MOUNT VERNON, N.Y. – Mount Vernon came together to celebrate the community on Wednesday, as the city cast aside the long, brutal winter with a warm Summer Breeze (concert.)
Famed Mount Vernon jazz performer Mike Phillips was the hometown headliner on Wednesday night at City Hall Plaza, as he entranced a capacity audience with various hits from his lengthy career. 25-year-old R&B artist C Envy was the opening act, where he performed a pair of songs from his collection.
Mount Vernon citizens celebrated their city on Wednesday, as elected officials and the artists implored the crowd to focus on the good in the city, not the bad. A pair of Mount Vernon High School seniors, Rolanda Watson and Dave Pina also accepted awards for their academic accomplishments.
“We hear a lot about what’s wrong in Mount Vernon, and a lot of that has been overstated,” Mount Vernon Mayor Ernest Davis said. “We do a heck of a lot right, and only a few things wrong, so I don’t want anyone to get it twisted.”
City Councilwoman Roberta Apuzzo joined Davis, Pina, Watson and their families on stage to award the students with certificates and gifts from the mayor’s office.
“It was a long hard winter for all of us, so it’ll be nice to enjoy a nice summer breeze,” she said.
Phillips, who experimented with various instruments as a boy in Mount Vernon before settling on the saxophone, credited his upbringing in the city for his professional successes.
“Growing up here, I always had access to the creative arts in schools and programs. I have a great understanding of what hard work and dedication is all about. I’m not going to let the media let us believe something that doesn’t exist,” he said. “Let’s cheer for Mount Vernon.”