APRIL 22,2016


On the evening of April 22, 2016, a very special one-night event, MUSIC MAKERS POP/ROCK CONCERT, took place at North Salem High School in Linda Eder’s hometown of North Salem, New York. It was an unforgettable experience for the directors, students and audience members as well Linda’s friends, Chris and Ken Guinardi, who had previously been involved in this amazing project, asked her if she would like to come on board to assist with the vocals. She was thrilled to be asked because it meant being closely involved in something that was so important to her son, Jake, who played Keyboards as a member of the band. After a number of years of giving private voice lessons as well as master classes, Linda felt totally prepared to tackle this project. All who have been on the receiving end of Linda’s teaching can attest to what an understanding and incredible teacher she is. She knows her “stuff” and is very adept at giving students confidence and bringing out their very best.

Now keep in mind… this is the Linda Eder her friends and fans know so well. She wasn’t just thinking, “How can I help these kids do their best as singers?” As soon as she agreed to be part of MUSIC MAKERS as vocal coach and director, her mind began spinning and she was also thinking, “What can I do to make the 2016 MUSIC MAKERS CONCERT the best one ever?”

And so Linda began doing everything she possibly could to give the kids all the best components that would help to make the show a huge success. She began to call upon her knowledge, her “celebrity,” and her many contacts in the music business. In addition, Linda made great use of social media to get her fans interested and involved in the project, and she succeeded in raising quite a bit of money through donations from friends and fans. This donated money allowed them to improve the sound and lighting in the school auditorium, which helped to make the concert so much more professional.

Once all of this was in motion, Linda turned to preparing the music for the vocalists and then teaching them their parts. She enjoyed working with the kids and watching them improve week after week. The kids were blown away the first time they heard Linda sing during rehearsal, and they were thrilled she would be singing with them as part of the show. No student was more excited to be singing with Linda than her own son, Jake, who admittedly was a little nervous about singing in front of an audience for the first time.

At last the evening of the show arrived, and the kids were ready to put on the best show they could possibly do. Linda gave the kids the best gift possible on the night of the show… a big, enthusiastic audience of family, friends and her own fans, some of whom had traveled great distances just to be there. Linda was the MC for the evening and did a fabulous job. She was her usual witty self and thoroughly enjoyed being up there and behind stage with the kids. It was so much fun watching her rock out with the band.

But nothing compared to the moment Linda sang the duet with Jake as he played Keyboards. The look of pride and pure joy on her face was a thrill to behold. Their duet was a highlight of the show for Jake, who not only got to perform with his Mom, but also had his proud Dad in the audience. It was a special moment that will live on in their memories forever.

We are sure you will enjoy reading the memories and impressions of this special night in the words of Linda, Jake, Frank Wildhorn, Chris and Ken Guinardi, Kim Scharnberg, Lynn Adler, Linda Carbo, Greg Kuritz, our photographer, Lori Zapata, and the MUSIC MAKERS themselves… Eddie Fiscella, Justin Giacchetto, Timmy Giacchetto, Paul Guinardi, and Brian Puletz.



In Linda's words...

Mother and Son

“I wanted to go back and apologize to all my high school teachers.” These are the heartfelt and honest words I spoke from the stage during the Music Makers concert.  

I meant these words… but not for the reasons one might think. After spending months rehearsing for many hours a week with 12 young teenagers, I came out of the experience with a new-found appreciation for teachers. We are all, in our own way, teachers, but to be a good, effective teacher is not easy and is not something to be taken for granted.

The goal of the Music Makers concert was to provide students of North Salem with the opportunity to showcase their talent. I readily admit to being a non-participant in the school system where, for the last 16 years, my son has worked his way through pre-school, elementary school, middle school, and high school. I never signed up for the PTO or volunteered for any of the many events that other parents helped with during these years. I was not one of “those Moms.” I always felt a little guilty but never enough to change it. So when Chris and Ken Guignardi asked me to help them on this project, I had to say yes… for my son, for their son, for the musically talented kids of North Salem, and for myself. I had no idea what I was getting myself into when I first agreed to lend my expertise to Music Makers.

