the very successful inaugural Confédération Internationale des Accordéonistes World Accordion Orchestra debut performance
at the Coupe Mondiale 2007 under the Musical Direction of Joan C. Sommers,
the magnificent staging of the CIA World Accordion Orchestra (WAO) II
in Scotland in 2008, WAO III in Auckland, New Zealand, WAO IV in Varadin,
Croatia, WAO V in Shanghai, China, and WAO VI in Spoleto, Italy, we
are delighted to announce that the World Accordion Orchestra VII will
be held in Victoria, Canada as part of our 66th Coupe Mondiale Festival.
C. Sommers, founder of the CIA World Accordion Orchestra was awarded the
title of Professor Emerita upon her retirement from the University of
Missouri Kansas City Conservatory of Music (USA), where she established
and taught the accordion degree program for forty years. She has arranged
innumerable works for the accordion orchestra over many years, often for
the UMKC Accordion Orchestra which, under her direction, competed in and
won more First Prizes in Virtuoso Accordion Orchestra Competitions than
any other similar American group. |
In both 1955 and 1956 she earned the right to represent the USA in the Coupe Mondiale and, although she didnt win, it was those experiences which opened her eyes to the tremendous opportunities available to accordionists; perhaps it also fixed her life-long interest in worldwide accordion activities. Most recently, she celebrated the 50th Anniversary of her UMKC Accordion Orchestra when they presented their 50th Gala Concert at the University.
As the arranger, Joan has had many years of experience as a teacher, a conductor, and an arranger for accordion orchestras at all levels. Many of these arrangements were used by her own orchestras in competitions held throughout the USA and on the many tours made by her groups overseas as well. The large symphonic accordion orchestras under her direction, and several times with the youngest average age for members, earned more First Place Virtuoso Accordion Orchestra Awards than any other American accordion orchestras. This is a record still unbroken today.
Joan C. Sommers has held positions in several music organisations, including the Accordionists & Teachers Guild International (ATG) and the Confédération Internationale des Accordéonistes (CIA IMC-UNESCO). Professor Sommers continues to adjudicate, coach soloists, prepare accordion orchestra arrangements, and conduct accordion orchestras regularly, and now proudly serves as a CIA Vice President.
Jarosh has been a dedicated music instructor and orchestra conductor for
Teaching music began as a way to finance her visual arts degree and has since become her full time career. Shortly after college she found herself teaching in three studios with up to 120 students per week. Since 1984, Maureen has operated her own music studio teaching accordion, piano and music theory from her home. In coordination with other local accordionists in Calgary, Maureen and her colleagues have created a not for profit society to promote the art of accordion in Alberta. The Accordion Association of Calgary is now celebrating its 24th year of cultural excellence. With the collaboration of all past and present students, Maureen has created a dynamic accordion orchestra.
The Jarosh Accordion Ensemble is an entity of it's own. Under Maureen's direction the group presents original, innovative and eclectic music for an accordion ensemble and has traveled to music festivals all over North America as well as hosted international accordion groups on several occasions. Local opportunities have given Maureen the chance to showcase the Jarosh Accordion Ensemble in performances with the Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra, Buckwheat Zydeco, and on stage with the Canadian artists Barenaked Ladies.
Her commitment to community has lead to benefit performances for UNICEF, Music missions in Central America, Haiti earthquake relief effort and support of arts and culture throughout southern Alberta.
Maureen's future projects will be inspired and diverse. One such project will be working with the Canadian Music Centre to present more accordion information and content at the Cantos Museum and concerts to showcase the accordion in a more current context.