written by Madison Olsen
The In-N-Out, Climbing, and Waffle Wednesday clubs are some of Lone Peak’s most popular clubs. The Accordion Club might be classified as the most unique of all the clubs at Lone Peak. Last year, Katie Lawrence (‘20) created the Accordion Club, open to anyone and everyone interested in playing the accordion. After a successful first year, the club is still running, this year with even more popularity.
As a cellist, singer, pianist, flutist, and ukulele player, it’s no surprise that Katie decided to pick up yet another instrument. With so many available options, the accordion seems to be a random choice. The Book Thief, a popular historical novel by Markus Zusak, was Katie’s source of inspiration to play the accordion. In this book, Liesel Meminger receives hope and comfort from hearing Hans Hubermann play the accordion. After reading about these characters and the warmth that the accordion brings to their lives, Katie was determined to try it out for herself. Once she started learning to play, Katie found that she had a new passion. “It’s a fun culture to be a part of,” she explains. “Just being able to say ‘Guess what? I play the accordion!’ is such a fun thing.”
While Katie was able to develop a love for playing the accordion, she didn’t know of anybody else who shared this unique hobby. She decided to start the Accordion club at the start of her first year at Lone Peak in hopes of meeting others who played (or would like to learn to play) the accordion.
Regardless of prior experience with the instrument, the Accordion Club is for everybody. Addressing those who may wonder if they can join the club without any current musical ability, Katie clarifies, “It helps if you’ve played the piano because the right side of an accordion is a keyboard, and the left hand involves chords, but it’s definitely possible to learn even if it’s the first instrument you ever play.”
Although playing the accordion may seem simple at first glance, many factors play into the sound that the instrument generates. While keys and buttons are played by either hand, the accordionist must expand or compress the bellows to make music. In addition to focusing on key pushing and bellow movement, the musician also has to hold up the heavy instrument, which often weighs around twenty-five pounds. The accordion’s unique elements add up to create a distinct, interesting sound which is often used in jazz, pop, folk, and classical music. In the Accordion Club, members get the chance to experiment with the accordion and learn how to operate each part of the instrument and produce music. Katie explains that the club is great not only because members get to play the accordion, but also because of the social aspect, with a fun environment where the musicians can “chat and get to know each other.”
This one-of-a-kind club meets once a week on Friday in Mr. Wagner’s classroom, room 224. The chance to learn to play the accordion and meet other students with similar interests makes this an opportunity you won’t want to miss!