Danny DeGennaro Memorial Creative Inspiration Concert Showcases the Bands of Past and Present Scholarship Winners

The Bucks County Beacon spoke with the DeGennaro scholarship winners from the last two years – Natalie Buechel and Dan Kovitz, both from the local band Sour Station who will be playing Saturday.
Sour Station at the Tidal Basin for the National Cherry Blossom Festival in Washington, D.C. LR L-R is Mark MacBride, Dan Kovitz, Natalie Buechel, and Nate Farrell. Photo provided by Sour Station.

Music has the power to bring people together, to celebrate life, to make a difference, to stir emotions – and in the case of a fundraising concert at Bucks County Community College on Saturday to honor a local musician whose life was cut short by violence in December 2011. Danny DeGennaro (a.k.a. Rio- a name given him as a play on words,) was a multi-talented performer who grew up in Levittown, PA, but took it on the road throughout his storied career. His murder was considered a planned robbery gone bad. His life was over way too fast, but he left an indelible mark on the world.

His legacy lives on in the form of a memorial organization that was created in his name called The Danny DeGennaro Foundation which awards scholarships to musicians and artists who attend Bucks County Community College. This year’s event will honor several past and present scholarship winners by showcasing their bands on the main stage. Many of the acts will honor Danny DeGennaro’s music by playing their renditions of his original songs.

Numerous local bands will take the stage at the Creative Inspiration-Bucks County Has Talent event from 6-10 p.m., including the group Sour Station, two of whose members were recipients of the scholarship; lead vocalist Natalie Buechel for the 2023-2024 school year, and lead guitarist Dan Kovitz in 2022-2023.

image 3 - Bucks County Beacon - Danny DeGennaro Memorial Creative Inspiration Concert Showcases the Bands of Past and Present Scholarship Winners

Buechel had this to share about the experience of accepting the bequest that helped further her education, “It was very exciting! After listening to Danny’s songs, I felt honored to receive a scholarship in his name. The studio time was also a lot of fun!” 

When he received his scholarship, Kovitz “appreciated the money and the chance to honor a local legend from Bucks County.”

Although she had never met DeGennaro, Buechel was introduced to him through stories people shared about him and the music he left behind.

Buechel says that music has long been a part of her life.

“My dad majored in jazz guitar, so naturally he always had instruments around us growing up. I played the trombone from 3rd to 7th grade,” she said. “I have always played piano and guitar on and off throughout my whole life. During Covid times is when it became a daily practice of mine.”

Kovitz too was nourished on music. “My parents exposed me to music at a young age. My first favorite band was The Beatles, which I believe forms the foundation of my musical appreciation.” 

Buechel describes Sour Station as a “four-piece consisting of vocals, rhythm guitar, lead guitar, bass, and drums. Something we struggle the most with is categorizing our music into one genre. Our music is a mix of indie, rock, pop, psychedelic and even some jazz influences since 3/4 of us have been trained in jazz in Bucks County Community College‘s music program.”

Kovitz added his take on the band. 

“I see us as a rock band with a wide range of influences. We haven’t committed ourselves to any specific sub-genre, we’re just having fun and playing whatever comes to us,” he said. “We’re still polishing our sound and trying to figure it all out.”

The band’s name came to the members in a seemingly mundane way. “We named our band after a jam session we had at a train station,” Kovitz said. “I played a chord that sounded kinda bad and I said, ‘this chord sounds sour.’” 

The band members Kovitz (lead guitar), Nate Farrell (bass) and Buechel (lead vocals and rhythm guitar), all met through the Bucks County Community College music program. The drummer, Mark MacBride, had already known Dan from the marching band in high school.

Buechel said she wants “our music give people something to relate to. Most importantly, I just want it to make people feel something when they listen to it. Whether it’s anger, sadness or happiness, my goal is to evoke emotions in others.”

Kovitz adds, “To me music is a vehicle of self-expression and a gratifying hobby. I don’t have any desire to impact the world but if my music stood for anything it would be the beauty of embracing one’s true self regardless of expectation.”

Bucks County Community College’s Zlock Performing Arts Center is located at 275 Swamp Rd, Newtown. Tickets are on sale now. Join Sour Station and numerous other bands and allow yourself to be moved by the music, for a good cause.

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Edie Weinstein

Edie Weinstein, MSW, LSW is a licensed social worker, psychotherapist, journalist, interfaith minister, speaker and author. She is the co-founder of Bucks County Kind.

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