Three Generations Sing
The cover photo shows Jeslyn, Brooklynne and Robin. They are holding a photo of Robin’s mom, Patricia (Matrazzo) Carnevale, and her aunt, Marion (Novick) Phelps in their SSHS marching band uniforms.
When Friends of Music embarked on organizing the alumni concert, we wanted to tell the stories of our alumni performers. Little did we know that we’d uncover a story of four generations of Saratoga Springs music makers.
Meet Robin (Carnevale) Schwedt (1975), Jeslyn (Charbonneau) Bell (2001), and Brooklynne Beebe (2020). Their passion for music goes far beyond a “school activity,” it’s clearly part of the fabric of their family.
This started with Robin’s grandfather, Art Carnevale who played bass and organ. Legend has it that when Art ran his restaurant, Art’s Inn on Saratoga Lake, he spent as much time playing the organ for patrons as he did doing overseeing the nightly activities! Robin’s mother, Patricia Matrazzo, played trumpet and always kept music in the house.
Robin played violin and sang in Select Chorus. She has fond memories of a weekend exchange event with Penn Yan high school. Robin sang and joined The Choraliers in its first year under the direction of Jeff and Brenda Vredenburg (aka “The V’s”). Jeslyn began with the select group in her freshman year. Brooklynne continues the family tradition by singing in Concert Choir and also being in Drama Club.
Brooklynne says, “Grandma keeps music in the house all the time. I sing with my little cousin there.” During a recent cross-cultural studies assignment, Brooklynne added a new dimension to the presentation by adding international music.
Jeslyn Bell, Brooklynne’s mom, was a Choralier from 1997-2001. She had a wonderful experience with Jeff Vredenburg. Jeslyn said:
Mr. Vredenburg expected us to give 100% with every rehearsal. He expected more from our group of scrappy teenagers. We wanted to live up to the expectations he had for us. Under his direction, we often competed at a collegiate level.
Prior to high school, Jeslyn was inspired by Connie Chindblom and Dale Hegenberger. These Maple Ave teachers continued to inspire and challenge Jeslyn. Their patience and devotion was crystal clear to Jeslyn.
Of course I looked up to them as teachers and musicians, that was a given. I also remember thinking what amazing women they were!
With four generations of Saratoga Springs musicians in the family, it’s clear that music is in the DNA of this family. And as one of our volunteers on the Alumni Concert, Jeslyn lends a parent view on the value of music in the life of her daughter (and Robin would say the same for Jeslyn, and Patricia for Robin), and why supporting music for all of our students is so important:
Music is an amazing tool to be able to give your child. A love of music instills the desire to always want to improve and it’s a wonderful creative outlet. Music also ends up creating a community of friends that often last many years past graduation.
Come hear a great performance as they lend their talents to raise money for students who’s participation in music may be threatened due to a lack of financial resources. Come to the Saratoga Springs High School on Saturday, June 17 at 7:30 PM for the Alumni Concert. Tickets are available online at fomtoga.brownpapertickets.com and also at the door.