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Caroling On The 80th Floor

“The best way to spread Christmas cheer is singing loud for all to hear.”  

This timeless sentiment, made popular by the 2003 film Elf, is a governing force for many choirs during the holiday season.  On the dreary Friday of Dec. 6, members of the Oyster Bay High School Mixed Chorus, directed by Supervisor of the Performing Arts Peter Rufa and choir director and Oyster Bay alumnus Seanna Burke, put this proclamation to the test as they spent the day traveling throughout New York City, complete with a visit to the historic Empire State Building and Radio City Music Hall.

After sufficiently stocking up on seasonal inspiration at a performance of The Radio City Christmas Spectacular, members of the Mixed Chorus set out for a day of caroling. Making their way down the bustling New York City blocks, an impromptu performance was given at Sbarro, a chain pizza eatery, followed by spontaneous caroling at a Starbucks, on the street and throughout Bryant Park.

“Everywhere we went, people stopped to listen, it was a really great feeling,” said senior Juliet Bibla.

Shepherded into the gleaming lobby of the Empire State Building, the ensemble, clad in classic black with splashes of festive red, were greeted as celebrities. The building was not another spontaneous venue for performance, but rather the initial reason for the day’s agenda.  The Mixed Chorus’s performance at the Empire State Building was a mark of extreme honor as they were told by personnel that their performance would be the first in more than 80 years, the third group of musicians to ever perform there and the first to ever be formally invited to do so.  

From the 80th floor of the building, the singers serenaded tourists and personnel with holiday classics such as “I’ll Be Home for Christmas,” and “Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer,” as well as a preview of their winter concert including the piece, “I Am in Need of Music.”  A special addition to the chorus was Oyster Bay High School Art Teacher Karen Crowley, who is herself an accomplished singer.

Singing high above the skyline of most of New York City is an opportunity that seldom presents itself to the most distinguished of musicians.  For the members of the Mixed Chorus it is another prestigious feather in their cap.

News

The preliminary 2014-15 school budget was adopted at last Tuesday night’s Oyster Bay-East Norwich school board meeting. The proposed budget, which came in at a figure of $54,578,478, is a 2.01 percent difference from the 2013-14 final budget figure of $53,504,111. With a budget to budget change of $1,074,367, it is the lowest expenditure increase in the last 15 years. No programs were cut as a result of balancing this budget.

“The biggest change in budget numbers is in the area of salaries and wages with a budget to budget increase of $683,428,” said School Superintendent Dr. Laura Seinfeld.

Snouder’s Corner Drugstore is up for sale by Laffey Fine Homes. Patrick J. Valente, licensed associate broker said, “I just showed it yesterday morning to an interested buyer.” He said the asking price is $995,000, “just short of a million” and added, “everything’s negotiable today.”

Valente said, “It’s a great building, a town landmark and it does need work. It would be great for retail and maybe offices are a possibility. The heating plant is working and the taxes are a little under $40,000.”


Sports

Muttontown resident and Kellenberg freshman Ceara Ann Conroy has been named an All-League athlete for Girls Winter Track. The title of All-League is awarded to athletes based on a vote of all the coaches in the NSCHSAA League. All of the Girls Winter Track coaches in the league vote based on the athletes performance during the season, and Conroy’s outstanding performance has earned her the title of All League this year.

The Girls Varsity Lacrosse program at Oyster Bay High School is just in its second year and already it is making a difference. Senior defender Danielle Maggi has committed to play Division III lacrosse at Albright College.

Last year Maggi was recognized as the “Most Improved Player,” and this year she is being recruited to play in college.

Maggi said, “We did very well in our first varsity season last year (12-2). This year we are 100 percent going for the conference. I’m excited we finally have a varsity team.”


Calendar

LI Sound Vocal Jazz Ensemble

Saturday, April 19

Annual Egg-stravaganza

Saturday, April 19

Palliative Care

Wednesday, April 23 



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