Year 2001 has been quite exciting for The "K" Trio! Along with our numerous local performances, we were lucky enough to have a 10-day tour in Texas, and a 2-week trip to Australia and New Zealand!

After a couple of well-deserved breaks this year to relax and get focused again -- we finished "Take 2" . . . . FINALLY!! "Take 2" will be ready for distribution early this year (2002). It includes masterpieces from our accordion repertoire . . . from Pietro Deiro, Sr. (Quick Silver, Rondo from Concerto in E, and Pietro's Return), Charles Magnante (Accordiana, Waltz Allegro), Joseph Biviano (Bolero in C Major), Eugene Ettore (Pioneer Concerto), Pietro Frosini (Jolly Caballero), Aldo DeRossi (Trickling Keys), Marcello Roviaro (Valse Elegante), Robert Russell Bennett (Four Nocturnes), Carmen Carrozza (Cascade), Anthony GallaRini (Paragon March), Charles Nunzio (Elenita), Donald Balestrieri (Polka Italiana), Frank Mucedola (The Fox and The Hound), and Carnival of Venice!

In February, we were honored with a request by the New Haven Chapter of the Connecticut State Music Teachers Association to present our workshop "How We Do It" to its members. The program details the "art" of ensemble performance. Responses from the attending members were . . . ."wow" . . . "Boy, did I learn a LOT!"

Our annual participation in The Schubert Club Performing Series was quite special for us this year. The "Pole To Pole" theme allowed us to play music written by American composers . . . so we included the piece written for us by Dr. William Schimmel - "Kosovo: Land of Broken Dreams". The audience loved it . . . and to our surprise . . . there was a couple in the audience who escaped from Kosovo to the United States about 4 years ago! They were enthralled with the expression and complexity of the number!

Many thanks to Norman Seaton for organizing the Texas "Dream Team" Tour in March. . . the "touring group" was a joy to travel with . . . .we shared great moments with each and every one of them. They included: Gary Daverne (our conductor), Arlene Boddicker, Michele Boddicker Scheffler, John Simkus, Tom Sullivan, Laura Nilan, Janet Burchfield, Barbara Zwart, Marilyn Monsivais (and her husband Jose), and our bus driver Troy Watkins and his wife, Glenda . . . Our first concert was on the Emerald Stage at the 19th Annual North Texas Irish Festival in Dallas. Then we traveled by bus to New Braunfels, and did some sight-seeing in Greune. Our performance was at the New Braunfels Performing Arts Theater . . . right near the train tracks (great timing for John Simkus . . . a train went rolling by right in the middle of John's performance!). We were surprised to find out the next morning that we'd been re-named The "K" Trio Polka Band in a local paper review . . . apparently, the reporter didn't attend the whole concert, but did his "review" anyway! Corpus Christi was next on our agenda, where we performed at the Al Amin Temple . . . traveled on to San Antonio, where we visited the beautifully striking Riverwalk and The Alamo . . . and then on to the Alzafar Shrine Center for our final concert of the trip. We were all sad to see the tour come to a close . . . we sure did have fun . . . in between the rehearsals and the performances!

When we arrived back at the Convention, the tour group was joined by many of TAA's members in a farewell performance at the Dallas Convention closing ceremonies. The days were jam-packed with workshops and performances! The "K" Trio had its first lesson in cajunto playing . . . and diatonic accordions! You should have seen the look on Santiago Jiminez, Jr.'s face when Mary went ahead and "took off" on a riff! Julie and Walt joined in, and our special cajunto session went wild!

Along with Gary Daverne and 2 local members of the TAA, we appeared live on a radio broadcast on 90.1 FM, KERA hosted by Greg Mitchell, where we answered questions from the listeners, and they played several cuts from our CD "Images"! . . . A very "special" part of the Festival for us was the presentation of our "How We Do It" workshop. It was well-attended, and the thanks we received following the presentation made it very rewarding! The final concert of the event was an even greater thrill . . . a standing ovation from a "packed house" - many of whom were musicians, many were simply accordion-lovers! A fantastic event for us.

