Welcome to...

**   Get  a " glimpse" of the accordion museum collection (click here) !  **

E-mail: accordion@sprynet.com (emails usually checked weekly)
Phone: (715) 395-ARTS (2787) - 1401 Belknap, Superior, WI, 54880
(Former church at intersection of Belknap & Hammond)

Click here for MAPS to help find us !

  Accordion Museum hours: 
 Open usually on "Saturday-Sunday-Monday from 10:00 AM until 2:00 PM.  
 Other times are possible by appointment
...most weeks of the year. 
We are usually closed on Tues-Wed-Thurs-Friday. 
  To be absolutely sure, please check ahead before coming ;-) 

  Admission is charged. 
  If travelling from a distance, 
calling in advance is recommended ! 

   ( 715-395-2787 [ARTS] )  

 Lots of content & links here - please scroll down this page for more ! 

 Announcements ! 

  2015 Events Schedule !   

 July 15 Alex Meixner interview on radio (pending) 

A World of Accordions Museum invites your attendance!

Hello Friends,

A brief Board meeting should take place at 4:30 on Friday, July 16, 
just ahead of the Meixner workshop and concert

 July 16-18 Third Annual Dr. Willard A. Palmer Festival and Fundraiser ! 
 Focus: Willard Palmer, III 

Tickets available at www.eventbrite.com and at Harrington ARTS Center

Florian Chmielewski and Lorren Lindevig – Everyone’s favorites
Concert July 17, 5:00 PM

Alex Meixner – World-renowned and unique Workshop: July 16, 5:00 Concert : 7:00 PM

Dr. Anthony Bukoski – our own folklorist
"A Sea Story" July 17, 2:00 PM

Willard Palmer, III: Master Magician and entertainer
- July 16-17-18


Honoring the Palmers—Father and Son

Performers from Texas: Herschel Moody; The Harringtons

Performers from Louisiana: Julie Council and Christopher Hernandez

Local favorites: Amanda and Nolan Hauta; Paul Vargason; Accordion Concertina Music Band


Jam session led by Yvonne Marts (Fergus Falls "Accordion Lady")

History sounded through museum instruments

Carolyn Carver, Helmi Harrington, and

"Big Red" Palmer’s fabulous harpsichord

Workshops, museum tour, camaraderie, refreshments, MORE

Historic Accordions Sounded and Explained: Helmi Harrington
Helmi’s guided tour of Museum displays, American Accordionists’
Association Archival Collection, Deffner Legacy Room
, and Library resources
Alex Meixner: Workshop 5:00 PM, Band Concert 7:00 PM, July 16
Dr. Anthony Bukoski: Readings and Music
Willard Palmer, III: Master of Music and Magic
Paul Vargason: Piano-, Chromatic-, and Diatonic Accordionist
Frank Busso, Jr. (Titano/Pancordion executive, in concert) (pending)
Amanda Bush-Hauta: Soprano and Accordionist (pending)
Helmi’s Workshop: "Interpretation: It’s Not Written in the Notes"
Jam sessions
Membership Open Meeting; AWAM Board Meeting
Food and Refreshments
Admission charged

 2015 Palmer Festival Schedule (subject to change ;-)   


July 16  

10:00 Opening Ceremonies: Welcome to Bill and Julie Palmer: 

About Bill Palmer III

About Dr. Willard Palmer:  Pedagogue and Scholar

10:30 Bill Palmer Response (“When the Fairy Encountered Proof”)

11:30 Mayor Hagen Address

12:00 Lunch, Talk Time

1:00 Generations in Music: Julie Council and grandson Christopher Hernandez as 

“Buttons and Bows”  
1:30    Herschel Moody Performs

2:00 Paul Vargason Concert

2:30 Talk and Break Time

3:00 Bill Palmer: Life’s Journey: A Musical Potpourri  

4:30 Meet Alex Meixner

5:00 Alex Meixner Workshop

6:00 Snack, Talk, Break Time

7:00 Alex Meixner Band Concert  
1:30    Herschel Moody Performs


July 17

10:00 Preservation of Cultural History through Music: What AWAM Is All About

Introduction of Board Members and Volunteers

We can’t do it alone! Donations and Membership request

11:15 Open Meeting

12:00 Lunch Break and Talk Time

1:00 HARTS Tour: Palmer-Deffner LibraryAmerican Accordionists Archival Collection,

