Wadowick to give instruction on

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, October 25, 2000

accordion at senior complex


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If it’s happening for seniors, it’s happening at the Colley Senior Complex in Troy. So, once again, the senior complex is offering another opportunity for seniors.

"Accordion" to Mary Ann Casey, complex director, Jim Wadowick has graciously agreed to give instruction on a "fun instrument" to any interested senior citizens free of charge.

Wadowick, a participant at the complex, is a master accordionist and inspired several of the other seniors to want to join the fun when he entertained them with his peppy, polka music.

"Jim is such a wonderful musician and such a pleasure to be around," Casey said. "His accordion class will be such a joy for our seniors who are interested in learning to play an instrument. Many of them weren’t able to take music lessons when they were growing up and now we are able to offer them this opportunity."

Casey said, not only is Wadowick’s instruction an opportunity for the seniors to learn, it is also an opportunity for the complex to help preserve ethnic music.

"By utilizing the talents of our seniors to teach each other, we are able to preserve the crafts of earlier generations, and particularly those that are Southern. By doing so, we encourage a renewal of interest in those instruments."

Wadowick said even though an accordion might look like a difficult instrument to play, it actually isn’t.

"The accordion is a fun instrument to play," he said. "Rapid progress can be made on it without anyone having any previous musical training. An accordion is a self-contained ‘orchestra.’ It provides its own accompaniment in the left hand while the right hand plays melodically. It is an excellent instrument for performing all types of music, such as classical, pop, rock, country, and particularly church music."

Wadowick said he is looking for used instruments that might be available in the area and that new instruments can be purchased at a reasonable price from a reputable dealer.

"I am excited to find an interest in the accordion among the seniors at the complex," he said. "I’m sure there are others who interested in learning who may not be participating in the senior complex programs at this time. We invited anyone who is interested in learning to play the accordion to contact the center at 808-8500 and sign up. Remember, the instruction is free."

Wadowick is a native of Cleveland, Ohio and began to study accordion at age 7.

In 1952, he began teaching accordion at the Pompili Accordion Studios. He graduated from Case-Western Reserve University with undergraduate and graduate degrees in music. He has been an active accordionist and teacher for 55 years.

He recently retired from Troy State University where he had been an associate professor music from 1975 until 1998. He is currently devoting his time to studying the bayan, teaching privately, lecturing, playing musical engagements and writing music for accordion.

In January, 1999, Wadowick organized the Alabama Accordionists’ Association with 11 members. Now at 63 members, the association publishes a newsletter, The Score, quarterly and has its own website.

Wadowick is permanent executive director of the association and two other local residents, Eugene Omasta and David Holmes, are members.

The association meets quarterly in Clanton for a luncheon, business meeting and accordion performances by its members.

Wadowick invites visits to the Alabama Accordionists’ Association’s website (http://www8.50megs.com/score/.)