Again this year, we were fortunate to have the opportunity to perform in concert with Mario Tacca and Mary Mancini at the Venus de Milo Hall in Swansea, Rhode Island. As always, a concert with Mario and Friends is an exciting event, and we were pleased to be a part of such a wonderful program!

Every year, we try to do some community enrichment events . . . and this year we entertained the walkers in Hamden at the "Walk For Autism" sponsored by the Connecticut Autism Spectrum Resource Center, where we had a chance to perform for many of the students Mary works with at her elementary school position! We also contributed our time to some local CT senior residences and facilities, making our performing schedule very meaningful. It's such a thrill for us to make people feel happy. One of the nicest comments we received at these shows was that our music was "uplifting"! Well, that sure uplifted us . . . And made us more dedicated to sharing our gifts with those who cannot normally attend the concerts we perform!

It was quite a thrill for us to be invited to perform at both the Australian National Championships in Sydney, and the New Zealand Accordion Championship in Auckland. Both Heather Masefield and Tania Lukic-Marx kept us very busy in Sydney! Heather took us to the Queen Victoria Building's shops, where we saw the beautiful stained glass windows, wonderful mosaics, Crown Jewels, and the Royal Clock, we took a tour on the "trolley", got to see some Sydney city life, the magnificent Sydney Opera House, the Taronga Zoo, and even shopped on the Harbor Walk. Mary adjudicated during the competitions, and the quality and musicianship of the performances was superb! The final concert event was held at the prestigious Marconi Club (a beautiful Italian Club situated outside of Sydney in a lovely, rural setting), after which we had an "informal" get together at a local restaurant, where we really got to know everyone!

Many thanks to Heather Masefield for organizing all the housing "details" for us . . . the experience was wonderful. Traveling in any country outside the United States always reminds us of the comforts we take for granted here in the U.S.!

Gary Daverne was a great host when we arrived in New Zealand. We got to relax and enjoy Gary's Auckland Symphony concert the day we arrived . . . and that WAS the last time we sat down (except for driving time in the car!) He kept us quite busy sight-seeing . . . we barely had enough time to change clothes to do our performances! Getting a "first-hand" view of the country by a "native" was quite an experience. (We weren't lost, were we, Gary?) Mud flats, steam spouts, Craters of the Moon . . . beautiful scenery . . . each view better than the one before! What a BLAST! Thanks, Gary!

The concerts were wonderful . . . the New Zealand audiences were very receptive, and we are looking forward to visiting this wonderful country again some time in the next few years!

In August, we again participated in the American Accordionists' Association Workshop series presented by Dr. William Schimmel. The Tenri Cultural Institute was the venue in Soho, New York, and our performance there was exciting for us . . . we were once again lucky enough to do a "premiere" . . . Dr. Schimmel's "Kosovo: Land of Broken Dreams" (yes, we premiered the music last year) . . . but this time Mikki Goodman performed an outstanding impressionistic dance to the work . . . what an experience -- a 1st for us!

An especially exciting time for us is our yearly performance with Professor Emeritus Ward Davenny from Yale University! Professor Davenny selected Beethoven's Piano Quartet in E Flat Major, Opus 16 for Piano and Strings because Walter's part was considerably more demanding than many of the other works we'd performed with him . . . in other words . . . No rests for Walt! This work was presented in concert a second time . . . . as guest artists at the New Haven Chapter, CT State Music Teachers Association Ensemble Festival!

The "K" Trio would like to take this opportunity to thank our loyal fans for a wonderful year . . . and to let you know that year 2002 will include lots more "local" and U.S. performances! Our plans for 2003 and 2004 include more concerts . . . both inside and outside the United States . . . and a tour abroad! Have a great, musical 2002!

The "K" Trio, 15 Maplewood Lane, Northford, CT 06472 USA
Phone: (203) 484 5095     E-Mail:
mary.tokarski@comcast.net