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Wheels members, from left, Rory Papania, Sam Salazar, Jaime Scott and Sam Crawford all attended Friends Music Camp in eastern Ohio and now will perform at a benefit concert for the camp. (Submitted photo by Savanah Amos)

Wheels to play Friends Music Camp benefit

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Despite both growing up in Yellow Springs, local teens Sam Salazar and Rory Papania never really met. But after attending Friends Music Camp together in summer 2009 in eastern Ohio, they came back and started picking a ukulele and guitar in front of Tom’s Market and the bluegrass-folk band Wheels was born.

Now a successful local act, Wheels, which also includes Jaime Scott, Sam Crawford and Connor Stratton, will perform at an annual benefit for Friends Music Camp to raise funds for the school that shaped their young musical careers. The concert will be Friday, Dec. 30, at 7:30 p.m. at the Yellow Springs Senior Citizens Center and also features vocalist Minnita Daniel-Cox, violinist Wendy Champney, cellist Chiara Enderle and multi-instrumentalist Martha Hyde.

“If not for Friends Music Camp, Wheels definitely would not have been a band,” Rory Papania said this week, adding that the camp, located in the Appalachian foothills, was an “incredible experience” that exposed him to bluegrass and folk styles.

A suggested donation of $10 will go towards need-based scholarships for the four-week summer camp for 10- to 18-year olds, which will cost $2,010 per camper in 2012. Next year’s camp takes place from July 8 to August 5 and will be held, as usual, at Olney Friends School, a Quaker boarding school in Barnesville. Co-director and camp co-founder Peg Champney said that the camp emphasizes high quality musical instruction, builds community and encourages personal responsibility.

Read more in the Dec. 22 issue of the News.

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