Aurora band teacher puts on nightly concert to lift her neighbors’ spirits during COVID-19

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AURORA, Ill. — A suburban band teacher is keeping her neighbors’ spirits up during the stay-at-home order brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic.

For the last couple of weeks, Patty Sampson has used her saxophone and her front porch to bring a smile to her community.

Every night at 7 p.m., neighbors leave their homes to spend 15 minutes listening to her play.

She jokingly calls it the “Corona Concert Series.”

“We always do a patriotic song every night. We do gospel tunes, Broadway, you name it. Disney — whatever people ask for,” said Sampson.

The crowd practices social distancing while calling out requests.

“My public is demanding it. So I have to give them what they want,” she joked.

Sampson is West Aurora High School’s band director, but for the last two weeks she’s been putting on this show.

“The Corona Concert Series and just being silly and that’s what this is all about,” she said.

But there’s another reason for Sampson’s songs.

“Three years ago I was diagnosed with breast cancer. Those kids, and the parents and my neighbors and friends, they just showed up for me. They loved on me and brought me food,” said Sampson.

And giving back is what inspired this band leader to start a virtual tip jar, with every penny going to those in need.

“Right now, we’re at about $1,200 and we’ve already donated $1,000 of it to the Aurora Area Interfaith Food Pantry and as more money comes in I’m going to keep giving it to them,” said Sampson.

To donate to the virtual tip jar click here.


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