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Former students, bandmates of Douglas Wood plan “celebration” benefit concert of his life

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Former students, bandmates and other musical associates of Douglas W. Wood will gather Sunday at the North Side Improvement League for a concert in celebration of his life.

If something had to do with music in the Watertown area, Mr. Wood, who died Aug. 30 at the age of 57, was involved. He did everything from performing in bands to providing and producing perfectly timed recorded music for a figure skating routine.

Fourteen bands have been scheduled to perform at the “Doug Woodstock” concert. Many of the band members in those groups are former students of Mr. Wood or performed with him.

“Doug was a very good friend of a lot of people in the area,” said Robin Davis, co-organizer of the concert. “We knew him for a very long time and he was a fantastic guy.”

Mr. Wood, a Camden native who was educated in Massena schools, came to Watertown in 1973, graduating from Watertown High School a year later. He subsequently attended Jefferson Community College and SUNY Potsdam’s Crane School of Music.

“He taught music lessons throughout his life to hundreds and hundreds of students,” said Doug Woodstock co-organizer Ronald J. Sacci, who operated Black River Music, a retail store in Watertown, with Mr. Wood. “He was a very funny person with a good sense of humor. He always made people laugh, no matter the circumstances.”

Mr. Sacci’s father, Frank J., taught Mr. Wood at Watertown High School. Frank Sacci, a retired instrumental music teacher at the school, will bring his Big Band to perform at Doug Woodstock. Mr. Wood was in the high school marching band, concert band and stage band, all under the direction of Frank Sacci.

Ronald Sacci said Mr. Wood was in “probably 30 different bands” in his lifetime. Those included Moteaf, the Ed Sullivan Band, Easy Street, KiK, Truman Coyote II, the Generic Jazz Band and the Nipsey Stud Jazz Ensemble.

For more than 20 years, Mr. Wood also was the organist at St. Anthony’s Church, where he was a member.

He did sound production for the Jefferson County Fair, the Bravo Italiano Festival, the North Country Goes Green Irish Festival, the annual oldies show sponsored by the Disabled Persons Action Organization, several bluegrass festivals and the Miss New York State Pageant.

Friends say he was a dedicated family man. Mr. Wood was a full-time caregiver to his son, Storm D., who has a rare form of muscular dystrophy.

“Storm loved his father a great deal,” Mr. Davis said. “His father took care of him all day and all night, every day. It’s a big gap in their (the family’s) life.”

Mr. Wood also left behind his wife, Mary Jo, and another son, Sterling E., a student at SUNY Morrisville.

The benefit concert is designed to benefit Storm and Sterling. Mrs. Wood said she plans to make a donation from proceeds to DPAO, which has been a great assistance to her family and others.

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Acts scheduled to perform at “Doug Woodstock”:

The John Michael Band, Cary Walts, Frank Sacci’s Big Band, Ben Sacci Plante, Double Vision, Swag, Dave Scanlin and the DTZ, Nick of Time, Robin Davis, The Shadows, Crisis, Homer and the Fins, the FFOG and a reunion of the Generic Jam Band.

“It was very easy to get people,” Ronald Sacci said. “We actually didn’t have enough room for everybody.”



The Details
WHAT: Doug Woodstock concert, a musical fundraiser and celebration of the life of Douglas W. Wood
WHEN/WHERE: 1 to 9 p.m. Sunday at the North Side Improvement League, 633 Mill St. Doors open at noon.
COST: Donation is $10 at the door. Advance tickets: buy at North Country Music, 1035 Arsenal St., for an $8 donation.
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