Best in Music Education Award

For the fourth consecutive year (and five times overall), the Great Neck Public School District has been named among the "Best Communities for Music Education in America" by the NAMM Foundation, a coalition of music and educational organizations. The 172 winning districts in this twelfth-annual nationwide survey demonstrate an unwavering commitment to providing music education for their students.

"We are proud to acknowledge these districts and are grateful for their commitment to a complete education that includes music. Evidence shows a direct correlation between music education and success in other areas of a student's life," said Mary Luehrsen, executive director, NAMM Foundation.

Selection was based on answers to a survey. Districts were measured across a variety of programs and curricula. Entrants answered detailed questions about funding, graduation requirements, music class participation, instruction time facilities, support for the music program, and other relevant factors in their music education programs. Responses were verified with district officials, and advisory organizations reviewed the data.

Great Neck's proud music faculty include: Roger Ames and Joseph Rutkowski, North High; Mark Boschen, Pamela Levy, Department Head Michael Schwartz, and Anthony Virgilio, South High; Denise Eisner, Department Head Joseph Rutkowski, Matthew Trinkwald, and Daniel Tomaselli, North Middle; Mark Boschen, Department Head Alan Schwartz, Anthony Virgilio, and Shelley Willcox, South Middle; Anne Fogarty and Cynthia Koncick, Baker; Jennifer Hood, Amy Kempton, and Janine Robinson, Kennedy; Robin Dreifus, Juan Garcia, Jennifer Hood, Robert Pietromonaco, and Christopher Wilson, Lakeville; and Juan Garcia, Jennifer Hood, Chad Lasky, and Christopher Wilson, Saddle Rock.

The Best Communities survey was conducted by the NAMM Foundation with the support of these organizations: Americans for the Arts, League of American Orchestras, Mr. Holland's Opus Foundation, Music for All, Music Teachers National Association, National Guild for Community Arts Education, National PTA, VH1 Save the Music Foundation, Yamaha Corporation of America, and Young Audiences.


North Middle Art Exhibit & Choral Concert--May 18

North Middle School's Art Exhibit and Grade 7-8 Spring Choral Concert will take place Wednesday evening, May 18, at the school, 77 Polo Rd. The event is free and the public is welcome to attend.

Art Exhibit

The annual Art Exhibit will have an Opening Reception at 7 p.m., in conjunction with the Choral Concert. The Exhibit will also be open to the public during school hours, on Thursday and Friday, May 19-20. Featured will be artwork from the three grades, 6-8. Showcased will be pieces from these classes: Art 9, Photography, Art 8, and Studio Art 8. Works will show a wide range of subject matter, as well as media. Additionally, there will be a mix of two- and three-dimensional work on display. Art teachers are: Department Head Elaine Brendel, Kristin Ippolito, and Sherry Teich.

Choral Concert

The Grade 7-8 Spring Choral Concert begins at 7:30 p.m. in the school auditorium. The one-hour concert will feature the talents of the seventh- and eighth-grade mixed chorus, under the direction of Denise Schueler Eisner, choral director. A musical theme will reflect several elements of Earth: "Defying Gravity," "Ain't No Mountain High Enough," "You Raise Me Up" (made famous by singer Josh Groban), and Miley Cyrus' "When I Look At You." "I Can't Give You Anything But Love" offers a light, swing-jazz standard from the 1930s, complete with barbershop hats to top it off. "Smile," by Charlie Chaplin from his 1936 film, Modern Times, will feature harmony back-up singers in a style similar to that used in the TV show, "Glee." Performing in Latin and Spanish, the Chorus will sing Haydn's "Gloria In Excelsis" and "Cantar!" They will also present "U Smile," by Justin Bieber, a favorite of the eighth-grade singers.

For more information on the Choral Concert, please contact Ms. Eisner at 441-4551 or at


South Middle Concerts & Art Show--May 18 & 23

The public is invited to attend and enjoy South Middle School's Grades 7-8 Spring Concert and Art Show on Wednesday, May 18, and the Grade 6 Spring Concert on Monday, May 23. All events begin at 7:30 p.m., at the school, 349 Lakeville Road.

Art Show

The annual Student Art Show can be viewed in the main lobby, just outside the auditorium, at the May 18 Spring Concert, and during school hours on Thursday, May 19, and Friday, May 20. Art from the school's three grades--sixth, seventh, and eighth--will be displayed. The range of media will include drawings, paintings, prints, and three-dimensional work. Also highlighted will be the work of the Eighth-Grade Art Foundations Class. Art students are taught by Art Department Head Cynthia Smith, Gina Cacioppo, Karla Krupala, and Geoffrey Mead.


