Written by Stephen Levine Friday, 13 July 2012 00:00
Mineola Mayor Scott Straus, president of the Habitat for Humanity of Nassau County Kay McKiernan and crowds composed of all ages were there to enjoy the night.
“This is a great event for Mineola,” said Straus. “I would like to thank you all for braving the heat and coming out tonight.”
After the mayor thanked the crowd, he took a moment to also commend McKiernan for all her help in rebuilding houses in Mineola and across Nassau County. Most recently, McKiernan and hundreds of volunteers refurbished a residence on Westbury Avenue that is now home for a pair of adults who are disabled.
“We’re proud and happy to help,” McKiernan stated. “Habitat does a lot of good. It only takes a small group of committed people to change the world.”
After the crowd cheered for their mayor and the work of Habitat in their community, the Nassau Pops Symphony Orchestra began the outdoor concert of the best in popular and light classical music.
The band was conducted by Louis Panacciulli, who also provided the narration for the entirety of the show. Also returning to the Nassau Pops were violin virtuoso Jeremy Stein-Cushman and vocalist Hallie Hugues.
The band started the show very fittingly with the John Phillips’ patriotic anthem of “Anchor and Star March” and ended the show even more fittingly with their self-proclaimed signature piece of “God Bless America,” which most members of the audience stood up for.
The Pops’ musical set included well known classical hits such as Leroy Anderson’s “Forgotten Dreams” and “The Symphonic Dances” from Fiddler on the Roof. A tribute to the late Johnny Maestro with a performance of “Brooklyn Bridge” and a stand-out performance from Stein-Cushman on “Millionaire’s Hoedown” were other highlights of the show.
When the band concluded their set around 9:30 p.m., Panacciulli thanked the Village of Mineola, the Mineola Chamber of Commerce and the audience. He also urged all to attend the Pops’ 9th annual benefit for Nassau Cerebral Palsy on Sunday, October 24.
The night ended with a 20-minute fireworks spectacular on the opposite side of the park, which brought a fitting end to the evening’s festivities.