the Band

Paula Purnell

Paula has been writing, performing and recording music most of her adult life. In addition to her work with the NewLanders, Paula has released seven albums of original music, including three Parent’s Choice Award winning children’s albums.  Paula and her husband, Bruce, write and produce children’s music. Their company is the Family Arts Theater. You can listen to, and download Paula’s music here:


Paula’s original music

The Family Arts Theater

Paula is an educator and has a one-woman education consulting company called  Sense of Place Learning, LLC. She creates and implements place-based curriculum and programs celebrating the places we live through history, ecology and the arts.

Gerard Rohlf


Gerard is a composer of music and poetry. He has been performing professionally since he was seven years old. Gerard’s poetry has received awards and been published in periodicals, anthologies and E-zines. Gerard has performed in rock-and-roll, blues, and Irish and American roots groups from Philadelphia to San Francisco. He feels at home with sacred or classical music, and currently serves as a Music Director for St. Bede’s R.C. Church in Pittsburgh. He also performs with Celtic/Irish Band,  Na Gaels

Art GazdikArt on bike

Art Gazdik has deep Pittsburgh roots. As he explains:

I was prodded to play the violin as a kid by my mom, Gert. I stuck it out from 3rd grade until my early teen years when I gave it up. Luckily during those formative years, I took lessons from Samuel Elkins — a fine person and member of the Pittsburgh Symphony. For a couple of years, I attended Pittsburgh’s Center for the Musically Talented every Saturday at Fifth Avenue High School. All of these early experiences were aimed at classical performance, which I never found a passion for, but thanks to my family and school district, I had some great early musical training.

After college, Art played in clubs and recording studios in Austin, Texas. He’s been a busy musician here at home in Pittsburgh, PA, too, working with local bands and songwriters.

To me music is not a resume, but a series of rare moments when the people who I’m making music with a group of people that I respect and enjoy playing with, and we’re all as one to create a great sound. Art’s studied fiddle at Mark O’Conner’s fiddle camp, and is also an avid hiker.

He was recently featured in this Post-Gazette article about his adventures on the John Muir Trail. Instruments that Art playa include the violin, octave violin, and mandolin.