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Pelham Bands Put on "Wonderful" Performance

PELHAM, N.Y. – Families and friends of Pelham High School and Middle School musicians filled the Pelham Middle School Auditorium on Tuesday night for the school’s annual fundraising concert. They were captivated by classics such as “Sway” by Pablo Beltran Luiz and “Oye Como Va” by Tito Puente in addition to a more recent song like “Uninvited” by Alanis Morisette. Music director Campbell Whitford was “truly happy with” the performances from the eight different bands and ensembles throughout the 22-song two-hour event. The director, who is in his 40th year, said the amount of kids in all of the groups adds up to what he thought was 250. Therefore, he had to have “two or three of them rehearsing at the same time” leading up to the event, he said of the musicians who practiced in groups.

After the successful concert, Whitford said the most rewarding part of the job was “just working with the kids.”

“That’s what you get into teaching for and music education is different because it’s not just what I do for a living,” Whitford said. He said he enjoyed that he is able to share his love of music with the kids, especially because they join the bands and ensembles as an elective.

“They’re here because they want to be here,” he said. “I remember what a fight it is to learn how to do this. It’s not easy.”

Paul Romanello, whose daughter Sara sang “Uninvited,” “Sway” and “Don’t Know Why” by Norah Jones, said he was impressed by all of the performances.

“I thought it was terrific,” said Romanello of the “wonderful” performances. “What Cam Whitford does with these kids is unbelievable. I mean for us now, we’re kind of a veteran of this and we’ve watched it over the years and it’s just amazing. We look forward to these every year. We look forward to every concert.”

He was also “very proud” of his daughter’s performance, which had the crowd clapping in approval.

The money raised from the event will go toward “all different kinds of things,” according to Whitford. “We use it for buying instruments, we use it for the awards we give every year in the middle school and high school. We bought part of the sound system, the microphones – stuff like that to augment our budget.”

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