 

Concluding Ceremonies:  Champagne toast to Palmer, the CIA, all performers

Post-event:

Jam Session ad lib

   
Accordion Band Participants
 
Accordion Concertina Music Band
Dale Ahlberg (Lakeville, MN), Ron Askegaard (Foxboro, WI), John Blumenfeld (Mendota Heights, MN), Robin Floyd (Two Harbors, MN), Charles Harrington (Austin, TX), Krystal Harrington (Austin, TX), Hanni Harrington (Austin, TX), Helmi Harrington (MN and WI), Gina Jennissen (Hutchinson, MN), Carrie Kalweit (Minneapolis, MN), Ruth Maciejeski (Duluth, MN), Joy Schmitz (Hutchinson, MN), Roger Schmitz (Hutchinson,MN), Shelby Setniker (Woodbury,MN), Marian Syrjamaki-Kuchta (Duluth, MN), Anne Velasco (Duluth, MN)
 
Guest Artist Participants
Carolyn Carver (Duluth, MN) (violin), Kevin Friedrich (New York, NY), Stas Venglevski (Moscow, Russia and Milwaukee, WI), Dee Langley (Minneapolis, MN), Tracey Gibbens (Duluth, MN), Michael Bridge (Toronto, Canada), Dr. Michael Middleton (Belton, TX), John Scaffeo (Thunder Bay, Canada), Jim Wachter (bass viol)
 
Additional Participants in the Last Piece
Zane Bail (Duluth, MN), Mary Carlson (Duluth, MN), Nina Ford (Superior, WI), Cheryl Husby (Duluth, MN), Linda Knudsen (Superior, WI), Nelson Stetson (Duluth, MN), Zotiy Wallace (Minnetonka, MN), Renee Wermter (Two Harbors)
May 19-21, 2017

Chmielewski International PolkaFest
Grand Casino, Hinkley, MN
May 19-21
Special guest performer: Joey Miskulin and many others favorites
 
-Our side area will feature the following, with more yet to be scheduled
-Introduction to A World of Accordions Museum resources
-Presenting selected instruments from AWAM’s Travelling Museum through performances: what construction features makes them easy and popular accordion qualities and values, take a first lesson on different types of accordions, concertinas, Discussion topics about accordion repairs and maintenance, Sales of instruments, music, novelty items, and misc.

July 19-23, 2017

Accordionists and Teachers Guild Festival
Lisle, IL
July 19-23, 2017
 
Accordion Concertina Music Band presents:
Pachelbel “Kanon in D” and“The Lost Chord”
Workshops to be announced

 
RECENT EVENTS IN 2016
March 12 , 2017
Renowned accordionist Stas Venglevski will appear in concert on March 12, 2017. He will be assisted by Tatyana Krasnobaeva on Cembalom.
 
Stas Venglevski (Bayan) and Tatyana Krasnobaeva (Cembalom)
March 12, 2017
Admission: $20
Time to be announced
 
This is a long-awaited opportunity to present these elegant virtuosi in duet and solo performance. Concert presenter Helmi Harrington was enthralled by the cembalom during her adjudications in Russia, and is delighted to be able to offer the experience to attendees.
April 29 - May 2, 2017
Introduction to Accordion Repairs Seminar
9:00 AM - 6:00 PM
Admission: $350.00
Additional information will be sent with preregistration (required)
 
Introduction to Accordion-Family Instruments
Understanding the major members of the instrument family
Basic repairs: bellows, air insufficiency, machine alignments, reed work, tuning, waxing, leathers, more

stas venglevskiApril 3, 2016
Stas Venglevski
Hanni Strahl Concert Hall

 
His artistry, dazzling technical command, and sensitivity have brought Stanislav, "Stas," Venglevski, a native of the Republic of Moldova, part of the former Soviet Union, increasing acclaim as a virtuoso of the Bayan. A two-time first prize winner of Bayan competition in the Republic of Moldova, Stas is a graduate of the Russian Academy of Music in Moscow where he received his Masters Degree in Music under the tutelage of the famed Russian Bayanist, Friedrich Lips. In 1992 he immigrated to the United States.
 
A Past President of the ATG, and current Board of Director, Stas is an Accordionist, a Musician, an Arranger, an Entertainer, a composer and a Teacher. Stas' repertoire includes his original compositions, a broad range of classical, contemporary and ethnic music.
 