 Deffner Legacy Room, AWAM

2:00-3:30 Dr. Anthony Bukoski: “A Sea Story” 

Helmi plays musical interludes

4:00- Snacks and Break Time

5:00-7:00 Florian Chmielewski and Lorren Lindevig in Concert

7:30-9:00 Palmer: Master of Magic, Mindreading, and Storytelling


July 18

10:00-10:45 Helmi Harrington: History in Performance on Museum Accordions

and on Harpsichord with Carolyn Carver (violin)

11:00-12:00 Workshop: Interpretation: It’s Not Written in the Notes 

12:00 Lunch, Talk Time

1:00-2:30 Bill Palmer, III, The Alfred Masterworks Editions 

2:30-3:00 Break Time

3:00-4:30 Accordion Concertina Music Band:

Air on a G String (Bach)

Nideleven (Finnish)

Silk Umbrella (Slovenian)

Trois Tours de Piste (French Musette)

Horse Sings from Cloud (Pauline Oliveros)

Ashoken Farewell (Unger)

Select Performances: The Harringtons, Amanda and Nolan Hauta, Joy and Roger Schmitz, 

Vargason-Harrington duo, Carver-Harrington duo

4:30-5:30 Jam Session, led by Yvonne Marts 

6:00 Closing Ceremonies: Champagne Toast


 July 18-21 Accelerated Accordion Repair Seminar  (PDF) 
Advanced piano accordion repair seminar: tuning, machine alignments,
bellows, cosmetics, much more. 4:00 PM July 18 until noon July 21.
$350 per person

ARTS Enrollment Agreement !

Pre-Registration Signature Forms !



 July 18-20, 2015

(Approximate times)


In order to cover the many topics below, we must work quickly. 
Slower participants may not be able to complete each procedure. 
Questions and individual concerns can be voiced wherever appropriate to the current topic. 
Reference materials should be studied between sessions and overnight. 
Library items may be signed out for overnight only. Purchasable items must be paid before removal from building.


Saturday July 18, 2015 General Diagnostics of Maintenance

6:00 PM Meet participants
Introductory remarks

Handout seminar book

Introduction to workshop tools

Helmi disassembles and explains sections of a piano accordion

Participants choose an accordion for parallel diagnosis

Diagnose treble problems of an accordion

Determine what must be done vs. what could be done

Estimate time / cost

Basic maintenance cleaning procedures demonstrated

Test for gasket air loss

Wipe-down surfaces

Clean keys

Brush out bellows

Check shoulder straps, check brackets

Blow out reeds

Explain reed “block” vs “bank”

Check shifts and slides

Explain in-block slide

Show rasping device

Check bass buttons alignment

Check air button

Preventive care


Sunday July 19, 2015 Treble Section   -   Reeds

9:00 AM Remove treble section

Test reeds by shift

Notate any problem sounds by shift and key position

Explain octave notations (C4, A=440)

Review shift symbols

Treble section disassembly: 

Level keyboard

Remove axle, polish

Remove keys, clean housings, fluff pallets

Replace pallet 

(Rewax pallets)

Clean under-key area

Check shift machine and slide movements

Explain pan disassembly (when possible)

Wash shift assembly

Tone Chamber Issues

Cosmetics:  Replace grill cloth

Buff out scratches (by machine, by micromesh)


1:00 PM Reeds:  Distinguishing treble and bass reeds

Use of cotton gloves

Remove reed blocks

Check for rust on tongues

What to do about rust

Blow out reeds on half-bellows

Correct previously noted reed problems

Check status of reed wax

Remove a reed for cleaning

Observe external plate-mark

Soak in naptha 

Select at fresh leather / or curl to reuse original

Releather over reed apertures, inside first

Rewax over chamber

Reassemble treble section


6:00 PM Tuning procedures

By ear, by provino, by Dirk’s computer program, by electronic device

Sharp and flat a tongue 


Monday, July 20, 2015 Bass Section   -  Bellows   

9:00 AM Bass machine diagnosis

Chart problematic basses

How to find them quickly

Determine by shift and octave

Chart problematic chords

Review chord-pitch charts and sectional organization

How to find problems quickly

Align external buttons

Remove bass section

(use of Silicroil)

