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Salvatore Chiarelli Wins Bravos

Local residents were seranaded by a classical Italian singer this past Sunday, at a performance at the Hicksville Public Library by Salvatore Chiarelli. Chiarelli sang popular and classical songs in both English and Italian while accompanied by pianist Ishmael Wallace.

Chiarelli performed traditional Italian songs such as “Speak To Me Of Love, Mariú”, “I Have But One Heart,” and “O Sole Mio.”

Chiarelli believes that it is his and Wallace’s calling to perform this type of music to as many people as possible. “We want to share the love of this music that we have with so many more people,” he said.

One of the members of the audience, Theresa Putnam, came to the event to hear one of her favorite genres of music performed live. “I find the music very relaxing,” she said. “I’ve always liked Italian music.”

Putnam enjoyed all of the songs Chiarelli sang, especially the song, “O Sole Mio.”

“I think he has a very nice voice,” she said of Chiarelli. “He also has a really good personality, which is important too.”

Although Chiarelli and Wallace have only recently started performing together, they clicked right away, according to Chiarelli. In addition to being a talented pianist, Wallace is also a composer and a baritone singer. “He’s the most talented pianist I’ve ever had,” said Chiarelli of Wallace. “He’s open minded, gifted, and loves all music.”

Chiarelli is a second-generation Italian who grew up on Long Island in Nassau County. He graduated from Seaford High School and went to college at Hofstra University.

Twenty years ago, Chiarelli decided to pursue his dream. “I went back to school, received a masters degree in music education, and learned how to be classically trained as an opera singer,” he said.

Chiarelli did not always have people believe in him. “I had a lot of people tell me ‘you’re past your peak, you’re not going to have a career,’” he said. “I didn’t listen to any of it.”

Singing is in his genes, as Chiarelli’s father is also a singer, and he knew that his abilities would allow him to make it as a performer.

The passion that Chiarelli has for classical Italian music inspires Wallace. “He has found something that people really need, and I don’t think we’re getting that much of,” said Wallace. “He made his own career doing it. He has not had to be dependent on anybody else, except on his own talent.”

Besides performing at libraries, Chiarelli also sings at dinner shows, restaurants, Italian clubs, charitable events and churches. His next local performance will be in Floral Park on April 27. In addition to singing at events, Chiarelli teaches music classes at public schools in Manhattan.

“I get a lot of joy pleasing people, and they give the joy back to me so much more,” said Chiarelli. “I don’t want to lose sight of having fun and enjoying it all.”

News

Vastra boutique finds a niche

in hand-embroidered dresses

Who says a bride has to wear white on her wedding day? For South Asian brides, no color is off limits including brilliant reds, blues and golds. For the past 17 years, Vastra in Hicksville has been helping brides from New York and across the country find the perfect dress for their special day.

There’s no lack of Indian sari boutiques in Hicksville but according to Marketing Director Prachi Jain, what sets Vastra apart from the others is its emphasis on one of a kind, hand-embroidered Indian dresses.

Many would consider it rude to play with your food. That is unless, you’re participating in the Long Island Potato Festival. The event, which was held in Cutchogue, NY, included a mashed potato sculpting contest which was dominated by Hicksville’s Sarah Tsang, who won first place in the youth division.

Contestants were allowed to use any tools and materials to help bring their creation to life. Sculptures were left on display throughout the day and voted on by festival goers.


Sports

Somehow LSA, the Levittown Swimming Association, has always been a part of our Hicksville summers. My family’s introduction to the organization in 1975 began when our two older daughters tried out for the Parkway Swim Team, one of the nine teams that competed through July and most of August.

It was no small task for the younger girl, swimming her first full lap in the deep end of the pool to qualify at age six, but both girls made the team and donned the coveted gray tee shirts as the trees cast their shadows over the pool water at the end of practice.

I’m convinced that the soul and the center of Hicksville is Cantiague Park. And why not? Every weekend it’s a beehive of activity ranging from tennis matches, hand ball games, basketball and baseball games, swimming, hockey and of course ‘the beautiful game’ called soccer. Cantiague has two professional soccer fields that are perfectly manicured and begging to be played on. And they were. This weekend was the finals of the East Meadow Soccer Tournament which is one of the largest youth soccer tournaments in the nation, sponsored by the US Soccer Federation. There were 18 boys and girls teams in the finals and a large staff of referees.

Two of the refs were Steven Orozco and Randy Vogt who told me how soccer had been growing and has now become the second most popular participation sport in America with 25 million of us watching this year’s World Cup.  I also met and interviewed Joe Codispoti who along with Tim Bradbury is the head coach of Rockville Centre United, a U16 boys club.  This U16 team has a group of standout players led by  Jack Graziano, AJ Codispoti and Pat Basile who have been playing together for six years.


Calendar

Close Encounters with Benevolent ETs and Ascended Masters

August 29

Adventures in Genealogy

September 4

Greek Festival

September 5-7



Columns

1959: The Year The Music Stopped Playing
Written by Michael A. Miller, mmillercolumn@gmail.com

The Eccentric Heiress Of ‘Empty Mansions’
Written by Mike Barry, MFBarry@optonline.net

Yellow Margarine And A Pitch For The Ages
Written by Michael A. Miller, mmillercolumn@gmail.com