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Editorial: Oyster Bay Be Prepared To Rock!

There has been a change of venue for the reunion of the Oyster Bay High School classes of the late ’60s and early ’70s. It is being billed as the Battle of the Bands and was to take place at the OBHS PAC auditorium but now will take place at the Italian-American Club on Oct. 6 from 1 to 4 p.m.

Maria Santangelo emailed us the information and explained how this idea got started. She wrote:

It all started with Jeff Wasserman... On a sunny spring day in 2011, a former Oyster Bay High School student and professional singer and clarinetist, Kim (Shea) Chamberlain, class of ‘72, was perusing Facebook. Hmm. Let’s check in and see what Jeff Wasserman is up to. Jeff, a fellow musical classmate, appeared to be quite busy and successful as the founding member of Jeffery and the Free Radikals, recording and concertizing throughout Norway, Europe and beyond. Kim clicked on a recent YouTube performance and was amazed. She then recalled how several Oyster Bay alums, had gone on to become professional working musicians, recording artists, and performers.

One simple Facebook post led to another and then led to a fireball of responses from Oyster Bay graduates. The post was, “Remember the Battle of the Bands? Maybe we could have another ‘Battle’ featuring the former musical talent of Oyster Bay High School from the late ‘60s and early ‘70s.”

That was all it took to get responses from Oyster Bay musicians from across the country and the globe. From Randy Langione, master guitarist and teacher to John Berenzy, who is listed in the book Who’s Who of Rock‘n’ Roll, to John Bruschini, who has performed in many of the city’s popular clubs and performance spaces, to Nancy Sirianni, who has performed at major festivals: Woodstock ‘99, and Mountain Stage New Song Festival, to name a few, to David Scadin of The Blu Mojo Band, a Rocking six piece blues band with over two decades of playing power, to many more, these former members of Indigo, Manic Depression, and other legendary bands from The Battle of the Bands, decided to come together to carry on the musical tradition that had started four decades ago.

Working tirelessly, behind the scenes, former Oyster Bay students, Maria Santangelo, Scott Becker, Terry Beccarino-Haney, Sandy Sach, Ellen Fleury, and her husband, Matt Harris (musical sound man), Danae Flood and many more, have been planning this event for almost two years. The weekend will include a “Battle of the Bands” Concert on Saturday, Oct. 6 from 1-4 p.m. at the Italian American Club and an open mic on Friday night, Oct. 5, at the Homestead.

Highlights will include performances by coloratura soprano, Joan Petrella, traditional jazz by Kim (Shea) Chamberlain, the original music of world-renowned Jeff Wasserman, a folk-tinged set by Todd Evans and Craig Beilharz, blues, rock and more. Be prepared for a high energy jam at the end of the concert and an open mike at the Homestead on Friday, Oct. 5.

Performers/Groups At OBHS Battle Of The Bands

Oct. 6, Italian American Club From 1 To 4 p.m.

1. Bright Moments Jazz Duo- Kim (Shea) Chamberlain (vocals and clarinet) with husband, David Chamberlain (guitar) Years of attendance: 1968-1971.

2. John Berenzy (guitar) Jazz, Blues, Originals. (1971)

3. John Bruschini (guitar) Jazz (Graduated 1971)

4. Manic Depression-Randy Langione (guitar) (1968) Playing with Louie Mayhew (1968) and may be joining John Berenzy

5.  Blu Mojo Band David Scadin (1971) (guitar) (7 piece band)

• Instrumentation and names of band members Rick Jacobs (vocals) Ron Beccarino(drums) Jeff Leoni (keys) Dave Sacrestano (guitar) John Giordino (bass) Dave Scadin (guitar)

6. Todd Evans and Craig Beilharz (1972)

7. Jeff Wasserman- guitarist, vocalist, songwriter (1972) His band is called Jeffery and the Free Radikals, but they are from Norway... so, he is playing solo and with Nancy Sirianni.

8. Joan Petrella Broadway and show tune vocalist (1973)

9. Nancy Sirianni -vocalists and guitarist (1974).

10. Ron Beccarino (drums) backing up many of the above-mentioned bands.

What a great lineup of performers. Just think, they all got their start at OBHS. What a wonderful kudo to all the teachers who helped those students get their start in music.

It all goes to show that Oyster Bay is truly a wonderful place to live, play and go to school.

— DFK

News

Matt Bentz, of Forest Hills, was the winner of the Oyster Festival Raffle that took place as the event ended at 6 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 19. He had a choice between winning a 2015 Chrysler 200 three-year lease or $15,000 in cash. He chose the cash. He is the “Perfect Oyster Festival Raffle winner.”

Bentz is a computer systems administrator with Spa Creek Software, a company that writes software for other software developers, and has been to the festival numerous times over the years; in fact, next year he is hoping to sail here on his 24 ft. sailboat. He got it “reasonably” from a friend who was buying up.

Richie Cannata may be best known for his song credits but his name will become a part of history this week. Cannata, a 28-year resident and business owner of Glen Cove, will be inducted into the Long Island Music Hall of Fame on Thursday, Oct. 23 at The Paramount in Huntington.

As a member of the Billy Joel Band, the saxophone player was propelled to fame in 1975 when he joined the band and played on songs including “New York State of Mind” and “Scenes from an Italian Restaurant.”


Sports

The autumn varsity sports season is well on its way in Oyster Bay. Many young athletes have distinguished themselves. Several fine young athletes excelled right out of the gate and were chosen by the Oyster Bay Hight School coaches as Athletes of the Month for October 2014.

Cross Country Coach Kevin Cotter has athletes who consistently qualify for the states. Picking one to honor is a difficult task. Within this impressive group of talented athletes, one stands out: junior Alex Tosi, who recently broke the 17 minute barrier for a 5K course at Bethpage State park with a time of 16:52. This feat has not been accomplished since 2008.

5- and 6-year-old Peanuts

The Little Generals (Peanuts) stepped out into the cold Sunday morning ready to give the home crowd a show as they battled the Bellmore Braves, and that’s just what they did as the Generals beat the Braves 14-7. The teams battled to a first half tie as the Generals’ touchdown came on a 26-yard run by Kody Gehnrich, thanks to great blocks by John (Jack) Grace and Jack Symanski.

In the second half, where the Generals are usually at their best, the defense shut out the Braves as Rodney Hill, Jr. and Brandon Babel stepped in on the defense line to create a great push to allow Francesco Allocca to make eight tackles. The offense got a big boost with Allocca being allowed to play RB after playing QB the past two games, and boy did he respond behind great lead blocking from Luca Granito. Allocca carried the ball nine times for 60 yards and a TD coming on the last play of the game.


Calendar

Boys & Girls Club Gala

Thursday, October 23

Halloween Party

Saturday, October 25

Property Tax Exemptions Workshop

Tuesday, October 28



Columns

1959: The Year The Music Stopped Playing
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