Outstanding Recordings For Your Fine Music Collection!
Never before available, these disks are a must-have for lovers of accordion and violin music. The recordings are also a prize for those who have followed the performances of Lou Coppola, The United States Air Force Strolling Strings and their civilian counterpart, Stereo Strings.
Perfect for your own enjoyment or as a sure-to-please gift. Each CD is available for $15 which also includes shipping. Bring back the memories and delight once again to the music of these exceptionally talented musicians.
In the CD recording, "Through the Years," the very best selections have been compiled for your listening pleasure. Re-mastered for the first time, Lou Coppola leads this talented ensemble in a legendary performance, sure to satisfy with every hearing.
Born in Bridgeport, Connecticut, he was far more interested in sports than in music when his mother said, “Try the accordion for one month, and if you don’t like it, you never have to take music again.” Young Lou saw this as a way to escape to sports. Instead, the accordion turned into his lifelong vocation and avocation!
At the age of 18, he became the first American to participate in the Coupe Mondiale, an international classical accordion solo competition, held that year in Brighton, England. Lou returned to America and had settled into a life of performing and teaching when his teacher, Rudy Molinari, advised him to audition for an opening in The USAF Band because “You’ll travel the world,” and travel he did.
With The Air Force Strings from the very beginning of his career, Europe and Asia-and virtually every Air Force base in the inventory-became his stomping grounds. However, some of his brightest memories are of performances in Washington, D.C.
During the Kennedy administration, Lou and the Strings were featured on the cover of Life Magazine with the president and first lady. However, it was another appearance at the White House, which provided one of the major highlights of his career: celebrated violinist Isaac Stern was the evening’s featured entertainment and Leonard Bernstein was a guest.
Following the official function, Mrs. Kennedy asked a small ensemble, including Lou, to go upstairs to the family quarters and entertain Stern, Bernstein and their wives in the building's private family quarters. After awhile, Stern borrowed one of the instrumentalist’s violins, Bernstein found his way to the piano, and soon Isaac Stern, Leonard Bernstein and Lou Coppola were presenting a "trio" performance of the Mendelssohn violin concerto. Mrs. Kennedy snapped their picture, and the photo remains today one of Lou’s cherished treasures from his AF days.
Not only did the music continue when he retired as a CMSgt in 1985, his gigs have somehow managed to increase. On Friday and Saturday nights, Lou and three string players appear at the Officers’ Club in Fort Myer, Virginia, an engagement which has lasted 43 years, 16 of which have been during his “retirement.”
Years ago, Lou established his own company, Stereo Strings, and with them he has become a fixture at weddings, embassy parties and corporate affairs throughout the Washington metropolitan area. Among these have been appearances at the Renwick Gallery, the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History, the Corcoran Gallery and Ronald Reagan National Airport with 28 strolling violinists for its new opening.
His performances in the civilian domain have not been restricted to the D.C. area. Among other locations, Lou and his Stereo Strings have performed for United Technologies in Epcot Center at Florida’s Disney World complex in Florida, and for Lucent Technologies in Palm Springs, California. He also became the adopted “good luck charm” for Atlanta’s bid for the Summer Olympics, and appeared numerous times in Atlanta, as well as in Seoul, Tokyo, Barcelona and, of course, in D.C.
In his “free” time, Lou has contributed extensive research on former Air Force Strings personnel, and thanks to his efforts, there now exists a comprehensive directory of all former and present USAF string instrumentalists and Air Force Strings members.
Lou Coppola’s exciting and productive life is once again graphic proof that there really is a wonderful “life after Bolling.”
-CMSgt (ret) Harry Gleeson
The Washington Post
IN ATLANTA, TWO HEADS OF THE SAME MIND
PAYNE, JACKSON LEAD OLYMPIC EFFORT
ATLANTA - For years, Billy Payne went about his life with little fanfare. He played football at Georgia in the 1960s ...He became a real estate attorney.
Maynard Jackson, on the other hand, has lived most of his adult life in the public eye. ...Jackson is mayor of the city that awoke on Sept 18, 1990, to find out it had won the 1996 Summer Olympic Games. With Payne, he is leading the city’s Olympic effort.
