New England Music Festival

Festival Articles

An Unmatched Musical Weekend-2012 50th Celebration!

An Unmatched Musical Weekend-2012 50th Celebration!

When music of nearly a thousand young performers lets loose under one roof the weekend of April 13-15, the shards are likely to fly in every direction. From the romantic classics to punk rock, accordion to electric guitar, the New England Music Festival has pushed the imagination and self-confidence of its participants for 50 years now.

A special chance …

“Families are so busy today, but people get a chance to unwind, support their kids and be together.” — Sam Falcetti, ATAM member, Springfield, Mass.

Many have gone on to careers as music professionals, others to keep open a lifelong escape valve from their day-to-day routines. And many past performers will join their former teachers and present-day students when the festival — a creation of a handful of accordion teachers — celebrates its half century.

Special guests for the weekend festivities at the Newton Marriott are the Air Force Strolling Strings, an elite 22-piece ensemble that has entertained eight presidents and at thousands of public venues from The Grand Ole’ Opry to the Lincoln Center. Young musicians and their families will pause from competition to hear these graduates of leading colleges, universities and music conservatories around the world perform Saturday evening.

It is estimated that 25,000 players have performed at the festival in its 50 years.

It began with the accordion

The simple accordion is not so simple any more, but when the festival was launched by the Accordion Teachers Association of Massachusetts, players were most often carrying on family or ethnic traditions on their acoustic instruments. Today’s accordion has gone beyond electric to digital, producing innumerable instrumental sounds of the highest quality and in vogue with rock, jazz, fusion and world musicians of many stripes.

There are eight ATAM charter members still involved in the organization

Festival coordinators in recent years, Peg Falcetti from Springfield and Roger Latulippe of Hudson, N.H., have seen both the original instrument and the festival diversify since the event launched in 1962. Both have ties to accordion orchestras that have toured the world, but they are delighted to nurture students of many interests in their music studios and showcase them at the festival.