North Salem is a small school district but I still expected to see a lot of kids coming to the tryouts. This was not the case. We ended up taking every student who showed up just to have enough kids to put on the show. Okay... but we got lucky, filled every position in the band, and found enough good singers to pull it off. Just enough. We couldn't afford to lose any of them.

From the first rehearsal I understood that the thing I was going to have to deal with was volume! I have sensitive ears. Guitar amps are loud. Drums are loud. Kids with microphones in their hands are… Loud. It was non-stop loud.  

Rehearsals were very interesting… very different from anything I was used in my career. To borrow a phrase... it was like herding cats while trying to keep them focused on the music.

It was a roller coaster. Moments of good music interspersed with chaos. Laughter mixed with scolding. I don't have a lot of patience. It's a flaw... I lost my temper a few times. I wasn't the only one. At different times, Chris and Ken lost theirs as well. The good thing is we never lost it at the same time so there was always a “good cop, bad cop” thing going on. It worked.

Week after week we worked our way through the music. There were a lot of songs to learn, and it was obvious that most of the kids weren't really doing their homework. That's where most of the pressure came from. They had to learn their songs. I hate memorizing new songs so I get it, but the day of the concert was looming ever closer.

Finally things were coming together. We had sound… we had lights… we were raising the money needed to pay for it. So many people donated money to help us out. I think that is what also added to my pressure. People were committed to this… my fans were coming to the show… parents were counting on us to take care of their kids. Soon we were only a few weeks away and the kids still did not know their songs.

Even my own son was not doing his homework. We had a few heated “discussions” in the car on the way home from rehearsals. But the great thing is that it was over music and not over cleaning his room...... Jake was having a good time and making new friendships and that was wonderful to see. He was nervous about singing in front of the kids but he overcame that. He really has a great voice and he is a truly gifted musician, so it was great to see him gaining respect from the kids who were already known as the musicians in school.

A very proud mom!

Jake and I had a duet and it was an amazing experience for me to sing with him. We would practice our song at home and I kept trying to impress upon him that he needed to know the music backwards and forwards because when you are nervous in front of the real audience, then what you think you know will all fly out of your head. He also had a song where he sang lead with several of the kids joining him. It was called “Don't You Worry Child,” and to me it was one of the most touching songs in the show.

Music Makers was a commitment and as the weather got nicer, it was sometimes hard to give up the hours when I could have been doing my own thing. Seeing the excitement of the kids was what made it worthwhile. We had all put in so much time and effort and now the show was just days away. We were finally rehearsing on the stage with the real sound and lights and I could see the change in the kids. This was real. This was a concert. The stage magic was affecting us all. Somehow the kids were remembering their lyrics and song structures. All the many weeks of rehearsals were finally coming together, all winding down to this one moment.

The day of the show didn't feel real. It was hard to believe it had actually arrived. Suddenly I was nervous because I was acting as MC and I had not really prepared anything. I spent the day thinking about what I would say on stage. For me it was a bit of a surreal experience because it felt in some ways like a normal concert for me and in other ways completely not normal.  

To my great relief and pride, the kids did not let us down. They put on a show. They blossomed and they shined brightly. They made their parents proud and they entertained their audience. They made music… that glorious thing that makes life so much more beautiful. Jake and I had our moment together and you could have heard a pin drop. It was a gift for which I will always be grateful.

And then... in a blink... the show was done. Too fast... too soon. No one wanted the night to end. The kids were buzzing backstage, their faces shining with the excitement of live performance - the magic of live performance. There is nothing like it.

Their faces thanked us. Chris, Ken, and me. The three "middle-aged parents” who had nagged and scolded, coaxed and guided, and given of themselves to try to teach 12 students and to give them a night they would remember for the rest of their lives.

Teaching is hard. Good teachers give of themselves in ways that students don't really understand. Good teachers want so much for their students and will go above and beyond to make that happen. That is why I want to go back and apologize to so many of my teachers. I didn't understand and I want to say... Thank you!

Family photo!

Jake Wildhorn, Linda’s incredibly talented son, writes…
Singing with my mom was an experience I'll never forget. Being it was the first time ever singing or performing in front of people, the fact I got to play and sing with my mom made it easier.  She put a lot of work into the show and I'm both proud and glad I did it with her.

