Welcome to the Accordion Pop Orchestra! We are an (almost) all-accordion orchestra featuring a talented group of musicians, all coming together to create a one-of-a-kind sound. Our goal is to showcase the versatility of the accordion and bring a fresh perspective to your favorite music. From classic hits to modern favorites, our orchestra puts a unique spin on every song. We believe the accordion is an instrument that is often overlooked, but with the right arrangement and players, it can create beautiful and unexpected sounds. We hope you will agree!
The orchestra's roots can be traced to 1970 when it was organized by the Accordion Teachers Association of New Jersey. Its first conductor was Dr. Jacob Neupauer of Philadelphia. In 1980 the orchestra was reorganized under well-known accordionist and composer Eugene Ettore.
In 1985 the orchestra was again reorganized under Daniel Desiderio and the name was formally changed to the Accordion Pops Orchestra. The membership was expanded beyond the original members from New Jersey to include performers from Pennsylvania, New York, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Delaware, Maryland, and Rhode Island. Maestro Desiderio retired in 2011 and turned the reins over to the current conductor, Al Terzo.
The orchestra consists entirely of accordions plus string bass and percussion instruments. The accordions are divided into five main sections (first through fifth accordion), each playing different parts. In addition, there is a bass accordion with special deep reeds and a midi accordion with electronic capabilities to simulate hundreds of other instruments.
The roughly 50 members include professionals, teachers, and amateur musicians. The orchestra performs a repertoire taken from a wide range of music categories, including Broadway, popular music, movie themes, and light classical compositions. The orchestra performs in concert halls, festivals, playhouses, clubs, churches, and retirement homes.