Friday, 16 March 2012 00:00
In continuing its mission to give back to the community, the Westbury-Carle Place Chamber of Commerce will hold its 2nd Annual Musical Extravaganza fundraiser on March 23. Proceeds from this year’s event – a concert featuring three of Long Island’s most popular bands – will benefit several Westbury and Carle Place organizations.
The concert, which will take place at Carle Place High School, will feature music by the East Coast Band and RapidFire with a special headlining performance by The Mystic, one of the tri-state area’s most well-known cover bands. Additionally, Long Island’s own Rich Walker, an 18-year veteran of quality stand-up comedy who has shared the stage with Ray Romano and Kevin James, among others, is set to deliver nonstop laughs between acts.
According to Joe Piscitello, owner of All Seasons Taxi and 1st vice president of the Westbury-Carle Place Chamber of Commerce, the Musical Extravaganza is sure to be a crowd pleaser for all ages. “These are some of Long Island’s best bands,” said Piscitello. “If you close your eyes and listen you would think you were listening to the original artists. That’s how good they all really are.”
Last year, the Chamber sponsored a fundraising concert featuring the Long Island Opera. The show attracted a stellar crowd and raised money for several vital Westbury and Carle Place organizations. In an effort to give back to the communities its members own and operate businesses in, the Chamber has decided to make the Musical Extravaganza an annual fundraising event.
“Carle Place and Westbury are the communities we make our living in,” said Steve Levy, Chamber president and owner of Steve Levy Allstate on Westbury Avenue. “The goal of the benefit concert is for us – members of the Chamber – to give back to the community that provides us with our livelihood.”
Proceeds from the 2nd Annual Musical Extravaganza will benefit the Carle Place High School Scholarship Fund, the Westbury Memorial Public Library and both the Carle Place Seniors and Westbury Senior Center.
“What better way to raise money for some very worthwhile organizations and support the community we work in than to attend a concert featuring three of Long Island’s top bands,” said Piscitello. “This is a great opportunity to see these three fantastic groups take the stage on the same night.”
“We hope residents will come out and support our fundraiser and these essential community organizations,” said Levy. “The more money we raise, the more we can give back to Westbury and Carle Place.”
Joe Alaimo of RapidFire said the band is looking forward to performing at the Chamber’s Musical Extravaganza. “We are always happy to take part in an event that helps raise money and awareness.”
RapidFire, which was formed in 2010, specializes in Motown, R&B, classic rock, funk and soul. As individuals, members of RapidFire have toured the U.S., Canada and Europe, completed on American Idol, attended the Berklee College of Music and received ASCAP songwriting awards. Performing at the Musical Extravaganza will be Ken Flint (drums) and Paul Palm (bass guitar) of West Babylon, Carla Orlando (vocals) of Massapequa Park, Susan Marten (lead vocals) of Old Bethpage, Bobby Venezia (saxophone) of Oakdale, Dennis O’Flaherty (keyboard) of Nesconset and Alaimo (lead vocals and rhythm guitar), who resides in Coram.
East Coast Band, which was established in the 1970s, is set to deliver an across the board performance featuring reggae, Motown and rock ‘n’ roll featuring Garden City’s Paul Schuermann (keyboards and trombone), Plainview’s John Fehling (drums), Oceanside’s Jacqueline Duryea (vocals) and West Hempstead native Eartley West, Jr., (vocals), among others.
“Performing at private affairs is always great and we have been fortunate to be doing something we love for over 30 years but it’s always great to give back to the community,” said Schuermann. “The band wasn’t going to miss out on an opportunity to help out. Long Island has been great to us and this is our way of giving back.”
Members of the East Coast Band have co-written songs for well-known artists and performed in Broadway musicals. Additionally, in 2010, East Coast’s own Mike Lynche made it to the top four in American Idol Season Nine.
The Musical Extravaganza headliner, The Mystic, will take the stage and deliver a performance featuring something for everyone. The eight-member band scheduled to perform will include George Tanos (bass guitar) of East Meadow, Don McCabe (saxophone) of Levittown, Sam Bello (lead singer and keyboards) of Bellmore, Lynn Critelli (vocals) of Babylon, Kevin Doolittle (trombone) of Medford, Steve Engle (trumpet) of Huntington and Steve Bello (drums) of Bethpage as well as Brooklyn resident Dennis DeGuadio, who served as lead guitarist in the musical Movin’ Out.
The 2nd Annual Musical Extravaganza will be held in the auditorium of Carle Place High School at 8 p.m.; open seating begins at 7:30 p.m. Tickets, which can be purchased at the door or in advance, are $20 per person and each ticket holder will receive one raffle ticket for an array of door prizes, including but not limited to, a flat screen television, a Kindle, gift certificates and much more. Additionally, light refreshments will be served throughout the evening.
To purchase tickets online, visit www.WCPChamber.com or any of the bands’ respective websites. Additionally, tickets can be purchased by sending a check, payable to the Westbury-Carle Place Chamber of Commerce, to 226 Westbury Avenue, Carle Place, NY 11514; Att: Joanne Gregory, executive director.
“The Musical Extravaganza is a wonderful opportunity to experience firsthand how great these bands truly are while supporting your community,” said Piscitello. “We guarantee an inexpensive evening filled with fantastic music and good laughs. You won’t be disappointed.”