Community Music Network Jam Camp Rocks the Mountains!

Group Photo:

Back Row, L-R: KC Rockwell, SamBreckenridge, Dominick Parker, CIT Matt Keating, counselor Jefferson Piazek,counselor AJ Pizcz, counselor Julian Nottage, Larissa Schultis, Cass Kadow, PoeuBreckenridge, Bobby Williams, Ed Newman, Kevin Prior. Front Row, L-R: KhadyjaJalloh, Addison Harmon, Cora Van Kingsley, Anthony Ortiz, Jessica Alexander,Destiny Ray Falconio, Emma Sanzone, Lauren Whritner, Dakota Key, TobyHarmon. Not pictured: Isabelle SearsSurface, John Hultenius, counselor in training Caleb Howland, counselor SeanDegan, director Pamela West-Finkle.

The 4th Annual CommunityMusic & Arts Network Summer Jam Camp came to a close on Friday, August 17th with a two-hour concert givenby twenty-two Catskill Mountain teens at SEVA, the School for Environmental andVocational Arts in South Kortright.

Director and program developer, PamelaWest-Finkle, began the event with a brief talk on the importance of thecommunity music movement that began in countries like the UK and Australia, butis making its way in rural areas across America, providing all access musicmaking to those living in economically challenged and geographically isolatedareas.

She also thanked the O’Connor Foundation for their generous support of the camp, Performance Plus of Stamfordfor their fiscal sponsorship, the SEVA Foundation and their community forhosting this year’s camp, and area businesses for providing scholarship donations.  A total of six full and one partial scholarships were provided to area youth, ages 10 to 16.  Business’ who provided support were The Community Music & Arts Network, Artisan Tile & Stone Company, ColdwellBanker Timberland Properties, Mark Birman of Tennis Everyone in Fleischmanns,Boyle’s Excavating, Stamford Farmers Cooperative, Ably Insurance, and TP’s Caféin Stamford.  Additional equipment for thecamp was provided by Music Square of Oneonta, Bruce Kenyon’s Wired Heifer HouseStudios, Matt Woodin, and Theodore Finkle.

The band Off Limits started the show, performing original alternative rockthat they had written and recorded during the camp.  Ed Newman of South Kortright Central Schoolperformed lead vocals and lead/rhythm guitar and was joined by three StamfordCentral School students, Kevin Prior, also on lead vocals and guitar, KCRockwell on bass, and Dominick Parker on drums. This was the 2ndyear at the Jam Camp for all members of the band. Jefferson Piasek was theircounselor/band mentor.

Next, Splice took the stage performing “Rock and Roll Ain’t NoisePollution” by AC/DC, “I Love Rock and Roll” by Joan Jett and the Blackhearts,and “Seven Nation Army” by the White Stripes, as well as an instrumentaloriginal written by guitarist/bassist Bobby Williams from South KortrightCentral School, with arrangement help from counselor in training, MatthewKeating, a 2012 graduate of Stamford Central School. Also performing withSplice was Destiny Ray Falconio from Unatego Central School, who sang leadvocals and played the drums, Dakota Key from Charlotte Valley Central School onlead and rhythm guitar,  and counselorsAJ Pizcz on bass and Julian Nottage on drums.

LightPurple was the third band to perform.  The band rocked out on “Rock and Roll” by LedZeppelin, “Smoke on the Water” by Deep Purple, and “Blue Letter” by FleetwoodMac.  The band featured two students fromRoxbury Central School, Larissa Shultis on lead vocals and bass, and guitaristand drummer, Cass Kadow.  Toby Harmonfrom Milford Central School played rhythm guitar and bass, and Lauren Whritnerfrom South Kortright Central School played keyboards, bass, and sang the band’soriginal, “The Marsupial Song.” Matthew Curran, Julian Nottage, and Sean Degan were the band counselors for this group.

The final group consisted of aGlee-style vocal group called VocallyInclined, under the direction of Pamela West-Finkle.   BillWither’s “Lean on Me” featured vocalists Sam Breckenridge of the WoodstockSudbury School and Anthony Ortiz from Stamford Central School. PoeuBreckenridge, also of the Woodstock Sudbury School, sang lead on ChristinaPerri’s “Jar of Hearts,” followed by the Jackson 5’s “I Want You Back,”featuring Jessica Alexander of Stamford Central School and Addison Harmon fromMilford Central School, with Cora Van Kingsley of Sidney Schools on a trumpetpart arranged by counselor in training and South Kortright Central Schoolgraduate Caleb Howland.

Next, ten year old Addison Harmonbelted out Aretha Franklin’s “Chain of Fools,” complete with three part harmonybackup singers and choreography. Jessica Alexander and Emma Sanzone, both fromStamford Central School, wrote and performed the group’s original song called “SoOver You,” which showcased Sam Breckenridge on piano, Anthony Ortiz on piccolo,Cora Van Kingsley on trumpet, and Poeu Breckenridge on cello.  Ortiz, Harmon, and Sanzone also sang the Gleeversion of Heart’s “Alone,” and the group finished their set with a sing-a-longon the Beatle’s “Let it Be.”

The two-week day camp consisted of bandformation, daily rehearsals, instruction on songwriting and arranging, masterclasses with guitarist Mike Herman and percussionists Marcel Smith and TheodoreFinkle, and lessons on both a primary and a secondary instrument. 

Parents and family members who attendedthe final performance were amazed at how much was accomplished in just tendays.  Gerri Rideout of the Coffee Pot inHobart explained, “From a parent’s perspective, I have to say that our jawsjust dropped to the floor.  To see whatour kids were capable of achieving musically in that two weeks was astonishing.”

The Community Music & Arts Networkprovides year-round all-ages, all-access music programming and is based out ofthe Hobart Activity Center, with additional early childhood and preschool musicclasses in Oneonta.  For moreinformation, contact Pamela West-Finkle at 607-652-2330, email, or


 TO PRESS/PHOTO DEPT:  We literally have hundreds of candid shots and performance shots from the camp.  If you have room for and/or would like to print additional photos, please contact Pam West-Finkle asap.  Thanks so much!