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Joan Grauman, AAA Historian As the organization’s historian, I have been writing historical articles on events that led up to the creation of the AAA and were important for the AAA. This includes some of its influential members, as well as special events throughout the decades, and more.
Joan Grauman, AAA Historian

The First to Represent the US at the Coupe Mondiale
- Still Going Strong 60 Years Later

Originally printed in 2015.

In 1955, cities and towns across the United States each had several accordion schools. Contestants in the national competitions numbered in the thousands.

Two young musicians stood out among the crowd and were chosen as the first US Virtuoso Champions to represent our country in the Coupe Mondiale, which was held that year in Brighton, England. Joan Cochran was the ATG Virtuoso Champion and the AAA Virtuoso Champion was Lou Coppola.
Joan Cochran Sommers 1955
Joan Cochran - 1955

Lou Coppola
Lou Coppola - 1955
60 years later, these two giants in the accordion world are still making the United States and the whole accordion world proud! We are so delighted to have both of them with us at this year's festival!

AAA 2014 picture

To learn more about Joan Cochran Sommers, check out her amazing bio in the 2015 AAA Festival Journal. An extensive article on the musical life of Lou Coppola can be found in the 2013 AAA Festival Journal, and online in the November 2013 USA News:

Lou Coppola – AAA US Virtuoso Champion in the 1950s is still making great music six decades later and

2018 AAA 80th Anniversary Celebrations

Prof. Joan Sommers, CIA Historical Book October 2014.pdf
upon Presentation to Prof. Joan Sommers of the CIA Life Membership Award
Prepared by Kevin Friedrich and Alison Worthington

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