The May 18 Grades 7-8 Spring Concert will feature the Senior Orchestra, Chorus 7/8, Band 7, and Band 8. Classical selections will include pieces by Tchaikovsky and Holst. Popular works will be performed from Ragtime and The Fantasticks, by noted composer Richard Rodgers and by Blood, Sweat & Tears. "Aladdin Highlights" will conclude the evening. Sixth-grade musicians and vocalists will be featured at the Spring Concert on May 23. Performing will be the Band, Chorus, and Orchestra. Selections will feature music by Mozart, Rossini, Katie Perry, Tina Turner, and Gloria Estefan. As always, these events are free and offer a perfect opportunity to introduce children from pre-K through grade 5 to the music they may be performing in the future. The May 18 Concert will be about 90 minutes; the Concert on May 23 will be just under an hour. South Middle instrumental students are taught by Alan Schwartz (department head), Mark Boschen, and Anthony Virgilio. Choral students are taught by Shelley Willcox. Alexander Swerdlin is the teaching assistant and piano accompanist.


Artfest at North High--May 19, 20 & 23

North High School's annual Artfest, a fine and performing arts festival, will be held on three evenings this month--Thursday, May 19, Friday, May 20, and Monday, May 23, at the school, 35 Polo Rd. Event descriptions and times follow. All events are free and the public is encouraged to attend.

Concerto Concert

The Concerto Concert begins at 7 p.m., on Thursday, May 19. Opening the evening will be the Wind Ensemble, with a rousing arrangement of "Shalom Aleykhem," and works by Gustav Holst, Richard Wagner, and Carl Maria von Weber, featuring Clarinetist Soonsung Park. The Jazz Choir follows with a medley of songs from Jacques Brel Is Alive and Well and Living in Paris, featuring the voices of Julie Cooper, Alexandra Engelson, Daniel Engelson, Richard Feder, Kevin Garcia, Laura Goldring, Stephanie Ohebshalom, Laura Shapiro, Maya Shor, Jacob Szilagi, and Marissa Wong. The Symphony Orchestra will close out the evening with six pieces, featuring Maria Irene Angelidis (flute), Harry Chiang (violin), Yotom Rabinowitz (piano), and Simon Zhang (bass violin).


On Friday, May 20, at 7:30 p.m., the Repertory Theater Class will perform Values, an evening of three short theater pieces. Free Fruit for Young Widows, by Nathan Englander and adapted by drama teacher Jonathan Gellert, tells a Holocaust story; Heads, by Jon Jory, explores the pressures to live a life of secularism vs. true fulfillment; and Sunday Go to Meetin', by Shirley Lauro, deals with anti-Semitism in the turn-of-the twentieth-century rural Midwest. The plays are suitable for ages 10 and up.

Art Exhibit

The final evening of Artfest, on Monday, May 23, features the Art Exhibit, the Jazz Ensemble, and the Artfest Concert. The Art Exhibit begins at 6 p.m. The Exhibit is the culminating display of work from all fine arts classes, including: advanced placement studio art, digital darkroom, painting and drawing, photography, sculpture and ceramics, and visual art foundation. The various pieces reflect the talent and hard work of many students, as well as their joy in expressing themselves. Art teachers are: Christine Eisenhauer, Joseph Giacalone (lead teacher), and Emily Man.

Jazz Ensemble

Beginning at 6:20 p.m., the Jazz Ensemble will perform several pieces in the auditorium lobby. Featured will be Lauren Brill (trombone), Yong Min Cho (drums), Benjamin Freudman (trumpet), Jordan (Jake) Gershenson (drums), Jacob Mevorach (trumpet), Jayant Sani (tenor saxophone), and Anthony Solis (drums).

Artfest Concert

The Artfest Concert, concluding the evening, begins at 7:15 p.m. Featured will be performances by the Symphonic Band, Symphony Orchestra, Select Singers, Concert Choir, and Chamber Orchestra. Featured will be two pieces narrated by Robert Sherman, WQXR radio personality, broadcaster, writer, and teacher. Mr. Sherman will narrate Aaron Copland's "Lincoln Portrait," performed by the Symphonic Band. Accompanied by members of the Repertory Theater, Mr. Sherman will narrate Sergei Prokovieff's classic children's story, "Peter and the Wolf," performed by the Symphony Orchestra. The Symphonic Band will also play "The Pines of Rome," by Ottorini Respighi, and selections from My Fair Lady. The Symphonic Orchestra will play "Drifen," by Shirl Jae Atwell, and Tchaikovsky's "Serenade, Op. 48." The Select Singers will offer a medley from West Side Story. The combined Concert Choir and Chamber Orchestra will conclude with "Laudate Dominum," by Roger Ames, vocal music teacher, and selections from "Chichester Palms," by Leonard Bernstein.

Musicians are under the direction of Joseph Rutkowski, instrumental music teacher. Vocalists are under the direction of Mr. Ames. Neil Saggerson is North's fine and performing arts department head. For more information on Artfest, please contact Mr. Saggerson at 441-4743.


South High Concert--May 19

The South High School Spring Concert I, featuring the Jazz and Concert Bands, the String and Pops Orchestra, and Soul Sisters vocal group, will take place on Thursday, May 19, at 7:30 p.m., in the school auditorium, 341 Lakeville Road. The Jazz Band will open the evening with "Vertigo," "Heatseeker," "Return of the Cheetah," and A Salute to Glenn Miller, featuring "Moonlight Serenade," "Pennsylvania 6-5000," and "Little Brown Jug." Soul Sisters will perform "Now That I Know," by Mariah Carey. The String Orchestra will present Aaron Copland's "Hoe Down," from Rodeo; "Barcarolle," from Offenbach's The Tales of Hoffman; and Mozart's "Divertimento K. 136." The Pops Orchestra will perform pieces from the hit movies, Pirates of the Caribbean and Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End. The Concert Band will close out the evening with "The Light Eternal," "Children's March (Over the Hills and Far Away)," and selections from the movie, The Lord of the Rings.

