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Meet Gail Campanella

Updated: Jun 27, 2021


Gail Campanella grew up in a small farming community in northeastern Colorado, called Weldona. Her parents were farmers, and she is the eldest of nine children.


From the moment Gail uncovered the contents of an unusual black suitcase in the basement of her farmhouse, she was drawn to the accordion. It was the instrument her grandfather bought from a door-to-door salesman in the early 1930s for Gail’s mother. That accordion was the only instrument they had in their house.


Gail started lessons at the age of 10 on her mother’s accordion. By age 14, she was teaching and taking lessons in Denver.


She majored in piano at Loretto Heights College while continuing her accordion studies with Prof. Robert Davine at the University of Denver. After graduation, she taught music in the Denver Public Schools and played honky-tonk piano on weekends.


Gail has played for accordion clubs around the country, including San Francisco, Silicon Valley, Orange County, San Diego, Las Vegas, Chicago, and Washington, DC, as well as the 2013 and 2017 Cotati Festivals. She is a member of the Los Angeles Accordionaires Orchestra and has presented at the NAA Convention. Gail has participated in the Rose City Accordion Camp and Stas Venglevski’s Houston Accordion Orchestra as the Bass player.


Currently, in addition to her private adult students, Gail’s focus is to introduce the accordion to children in the Santa Barbara Schools. The children receive weekly instruction on loaned instruments which they may take home. Accordion in the Schools will continue this September for the 5th year.


Gail has been a member of ATG for several years. When not engaged with the accordion, she loves to travel and especially enjoys visits with relatives in Italy. At home, she tends a vegetable garden, likes feeding the birds that nest in her backyard, and enjoys the company of her new rescue kitty, Billie Jean.


Gail’s solo album, Discovery (2016) is available on cdbaby.com, or

by emailing gailcampanella@gmail.com.

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