Accordion club putting the squeeze on Sidney

Second-annual Accordions-by-the-Sea goes in and out July 7

Sidney’s Beacon Park bandshell will be filled with the sounds of Accordions-by-the-Sea on Saturday, July 7. (Photo courtesy Victoria Accordion Club)

Those who like their music freshly squeezed are going to want to head down to Sidney’s waterfront this weekend.

The Victoria Accordion Club is back July 7 for the second-annual Accordions-by-the-Sea.

Band co-ordinator Ron Sera said the club will treat the audience to a wide variety of pop classics, filtered through an instrument he calls surprisingly versatile. Part of the club’s mission is making people realize it’s not just an Oktoberfest instrument.

“We’ll be doing things popular like Paul Anka’s Diana. We’ll be doing something like Phantom of the Opera,” he said. “Some Elvis Presley songs, some big band, like Glenn Miller-type songs.

The club has about 30 members between the ages of 40 and 75. Most come from the Victoria area, with a few travelling from as far away as Nanaimo.

Sera said the popularity of the instrument waned from the mainstream with advent of rock’n’roll, but is slowly making a comeback. More young musicians are picking it up and incorporating it into unexpected places, like commercials, often in a way that people don’t even realize what they are hearing.

“It’s pervasive in the sense that people don’t know very much about it until you start listening for it,” he said. He hopes events like Saturday’s concert brings awareness to an instrument that deserves more love.

“A lot of people call it one of those instruments that lives on you. In other words, as soon as you put it on your chest it’s part of your breathing apparatus. It becomes part of you,” he said. “It’s almost like a total orchestra sitting on your chest.

The Victoria Accordion Club is based in Sidney at the SHOAL Centre and hosts a monthly jam session there at 2:30 p.m. on the first Sunday of each month.

Accordions-by-the-Sea begins at 2 p.m. Saturday and is free.

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