Remove blocks

Number from front of accordion

Blow out reeds

Check for rust

Observe leather curls

Notice if objectionable during use

Check wax, esp. on large plates

Check bass machine alignments

Remove bass buttons into holder

Observe pan fixtures

Reassemble bass machine

Bracing the basses

Check bass strap for replacement

Replace bass plate cloth

Reassemble bass section


1:00 PM Check bellows

Replace a gasket

Retape some folds

Replace a bellows corner

Patch leather diamond

Reinforce a “broken” fold

Reassemble entire accordion


6:00 PM Storage, Shipping, Crating 

Question-answer time

How many treble reeds are in accordions of various sizes?

How many bass reeds are in accordions of various sizes?

How many reeds sound when a button or key is depressed?


 July 22-25 Accordionists and Teachers Guild Festival (Lisle, IL)
AWAM Traveling Museum Display
Helmi’s History Workshop: Accordions Sounded on Historic Instruments,
Organological Evolution, Types, Qualities, more
Accordion Concertina Music Band and Students Perform / Compete

 August 22 Ethnic Evening: French and Musettes 7:00 PM
Music, History, Songs and Legends, Food and Jam Session (?)
Free and open to the public. Donations welcome

 September 19 Ethnic Evening: Latin and Tango  7:00 PM
Music, History, Songs and Legends, Food and Jam Session (?)
Free and open to the public. Donations welcome

 November 8 John Scaffeo Concert 4:00 PM
Admission charged

Please watch our website www.accordionworld.org for further information or any changes.

 Be sure to check out our interesting & informative 
 Newsletters (listed towards the bottom of this page) 
 for news of what's happening at the accordion museum 
 and repair school !  Here are a couple of only the most recent issues.

May - June Newsletter ! (PDF)

Link to the January-February 2015 Newsletter ! (PDF)

Link to March-April 2015 Newsletter (PDF)

Our second annual festival celebrating 

Dr. Willard Palmer was on 

May 3-4, 2014 !

Congratulations to all participants !

( read below for more )

A World of Accordions Museum is proud to announce the May 3-4, 2014, second annual festival celebrating Dr. Willard Palmer, whose musical estate is preserved in this institution. A slate of over twenty performers playing accordions, violins, piano and folk drums in solos, ensembles and orchestral settings of original works for accordion by Hans Brehme, and Hugo Herrmann, as well as Palmer editions of Bach, Beethoven and others. Palmer’s great Titano Super Emperor, will be featured accompanying vocals by lyric soprano and MM candidate Amanda Bush, along with two unpublished Palmer manuscripts.


Event highpoints will be entertainments by Willard Palmer, III, master of magic, mystery and mirth, who has delighted royalty and commoners throughout the world. This multifaceted entertainer combines music, humor and encyclopedic knowledge in ways that remain highpoints for all who heard him at last year’s festival. He and his wife Julie, generous donors of the Palmer estate, will also entertain on banjos and accordions.


A curator-guided tour of the museum will include evolving displays in The AAA’s Archival Collection room and a concert-setting lecture/demonstration of two-dozen historic instruments explaining cultural and repertory differences that spurred and inspired their inventions, tuning specialties and pitch organizations. Our research into the dissemination of Equal Temperament through accordion-family instruments will be explained.


The noted author Anthony Bukoski will read segments from his works 
related to the musical and cultural history of the Midwest.