Frank Wildhorn, Jake’s proud Dad writes…
To see Jake behind the keyboard singing and playing with Linda is beyond anything I could have ever imagined! I guess he's in the family business now!



Chris and Ken Guinardi, Linda’s partners in the Music Makers project, write…
Chris, Paul and I were asked to provide some feedback from our experience working with Linda. First let us say that Chris and I have been asked the same three questions over and over. Why are you doing this? What is Music Makers?  What was it like working with Linda Eder?

Ken welcomes the audience

First and most importantly, it’s for the kids, to give them a place to be in the spotlight and to shine as brightly as they can. Music Makers is a program for kids 6th through 12th grade with musical talent who may want more from music. They learn the importance of practice and team work. They may even have fun. They are coached by Parents, Professionals and anyone who wants to give a little time with the same love for music. We wanted to build on a program that started 3 years ago. These kids are talented and a lot fun to work with. We reached out to Fran Puletz another parent who was involved in the past and said she would like to help with and the show and the journey began.  

Now for the Linda question… Linda is family to Chris, Paul and me and when we are asked what it was like to work with her… Well, we are all comfortable with each other, so it was like friends or family getting together to help each other. We have a garage band together and we have helped each other on different occasions. I think the bigger story is how we got Linda involved. Chris and I have been showing videos to Linda for the past three years because she has never been able to make the show. Last year, Frank Wildhorn and Jake came to watch the show. After the show, Frank praised the students for a great performance and asked Chris and me why Jake had not been involved. We explained that in North Salem you have to choose Sport or Arts. You really can’t do both because the school is so small. The answer for Frank was, “Jake had wrestling and it conflicted with the schedule.”

This will be important in a minute.     

Back to Linda and the past three years. Each time we have shown her the video of the show, and each time she has praised the “Band” for its outstanding talent. Every time she has said the kids could use some help with the vocals. Well, this year with the show in jeopardy of not happening until Chris, Fran and I agreed to give it a shot, Chris had a brainstorm. Fortunately and unfortunately for Jake, he had a knee injury that would prevent him from joining wrestling. One door closes and another opens. Chris reached out to Linda with the idea of getting Jake involved for Keyboards. She told Linda, “I have a chance for you to put your money where your mouth is and help with this show. We would like your vocal support and Jake’s to help with this new show ‘The Music Makers.’” And the rest as they say is history.  

Chris, rock n'roll mama!

At first we could see that Linda was a bit reserved as to not step on anyone’s toes, but in little time that was no longer an issue and she was fully involved with this  venture. The surprise in the process that we had not considered was Linda’s fans. They are amazing and they came through big time for her and all of us. Linda put out a video plea for support and she got it. Fans traveled from all over the US to be in this little town of North Salem at the high school auditorium to give these kids an audience, (Who knows? Some may have even come to see Linda.). Because of Linda’s involvement and a story that hit close to home for Fios One News Anchor Courtney Kane, we were contacted by Fios One news channel. Our story was covered by Courtney and she did a great cover story which brought even more people to the audience.  

So with the auditorium almost full and the lights, sound and countless hours of work completed and ready to go, our Linda stepped up to the mic to MC, do a duet with Jake, sing a Lynyrd Skynyrd song while Chris joined on Bass (thank goodness for the garage band), and when the lights went down, the sound of classic rock and pop songs, and cheers from the audience filled the room. This at times difficult task was complete and we have each other to thank for it… the kids, the families, the fans, Chris, Fran and, of course, our very special friend, Linda Eder, who brought along her special talents to the show.

So we have one question for Linda now. “How were the vocals this year?” we asked with smiles from ear to ear.

Kim Scharnberg, Linda’s orchestrator and friend, writes…

I had an unexpectedly great time going to see the Music Makers concert at North Salem High School. Yes, I knew the folks who helped put it together - Ken and Chris Guignardi and a local singer named Linda - something, but my expectations were low because most student events are uh... more learning experiences rather than amazing concerts. From the first notes to the tripped out stage and lighting - these kids were ready to rock! A few were tentative at first but after they sang or played a few notes their confidence soared.  

