PELHAM, N.Y. The Pelham Memorial concert and stage bands came together for the final time this school year in a performance Wednesday that many in the audience called amazing and wonderful. The annual spring concert was also an emotional night, with a total of 27 seniors from the bands set to graduate in June.
Its tear-jerking. Usually I end up crying, said band director Campbell Whitford, who was presented with a trumpet on behalf of the seniors. But again, Ive had them for seven years, so Ive had them since theyre 12 years of age now theyre 18. So, Ive watched them grow from preadolescents to young adults.
"Good days, bad days, all of that, I mean thats normal with kids. Ive watched them grow up musically, intellectually, physically. Its a privilege to be able to do that.
The concert featured eight songs from the concert band, including The Addams Family by Vic Mizzy and Puttin on the Ritz by Irving Berlin plus six songs from the stage band, including The Look of Love by Burt Bacharach and Son of A Preacher Man by John Hurley.
Awards were also given to several seniors, and some took to the microphone to thank Whitford, in his 40th year in the Pelham school district, for a great seven years. Many mentioned how he inspired them to join the band in sixth grade and how grateful they were.
Its tough each year to say goodbye, Whitford said. But he was proud of the bands, especially when it came to the concert bands performance of The William Tell Overture by Gioacchino Rossini.
Ive done the 'William Tell' before with bands, but Ive never felt like that version. They felt very confident, said Whitford. That is the best version my band has ever done.
Ines and Chris Wessman watched their son Steven perform in his final Pelham Memorial concert. He plays the piano and is also in the percussion ensemble.
Its beautiful to see the outpouring of love for Cam Whitford well deserving, said Chris Wessman. He and his wife attended Pelham Memorial, and his sister was in Whitfords high school band.
Lot of history were big fans, said Ines Wessman, referring to Whitford.
Pelham official Will Cavanagh said events such as these are the best part of being on the school board.
Our arts departments get wonderful things out of the kids, said Cavanagh. I enjoy going to the choruses, orchestra and the band. Our teachers are just marvelous, and you see how they inspire the kids.
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