Bobby Paltauf of Redding and Katherine Waugh of Easton, a Joel Barlow High School freshman, were among the young artists recruited by fellow young artist Niles Luther of Fairfield to perform at a benefit fund-raiser for Newtown at the Fairfield Theatre Co.
It was Niles’ brother, Cameron Luther, an eighth grade student at Fairfield Woods Middle School, who suggested that Niles use his musical talents to help those affected by the school shooting. Niles, 16, a junior at Fairfield Warde High School, agreed, and along with writing an original arrangement for his trio, took on the role of producer.
He recruited Katherine and Bobby, and singer/songwriter Taylor Felt, 11, of Darien, was recruited by her voice teacher, Beverly Lambert.
On Saturday, Jan. 5, they presented two performances at Concert for Newtown to standing-room-only crowds at the Fairfield Theatre Co. All proceeds from the concert will be donated to the Connecticut PTSA Sandy Hook Fund. Along with ticket sales, Niles hopes to raise $8,000 through GoFundMe.com and concert memorabilia sold online. To generate post-concert donations, he also plans to post video highlights on YouTube.
When he was contacted by the producers of Concert for Newtown, Bobby was excited about the event. He has already been performing for several years. The 13-year-old blues guitarist has opened for such legendary musical acts as Buddy Guy, Lucky Peterson and America.
“I wanted to be part of it,” he said.
During the show, Bobby performed Jimi Hendrix’s “Little Wing.” Bobby also plans to play in another musical concert to benefit the Newtown community. This performance will take place on Jan. 20 at the Ridgefield Playhouse.
He and his father, Robert, will be traveling to the 29th annual International Blues Challenge in Memphis, Tenn., at the end of January.
Robert said Bobby is the youngest person to represent Connecticut at the music festival and competition.
Bobby credits his father with teaching him to play guitar five and a half years ago.
However, Robert said, “Bobby’s far surpassed me and taken his playing to a new level.” Katherine, 15, is a member of the Fairfield County Children’s Choir. She has performed the national anthem for Bridgeport Bluefish and Sound Tigers games. In 2010, Katherine sang Broadway show tunes on-stage at the Norwalk Oyster Festival.
Katherine started singing publicly when she was in first grade and joined the music ministry at Greenfield Hill Congregational Church in Fairfield. This year she was hired to record a demo song for an emerging composer.