The focus of this event involves presentation of Palmer’s magnificent 10-foot’, two-manual, six-plectra, eleven-pedal harpsichord built by A. Cecil Taylor (Houston, 1979). It’s extraordinarily beautiful encasement is ornamented in gold leaf and vermillion; the soundboard was hand painted by southwest artist Grant Tinkler. The first round of restoration was undertaken by engineer Roger Schmitz, an accomplished accordionist from our studio, with help from Kevin Friedrich, AWAM’s newest appointee to the board of directors.


The instrument was transported to the museum in the summer of 2013 and installed at stage-center in AWAM’s Hanni Strahl Concert Hall. Both the instrument and its surroundings showcase the serious musical interests of this institution, the confidence imbued in its continuance, and its importance among musical instrument collections.


Soundboard painted by Tinkler                Kevin Friedrich and Roger Schmitz       


Kevin purveys tables of keys and parts                     Julie and Willard Palmer, III


 Admission is charged: $50.00 for all events, $15.00 per individual event. 

 A 10% reduction will be applied to museum members and for tickets purchased by April 15. 

 A planned schedule of events ( PDF, click to view ) 

 Refreshments will be provided throughout both days. 

Accordion Concertina Music Band and Ensemble Performers:    Wisconsinites:  Ron Askegaard (Foxboro), Audrey Meitzner (Solon Springs);  Minnesotans:    John Blumenfeld (Minneapolis), Amanda Bush (Duluth), Jack Drucker (Minneapolis), Robin Floyd (Two Harbors), Cindy Graff (St. Louis Park), Carrie Kalweit (Minneapolis), Joy and Roger Schmitz (Hutchinson), Shelby Setniker (Maplewood), Marian Syrjamaki-Kuchta (Duluth), Anne Velasco (Duluth);  Texan:  Krystal Wolfe-Harrington (Austin)

Special Thanks:  Sally Blumenfeld (percussion), Amanda Bush ((UMD Master of Music candidate), Carolyn Carver (DSSO violinist, teacher, arranger), Julie and Willard Palmer, III (Houston, Texas).

Businesses providing refreshments (also advertised in the concert hall):  Apple Bagels (Belknap St., Superior) Subway Sandwiches (Belknap St., Superior), Arco Coffee (Winter St., Superior), Super One Foods (Superior), Keyport Liquor (Superior), The Duluth Grill (27th  Ave. W, Duluth), Valentini’s (London Road, Duluth)

Volunteers contributing foods:    June Askegaard, Robin Floyd, Krystal and Charles Harrington, Audrey Meitzner, Marian Syrjamaki-Kuchta

Volunteers helping to make this event possible:    Mary Carlson, Robin Floyd, Audrey Meitzner, Marian Syrjamaki-Kuchta, Anne Velasco

Kevin Friedrich joins A World of Accordions Museum Board of Directors

A World of Accordions Museum is proud to announce the appointment of Kevin Friedrich to its board of directors during his visit in January, 2014. Kevin’s breadth of expertise extends to many fields which we expect will greatly benefit this institution. As past-president of the Confèdèration Internationale des Accordèonistes he is respected in accordion circles worldwide, also serves on the board of the American Accordionists’ Association with which the museum is affiliated, and is a performing artist of renown. As founder/curator of the New Zealand accordion museum, he is intimately familiar with operations and requirements of this type of organization. His regard for our museum and friendship with its curator (Helmi Harrington) has been solid for decades. The board unanimously welcomes his involvement in our future.


In the photo below, Kevin is shown in a portion of the American Accordionists’ Association Archival 
room for which he made suggestions to enhance the displays illuminating social, 
cultural, and musical contributions of their 75-year history.



   The Willard Palmer (DH, DMA, Ph.D.) Legacy Display 
 opened at A World of Accordions Museum 
 with Concerts & Speakers ! 

 Thank You to all participants ! 

The Willard "Bill" Palmer Legacy

Dr. Willard "Bill" Palmer Legacy Celebration Report

Jan. 31-Feb. 3, 2013

Among the names of great influences in American culture of the mid-20th century that of Willard Palmer stands as leader among accordionists. In a landmark event of unprecedented success, Willard Palmer’s achievements were celebrated at Harrington ARTS Center and A World of Accordions Museum during three-and-a-half days of musical and scholarly events.

