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Central Florida Accordion Club

Member of the Month
May 2003

 

Corliss "Corky" Hall

A teen accordion champion, Corky hopes to make her debut at a CFAC meeting soon.

 

"It's all Mrs. Cain's fault" is what Corky's mother says
about her playing . . .

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Corky in 1999

Playing a 12 bass, 1963

120 bass accordion, 1964

Mrs. Cain was a 70-ish lady, who in the 1960's was a neighbor of Corky Wisniewski's family in
the little town of New Boston, Michigan.   She had a litte chord organ with a book and a guide that
fit over the keys.  Corky visited Mrs. Cain, but couldn't keep her eyes off the little organ.  Finally,
she asked if she could play.  Corky learned Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star and Rock of Ages.  
Mrs. Cain told Corky's mom that she had some talent. . . and so it began.

Corky's folks couldn't afford an organ and besides, there was a man in town who gave accordion
lessons.   The accordion had to be cheaper, and she probably wouldn't stick with it anyway.  
Corky took lessons from Bob Taepke for about five years, starting in November, 1963.

In mid to late 1968, Corky switched to Modern Accordion Studios, owned and operated by Tony
Dannon and Ollie Petrini.  Lana Gore, a former champion, was her instructor there, and Tony her
symphony band director.  Under their guidance, Corky grew in ability.

In 1969, Corky won 1st place in the Michigan Accordion Association's 16 & over open standards
division with Mimicri -- judged by Joe Cerrito.

In July of 1970, Corky went to Washington, D.C. for the AAA Championship and Festival.  She
placed 3rd in the standard 16 division with Accordiana (by Charles Magnante).   In addition, she
and her partner placed 2nd in the standard duet division judged by Linda Soley.  One of her prized
possessions is a program from this event signed by Charles Magnante, Joe Biviano and Joe
Cerrito.   Corky also has an autographed photo of Myron Floren from a Modern Accordion event.

In 1971, the AAA Championship was held in Detroit, MI.  Corky's performance there was judged
by Charles Magnante, a pitiful 9th place.  "My dad died in December 1970, and it temporarily
affected my practice goals", says Corky.   "My dad used to say "can she quit practicing now???  
She has been playing for four hours already"!!

 

Corky has played at the old Ford
Auditorium in Detroit, banquets,
mayoral inaugurations, Kiwanis
club events, senior centers, county
fairs and church events.  She
taught at two studios in Michigan
and also gave private lessons in
her home.  

Corky credits her family for their
help and sacrifices, allowing her
to continue lessons even during
lean times.  

 

Corky is a CFAC Governing
Board member.  She is also the
Chairperson of our Community
Outreach program.

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Corky with trophy in 1969

 

In late 1971, Corky put her accordion away and didn't touch it except to move it from home to
home,,,, eventually to sunny Florida.  Her mom said numerous times "why don't you just sell it", but she
couldn't.   Corky found an announcement for a CFAC meeting and was ecstatic to find the accordion
alive and being played !!

Hooked on the accordion for the 2nd time in her life, Corky hopes to debut at a CFAC meeting soon.  
Corky, we are very fortunate to have you as a member and  appreciate your
enthusiasm for promoting the accordion.  We are looking forward to your CFAC
debut !!!

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