New Music Guild Opens 2017-18 Season with Internationally Known Accordionist, Mary Tokarski

The New Music Guild, Inc. will open its season in mid December with internationally known accordionist Mary Tokarski as guest artist. She will play her first concert at at Ss. Peter and Paul Church, Holy Apostles Parish, 421 Covington Street in downtown Youngstown. The second program will take place at at Jefferson Congregational Church (UCC), 41 East Jefferson Street, Jefferson, Ohio (near Ashtabula). Both concerts will include Christmas music and have free admission.

Mary Tokarski

color photo of Mary Tokarski

Mary currently serves as President of The American Accordionists Association and is a member of the Accordionists and Teachers Guild, International (ATG). Both organizations are members of the Confederation Internationale de Accordionistes, as well as IMC-UNESCO.

Tokarski's appearances as orchestral soloist include the Auckland Symphony (New Zealand), the Prince George Philharmonic (Maryland), the Pioneer Valley Symphony (Massachusetts), the Waterbury Symphony (Connecticut), the Bronxville Pops
Orchestra (New York), the Mantovani Orchestra (mainland China tour), the Wolf Trap Orchestra in a live performance of the sound track of Lord of the Rings: Return of the King, and the Boston Modern Orchestra Project at the New England Conservatory in Virgil Thomson's Four Saints in Three Acts, and many more.

Mary has three solo CD albums, Music with Mary… with My Friends, Music with Mary… for my Friends, and Have Yourself A Mary Merry Christmas—all have received international acclaim. She has performed in many countries all over the world.

In collaboration with Karen Malan-Uribe and Joan Geller Grauman, Mary narrates and performs the music for the book, An Accordion! What is That? The recently re-released book is a reader with many text features not found in early childhood books.

Her interests in education led her to serve as Director of Music at North Haven, Connecticut's Tokarski Music Center, where she taught piano and accordion, directed the choral and ensemble programs, and supervised pre-school activities. Along with piano and accordion teaching at her home studio, she travels extensively presenting workshops, master classes, coaching privately, and adjudicating for national and international juries. She also worked for many years for North Haven's Early Childhood Development Program.

Mary Tokarski Facebook:

The Program

Tokarski will perform works by John Gart, Eugene Ettore, Carmen Carrozza, Carlos Surinach, William Schimmel, Todor Gerov, Karen Fremar, Guy Klucevsek, Bach-Gounod, Tchaikovsky (Nutcracker March), Alexander Tcherepnin, and as a special treat, Martin and Blane's, Have Yourself A Merry, Merry Christmas. Violinist Gwyneth Rollin accompanied by pianist Robert Rollin, Coordinators of the New Music Guild, The New Music Guild, Inc., will open the concerts with a performance of Rollin's original setting of The Wandering Bird, an old Puerto Rican folk song.

There will be special parties honoring guest artist, Mary Tokarski after each recital. The New Music Guild, Inc. cordially invites the public to attend.


Annual Spring Concerts Poster

Download the Annual Spring Concert poster.

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Artwork by Susan Dunn

New Music Guild, Inc. Features Violinist/Violist, Wanda Sobieska

The New Music Guild’s third concert set of the season will take place at 7:00 p.m. Saturday, May 20th, 2017 at the First Congregational Church of Jefferson, Ohio (an attractive small red brick church, built 1828), and at 4:00 p.m. Sunday, May 21st, 2017 at Saints Peter and Paul Church, Holy Apostles Parish, 421 Covington Street in downtown Youngstown. If you take Lincoln Ave west from 5th Ave on the YSU Campus, it intersects Covington Street after about half a mile. The brown brick Art Nouveau church has a steeple and will be on your right. It is a beautiful acoustic space.

The free admission events will feature violinist/violist, Wanda Sobieska, assisted by Kent State pianist, Seung Hyun Yoo, and Youngstown violinist/violist, Katherine O’Neill. Both Churches will sponsor special receptions with refreshments in honor of Sobieska and the other musicians.

Born in Warsaw, Poland, Sobieska belongs to the fifth generation of a family of musicians and musicologists. She has appeared as solo and chamber musician in the United States, Poland, and Canada. She regularly plays in many professional orchestras.

She began studying violin ay the age of five, and attended the Grazyna Bacewicz School of Music in Warsaw, the Cleveland Music School Settlement and the University of Cincinnati’s College-Conservatory of Music, where she earned her Bachelor’s in Violin Performance summa cum laude.

Sobieska is also a gifted arranger and has studied composition for many years. Recent arranging engagements include commissions by the San Francisco Chamber Orchestra and the English Symphony Orchestra. In 2009 she launched, a website dedicated to making much-needed sheet music available to working musicians. Featuring her own practical arrangements of commonly requested pieces available for free while adhering to standards of high quality, the site currently serves over 1000 visitors a day worldwide.

South Korean musician Seung Hyun Yoo was a visiting grad assistant, scholarship holder, and accompanist for both the Kent State Chorale and Chorus. He holds masters degrees in both Piano and Composition.

Katherine O’Neill served as concertmaster of the YSU Dana Symphony and as assistant concertmaster in the Warren Philharmonic.

Wanda Sobieska will perform the world premiere of YSU’s Emeritus Professor Robert Rollin’s Adam’s and Aidan’s Reverie (2017) accompanied by Yoo. Adam Dunn, the composer’s son-in-law and Aidan Dunn, the composer’s 3-year old grandson, inspired the composition.

Violinist Gwyneth Rollin will begin the concert with Robert Rollin’s Hebraic Prayer, accompanied by the composer at the piano. The melody, known worldwide, is from the Jewish Saturday worship service. The piece begins with a rhapsodic violin cadenza and moves to invertible counterpoint between violin and piano. Gwyneth Rollin studied Violin and Music Theory at the University of Calgary and Indiana University. She played in the National Youth Symphony of Canada, Calgary Philharmonic, Youngstown Symphony, and Warren Philharmonic.

Sobieska will play Petro Mascagni’s gypsy Violin Solo from his opera, L’amico Fritz.

She will also perform the Ohio premiere of Rollin’s Variations for Solo Viola, a lively and intricate composition employing 12-tone technique.

Sobieska and O’Neill will present Hungarian composer Béla Bartók’s charming Five Duos for Two Violins, including Pillow Dance, Ruthenian Song, Pizzicato, Slovakian Folk Song, and Ruthenian Dance. They will also play Rollin’s Three English Duos. These include Greensleeves Variations on the famous folk song; The Ravens, on a 16th Century courtly love long; and The Keeper in Summer, a piece that combines the 14th-century round, Summer is a Cummin In with The Keeper, another courtly song about a reluctant hunter.

Sobieska, Yoo, and O’Neill will perform Three Children’s Songs by Witold Lutoslawski, entitled Little Gregory is Walking, Kitten, and Dance. The new version, arranged by Sobieska, will be for two violins and piano.