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Accordion to me, this is a Cool Christmas Story ;-)


Nov 29, 2020
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Calgary, AB, Canada
Hello Everyone!

This is my first ever post on this forum (just joined) and let me first disclose that I'm not an accordion player, collector or enthusiast but through happenstance I became involved in a cool accordion related Christmas story and I thought I'd reach out to the accordion community for a little help in making the story even better. I also love a lot of music that features accordion like Zydeco, Eastern European/Klezmer and other genres as well.

So in this thread, I will tell the story and then direct you to a thread that I will start in the Accordion Makes and Models section where you can hopefully help me out by providing some information on the accordion involved in this story and the make of it. The title of that thread will be, "Can Anyone tell me Anything about this Accordion and/or the Company who made it?".

Oh, and sorry for the bad pun in the thread title. I just couldn't resist. ?

Now here's the story:

A couple days ago, I get a call from a friend asking me if I know anything about accordions or if I know any local musicians who play the instrument and who might know something about them. Although I'm not a musician, I do have some ties to the local music community having worked with a well known local band as a promoter and arts grant proposal writer for a while. My friend had a nice looking vintage accordion that belonged to her late grandfather. No one in her family wanted to take up playing the instrument so she wanted to see it get into the hands of someone who could really use it and who would play and enjoy it. I said I'd get in touch with some people I knew and see what I could find out.

A musician friend of mine told me to contact a local music shop that specializes in accordions and has been in this city for decades. I contacted the owner and sent him some photos and he told me it's a basic double reed 120 starter model, made in Italy likely around the late 50s or early 60s. The manufacturer or at least the brand name on the instrument (Quagliardi) isn't that well known and although the instrument is nice looking and likely of decent quality, it wasn't particularly valuable - maybe $200 CAD at most, depending on condition. I was surprised at how low the value was given how nice looking the instrument is but I also understand there are a lot of double reeds out there and demand for starter accordions isn't exactly huge in North America.

I then contacted a local guy who advertises accordion lessons on a local/national Canadian based classified ad website. I asked him if he had any young students who love playing accordion and whose family is in tough financially right now and can't afford to buy an accordion. He said he had a 14 year old boy with ADHD who is into Eastern European music and wants to be able to play it on the accordion. He said his Mom wasn't sure if he would be able to do well at it owing to his attention difficulties but he said the boy had done really well through his first four lessons and shows some real promise. He said he's been loaning the boy an accordion to use and has been donating his time because the boy's parents weren't getting much work at their jobs due to Covid and were having financial difficulties. He said it was worth it to him to donate his time just to see the expression on his Mom's face as she watches her son beam with joy while playing the accordion.

I said, "well, it looks like we found a new home for this accordion".

At that point, the Mom was contacted by the instructor and told that if she approved, an accordion would be donated to her son and that we'd like to get the instrument to her in secret so she and her husband could surprise the boy with it on Christmas Day. She gladly accepted and I'm told she was over the moon with excitement about the gift. My friend who tasked me with trying to find a home for the accordion is equally stoked about the accordion going to their home. It's exactly the kind of outcome she was hoping for. I should add here that we've tested all the keys and buttons through both reeds on the accordion and everything is working perfectly. No rattles or anything so it appears he'll be getting an instrument that's in good working order.

The boy's Mom has relayed to us that her son is big into history and will want to know as much as he can about the instrument and the people who owned it before so my friend will provide a little info about her Grandfather and I said I would endeavor to find out as much as I can about the accordion and the company who made it - or at least put their label and logo on it. So that's why I'm here. I want to find out what I can about the accordion my friend is donating and also to tell this story to all of you in hopes that it will lift your spirits in these dark times and might inspire some of you to do something similar this Christmas.

So on this thread let's keep the discussion limited to talk about this story and the sharing of similar stories any of you might have and let's relegate any discussion about the history of the accordion being donated to the thread I'll start in the Accordion Makes and Models section. Again, that thread will be entitled, "Can Anyone tell me Anything about this Accordion and/or the Company who made it?"
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Prolific poster
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May 1, 2013
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S W England
In these grim times - and for several reasons - I can't imagine a more welcome story.
I hope you will have further episodes to share.
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