Of course, I loved seeing the debut of Linda's son Jake on the duet “Say Something”... his talent is inherited but he also did the work to sing strong and hold his own! His keyboard skills were also apparent throughout the evening! Ken and Chris' son Paul held down the grooves on drums, and Chris/Mom effortlessly joined in on bass for several numbers too! Congrats to all involved - so many young, bright stars!

Let’s hear from some of the ever so talented MUSIC MAKERS!

  Eddie Fiscella, Keyboards, writes…
Thanks, Linda, for helping to put on a great show, especially your work with the vocalists. It was fun working with you and having you sing with us!


  Justin Giacchetto, Lead Guitar, writes…
Linda was a great help to our show this year! She brought the insight and knowledge of her professional career into our rehearsals and really helped make the show great! It was also a lot of fun to share the stage with her on “Call Me the Breeze” -- she's got such an amazing voice.

  Timmy Giacchetto, Vocals, writes…
Working with Linda Eder was a great experience that not everybody can get. She really helped us vocalists be the best we could be. She really taught us a lot about harmonizing and how important it is to live performing. Singing on stage with a professional like her was an experience that I feel lucky to have had.


  Paul Guinardi, Drums, writes…
I really enjoyed doing the show and was glad to have Jake and Linda involved. They got to see first-hand the talent of the kids and why they need the support from parents and friends. 


  Brian Puletz, Drums, Bass, Guitar, writes… 
Working with Linda through this program was a great experience. She brought her expertise to the show by helping us make the set list, getting us access to professional lighting and sound, helping us put the whole show together, and performing in some of the songs in the show. Without her, the show would have been much different.

And last but not least Linda’s fans have shared their thoughts on MUSIC MAKERS!

Lynn Adler from New York writes…

Fan Lynn Adler and Linda

A dozen already well established young musicians -- just two now old enough to soon head off to college to pursue music as a life venture -- came together joyfully to produce some serious rock and pop music last month in North Salem. From truly impressive guitar and keyboards, to group and solo singing performances, professional lighting and a broad song selection, North Salem’s Music Makers created an uplifting and memorable night.

In the official playbill bios, the students spoke about a love of music, singing, playing various instruments dating as far back as age three. For some, though, this was their first time performing in front of a live audience. And the auditorium was packed. 

Flashback to my sixth grade class concert in a large auditorium: me on the piano on the floor in front of the stage, all alone except for a page turner. My main memory: trying desperately to remember where any of my fingers were supposed to go on the keyboard, “below the stage” fright taking over.

In North Salem, whatever nerves there may have been up on the stage were barely visible even from the second row. Having just days before attended the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremonies, I’m pretty sure some of these Music Makers are also on the path for greatness. (“I Want You To Want Me” from Cheap Trick, one of the Hall’s new inductees, led off a steady stream of hits that did not, as MC Linda jested, include “Hello Dolly!”)

Of course it was also beautiful and touching to be present for Linda’s duet with Jake, and to see rocker Chris Guignardi share the stage with drummer son Paul.

Ken, Chris and Linda I’m sure invested uncountable hours nurturing and supporting all of these North Salem talents for this inspirational event.

It was cool to see people line up for autographs and pictures with the Music Makers after the show, as well as to witness the adrenaline and exhilaration the kids had from the whole experience. Thank you to everyone involved, and I’m glad that I could share in a small bit of your hard work and joy.


Linda Carbo from New York writes…

I attended The Music Makers concert in North Salem, New York. This was an exciting night for us to enjoy rock music. It was a special treat to see Linda Eder - “the Mom" - taking a step back and letting Jake – “the son”- and the other kids be the stars of the show. Some of the moms and dads were instrumental in putting this show together because they believe in “young talent” materializing into careers for the students.

To my surprise, listening to young students show us their talents in various forms of music was extraordinary. The kids of North Salem High School and Middle School have such a desire to showcase their musical talent that it was necessary to have this concert. I loved sitting there watching the students sing, play musical instruments and create this wonderful show for us. We sometimes ignore this age group and don’t give them the credit and the time needed to grow into what they love, all forms of music that we enjoyed on that stage. I found myself feeling their music, and when some of the songs were familiar to me, I wanted to sing along with the Band. The music was fabulous, the stage was beautifully decorated, and they had great high-tech lighting and sound to round out a superb show.

