The history of “Accordion Rose” and “Trick Brothers Accordion Institute”
Rose Trick Oliver is the daughter of the late Al Trick of Trick Brothers Accordion Institute, and Vera Arras Trick, an accomplished accordion performer. Trick Brothers, based in Toledo, Ohio, was the last accordion manufacturing company known to operate in the United States, making all parts and assembling the instruments in their factory. Rose’s father was well known in the accordion industry for his accordions, accordion schools and performing. Al and close friend Galla-Rini founded the Accordionists and Teachers Guild, International (ATG).
Rose’s father apprenticed at George Karpek’s Accordion factory in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. There he learned to both play and build accordions. He also taught cabinet making which was essential to building accordions. By the time he turned twenty years old he was playing accordion and traveling in Vaudeville circuits along with his sister whom he taught. They became known as “Trixi and Sis”.
Rose’s father started an accordion manufacturing company and chain of studios during the 1920′s. He promoted his studios by creating an introductory program that became known as the ‘trial course’. His concept was adopted by accordion studios across the nation. He terminated his manufacturing business in the early years of WWII to concentrate on studios and entertaining the troops. At the end of WWII, he received the prestigious Minuteman award for his maritime activities. At the close of the war he expanded the chain to 120 studios and he started a government approved accordion repair school for the returning troops.
In the 1940′s he met Vera Arras, an accomplished accordion player who had studied with Paul Bellottti in New York City. Vera became a teacher in the Toledo home office and traveled to neighboring small towns, giving weekly accordion lessons. In addition to teaching, Vera played in the Six Tricks Accordion ensemble and entertained locally. They were later married and had two daughters, Susan and Rose.
During the 1950′s Al Trick closed most of his studios and partially retired to Dallas and added a full repair shop to serve players in the area. During the early ’70′s Rose moved to Dallas to help her Dad with the family business. She would help out in the repair shop doing odd jobs and learning about the different styles of accordions. She progressed full time in the repair shop, taping bellows corners, repairing base button lifters, and doing whatever needed to be done. Rose apprenticed for thirteen years under her fathers guidance.
Rose had no problem hearing the highs and lows of a pitch, so on to the tuning bench she went. With Al’s close supervision, she was given one of his accordions for a complete tuning job. He slowly worked her into customer jobs and eventually she took over complete responsibility for accordion repair.
In 1986 her father went into a nursing home and she took over the business under the name of Accordion Rose. It began as part-time work, but slowly word got out that she had the repair shop open and before long she had a full-time job repairing accordions. The whole cycle has come around, and like the 1940′s-’50′s, accordions have achieved popularity again in the US, and more and more folks are dragging them out of their closets. Her father would have been pleased by their comeback. The accordion was his life.
In 1993, Rose moved to Port Aransas, Texas, a small fishing and beach community on the south Texas coast, near Corpus Christi. Rose designed a complete accordion repair shop in her home. Initially, she was concerned about leaving her clients in Dallas but they haven’t stopped calling and UPS ships accordions to her door daily from all over the US. In 2005, Rose moved again to Padre Island, closer to Corpus.
Rose is on the move again! After 21 years in south Texas, she has relocated back to the north Dallas area. As of April, 2015 she won’t have to make that 8 hour drive back and forth to see her children and four grandchildren anymore. Already servicing many customers in the DFW area, she decided to move to a little town just north of Lewisville and south of Denton, called Oak Point, Texas. Rose absolutely loved the coast and Palm trees, but it was time to be closer to her family.