Gail Campanella Photo by Bruce Lawrie
As a youngster growing up in a large Italian family, on a farm in northeastern Colorado, Gail showed an interest in the only musical instrument in her home, her mother's old accordion. Her formal music instruction began at the age of 10 in Ft. Morgan, Colorado, where she enjoyed lessons and participated in annual accordion contests, Kiwanis Stars of Tomorrow, talent shows, and many other local events. Gail became the town accordion teacher at age 14, when the local accordion teacher retired. She made monthly 80-mile train trips to Denver to study accordion with Anthony Pennetti and to play in his accordion orchestra.
Gail majored in piano at Loretto Heights College in Denver while continuing her study in classical accordion with Robert Davine at the University of Denver. After graduation, she played “honky tonk” piano in Central City, Colorado, and taught music in the Denver Public Schools. She continued to study the Orff and Kodaly methods of music education and became a Certificated Orff music teacher.
For the past several years, Gail has been a member of the Los Angeles Accordionaires Orchestra. She has resumed teaching private accordion and piano lessons, and performs on both piano and accordion.
Gail and her husband, John, have three grown children, Gian Carlo, a real estate broker currently living in Istanbul, Turkey; Dino, drummer and keyboardist in the band, dredg who lives in Campbell, CA; and Veronica, who lives and works in Santa Barbara, CA.