Main Squeeze Rehearsal

photo by Hai Zhang

photo by Hai Zhang

I rehearsed last night with the Main Squeeze Orchestra.  I’d never seen them before, only heard about them.  When I moved to NYC, I asked around about accordion repair shops and Walter Kuhr’s Main Squeeze came up.  I never went to his shop, opting for Alex’s accordion repair shop in Times Square.

Then, I heard that he’d started an accordion orchestra, an all-female orchestra.  I thought that was a cool idea but still had never gone to see them.  Until last night when my directions brought me to a classroom tucked away near Chinatown to the 13 ladies with accordions led by Walter at the front.

I felt shy for some reason.  I think it was because it was a classroom, but who knows.  So, I quietly went to the back of the room and sat as they rehearsed the Brandenburg Concerto No. 5.  As I listened, I thought, this man is brilliant.  13 women playing Bach may seem too much of a novelty in theory but to see and hear it is beautiful.  Different women with different accordions. Small accordions.  Bass accordions.  The Main Squeeze accordions that Walter had built.  What heaven this man must face each week.

The next piece was “Bohemian Rhapsody”.  I sang from the back for I was still feeling the shy.  I felt like a choir boy singing with them.  And when it was over, Walter pulled a handkerchief from his pocket and wiped a tear.  What a lucky man.