Gospel Music and Sacred Steel Guitar were among the topics of conversation at two distinct events on Thursday, Dec. 6. ,Thanks to support from the New York State Presenters Network that receives funding from New York State Council for the Arts, Landmark on Main Street received a grant that allowed the award winning blues and gospel group The Campbell Brothers to come to Port Washington two months ahead of their Feb. 1 concert.
Thanks to the careful planning and coordination of Weber’s Cultural Arts Committee (Lee Anne Vetrone-Timothy, Linda Nutter and Abby Orshefsky with assistance from Landmark’s Executive Director, Sharon Maier-Kennelly, and Schools Creative Arts Director, Sheri Suzzan), The Campbell Brothers were invited to perform during the school day for the eighth graders. The students walked to Schreiber’s auditorium for the assembly and were treated to songs that included invitations to dance and participate in the joyous music.
The Campbells shared the stories about their musical journeys, conveying that each of the family members started playing drums in their teen years before learning the instruments they play in the band. They explained to the students about what performing Gospel music means to them, giving some insight into their careers as musicians. Musical selections performed included Gospel music and versions of American Songbook classics like “A Change is Gonna Come” by Sam Cooke.
In the evening, The Campbells appeared as part of Landmark’s Conversations From Main Street Series, in a discussion about Gospel Music, the Sacred Steel Guitar and their careers that was beautifully moderated by Dr. Calvin O. Butts, Pastor of the Abyssinian Baptist Church and President, SUNY Old Westbury. On stage, there was an immediate camaraderie between Dr. Butts and the Campbell Brothers and the audience enjoyed hearing about the history of the guitar, the Sacred Steel Guitar and how Gospel musicians fit in to modern churches. This program was offered free of charge thanks to a grant from the Angela and Scott Jaggar Foundation.
The two events on Dec. 6 were made possible thanks to the generosity of the New York State Partnership grant and Mid-Atlantic Arts Foundation. These grants seek to create artist-presenter partnerships and foster opportunities for community engagement. Campbell Brothers return to Landmark on Main Street’s Jeanne Rimsky Theater on Friday, Feb. 1 at 8 p.m. for a full concert. Tickets and information at 516-767-6444 or landmarkonmainstreet.org.