By: Tony McCray

Vivian Lamont, the founder of the Belmont Youth Band which is now The Lamont Community Music School, was on the stage performing with keyboardist Gino Rosario and his band at Seville Quarter’s Phineas Phoggs this past Tuesday evening at his 4th Annual Christmas Charity Concert Fundraiser. Evidently Lamont’s performance was award winning since the non-profit school of music surpassed its fundraising goal by $6000 for a total of $16,000.  Sheriff Morgan and the Escambia County Sheriff Department even got in on the act with a $5,000 donation.

Lamont and Rudy Pendleton founded the youth music training program fifteen years ago in the Belmont/DeVilliers Business District under the name of the Belmont Youth Band.  In September, the group established a new home at the Dixon School of the Arts under the new name of The Lamont Community Music School.

So, the positive momentum continues to build for the school of music as Lamont shared with the Gulf Coast Voice, “We have never raised this much money before! In fact, the donation of the big check by Sheriff Morgan was a big surprise”.  The catalyst for the successful fundraiser was the 4th Annual Christmas Charity Concert given by keyboardist Gino Rosaria with guest flutist, Althea Rene, from Houston.

In an interview with the Gulf Coast Voice Newspaper, Rosario stated, “I was quite surprised when I did my research on the youth band on how much impact they are making in the community. Vivian supports everybody in the community and she has been a huge help in educating the youth in music”!

Rosario ran the entire program on Tuesday evening and he also invited singers Donna Blackmon, Joe Mayo, Miguel Aldohondo, along with Vivian Lamont and clarinetist Noah Wiggins to join him onstage.

Gino Rosario in originally from Curacao, the island nation, and surprisingly,  graduated from Pensacola Christian College.  He performs to a large following every Tuesday night at 6:30 pm at Phineas Phogg’s at Seville Quarter.  Rosario will return from Christmas vacation on the second Tuesday of January to perform at Seville.

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