Westmont Philharmonia Accordion Orchestra,WPAO,Stanley Darrow,Joanna Arnold,Joanna Darrow,Accordion Orchestra

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The Westmont Philharmonia Accordion Orchestra (WPAO) is a classical symphonic orchestra. The WPAO is made up of 10 members from the area who perform serious classical and contemporary music. The primary conductor for the orchestra is Mr. Stanley Darrow.  Various guest conductors are featured who have been from all around the world. The Orchestra features virtuoso artists as guest performers. Its concerts have been heard in Philadelphia, Chicago, New York, Europe and throughout New Jersey. 

Members are arranged into four separate sections, a bass accordion and percussion. The harmonies, the thoughtful insights of the conductors, and the musical expertise of the members combine to create a sound not unlike that of a chamber ensemble. Often, other orchestral instruments such as violins, clarinets, horns, trumpets, and bells can be heard. A touch of amplification and the sound from a specially designed instrument, called the Electronium add interesting qualities. An Electronium operates like an accordion but is an electronic instrument, developed and refined over the last 100 years.


The Orchestra's repertoire is diverse. Performances include classical, contemporary, ethnic, original, and popular compositions. Classical works include music by Bach, Beethoven, Mozart, Wagner, and other great composers. Ethnic works include Balkan, French, German, Polish, Russian, and Ukrainian themes. Original accordion works are performed often to accentuate the broad musical power of the instrument. Popular composers represented in our performances include the Bee Gees, Bernstein, and Stevie Wonder. Our best loved popular music is from the Big Band Era with composers such as Count Basie.


The WPAO is affiliated with the Westmont Accordion Club and the Pitman Accordion Club. All of these organizations are dedicated to the advancement of the accordion.


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Westmont Philharmonia Accordion Orchestra, January 2014


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