PEEKSKILL, N.Y. -- Talk about 20 feet from stardom: More than 50 area students ranging from ages 8-14 will be onstage, essentially singing backup at David Benoit's "A Charlie Brown Christmas" concert at The Paramount Theater Hudson Valley on Thursday, Dec. 4.
Latin Grammy-nominated guitarist and Peekskill resident Larry Del Casale, music teacher and chorus director at Peekskill Middle and High School, is directing his select group of eighth-graders who he says are "ready and excited" to sing on stage. "At this age, they're fearless," he said.
His group will be joined by other local choir groups from Haldane Middle and High Schools in Cold Spring, Hendrick Hudson Elementary in Cortlandt Manor and Kids Care Cabaret in Croton-on-Hudson. According to Del Casale, the choir will enjoy the opportunity to rehearse earlier in the day with David Benoit and will perform in the second-act songs, which include "You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown," "My Little Drum," "Happiness," "Christmastime is Here" and "Linus and Lucy (Finale)."
In a twist of fate, Del Casale himself performed at Carnegie Hall 35 years ago on the same night Benoit was there. Afterward, the two ended up at the same restaurant and chatted about music. "Who would have thought this many years later, we'd be meeting again?" he said.
Tickets can be purchased in person, over the phone or through the website by visiting http://paramounthudsonvalley.com/events/event/david-benoits-christmas-tribute-to-charlie-brown. The Paramount Theater Hudson Valley is at 1008 Brown St. The phone number is 914-739-0039.
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