He has toured extensively as a soloist throughout the former Soviet Union, Canada, Europe, and the United States, including numerous performances with Doc Severinsen, Steve Allen and with Garrison Keillor on the Prairie Home Companion Show. Additionally, he has performed with symphony orchestras throughout the United States. He performed the world premiere of Concerto No. 2 by Anthony Galla-Rini and also the world premiere of Bayan and Beyond, composed for Stas by Dan Lawitts.He is a regular participant the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra's Arts in Community Education Program (ACE); has performed with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and the Tacoma Symphony Orchestra; has done television commercials and performed in theater productions; produced numerous recordings including a transcription of Tchaikovsky's Nutcracker Suite for Bayan as well as one of original compositions. He has published several books of original compositions.

Stas founded Accordion XXI Century Series in 2010 so that the Midwest audiences can experience the amazing range of the Accordion and Bayan by bringing gifted artists from all over the world. In a concert setting, these gifted musicians share their skills and cultures to provide the audience with a unique musical experience. The performances feature the Accordion or Bayan in solo presentation and, when possible, in concert with other instruments.

The brilliant artistry and musical virtuosity of Stas afford an expanded dimension in music and an innovative musical adventure to the audience.


May 4-5, 2016
Fourth Annual Willard Palmer
Festival
(further information to be added)

May 4th
Alex Meixner
Clinic - Presenting Your Music - 3:00 PM
Concert - 6:00 PM
  

Alex Meixner’s performing career began at age 6 with his two sisters and father in an ethnic folk ensemble. From these early experiences through headline appearances at music festivals throughout the US; concert performances with the London Symphony Orchestra, Sandy Duncan and his own jazz and ethnic ensembles; as well as over 50 recordings, Meixner has developed a unique musical mix that appeals to a wide cross-section of audiences.
 
Meixner’s formative musical studies were on piano and piano accordion, but he quickly branched out on drums, diatonic button accordion, bass and trumpet, his college major. This instrumental versatility is combined with a musical background that has included intense studies and performance of jazz, classical, pop, polkas and many ethnic folk music genres with some of the leading artists in the world. His talents in music and comedy were even featured on the Tonight Show on NBC in 2004. Most recently, his “Polka Freak Out” CD with Bubba Hernandez garnered a Grammy nomination in December, 2007.
 
Currently based in Palm City, FL, Alex is performing as a solo artist and with numerous touring ensembles.  His solo programs- “Fascinating Rhythms of the World” focus on the fusion of Slavic folk music and Jazz, but also include the inflections of folk, pop and classical styles from Latin America, Africa and other sections of Europe. This music is the basis for a series of multi-cultural music education seminars and performances which are currently available through the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts “Artists in Education” program.
 
Alex also leads The Alex Meixner Band in performances throughout North America. Whether you are looking for sure fire crowd pleasing family entertainment, something for the senior audience, classy jazz for a reception or a unique party band- Alex Meixner will work tirelessly to provide the perfect mix for your event. When Alex is not performing with all of these groups, he is devoted to bringing music to students through educational clinics, as well as his private teaching.

 
May 5, 2016
Fourth Annual Willard Palmer Festival cont'd
Hanni Strahl Concert Hall


The name of “Bill” Palmer (1917-1996) is certainly the USA’s most influential in music pedagogy, critical editions, and performance.
  
The American musician, composer, scholar and music educator, Willard (Bill) A. Palmer was a child prodigy. At 13, he played the piano on the radio. He studied both piano and accordion which were to form the basis of his musical endeavors. After the war, Willard A. Palmer and his former student, Bill Hughes joined forces. They can be credited with the high point in accordion performance in the USA. Palmer collaborated with Hughes in producing a series of accordion method books which have had world wide impact. Sales ran into the millions making it the cornerstone of the Alfred Publishing Co. empire.
 
As an educator, Willard A. Palmer was ahead of his time - instrumental in carving an indisputable niche for the accordion at the university level. He and Hughes took the accordion beyond mere college acceptance, into the realm of establishing an actual accordion department within the University of Houston, where they were faculty members enabling young accordionists to earn both Bachelor's and Master's degrees with their instrument. Palmer also founded the "Palmer-Hughes Accordion Symphony", a superb orchestra which appeared at Carnegie Hall in New York.
 
During his period as a professional accordionist, Willard A. Palmer sought to perfect his yet-evolving instrument and contributed significantly to the development of the stradella-free bass "convertor" accordion. He designed the "Palmer Emperor Convertor", and collaborated with Titano Accordions to achieve the realization of his creative ideas.
 
Willard W. Palmer eventually became one of the most important editors of keyboard music in the United States. His editions of works of the masters are highly acclaimed and respected in the most elite music circles. Palmer is noted especially for his painstaking detail and care in the scholarly researching of original editions. He became Alfred Publishing Company's Senior Editor in 1964, researching the original manuscripts of the great masters of keyboard literature, with special emphasis on the study of performance practices in the Baroque, Classic and Romantic eras. He achieved recognition as the leading authority on Baroque ornamentation and lectured on the subject at various colleges, universities and music festivals throughout the country.
 