The opening was heralded by a ribbon-cutting event attended by invited political dignitaries and community leaders. Representing Mayor Hagen (Superior, WI) was Commissioner Mick MacKenzie, who read the mayoral proclamation from a plaque designating January 31, 2013 as Willard Palmer Day. Representing the Superior Chamber of Commerce, two dozen Ambassadors presented another plaque in honor of the events. Speeches summarized the importance of Palmer as scholar, educator, arranger, editor and performer, followed by two musical examples from Palmer publications, and concluded by a social hour of food and drinks.

During the next three days, hundreds of attendees honored the lifeworks of Bill Palmer (DH, DMA, Ph.D.). A continual slate of morning-to-night performances, included lunch and supper foods generously donated by local businesses. Although two headliner artists were last-minute omissions, Willard Palmer III, in attendance from his home in Houston, Texas, and a consummate professional entertainer of multiple talents kept excitement at a high. In one concert, about 30 musicians demonstrated pieces from Palmer’s method books. In another concert, pianist Samuel Black performed from Palmer-edited Alfred Masterwork series. The stage was filled by several famed bands and two orchestral arrangements by Harrington. Direct from Paris, Prof. Dr. Bernard Metais offered two PowerPoint programs, one on the evolution of French Musette, the other exploring psychological and brain interactions between composer and listener. Award-winning author Anthony Bukoski offered readings from his books, one on his first acquaintanceship with the accordion museum, the other on tango stories. The final performance was by Helmi Harrington playing on Palmer’s last Titano, a unique Super Emperor, explaining its extraordinary features, and exploring its miraculous construction through disassembly. The final event was a champagne toast in honor of Palmer. We plan to make Willard Palmer Celebrations an annual event.

Palmer’s multiple gifts affect generations in world culture from the 1940s into the future. Translated into 17 languages for use by music teachers worldwide, Palmer-Hughes piano, organ, guitar, and accordion method books (numbering 790) tutor aspirants at all levels. His 145 Masterwork editions for Alfred Music are considered definitive for Baroque, Classic and Romantic epochs’ performance practice. Inestimable millions owe a debt of gratitude to this genius whose extant works are now perpetually preserved in our institution. We believe it is no exaggeration to say the status of A World of Accordions Museum is raised, as is prestige for the Midwest region, through this donation from Texas family holdings.

Palmer Legacy Celebration Report ( PDF format )


Keyport Liquors—Cathy and Dave Casper

Harrington ARTS Center and A World of Accordions Museum

Super One Foods / Walmart foods / Target 

Thank you to our Superior friends for helping us make this event spectacular:
Arco Coffee
Subway Sandwiches (Belknap Street)
Big Apple Bagels
Terry Jean Ford Fudges
Super One Foods (Banks Street)
Perkins Family Restaurants
Keyport Liquors
Valentini's (Duluth)
Sarah Kaspari
Jim Eisenschenk
John Blumenfeld (Photographer)
Andrew Meitzner (Videographer)
Anonymous Donors I and II

Willard Palmer, III, Donates His Father’s Harpsichord

to A World of Accordions Museum

Palmer Harpsichord w.JPG (65334 bytes)
( click photo to enlarge )

Harrington ARTS Center and A World of Accordions Museum is honored to announce the impending arrival of the harpsichord specially built for Dr. Willard Palmer, whose donated lifeworks were celebrated Jan. 31-Feb. 3, 2013 at the institution. The two-manual, eleven-pedal, ten-foot harpsichord was built in 1976 by A. Cecil Taylor of Houston, TX. It is elaborately decorated with red and gold casework and French baroque soundboard figures.

Mr. Willard Palmer, III, son of Dr. Willard Palmer, notified the institution of his intention to transport the instrument to Superior, WI, in May-June. Festive concerts will be scheduled after installation.

This magnificent instrument will grace the Hanni Strahl Concert Hall, adding a significant resource to artist-performers of our concert events. Its very presence will also showcase the serious musical interests of this institution, the confidence imbued in its continuance, and its importance in musical instrument collections.


