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Central Florida Accordion Club
Featured Member for March, 2004

Mardelle Bailey
 
"I had asked about playing piano, but since it was the time of Myron Floren and
Lawrence Welk, my aunt suggested I try the accordion.".
 
I was born in the small town
of Warsaw, not in Poland but
Indiana. My family brought
me to Lakeland, Florida when
I was 10 and it was there I
began accordion lessons at
the age of 13. I had asked
about playing piano, but since
it was the time of Myron
Floren and Lawrence Welk,
my aunt suggested I try the
accordion. We bought my
first instrument for around
$200.00.
 
My first teacher's name was
Mrs. Fisk. A strict but fair
teacher, she asked us to
practice hard and involved me
with an Accordion band. Six
months after my first lesson, I
played a recital at the
Tuesday Music Club. The music
had to be memorized and I
performed before parents and
guests. The accordion band
performed as well. We played
at schools, the old Lakeland
Civic Center, and for other
special events.
 
June, 2003
 
December, 1962
 
Spring of 1962
 
I played at the 'Amber G' for the Lakeland Ledger Christmas party and our photo appeared in the paper.
During the 2 years I took lessons from Mrs. Fisk, our group at a state competition in West Palm Beach.
There, I had the honor of playing for Anthony Gallarini. I received 'honorable mention' for my
performance and thoroughly enjoyed the experience.
One thing I remember about Mrs. Fisk. . . she taught stage presence, to do our best, and how to enjoy
yourself when performing. She brought out the talent in each of us.
I took lessons 2 more years from Mr. Powella at the
Lakeland School of Music and was again involved with
playing special events.
 
After marriage, I gave up playing until a friend in my church encouraged me play at services. Later, I
accompanied my two boys singing. We performed at the Central Florida Missionary Baptist Churches. My
oldest son plays piano and we performed a duet for one of our National Missionary Baptist Conferences.
Currently, I play at nursing homes, and perform for worship services and sing along hours. I use my
accordion in the school system to introduce children to the instrument. In addition to the CFAC, I am also
member of the
Florida Accordion Association.
Many CFAC members have encouraged me to practice and improve my music. As a result, I have fallen in
love with the accordion again.

Thank you very much. Thank you for naming me “Featured Member” for March. This means a lot to me.
 

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