Kevin Solecki has been a headliner at the West Virginia Accordion Club’s concerts for several years, and will return May 17 to perform in Fairmont once again.

FAIRMONT – Mike Takash received his first accordion from his uncle when he was a toddler.

The instrument immediately captivated him through its sound, which Takash said gave him a feeling he will never forget.

“As a child I learned the accordion,” said Takash, president of the West Virginia Accordion Club. “My uncle played the accordion, he was in the Navy, and he brought me one from Italy. I started practicing it and my first song was ‘I Believe.’”

Next Friday, Takash will share his love for the accordion and its music alongside several other music lovers at the eighth annual West Virginia Accordion Club’s concert at the Knights of Columbus.

“The first show was in 2012 and it was in the East Fairmont High School auditorium,” Takash said. “We had a good crowd and really good entertainers – the best in the world.”

Since the first accordion concert, the entertainment has been consistent over the years with members of the club coming to perform, as well as special guests and performers. This year, the special guest performers include Kevin Solecki and Dale Wise, who are both returning by popular demand.

“It’s all accordions,” Takash said. “Dale Wise and Kevin Solecki are the main entertainers, so they play some good stuff.”

In addition to the main performances at the show, Takash said there will be different groups playing to welcome visitors throughout the night in between solo performances.

The members of the club also perform some songs as soloists, and as an ensemble to play tunes such as “God Bless America,” according to Takash.

“There is a pre-show and all of our club plays,” he said. “We put on a pretty good show – play some polkas and just a variety of stuff people know – then we’ll do the military ensemble at the end.”

Takash is anticipating the concert as he does every year, because it presents one of the few opportunities for locals to hear this kind of music in Fairmont, without having to travel to listen.

He said the excitement of polka music comes from its variety and change-ups; because listeners never know what will come next.

“People really enjoy the accordion because of the polkas and the variety of music everybody plays,” Takash said. “As far as entertainers are concerned, you never know what they’re going to play. They do their own thing and that’s the excitement of it.”

The concert begins at 7 p.m. on Friday, May 17 at the Knights of Columbus in Fairmont, and admission is a $15 donation at the door, with children under 12 free.

Email Eddie Trizzino at and follow him on Twitter at @eddietimeswv.

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News Reporter

Eddie Trizzino has been a reporter with the Times West Virginian since August of 2017, covering the entertainment, business and health beats. He spends most of his time listening to records, going to the movies and strolling through the town.

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