2023 ATG Accordion Festival features internationally acclaimed guest artists and events for all ages

Musicians and artists from around the world will gather in the Chicago western suburbs on July 19-22 to celebrate the international talent of the Accordionists & Teachers Guild International (ATG) with an amazing line-up at the ATG Accordion Festival.

The festival will feature internationally acclaimed musicians at three special concert events as well as fun activities for the entire family.

The festival kicks off at 10 a.m. Wednesday, July 19, with an "Accordion Petting Zo," featuring dozens of accordions displayed in the Hyatt Lisle ballroom, any of which can be "petted" and played.

This free to the public event is perfect for young and old alike, or anyone who has ever wanted to learn more about the elusive accordion.

The event also features children's entertainer, singer and songwriter, Jane Christison of Janie Next Door. Best known for her "Music with a Smile" and engaging performances, Janie loves introducing kids to instruments they don't hear very often - like the accordion.

Participants can put on an accordion, pull the bellows and even play a tune - there are endless possibilities with ATG performers and teachers on hand to demonstrate and entertain.

The Accordion Petting Zoo on Wednesday, July 20, will be located at the Hyatt Lisle Hotel, 1400 Corporetum Drive in Lisle and the Accordion Petting Zoo on Saturday, July 22, at 10 a.m. will be in the Armerding Center lobby at Wheaton College, 520 E. Kenilworth Ave., Wheaton.

The festival highlights also include three captivating concerts being co-presented by Wheaton College as part of their Artist Series. The concert events kick off on Thursday, July 20, at Armerding Center for Music and the Arts with the UMKC Community Accordion Ensemble directed by Joan C. Sommers, assisted by Wheaton College graduates on percussion and featuring guest artist Das Duo Kollektiv from Vienna, Austria, bringing a unique combination of accordion and flute music to the program.

The second concert of the ATG and Wheaton College Artist Series continues Friday, July 21 at Armerding Center for Music and Arts with Stas Venglevski & Nathaniel Holman, Kevin Friedrich & Tony Payne, and the Polyphonia Orchestra.

The duo Venglevski and Holman combine the warmth of the marimba and wide range of the bayan to create an unforgettable performance. The duo will be followed by accordionist Kevin Freidrich who will be joined by Wheaton College's own Dr. Tony Payne, associated professor of music and director of the Artist Series, on organ. The program culminates with a performance by the Polyphonia Orchestra, under the direction of Pierre Varo. The 54-piece orchestra orchestra is from the French Island of Reunion.

The final concert of the ATG and Wheaton Artist Series concludes on Saturday, July 22, at Armerding Center for Music and the Arts culminates with the 50-piece Festival Orchestra conducted by the one and only, Joan C. Sommers.

Sommers is a former ATG Champion and founder of the World Accordion Orchestra. The Festival Orchestra features accordionists from all over the World including Canada, Austria, New Zealand, and Australia. Assisted by Wheaton College graduates on the percussion, the program will include classical selections, medleys from musicals and tango nuevo. The program will also include soloist Grayson Masefield, a New Zealand born accordionist and the first person to win the World Championships in Classical, Virtuoso, and Digital accordion categories.

All concerts begin at 8 p.m. and are held in the Armerding Center for Music and the Arts at Wheaton College.

Tickets for all ATG Wheaton Artist Series events are $30, $20 for seniors, or $10 for students. All tickets can be purchased through the Wheaton College Artist Series website at

About the ATG

The Accordionists & Teachers Guild, International is a non-profit organization of accordion teachers, students, composers, professional musicians, and hobbyists from around the world. Its goal is to foster an appreciation of this remarkable instrument and its music. Since its establishment in 1940 by the late Anthony Galla-Rini and colleagues, the ATG has garnered international prestige and respect for its ongoing pursuit of excellence in music education. The ATG offers scholarships, hosts seminars, workshops, concerts, recitals, and an annual festival -- all of which provide accordion education and performance opportunities for players of all ages and levels.

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