Press Release


BBC-Scotland Videotapes Program at A World of Accordions Museum



On July 27, the British Broadcasting Corporation’s nine-person crew videotaped a segment of their series “All Over the Place USA” at Harrington ARTS Center’s A World of Accordions Museum, 1401 Belknap St. , Superior , WI . Researcher Laura-Jane Chalmers, in planning phases with museum curator Helmi Harrington since May, said the segment would be repeatedly broadcast throughout the British Isles from January through April of 2013 as part of a series of twelve programs.


“All Over the Place USA ” is an informational program intended for pre-teens. Directors Alastair Maclean and Craig Duncan devised the light-hearted script delivered by presenters Michelle Ackorley and Ed Petrie, occasionally including Harrington speaking and playing accordions. Cameraman Gerard Evans, soundman Nat Reid, and props manager Kieran McDavid were constantly active throughout the six-hour taping session. Producer Maria Stewart said editing would result in about four minutes air-time.


The museum had put pieces from its Scottish exhibit on a welcoming table covered with refreshments. Several items were discussed that will help in further development of the museum’s Scottish display.


Alex Meixner Band Concert Review !  ( PDF)

Please look at our beautiful new Online Flier ! (PDF)

Check out some of our other wonderful offerings !!  ( PDF ) 


A Beautiful Setting for Weddings & Special Events ! (PDF)

 Lecture Hall Rental ! 

Recent article on Voice Of America website ! (click below)
Washington Becomes International Accordion Capital for One Week

Watch the VOA Report ! ( click to load - 6MB - WMV format)

An Events 30-second Movie Promo from 2006 ! ( click here to load - 2.9MB ) 
( A recent events promo - but still lots of fun to watch ! ;-)

Popular new books & materials are on sale now !

For a larger listing of many Harrington Products (click here - PDF)
includes... Scholarly Studies, Performance CDs, Repertory & Method Books, 
Diatonic Methods, Accordion-concertina Technicians' School Curriculum Materials,
ARTS Products, and Seminar & Workshop Notes !

Music Books Indices (click here - PDF)

You may also Click on the images below for more info (PDF) on these special book offerings !




Chemnitz instruction books are a new series with many songs and range from beginner level upwards !

Ordering info and customer comments (click here - PDF)

  Past Events !

A World of Accordions Newsletters...  
Our periodic online publication ;-) ! 


March-April 2015 Newsletter (PDF)

Jan-Feb 2015 Newsletter (PDF)


Tony Lovello Concert Review ! (performed June 22nd 2008)     September 2008 

August 2007     September 2007    CIA Award 2007 !    "Chance" concert review !

  January 2006   May 2006   November 2006  

  February 2005  April 2005  June 2005   September 2005  

Articles About Us !

    A World Of Accordions Museum wins GEMmy Award ! (click here PDF)  

  BECOME A DONOR & MEMBER ! (click here) 
Discounts usually for A World of Accordions Museum members !

Click here for MAPS to help find us !
1401 Belknap, Superior, WI  54880

Tour the accordion museum for a nominal donation.  
Special arrangements can be made for group tours with/without mini-concerts and demonstrations.  
* Please note that we are otherwise open by appointment only !

Contact info:

E-mail: accordion@sprynet.com (emails usually checked weekly)

Phone: (715) 395-ARTS (2787)
1401 Belknap, Superior, WI, 54880
(Former church at intersection of Belknap & Hammond)


www.Accordionworld.org is operated by...

 Helmi Strahl Harrington, PhD (click for bio in PDF format).

Helmi is a Grandma ;-)!

Cheryl Renae W.JPG (53089 bytes)     Cheryl 11-08 w.JPG (30066 bytes)

Cheryl Renae Harrington-Wrencher !
(click image to enlarge)
More info to follow... check again later!

Links:  Harrington ARTS Center - A World Of Accordions Museum - Accordion Repair & Technicians' School - Accordion Concertina Music
Accordion Store (Gifts, Music, Instruments, Accessories)
- Contact Accordionworld.org
 American Accordionists' Association - WWW.ACCORDIONS.COM