Talent Blossoms at OBEN Spring Concerts
Students throughout the Oyster Bay-East Norwich Central School District participated in a spring concert series that highlighted new musical milestones, student growth and a heartfelt goodbye to graduating seniors.
According to Mr. Peter Rufa, K-12 Fine and Performing Arts Supervisor, the spring concerts provide an opportunity for the community to experience the continual growth and development of students, musically, by featuring pieces of greater depth and complexity.
Accompanied by Mrs. Elinor Zayas, high school students dazzled the audience with pieces such as Cradlesong, dedicated to the 2018 graduating class by the Oyster Bay High School Symphonic Band and the Chamber Singers’ And Wherever You Go, a song students chose to honor their graduating members. Music teachers Mr. Matthew Sisia, conductor of the Symphonic and Jazz Bands, and the Wind Ensemble, and Ms. Meagan Dissinger, conductor of the Chamber Singers and the 9th-12th Grade Concert Choir, shared some moving words and offered graduating seniors a white carnation, and students shared how their teachers inspired them with their talent and passion.
The Wind Ensemble and the Jazz Band delighted the crowd with Overture to ‘Candide’ and When the Saints Go Marching In, respectively, while the 9th -12th Grade Concert Choir presented a global perspective with pieces such as Sisi Kushanglia We Will Be Glad and Si Tu Seunas.
At the middle school level, the 7th-8th Grade Band, under the baton of Mr. Michael Giannetta, performed numbers such as Junk Funk Shuffle and the 7th-8th Grade Chorus, conducted by Ms. Melissa Kozee, entertained the audience with numbers such as Nancy Mulligan (as performed by Ed Sheeran).
At the elementary level, James H. Vernon choruses and bands lit up the stage with performances conducted by band teachers Mr. Joe Devassy and Ms. Lauren Macy and chorus teacher Mr. Louis Costidis. The intermediate band played a commissioned piece Frogs (from the Garden Suite) as part of the Frogs Consortium and the Advanced Band entertained the audience with a medley of pieces from Walt Disney’s Aladdin. The 5th-6th Grade Chorus featured songs such as The Road to Freedom with soloists Kyra Sansone and Olivia Cruz.
On a separate night, the Beginner Band took the stage under the baton of Ms. Lauren Macy, followed by the 3rd Grade Chorus and the 4th Grade Chorus, conducted by Mr. Louis Costidis, which showcased keyboard accompaniments he arranged. Also lending their talents to the 3rd Grade choral performance were sixth-grade flutists Ava DeAngelis and Gabriela Torres, and drummer John Purcell. For the finale, both choruses came together to sing Vernon School.
At Theodore Roosevelt School, the kindergarten and 1st grade classes sang a selection of songs, while each 2nd grade class performed a song with percussion instruments as part of the Orff learning approach. The method of teaching music engages students through a combination of singing, dancing, acting and the use of percussion instruments. Always a highlight, each class came together to sing the school song, The School by the Bay.
Special thanks go out to the Board of Education, the District’s music staff and support staff, the custodial staff, the Theater Arts Club and the Friends of the Performing Arts Center (PAC) for making the spring concerts a success.
The Oyster Bay High School Chamber Singers won first place for the third time in the mixed chorus division at the Music in the Parks festival at Six Flags.
The Chamber Singers also won an Esprit de Corps award for character and sportsmanship.
Students made history when the Vernon Advanced Band, above and the Intermediate Band, below both won Gold with Distinction at the New York State School Music Association's (NYSSMA) Majors Festival.
Recapping the year in music, below are some of the departments’ outstanding achievements:
- The Chamber Singers and members of the Wind Ensemble performed for Federal Judges at 2017 Constitution Day Naturalization Ceremony
- Nearly 130 students performed at Carnegie Hall
- The Chamber Singers earned first place in the mixed chorus division for the third time and an Esprit de Corps award for character and sportsmanship at Music in the Parks
- For the first time, both the Intermediate and Advanced Bands received Gold with Distinction at this year’s NYSSMA Majors Festival
- The Symphonic Band performed the world premiere of a commissioned piece just for them called, Water Bear Jig, by Roger Zare.
- The Vernon Intermediate Band was also selected to be a part of the world premiere of the commissioned piece Frogs.
- Members of the Oyster Bay High School chorus program performed The Star Spangled Banner at a Ducks Game.
- Second graders demonstrated what they learned with music in the brain when they performed piano recitals.
- More than 150 students performed piano, instrumental, and vocal solos district-wide this year!