Awesome Accordions in the New Year

On January 12, 2016, Classical Tuesdays in Old Town rings in the New Year by celebrating the accordion-  in a few of its many guises.

Four Northwest accordionists will play for us in Slavonian Hall, featuring several distinct styles of music the accordion excels at - in the right hands.

Bonnie Birch

Bonnie Birch is one of the Northwest’s finest accordionists performing a versatile repertoire of American, European Continental (French, Italian, etc), and classical music.

She performs as a soloist as well as working with a wide variety of local area musicians and singers.
Bonnie is president of the Northwest Accordion Society and chairman of the Leavenworth International Accordion Celebration.

Toby Hanson
Toby Hanson is a well-studied accordionist with experience in a wide range of styles.  A graduate of Cornish College of the Arts, he has built a career playing both with various bands and as a solo artist. His breadth of experience encompasses various styles including French, German, Italian, Scandinavian, Balkan, and American. Mr. Hanson is the musical director of the Valse Café Orchestra, founder and leader of the Smilin’ Scandinavians polka band, and a member of Cowgirl’s Dream, Alchymeia, Rouge, The Jangles, The Highball Boys, and various other ensembles.  In April 2015, Mr. Hanson was privileged to serve as music director for an off-Broadway production of “The Polish Diva From Milwaukee” in New York City.

Murl Allen Sanders, musician, composer, teacher and recording artist, has been active in the Seattle area
Murl Allen Sanders
music scene and across the United States, Canada, England, Brazil and Japan. Murl has worked with such diverse artists as Chuck Berry, Etta James, Il Divo, Glenn Yarbrough, Brazilian accordion virtuoso Chico Chagas, virtuoso accordionists Stas  Venglevski and Gary Blair, Leroy Bell, Peter Duchin, Alarm Will Sound, Seattle Modern Orchestra, Cascade Symphony, Everett Philarmonic, Orchestra Seattle/Seattle Chamber Singers, The Von Trapp Children, Theodore Bikel, Leslie Gore, Barbara Lamb, Susan Pascal, Warren Rand, Pearl Django, Michael Tomlinson and Kelly Harland, among many others. Murl teaches piano and accordion privately and is adjunct faculty at Cornish College of the Arts and Shoreline Community College. He has received two grants from The Seattle Mayor’s Office of Arts and Cultural Affairs to compose “She Blows Hot and Cold” and a grant to compose his “Accordion Concerto #2” which premiered in 2007 with Orchestra Seattle/Seattle Chamber Singers. His “Accordion Concerto #1” premiered in 2003. Murl received a 2010 and 2009 ASCAP plus awards.  

Lyle Schaefer has been playing professionally for over 50 years, locally, as well as touring throughout the Midwest and overseas in Sweden, Norway, and Finland.  As a teenager, he won 1st place in his age division, competing in the 1962 Washington State Teachers Association accordion competition.  After serving in the Army, 82ndAirborne division and a tour in Viet Nam, he returned to pursue a career in the medical profession; at the same time becoming a popular musician, playing for all kinds of venues, organizations, and dance clubs.  From 1998 through 2000, along with his brother, placed 1st, 2nd, or 3rd in Canada’s largest Old-time Accordion Competition.   One of the highlights was playing a successful Polka Breakfast at the Swiss Inn.  Over the years, along with recording with other groups, has made three recordings, “Gentlemen Do Play Accordion” (1985), “Polka Style by Lyle” (1994), and “The Schaefer Brothers Live” (1996). 

Date: Tuesday, January 12, 2016
Time: 7 PM
Location: Slavonian Hall, 2306 N. 30th St., Old Town Tacoma
Cost: Free, donations appreciated
More Information: (253) 752-2135, Facebook event

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