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Sister Act: Return Of The Divas

Hicksville residents celebrated iconic female singers this past weekend during a live concert at the Hicksville Public Library.

“Sister Act: A Salute to Legendary Divas” is made up of two actual sisters, Andrea Giammalvo and Celeste Santini. The sisters dressed up in costume and sang the songs of famous female vocalists of the past.

The performance was originally written as a school performance with the intent to educate students about the journey of women in music. “We wanted kids to know who these great ladies are and how these women paved the road for the great ladies of today such as Beyoncé,” said Giammalvo.

During the show, the sisters performed music as early as Billie Holiday in the 1940s, to more recent hits from the 1990s.

There were a great number of people in the audience who had previously seen “Sister Act”. “We have some groupies, which is so cool,” said Giammalvo.

One fan of “Sister Act” has seen the duo perform at least 10 times. The first time Brenda Zysberg saw the sisters perform was about seven years ago.

“Each show gets better and better,” said Zysberg. “They are extremely talented ladies and they put on a beautiful show.”

Zysberg keeps coming back for more shows because of the great talent of the two performers. “They have wonderful voices and the variety of the songs they sing is beautiful,” she said.

Members of the audience were singing and even dancing along to the songs, including Bernadette Davidock. It was her first time watching the “Sister Act” performance, and she was impressed with what she saw. “I would pay to see them,” Davidock said. “These girls are very talented. They have professional voices.”

The older songs brought back memories to Davidock, who grew up in the 1950s. “I loved all the Broadway songs, and all the rock and roll 1950s and 1960s music that they sang,” she said.

The best part about performing ”Sister Act” is working with her sister, according to Giammalvo. “She’s the best,” she said. “We truly get along. There is no faking it.”

The performance is part of the Town of Oyster Bay Department of Community Youth Services, Cultural and Performing Arts Division. Giammalvo and Santini perform at libraries, private parties, schools, as well as fundraisers.

The sisters became involved with the town when they first began performing this act 15 years ago. “Every year we wind up in the Distinguished Artists concert series for them,” said Giammalvo. “It’s been great. We’ve been blessed to work for our local neighbors on Long Island.”

News

A group of like-minded local residents banded together and saved more than 200 area trees from the chopping block — for now.

A state judge ordered Nassau County and the Department of Public Works to stop cutting down trees along South Oyster Bay Road, granting a temporary restraining order to a group of residents spearheading an effort to save the trees.

State Supreme Court Judge Antonio Brandveen scheduled a hearing on Thursday, Oct. 16 for the county to address complaints from residents, in particular a group called Operation STOMP (Save Trees Over More Pavement) founded by Hicksville native Tanya Lukasik.The Public Works department had planned to removed more than 200 30-foot trees in communities ranging from Plainview, Bethpage, Hicksville and Syosset.

For the past 16 years, Lucia Simon has walked from her home in Hicksville to her job at the Hicksville Public Library. She enjoys her job as a librarian and says that the staff has become like family to her. But for the past three years, Simon and 56 fellow co-workers have been frustrated at what she says is the library’s board refusal to negotiate a fair contract.  

“We have had no contract in three years. They refuse to bargain with us. Every time they come back to us it’s not fair,” says Simon.

However, the board of trustees disagree, saying that it has made a “fair offer.”


Sports

The Girls Varsity soccer team, in honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, wore pink uniforms and pink socks in their game on Oct. 8 against MacArthur whom they defeated 1-0. The girls and boys soccer programs at Hicksville High School are selling pink ribbon car magnets with a soccer ball and HHS on it with the words “Kick Cancer” on the ribbon. All the money raised will go to the Sarah Grace Foundation, which is a local foundation trying to beat pediatric cancer. The players plan to raise $1,000 for this organization

— From Hicksville High School

Hicksville native progressing through Mets system

The Mets minor league system is enjoying a rare period of prosperity. For years, it was barren due to trading off high-ceiling players for major leaguers, or neglecting the draft in favor of the free agent market. Since General Manager Sandy Alderson took over, the organization has reversed course and put a much greater emphasis on player development. During his second-to-last season, however, former GM Omar Minaya took a chance and drafted a local catcher, Cam Maron, out of Hicksville High School in the 34th round.


Calendar

Spooktacular Halloween

October 17

Fall Festival

October 18

Veterans Casework Seminar

October 21



Columns

1959: The Year The Music Stopped Playing
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