I recently attended a benefit concert performed by Billy Elton, a Billy Joel/Elton John tribute band that featured Neuqua Valley music staff members Ryan Rimington and Brad Pfeil, and led by Neuqua accompanist Reid Spears. The concert was done in remembrance of three Neuqua teachers — Tom Schlegel, Dave Scheidecker, and Leslie Baumann — and the proceeds will go to their respective memorial funds.
This isn’t the first time that Billy Elton has given their heart, rock, & soul to the memorial funds. Artists and musicians are an integral piece of this “puzzle of humanity” that we try to assemble each and every day. They entertain our eyes and ears, and can often influence the way we feel or the actions we take. The band has raised over $17,000 over the years, which is something that inspires me to recognize just how much kindness and generosity can happen when a few notes are played.
I had the lovely honor of attending this concert with Susan and Travis Sulkowski, Tom Schlegel’s sister and nephew, and there were more than a few notes being enjoyed. The band ran through hit after hit in the two-hours-plus set, which included a performance of Billy Joel’s classic album, The Stranger, in its entirety. I was most impressed when they tackled the monstrous composition of Elton John’s “Funeral for a Friend/Love Lies Bleeding,” and every student in attendance was on their feet. Bravo to Billy Elton for their musicianship, and an even bigger “Bravo!” to those young students for knowing the songs and recognizing their significance.
You can catch up with Billy Elton by visiting their website at www.billy-elton.com.