For generations, Woodstock has been synonymous with music. The upstate New York town lent its name to the famous music festival in 1969, but its connection to music and art continues to this day. In May, students from a local middle school put on a memorable concert with a little help from the community and Woodstock Hardware.
Woodstock Hardware is a full-service, locally owned hardware store and Do it Best Corp. member in Woodstock, New York. Owned by husband-and-wife team Vince and Diane Christofora, Woodstock Hardware offers some 26,000 items and an award-winning kitchen shop, called Diane’s Kitchen. More than home improvement, this family also leads the jazz band at Bennett Intermediate School, their children’s local middle school.
In May, the Bennett Jazz Band played a concert at the local Woodstock Playhouse, a historic performance venue established in 1938. The event showcased young musicians, but it was also an opportunity to connect different generations of Woodstock’s musical talent. Members of the Bennett Jazz Band played alongside Grammy Award-winning musicians, including Woodstock’s own Amy Helm.
“It was great to see 28 student musicians spend their entire day focusing on their music, watching Grammy Award-winning musicians and teaching the kids,” says Vince.
The day started at 8:30 a.m. with rehearsals, workshops and other activities. The main event – an afternoon concert – drew almost 300 people. Finally, the event concluded with some well-deserved, post-concert ice cream.
“It was a packed house,” says Vince. “Everyone is talking about next year already.”
The enthusiasm will go a long way. In addition to a rewarding experience for young musicians, the event was also a fundraiser, helping to establish the Bennett Jazz Band Travel Fund. The fund will afford students the opportunity to perform in concerts outside their local community.
To make the event possible, Vince, Diane and others in the community invested plenty of sweat equity. Woodstock Hardware contributed supplies to create impressive displays for each musician. All in all, the event supported young musicians in the true spirit of Woodstock.
For more information about Woodstock Hardware, visit www.shopwoodstockhardware.com.
This story is part of our ongoing ‘Local Memories, Lasting Impact’ series that highlights small, locally owned businesses and the differences they make in their communities.