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Music To Infiltrate Oyster Bay

From June 28 through July 6, 35 aspiring performers will gather in the village of Oyster Bay to take part in the third season of Oyster Bay Music Festival, a nine-day intensive musical immersion and concurrent free live classical music festival. Ranging in age from 11 to 24 and hailing from communities throughout Long Island and greater New York, these high-level classically-trained musicians will spend their days coaching with expert faculty, rehearsing solo and chamber music, and taking seminars on audition preparation, performance psychology, body awareness, and performance presentation.

Unlike other programs for young musicians, however, Oyster Bay Music Festival’s students spend the greater part of each day performing for the community. The festival hosts 20 public events during the week as well as six programs at senior centers and several “pop-up” concerts in the village, including daily performances at Gulden’s Cafe, a local favorite.

“Our students perform a lot, often twice a day,” says Lauren Ausubel, co-director and flutist. “This gives them unparalleled opportunity to develop their performance skills, to get comfortable in front of an audience, and to realize that, without the audience, there is no concert.”

Unique to Oyster Bay Music Festival is its dedication to the art of performance and the revival of classical music as a vital part of community.

“As performers and teachers we continually confront the perception that classical music performances are stuffy and inaccessible,” says co-director Pippa Borisy, pianist and director of the Great Neck Music Conservatory. “We want to create an experience of live performance, rooted in the community of Oyster Bay, that is fun, enlightening, and full of surprises.”

Classical music will appear in unexpected places over the course of the week: top among them might arguably be Oyster Bay’s famed Cruise Night on Tuesday, July 9, where Steinway & Sons will park a concert grand in front of 20th Century Cycles for a program called “Vintage Cars, Vintage Music;” a concert titled “Classical, with Attitude” featuring musical collaborations with special guests from Eglevsky Ballet at Christ Church on July 2; or a favorite family event from last year called “Clarinets, Clavichords and...Cucumbers?,” a concert and “vegetable orchestra” workshop with Dale Stuckenbruck at Raynham Hall Museum on Saturday, July 5.

OBMF partners with Oyster Bay Historical Society to present “Dead Composers, Living Musicians,” classical music masterpieces performed with youthful insight and vigor, on Monday, June 30; and “Your Roots are Showing: Folk Traditions in Classical Music” on Wednesday, July 2. At Raynham Hall Museum OBMF features French music, “Après-midi in the Salon,” on Thursday, July 3.

An early musical celebration of Independence Day takes place at Christ Church on July 3 with a program called “I Hear America Singing.” New this year is the Festival’s interest in the natural wonders of North Shore Long Island: an open “Found Sounds” Jamboree and Instrument Making Workshop at Beekman Beach at 2 p.m. on July 4 and “Songs of the Sea,” classical music inspired by the sea nestled beside the beautiful Ida May Project on Saturday, July 5 at The Waterfront Center.

 The festival kicks off on June 28 at Christ Church with “Upbeat,” an Opening Festival Concert and Reception; and ends in the same location with a concert entitled “A Fitting Coda” on July 6. All concerts are free and designed for all ages.

Co-director Sarah Hoover, soprano, professor at Hofstra University and music journalist, has long recognized the need to reach out in new directions. “If classical music is going to remain a viable art form, not just in urban centers and established concert halls, all of us who perform and teach performers must build real relationships with our audiences.”  

To build these connections, festival directors and students will share anecdotes and engaging “musical game shows” during concerts, and students will be coached in how to talk with audiences and write their own program notes.

“What we can share are the stories about classical music – about the compositions, the composers, the time period, the people who performed or heard the music,” says Hoover. “These stories help us see how relevant and alive classical music still is today. They are our own stories.”

News

If you missed the 6th annual champagne party at Coe Hall in Planting Fields, put it on your calendar for next year, because this is the party of the summer. A total of 175 guests attended, and many of them were in costume, a new addition to the popular champagne party. The always ebullient Henry Joyce, executive director of Planting Fields Foundation, greeted his guests with his date Daphne, a 3-month-old long haired Dachshund, who is a companion for his Great Dane, Lucy.

The 1907 Courthouse building is now known as the Marguerite and Joseph Suozzi Building, marked by a special ceremony held at the North Shore Historical Museum on Sunday, Aug. 3 to a packed house.

“It’s a great day for the Suozzi family and a great day for the museum. We are so grateful for the Suozzi family for this generous donation,” said Brian Mercadante, president of the museum.

Mercandante then gave some history on the building, which was built in 1907 by the Town of Oyster Bay, when Teddy Roosevelt was president and the Gold Coast was in its heyday. He described how it came to be a museum, explaining that Tom Suozzi came up with a plan for redevelopment during his term as mayor of Glen Cove in the 1990s.


Sports

Kevin Mercier, 39, of Oyster Bay, led a large contingent of local runners in the Lynne, Gartner, Dunne & Covello Sands Point Sprint 5 Kilometer Run, held on the grounds of Nassau County’s Sands Point Preserve on Saturday morning, Aug. 9. Mercier was the 18th finisher overall and third in the 35-39 age group with a time of  21 minutes, 7 seconds.

Other local runners winning awards at the Sands Point Preserve were Nicholas Cuddy of Oyster Bay, who earned first place honors in the Clydesdale Weight Division with a time of 25:53, Joanne Gallo of Oyster Bay, who  took home the first place award in the women’s 65-69 age group with a time of 28:11, and Anja Hermann of Oyster Bay, third place woman in the 20-24 age group, who finished in 28:47.

Theodore Roosevelt Memorial Park in Oyster Bay will once again be the site of the Long Island’s premiere multisport event – the 27th annual Runner’s Edge - Town of Oyster Bay Triathlon on Saturday, Aug. 23, and the Runner’s Edge – Town of Oyster Bay Junior Triathlon for youngsters ages 8-13 on Sunday, Aug. 24.

The Saturday main event is a “sprint” triathlon, which consists of a half-mile swim in Oyster Bay harbor, a one loop 15 kilometer bike ride over hill and dale through beautiful Oyster Bay, Oyster Bay Cove and Laurel Hollow, and a 5 kilometer run through Mill Neck and Brookville, “up” to Planting Fields Arboretum and “down”to the finish at back at  Roosevelt  Park.


Calendar

Bayville Car Show

Friday, Aug. 22

Junior Triathlon

Sunday, Aug. 24

Historic Church Service And Tour

Sunday, Aug. 24



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