What is the IDEAS Faculty Scholar Program?
Starting with 2019 at Symposium 2.0, Joe Natoli and Michael Soloway, as the co-founders and co-directors of IDEAS (The International Digital Electronic Accordion Society) have decided to distinguish those members whose activities and history are stellar and involved – those who have supported the project since its inception; working with us to build the community all over the world. IDEAS Scholars are deeply involved in the playing, performing, creation, and teaching of digital/electronic accordions.
The position is a lifetime honorary appointment to the Symposium Faculty, and as IDEAS grows and continues to expand, our IDEAS SCHOLARS will form an impressive gallery; and will become an increasing part of the history of an already historic organization and society. This 2019 award was presented at the final celebration dinner on the final evening of the Symposium. Mr. Anselmo (Sam) Falcetti was chosen as the very first IDEAS FACULTY SCHOLAR for 2019. IDEAS is pleased to have installed this program of honor and history, and proud to have Sam Falcetti as its first recipient.
Sam Falcetti, from Westfield, MA, began studying the accordion at 10 years of age. By the time he was 16, had developed a passion for teaching it. In fact, while studying for his bachelor’s degree in Theory and Composition at the University of Hartford, he had already opened his first accordion teaching studio in Westfield.
Being an impressive musical entrepreneur – over the course of 50 years, Sam built and led Falcetti Music – a very successful chain of 8 stores through Massachusetts and Connecticut. His reputation in the industry was large and he was often found on the cover of the most prominent trade magazines. At the 50th Anniversary of the University of Hartford, it was Sam on the cover of the Alumni magazine to be honored for his accomplishments.
During the 70’s and 80’s, Sam was an adjunct Professor at Holyoke Community College at Westfield University. Forming an accordion college ensemble during this period they had the distinction of twice playing Carnegie Hall in Manhattan. A busy period for him – Sam also created and conducted the Springfield Accordion Orchestra that was chosen to perform all over the world in many diverse and exciting venues – the 1970 World’s Fair in Osaka, Japan, the David Frost Show with Roberta Flack, toured Italy, Disney World in 1975, cruise ships to Bermuda, marching in the Boston Parade honoring Rose Kennedy’s 100th birthday, and notably was invited to perform at the 1980 Coupe Mondiale in Auckland NZ.
Sam has supported the digital accordion since it’s very inception, both in his business and by making it his performing instrument early on – and to this day is New England's Roland digital accordion distributor. Central to this, Sam formed the only digital orchestra in the USA playing custom arrangements in many prominent venues all over New England – opening for Deanna Martin and Bobby Rydell - and up to this year where the orchestra has played all over Massachusetts in the “Summer Concert Series” concluding with “New Year’s First Night on Cape Cod with 70 musical groups in over eight venues.
Retired now from the business world, Sam is back exploring his passion for digital accordions and teaching with many private students, seminars with the AAA and, of course, at both of the IDEAS Symposiums thus far. Importantly, as Joe Natoli and Michael Soloway began creating and building IDEAS as the central community and home for the electronic and digital accordion players all over the world, Sam threw his considerable reputation, influence and access behind it to help, believing that it could be possible, and would be possible - wanting to see it realize all of its potential as a teacher and player and for all of his students and digital orchestra members. He will be presenting a series of seminars at Symposium 2.0 of his own choice and will be honored at the final dinner on Saturday evening of Symposium 2.0 at the Avalon Inn in Warren Ohio.
IDEAS is proud to welcome Mr. Sam Falcetti as the very first IDEAS FACULTY SCHOLAR and look forward to many more years, now, of his participation with the Society and at the growing Symposiums.