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pillbugg

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I got excited when I saw the title. It's just a clip from the past.


Upon further research the college used to have accordion and concertina repair classes, but the classes were closed in 1993. Some text from an online article explaining why they were removed:
"Officials at Red Wing/Winona Technical College have decided to cut the accordion-repair course after two years because they said it had failed to attract enough students and had cost too much money. Only five students enrolled in the program this year, half as many as signed up last year, said Timothy O. Schreiner, vice-president of the college. Cutting the program will save about $65,000, he said."

Only 5 students in a year? I'm sorry, but I find it humorous how unpopular these instruments are.

The instructor was Helmi Harrington, which some of you probably know who she is, considering how small the accordion world is.
 

debra

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"In only 9 months..." That may have been the problem.
I took the courses of the Accordion Craft Academy (at Victoria, in Castelfidardo) and they consist of 4 modules of 4 days each (some just 3 1/2 days). The principle is you first learn the basics to get going in Tier 1 and 2 (often organized back to back) and then you go out and start doing repair work for about half a year before you come back for more advanced work in Tier 3 and the finer art of tuning in what I would call Tier 4 (but they call "Advanced Tuning". I'm sure it was profitable for the organizers, until Covid hit. There just isn't enough true in-depth knowledge of how everything in an accordion works to make up a nine month course program. (I wish there was such knowledge.) The (sad) reality is that the accordion has not been studied scientifically in sufficient depth to understand precisely what is going on in order to make accordions technically perfect, especially regarding the combination of reed plate, reed tongue, resonance chamber and valves to get a stable tone at low and high volume and to get all reeds to always start simultaneously in LMH configuration... The practical hands-on knowledge and skill you need as a repairer are best learned on the job.
ACA worked (and hopefully they will restart in the near future when people are less afraid to travel) because it was made up of short modules and could (and did) attract people from all over the world.
 
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Only 5 students in a year? I'm sorry, but I find it humorous how unpopular these instruments are.
I find It's a good way to deal with the disappointment. Just laugh it off :ROFLMAO:

This place was something special. I'm willing to bet none of the teachers at my local college even know what an accordion is, much less how to repair and assemble one. Haha!
 

Tom

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Red Wing is a beautiful city as well as a fine polka. But I've never seen an accordion there. They also have (had?) string instrument repair. I think the bigger problem was that there are no actual jobs available for accordion repair technicians. You would pretty much have to start your own business, as an "artist craftsman" and hope enough customers show up to pay your health insurance. I suspect, like most "artist craftsmen" 99% of successful accordion repair technicians here in shouting distance of Red Wing have a partner who is a nurse or teacher. Don't get me going about actually trying to get an accordion repaired.....
 

Tom

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....actually, now that I think about it, I remember buying 2 beaters there at that former antique place on Plum St. Miss that place, I went to Red Wing about once a month for work. Probably could find them in my old posts. Maybe that white Camerano? Pretty sure I brought it back there to show the proprietor once it was repaired.
 

Tom

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In related news, it looks like Cory Pesaturo is taking over Dick Contino's spot at this year's Festa Italiana in Milwaukee (returning after covid cancelations). I'm not going, but wonder how he will do following the hero..... Hope it's good.
 

TonyChicago

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In related news, it looks like Cory Pesaturo is taking over Dick Contino's spot at this year's Festa Italiana in Milwaukee (returning after covid cancelations). I'm not going, but wonder how he will do following the hero..... Hope it's good.
Stayed tuned for some Cory news from me.
 
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Tom

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Can't wait, Tony, thanks! I've never seen Pesaturo perform but admire his talent. Dick Contino was a master at surrounding himself with excellent musicians and mixing enough traditional music in with his preferred style (jazz) to make it work. Maybe Cory will do the same????
 

TonyChicago

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Can't wait, Tony, thanks! I've never seen Pesaturo perform but admire his talent. Dick Contino was a master at surrounding himself with excellent musicians and mixing enough traditional music in with his preferred style (jazz) to make it work. Maybe Cory will do the same????
I knew Dick. Met him the first time when I was rather young (21). He was nice and a bit eccentric. Good man all around.

I was supposed to hook up with Cory this weekend, but I won't be able to do it. However, I'll post something next weekend that may be of interest to people who follow him.
 
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Tom

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I played drums in high school jazz band with (one of) his bass players. My only connection!🤣🤣
 

TonyChicago

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I started out musically as a drummer. Played with and met a lot of great and nice musicians.
 
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Tom

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I on the other hand started out as a drummer and have played with many nice and average musicians. In my "real" career I met a few governors, senators etc., some of whom I would not characterize as either nice or musicians.
 

TonyChicago

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I get that drift as well. Did some time around them. Enough to get me hooked on Tylenol to treat my headaches. It was truly the world of professional wrestling, without the midgets and the ring.
 
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