For years I've been trying to make people feel better about having to travel with their accordion. I've said, "Oh, don't worry, just carry it on. Not a problem with a soft sided case."
I think something may have changed because I now get so sick to my stomach every time I need to take my accordion farther than a car ride away. Could it be that the airlines have damaged my concert instrument twice already and cost me a couple thousand dollars? Or maybe that I have to argue it on the plane despite my Musician's Union card in hand which should guarantee I can carry it aboard the aircraft? Or maybe it's that sick feeling at the security checkpoints as they take me aside to swab/search the outside and inside of the instrument and/or me?
On Amtrak, my accordion will never leave my side, my meals will be made for me and I can sleep all the way east (1,200 miles) if I want to. Voila, the NE 2 NE Accordion Expedition has been created and should go live on Kickstarter in a couple of days. Hurray Amtrak!
I specialize in both solo and ensemble work on the accordion and have been fortunate enough to perform with the Minnesota Orchestra, St. Paul Chamber Orchestra, Ancia Quartet, Minnesota Sinfonia, Minneapolis Philharmonic and Minnesota Philharmonic Orchestra. I am a past president of Accordionists and Teachers Guild, International and now enjoy being the President of the Mill City Accordion Association as well as event coordinator for the NE Accordion Festival. I live in NE Minneapolis and am a faculty member of Minneapolis Community and Technical College (MCTC) teaching accordion. A very wonderful thing happened recently, I won the 2011-2012 McKnight Fellowship for Performing Musicians and if that wasn’t enough the 2012 Minnesota Emerging Composer’s Award from the American Composer’s Forum (Orkestar Bez Ime, World Music). A dream comes true for this accordion kid!