While achieving accolades for his educational works for other instruments, Willard W. Palmer remained a steadfast supporter of his beloved accordion. Willard A. Palmer's revolutionary teaching principles were reflected in 789 of his published works, which included an accordion method, several piano methods, a method for Hammond Chord Organ, a guitar method, hundreds of solo pieces and many choral works.
 
In 2013 his son, Willard Palmer, III, donated his father’s musical estate that includes one of the finest accordions of the museum (Titano Super Emperor V, 1996) and the decorous two-manual, eleven-pedal harpsichord (A. Cecil Taylor, 1979) that graces the Hanni Strahl Concert Hall.

May 20-22, 2016
See us at the Chmielewski Polkafest
Grand Casino, Hinkley - 11:00 AM - 6:00 PM

 
Friday May 20
Visit A World of Accordions Museum display anytime (11 AM to 6 PM)
Music and more will be offered    (Topics may vary)
12:00-1:00 - Aspects of accordion repairs (Treble section)
2:30-3:00 - Rob Dingmann (Slovenian Button Diatonic)
4:00-4:30 - Entertainment performance suggestions
5:00-5:30 - Helmi Harrington plays musette favorites
 
Saturday May 21
Visit A World of Accordions Museum display anytime (11 AM to 6 PM)
Music and more will be offered  (Topics may vary)
12:00-1:00 - Aspects of accordion repairs (Bass section)
1:00-1:30 - Old Time Music: Royal Miller and Helmi
4:00-4:30 - How to Memorize Music
5:00-5:30 - Helmi Harrington plays ethnic favorites
 
Sunday May 22
Visit A World of Accordions Museum display anytime (11 AM to 6 PM)
Music and more will be offered   (Topics may vary)
12:00-1:00 - Aspects of accordion repairs (Bellows)
2:30-3:00 - Diatonic accordions and concertinas
4:00-4:30 - Guest performer
5:00-5:30 - Helmi Harrington plays Midwestern favorites


mike middletonJuly 3, 2016
Hanni Strahl Concert Hall
Dr. Mike Middleton & the Middletones
details TBA

 
Mike Middleton is an accordionist who specializes in Midi Enhanced Accordion music from all genres. He performs mainly for charity events and local festivals, including all styles of international accordion music. He also enjoys arranging compositions to accordion, and has recently been performing at many churches and for Senior groups throughout Central Texas. His latest performances include renditions/arrangements of "Ghostriders in the Sky", "Variations on an Amazing Grace", "Beer Barrell Polka Variations", "Russian Minka Variations", and other favorites. His preferred instruments are a Titano Starlight Royal Cossoto Accordion with a Melody Maker onboard Midi Synthesizer, a Petosa Mahogony Alpine Tuba Bass Accordion, and sometimes….a Mirafone 189 Kaiser Tuba.
 
In addition to the accordion, Mike plays Tuba and he combines his accordion and tuba performances periodically. Currently, he lives in Central Texas with his wife Darla, and their three children Meredith, Lance, and Mitch. Periodically they perform together utlilizing Harp, Drums, and Bass respectively. When performances include include his children the are affectionately called " Mike and the MIDDLETONES".
 
Note from Helmi Harrington: Mike Middleton was a teenager in the 1970s when he studied accordion with my mother and later with me in Austin, Texas. Mike was a wonderful student, an ambitious member of the Strahl Music Ensemble, and, on occasion, my duet partner. Mike won the Texas Accordion Championship the year after I had. It was a certainty even then that he would do great things with his life: he became a doctor, then head of nuclear medicine, and now a board member at Scott and White Medical Center in Temple, Texas.
 
Mike has maintained his musical skills despite demands by profession and family life with wife and three children. Further, he does not fail to acknowledge his teachers Tony Rozance and me in write-ups on his CDs, now numbering three. As a birthday present he sent me a large, beautiful, Texas-influenced print designed and drawn by his brother to be used on the next CD cover. It hangs at the Belknap Street entrance. With each new CD he sends extras for the museum library and gift shop.

July 4 , 2016
Superior Citizens Parade
Carleton County Historical Society


July 21-24 , 2016
Accordionists and Teachers Guild, International Workshop Lectures July 21-24, 2016

The 70th festival which celebrates the founding of this international organization will be held in Lisle, IL, (a suburb of Chicago) at the Hyatt Lisle (1400 Corporetum Dr). This landmark year will feature numerous guest artists, speakers, and displays including two events presented by AWAM. Summaries of Helmi’s workshops follow—but be sure to look at the ATG website and consider the importance of your attendance. Educationally significant hand-outs will be available.


 
hall hall
The Hanni Strahl Concert Hall