The Free-Reed Journal
Articles and Essays Featuring Classical Free-Reed Instruments and Performers
Meet Stanley Darrow
Director Acme Accordion School

Titano Accordion Symphony of Acme Accordion Studios
Directed by Stanley A. Darrow, Westmont, New Jersey

This article (presumably by editor John Gerstner) was reprinted in its entirety from the September 1958 issue of Accordion World (New York).

A lifelong resident of Camden, N.J., Stanley Darrow was reared in a music-loving family, but never really concentrated on music-making until 16. At which time he became most seriously engaged in accordion study. At 18 he moved to New York City to study music at the N.Y. City College, followed by teacher training under Luis Appareti. This latter activity developed into Stan teaching at the Acme Accordion Studio of Brooklyn. He soon thereafter, assumed ownership of this school

On one of his visits home to Camden, Stanley met Sherrie Reisser. Shortly thereafter they decided to go into partnership, and open the Acme Studio in her home town, Westmont. As Westmont developed he had to make an important decision . . . (i.e.) Westmont or Brooklyn? He couldn't handle both adequately -- and has never regretted concentrating in the Westmont area (just outside of Camden).

In 1953, he was inducted into the Army for his two-year hitch (and lifelong hitch to Sherrie). She carried on the business adequately during this period while he devoted all his time during Army to music. The highlight was being the leader of the popular 74th Army Band Combo (as shown herewith) for a year. Then he was transferred to the Fort Dix Army Band until his discharge. Broadcasting and entertaining was the order of the day (and nights). A year after resuming his own studio activities, he was able to open another accordion studio in Pitman, a nearby community -- in which Charles Brown, a former student of his, is in charge.

Another active member of the staff is Mrs. Lorna Miller (graduate of Combs College of Music with a BM degree in accordion) who has full charge of the Intermediate and Junior Bands. The school has a complete curriculum from Beginner's Course to Senior Teacher's Course. They are now in the process of being approved by the New Jersey State Department of Education.

A most important phase of teaching activities, has been the rapid development of band work -- with several groups gradually building up experienced players. They have emerged as the Titano Accordion Symphony, (shown on the front cover of this issue) of which Roman Pawlowski is the concert master. Roman placed seventh Senior C of the recent AAA contest in Chicago. The members are: Katy Kofoet, Joan Bruno, Kathy stone, Dennis Ciccotelli, Charles Brown, Frank Hodnicki, Virginia Kreszswick, Lester Hullings, George Borrelli, Roman Pawlowski, Bob Rozan, Nick Bubbico, Louise Rodgers, Judy White and Pam Sobeck.

The Symphony's repertoire includes the two Mozart Serenades, Capriccio Italien of Tschaikowsky, Bolero Boogie and many numbers in a lighter vein, also. So popular has this group become, that they were engaged by the American Legion to give eight outdoor summer concerts in Westmont -- with scores of other appearances throughout the area for PTA's, Legion, Churches, etc. Many fine soloists are being developed as a result of these numerous public appearances. Six formal concerts have been presented -- with Andy Arcari, Anthony Galla-Rini, and Charles Magnante being featured as guest artists in three of these events.

Stanley is firmly convinced that substantial progress for his students cannot be achieved without constant entry into contests throughout a wide area. In fact, this does not apply to the students alone -- what's good for them he feels is doubly applicable for himself, for he is constantly studying and practicing. He has had advanced coaching from A. Arcari and J. Neupauer. He intends to reduce his regular schedule and concentrate more on advanced teaching so more time can be devoted to composing and building a repertoire for a concert career. He is attending Combs College of music where he is working for a music degree as an accordion major. He is on the Board of Governors for the Arcari Foundation and they are now in the process of opening another accordion studio in Merchantville.

Stanley Darrow and his teaching staff have chosen the Titano Accordion, for they feel it is the finest in the field and enables the students to advance correctly. How can he be other than a "winner' in our field when he couples intensive studies for himself, with a similar program scheduled for his own advanced and serious students?

Special thanks to Darrin J. Krug for scanning photographs.

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