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Music Sizzles for Seventh Summer in Pleasantville

PLEASANTVILLE, N.Y. — Richard Sarfaty and Sol Skolnick, co-executive directors of the Pleasantville Music Festival 2011 , make beautiful music together each July for their community as well as for thousands of visitors.

Sarfaty has been part of the festival since its beginning seven years ago. He says, “We want to bring great music, a world-class event to the village of Pleasantville.”

Skolnick began working on the festival with Sarfaty five years ago. He says the festival has grown from 800 attendees to about 6,000. It offers a selection of music to meet all types of tastes, including reggae, folk and children’s music.

The Parkway Field will have three stages humming Saturday from noon to nearly 9 p.m. By the time the sun sets, 20 performers will have sent their music throughout the heart of Pleasantville.

Sarfaty and Skolnick credit the hundreds of volunteers, vendors, town employees and their own family members with much of the festival's success. In fact, Sarfaty says, both families run the hospitality center, serving 1,200 meals that day.

Selecting performers takes months. “Part of the charter of the festival is to encourage and showcase singers doing original work,” Skolnick says. “We showcase folks who live and work in the area and are able to do original music.” A committee listens to all the music before making final decisions.

Skolnick, who works at Webster Bank in White Plains, praises the community feel of the festival. One way it gives back to the community is by supporting a local not-for-profit. “We create a charitable partner each year. This year it is Girls Inc., based in White Plains."

Sarfaty, a woodworker by day, sums up the festival this way: “We do it for $40 a ticket. You would pay at least $140 anywhere else on the planet for the same thing.”

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