Dress rehearsal concert

Jim and Shirley O’Brien

Jim and Shirley O’Brien

How do you get sixty-five SaddleBrooke residents to listen to an hour of accordion music? First, send out a compelling invitation without admitting what instruments are going to be presented. Then schedule and decorate the HOA 1 Activity Center with festive colors. Have plenty of snacks and drinks available when they arrive. Wine and dine them and then lock the doors and tell them off duty SaddleBrooke Patrol will send them back if they try to escape. And, oh yes, don’t play the traditional acoustic accordion, but, rather, its new manifestation, the Roland digital accordion.

This is exactly what Jim and Shirley O’Brien did on the evening of May 10. They wanted a dress rehearsal before departing for the Northwest in their motor coach to participate in numerous festivals in Leavenworth, Washington, Sisters, Oregon, Coeur d’Alene, Idaho and Joseph, Oregon among others. What better audience than your friends from SaddleBrooke who proved to be an enthusiastic group willing to sing along on almost any song, including those in Italian.

Jim and Shirley played and sang selections from their German, Italian, Scandinavian, jazz and rock repertoire on their Roland digital accordions, a stand-alone electronic instrument that incorporates over 40 accordion sounds from around the world as well as orchestral timbres and drum rhythms.

Attendees built sandwiches from a variety of breads, meats and condiments with many also bringing desserts to share. It was a great sendoff and, in reality, even though the doors were not locked, everyone stayed right through the concluding and rousing patriotic tribute ending with God Bless America! The good times did roll.