Gail Campanella

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 lessons began at the age of 10 in Ft. Morgan, Colorado, where she participated in annual accordion contests, Kiwanis Stars of Tomorrow, talent shows, and many other local events.

Gail took over her teacher’s students at the age of 14. During high school, she made monthly 80-mile train trips to Denver to study accordion with Anthony Pennetti and to play in his accordion orchestra.

She majored in piano at Loretto Heights College in Denver while continuing her accordion studies with Robert Davine at the University of Denver.

After graduation, she played “honky tonk” piano in Central City, Colorado, and taught 4th, 5th, and 6th-grade music in the Denver Public Schools. She continued to study the Orff and Kodaly methods of music education and received certification in Orff-Schulwerk.

Gail performed in the 2013 Cotati Accordion Festival.  She has been a guest artist for the San Francisco Accordion Club and was a soloist at the 2015 Orange County Accordion Festival, Costa Mesa, CA, (the Big Squeeze). She was a member of the 2015 National Accordion Orchestra in South Bend, IN, under the direction of Gene Van. Gail was recently guest accordionist with the Santa Barbara City College Jazz Band, as well as a guest soloist for the Chicago Accordion Club, the Las Vegas Accordion Convention, the Washington Metropolitan Accordion Society, and the Silicon Valley Accordion Society.

Gail is a member of the Los Angeles Accordionaires Pops Orchestra directed by Janet Hane and is VP of the Santa Barbara Accordion Club (AIMS). She gives private accordion lessons and performs on both piano and accordion.

Her newly released solo CD entitled, Discovery, is available on ­

Gail and her husband, John, live in Santa Barbara, CA, and are parents to GianCarlo, Dino, and Veronica.