It was a special night for everyone involved who have given the students the confidence and desire to continue on with their dream to perform.
Thank you, North Salem, for allowing us to see the talents of those who performed.


Greg Kuritz from New York writes…

Fan Greg Kuritz and Linda

It's always a thrill driving to a Linda concert! The anticipation and excitement levels are always on high alert, but this time I really wasn't sure what to expect. I knew Linda would be emceeing the event and doing some performing, but still, I did not know what was to come.

After a two hour+ drive (with the very excited Ray Torres), we finally arrived at our destination tucked away in the hills of North Salem. It was great to see some new and old friends in attendance and you could feel the excitement in the air.  The audience was filled with families, students and ardent Linda fans (a mix not normally found at a “traditional” Linda concert).

The stage was chock full of musical instruments and some high-tech lighting equipment. Smoke started to pour from the stage as the lights went down and the audience showed its approval.

The “Music Makers” set list comprised of mainly current rock songs handled by a collection of students from the North Salem Middle and High Schools. For me, the highlight of the concert was Linda's duet with her son Jake on the massive radio hit, “Say Something.” Jake's vocal was spot on as Linda supplied the harmony for an unforgettable mother and son performance. Another standout performance was by Shanna Feeney on the song “Glitter In The Air.” I was not familiar with this song but later learned it was a Pink composition. Shanna really nailed her performance with a confidence far surpassing her age! The evening ended with an rousing all-cast jam on some classic Lynyrd Skynyrd and Beatles rock songs.

Although most of the evening’s repertoire was truly not in my wheelhouse, I could appreciate all the hard work and the tremendous talent that was represented on that stage.

I was able to talk to Linda after the show and you could tell how proud she was with how the evening turned out and was grateful for all the hard work the students did to get the show off the ground!

Bravo to all!


Lori Zapata, THE VOICE photographer from New York, writes…

As the mother of two boys, now young adults, I had been to my share of High School Concerts. I was going to Music Makers at North Salem High School with no expectations. As a professional photographer, I was there to capture some photographs for Linda Eder, that’s all. Well, was I in for a big surprise!

The opening number made it clear that this was no ordinary high school performance. It would have been hard not to enjoy the evening just because of the joy on the faces of the performers. The students truly lit up the stage. It was a bonus how amazing the music actually was.

With the incredible Linda Eder as the MC of the evening, we learned that the performing students ranged from 6th Grade Students through 12th Grade Seniors.
These students played guitar, keyboards, drums, saxophone, and of course sang, and took the audience on a journey of classic rock songs along with some of today’s hottest hits. Each student was more talented then the next.

The highlight for me was Linda Eder’s duet with her son, Jake Wildhorn. I had heard them sing together on Linda’s latest Christmas CD, with their special version of “Baby It’s Cold Outside.” To actually see them perform together live, was a moment I will always remember. They sang one of my favorite songs, “Say Something” and it was truly beautiful. However, what really made an impression on me was the look of pure pride on Linda Eder. It was the face of a mother so deeply proud of her son. I’m happy to say that I captured a great shot of that moment, and even more happy to say that I was able to be there to see it live.

You already know it is going to be a great evening if Linda Eder is going to sing. However, other highlights were Chris Guignardi playing the bass guitar on stage with the students, including her son, Paul, on the drums. Then there was Andrew, a sixth grader, who was so talented on drums and just too cute performing with a go pro on his head. So much talent, and only in sixth grade? Crazy! I could say that about all the students, they were all talented beyond their years. The wonderful talented kids of North Salem’s Music Makers were a delight. I know I am not the only audience member that felt that way, as many students were asked to sign programs at the end of the evening. If was fun to see them experience a bit of stardom!

I have a feeling that night in North Salem, New York will not be their last brush with fame. It was no surprise to learn that one of the seniors, Jack Sullivan, who was awesome on guitar, saxophone and vocals, would be off to Berklee College of Music after his graduation. Most of the students expressed aspirations to continue with their love of music after graduation. With their talents and dedication, it would not surprise me to see each and every one of them again in the future, when they do just that.

A very special thank you to our photographer, Lori Zapata, for capturing moments from the evening!