2016 Future Accordion Stars

featuring students of Marjorie Konrad, David Chelini and Lin Lee

Jonathan Lathrop – age 17
2015 STUDENT STAGE WINNER – $500 (David Chelini)
Evan Yuan – age 12 (bio)
(Lin Lee)
Derek Yuan – age 12 (bio)
2015 STUDENT STAGE WINNER – $100 (Lin Lee)
David Matella – age 7 (bio)
(David Chelini)
Nicholas Plasichuk – age 9 (bio)
(David Chelini)
Susannha Leon – age 13
(Marjorie Konrad)

Joe Matella Jr. – age 11 (bio)
(David Chelini)
Joey Manfredi – age 10 (bio)
(Marjorie Konrad)

Derek Yuan is a very talented 15-year old junior accordion player. He is the youngest member of Golden State Accordion Club. A gifted and talented boy, he started to learn accordion at, and soon became the highlight of family gatherings and neighborhood parties. The keen love and enthusiasm to accordion music make him practiced hard and mastered a number of impressive techniques. He won a number of Accordion Scholarships and Competitions and has demonstrated his talent at a series of stages. He has been continuously performing at Cotati Accordion Festival since 2013. He truly is a future star of accordion!

Evan Yuan is a 13-year-old accordion player. He started to learn accordion 3 years ago. When he was 10, he already won the First Place of Leavenworth International Accordion Celebration Competition (Variety 5)! Let’s welcome a future star of accordion!

My name is Joey Manfredi (age 12). I have been playing the accordion for about four years. Throughout those years, I have had one amazing teacher, Marjorie Konrad. She helps me learn things that look daunting at first, but once Marjorie works her magic, I completely understand not just the song, but the entire subject. For example, I was once learning a song called Joe’s Carousel. When I first looked at the music, I thought that I would never be able to learn it. I especially thought that after Marjorie play it beautifully. It sounded amazing but complicated. Low and behold, it ended up becoming my favorite song of all time, and I’ve used this piece for around half of my performances. I know the song by heart, and that’s all thanks to Marjorie. 

I could go on and on about how amazing Marjorie is, but if I listed all of her marvelous qualities, this article would easily turn into a book. But just know that she is so much more than an accordion teacher.

One of my main interests, besides the accordion, is to solve Rubik’s Cubes. I have lots of different types. The fastest time in which I’ve solved a regular one is about 20 seconds. Although it’s not bad, it doesn’t come close to the world record, which is 4.22 seconds! Another one of my interests is juggling. I was bored one day and decided to watch a video of someone juggling. This inspired me to start trying to juggle. It really helps you focus on one thing, and will make you less stressed in overwhelming situations.  My favorite sport is basketball. I have been playing for a while. (I don’t know the exact amount of time) My biggest strength is shooting three-pointers. The most I’ve ever made in a game is five. I currently play on a team called Born to Ball.  Overall I am very honored to be selected for this paragraph. I love spreading my knowledge of the accordion and hope to inspire people to learn how to play it.  
Joey is an amazing ambassador of the accordion. So happy he’s with us again this year – Linda Conner, Producer

Nicholas Plasichuk is 11 years old and has been taking accordion lessons for 4 years. He is a great student who enjoys reading and drawing. His favorite subjects in school are math and computer science. His favorite activities include; playing the accordion, basketball and swimming. He is also actively involved with his Church. Nicholas has many friends and is always willing to help others.