...they are inextricably linked at the top of Atlanta's effort to organize the nations most-scrutinized sporting event of the decade.
Underdogs to Minneapolis in the bid for the USOC nomination for the 1996 Games, Atlanta’s team came to Washington in April 1988 for the organization’s vote - and stole the show. The night before the election both cities held last minute, arm-twisting parties.
Minneapolis’s was poolside at the USOC headquarters hotel, the Washington Hilton. Atlanta's organizers, gambling that voters would venture out of the hotel and down the block, held a lavish party at the Bancroft Place home of the relatives of an organizing committee official.
To this day, USOC members talk about that party. Andrew Young, then the mayor of Atlanta and former United Nations ambassador, met every guest at the door, where tuxedoed musicians played violins and waiters offered champagne. Elaborate dessert trays graced elegant antique tables. Atlanta sports celebrities mingled with the guests.
“The violins,” Payne said, smiling as he recalled the moment. “I think that’s when we distinguished ourselves. We got the reputation as going the extra mile.”
“These guys knew that schmoozing was the key,” said one former Atlanta official, who asked not to be named.
It continued at IOC meetings around the world, from Puerto Rico to Seoul. Payne spent hundreds of thousands of his own dollars to meet IOC members and convince them to vote for Atlanta over favorites Athens (site of the original modern Games in 1896), Melbourne and Toronto. At every IOC meeting, there was an “Atlanta House,” where IOC members were wined and dined, with or without violins.
-Christine Brennan, Washington Post Staff Writer
“Your assistance with the Inauguration meant a great deal to me personally.”
President, United States of America
“You and your associates did us great service and tribute during the entirety of our Olympic effort and were certainly instrumental in our success. From the bottom of our hearts, thank you!”
William Porter Payne
President, Atlanta Organizing Committee
“Atlanta is still in shock. We will probably never get over it and we never would have made it without the Stereo Strings!”
Atlanta Organizing Committee
“They say ‘music washes away from the soul and dust of everyday life’ and the Stereo Strings made the dust of everyday life dissipate with every note and create a magical atmosphere for our special guests.”
National Association of Water Companies
“It takes extra effort to make any event a true success and your participation contributed greatly to this outstanding occasion. The music provided just that added touch. Your professionalism and commitment ensured a special evening and is deeply appreciated.”
Guy Vander Jagt
Chairman, National Republican Congressional Committee
“As always you and your group were great and much enjoyed by our attendees. Thanks for the extra effort you put into the performances!”
William G. Sizemore
Grand Executive Director
The Supreme Council
“Just a quick note to thank you for providing the music for the Washington Convention and Visitors’ reception at the Kennedy Center. Your music enhanced the ambiance and set the tone for the evening. Our clients were very impressed.”
Kristin B. Treacy
Washington Convention and Visitors’ Association
“We have received many lovely comments on the ‘Stereo Strings.’ Thank you very much for your cooperation, patience, ‘sunny’ personality and beautiful music. Your group lends an air of elegance to our evening that we cannot do without!”
Reston Hospital Center
“I would like to thank you and the members of Stereo Strings who performed during our reception at the U.S. Department of State. Lou, your constant attention and cooperativeness gave me the utmost confidence in your ability to perform.”
Henry J. Roeder
National Association of Broadcasters
“Last Monday night’s program was superb, largely thanks to you for all your hard work, organization, and just being on hand for that last minute detail. May I tip my hat off to you for a job well done!”
Sovereign Grand Commander
The Supreme Council
“I’m very happy that you’re available for my wedding. (Am I gushing?) I am truly brimming with excitement!”
“What can I tell you that you haven’t heard before - your performance was superb. The compliments are still coming in. Please accept our sincere thanks for a truly memorable evening.”
Joyce F. Ellsworth
Connecticut National Bank
“For so many years your music has been a blessing to thousands. I am so thankful that the good Lord called you to music for our enjoyment. It has been a dream for me to have you play for one of my daughter’s wedding.”
Dave and Marsha Fishbaugh
“The Stereo Strings added the perfect touch to our Gala evening! We have received many favorable comments about the music. They loved it! Thank you for helping us make this event one that has set a new standard and will long be remembered.”
Co-Chairman, Wolf Trap Gala