The Canterbury community gathered on Friday, March 1 for the second annual Canterbury Music Festival. Returning alumni included Willy Tully '06 on drums, Nick Cabrera '09 on guitar and vocals, Paul Deedon '09 on bass, and Cam Napier '17 on bass. The four performers joined together with current Canterbury music groups including Contemporary Music Band and Jazz-Rock-Pop Ensemble to deliver a program of old classics, pop favorites, and several self-written melodies during the two-hour show.
“It’s incredible that these alumni take the time to come to campus, rehearse with our musicians, and and then return again for the performance” remarked Dave Overthrow, Director of Music. “They exemplify for our students that with dedication to one’s passion, you can make a successful and happy life out of doing what you love.”
Each of the returning alumni has forged a career in the music world and was able to share their experience and perspective with current students enrolled in music courses. Will ‘06 provided a drum lesson for Jerry ‘20 while Nick ‘09 harmonized with Fatima ‘21 and Olivia ‘19 on vocals. “It wasn’t until I was much older that I realized music could be a full-time career,” noted Nick. “...then I finally made it mine. I want to be able to share and show that with these students.”
Will ‘06 has toured internationally since graduating from Canterbury, recently relocating to Brooklyn, NY and traveling to perform as a drummer in numerous well-known bands. He has performed at Lollapalooza, Hyde Park London, and Firefly and played with big-name bands like Fall Out Boy, Weezer, Panic! At the Disco.
Since graduating from Berklee College, MA, Nick ‘09 has recorded his own full-length album (Castles, 2015), released an EP (Fools Good, 2017), and has performed in countless venues across the East Coast. While he typically plays at popular venues throughout Manhattan, he brought his talents to New Milford last spring was the acclaimed live performer at last year’s after-prom gathering and end-of-year carnival for Canterbury students.
Paul ‘09 has shared the stage with Rick Ross, Joe Perry, Richie Sambora, Orianthi, George Benson, Ne-Yo, and countless other musicians since pursuing music following his years at Canterbury. He has performed across the United States and spent several years on the West Coast immediately following Canterbury committing to his career as a musician. As Dave noted, “Paul took the bass to new heights while displaying an array of modern bass techniques in his performance while still at student at Canterbury.”
Cam ‘17 is a sophomore at Rhodes College, TE, where he works at the Mike Curb Institute for Music, assisting with music preservation and engaging local artists in community events. Still in touch with several current students, Cam is a direct link for many of the Contemporary Band and Ensemble students to envision themselves pursuing music more dedicatedly when at university.
“I come back as a way to pay it forward,” noted Nick. “Canterbury helped guide me toward this passion. Working and playing with current students is something I can do in return—both for the School and for the students themselves.”
The evening Music Festival was a definitive on-campus highlight of the winter months and brought the community together one final time in celebration before the March Break.