Spring Concert I will be under the direction of Michael Schwartz, performing arts department head; Mark Boshen, concert band and instrumental director; and Pamela Levy, vocal director, theory and piano. The concert is free and the public is warmly welcomed. For more information, please contact Mr. Schwartz at 441-4851.


Improv at South High--May 20

South High School's Theatre South's Hot Lunch Improv Troupe will be performing on Friday, May 20, at 7:30 p.m., at the school, 341 Lakeville Rd. During the performance, students improvise and create characters and scenes based on ideas from the audience. The public is encouraged to attend Improv, always a popular event, to enjoy a spontaneous production by a talented cast. For tickets, contact Thomas Marr, drama teacher/director, Theatre South, at 441-4851.


GNPS/TV May Programs

GNPS/TV (Great Neck Public Schools Television) programming during May features South High School's opera, The Tales of Hoffman, and Focus on Education: an interview with Dr. Joseph Hickey, new assistant superintendent for special education and pupil services.

The Tales of Hoffmann

For over 40 years, South High School has been producing fully staged opera productions. South is one of the few schools in the nation to have such a prestigious opera program. This year's production of The Tales of Hoffmann by Jacques Offenbach, can be seen at 10 a.m., and at 1, 4, and 7 p.m.

Focus on Education

Focus on Education, an ongoing series hosted by Superintendent Thomas Dolan, highlights what's new and interesting in the district. The current program introduces the district's new Assistant Superintendent for Special Education and Pupil Services, Dr. Joseph G. Hickey. Focus on Education viewing times are: 12:30, 3:30, 6:30, and 9:30 p.m.

GNPS/TV Programming

GNPS/TV programming reflects the offerings of the Great Neck Public Schools and the achievements of its students and staff. Programs are student-produced and can be seen in the incorporated villages of Great Neck on Cablevision Channel 75 and on Verizon Channel 32. In addition, selected programs can be seen by all Cablevision viewers on Channel 20, on Sundays, from 4:30&endash;6:30 p.m. For information about GNPS/TV and it programs, please contact Robert Zahn, district educational cable TV producer/director, by e-mail at, or by phone at 441-4676.


Correction: One-Act Festival

The One-Act Festival performance at South High School on Thursday, May 12, will begin at 7:30 p.m., not 8 p.m. as stated in a previous article (and as appears on the district calendar). The last One-Act performance on Friday, May 13, begins at 8 p.m.


Earth Day Celebration at Parkville

Earth Day was enthusiastically celebrated at the Parkville Early Childhood Center, in conjunction with the Town of North Hempstead, with appropriate activities such as planting seeds and singing special songs. Related class projects included making necklaces from old magazines and "out of this world" space ships using aluminum foil.


Summer Driver Ed for Resident High School Students

The Great Neck Public Schools Adult Program continues to offer the New York State-approved Driver Education program for resident high school students. The summer session begins on June 27 and runs through Aug. 9. Classes meet mornings at the Cumberland Adult Center, 30 Cumberland Ave. To enroll, students must be at least 16 years of age and submit a valid learner's permit before the first day of class. The 16-session program includes 24 hours of classroom instruction, plus homework, and 24 hours of driving instruction, with each student spending 6 hours behind the wheel. Additional driving practice outside of class is also required. Students who successfully complete the requirements for this non-credit course will receive a New York State Student Certificate of Completion (MV285), which includes an Insurance Premium Reduction certificate. The MV285 allows students to make a road-test appointment. After receiving the MV285 and passing the road test, a 17-year-old is eligible for a senior license; a 16-year old is only eligible for a junior license. The fee for the summer session is $585. For additional information, or to request an application, please call (516) 441-4949, and ask for Joyce or Irena.


Upcoming at the Adult Program

The Great Neck Public Schools Adult Program offers a variety of courses to meet the needs of everyday life as well as those that address skills to be honed or enhanced. All classes meet at the Cumberland Adult Center, 30 Cumberland Ave. For additional information, and to register, please call the Adult Program at (516) 441-4949, or visit our Web site for online registration.

Cartoon Illustration

Bring your cartoon ideas to life in this two-part, hands-on exploration of cartoon illustration and animation. Learn cartooning the way Walt Disney brought Mickey Mouse to the screen. Visualize your cartoon, draw it, create animation frames, and prepare your cartoon illustrations for an animated movie. Learn the art of cartoon illustration, review cartooning styles, and practice illustration techniques with the goal of developing your individual style. Develop, draw, and paint your own cartoon character or cartoon environment. Study the classic techniques of drawing animation frames, which, when projected in sequence, bring animated characters to life on the screen. Course is limited to 6 students. Instructor Tim Savage animates videos and computer banner ads as a professional graphics designer. He has 30 years of experience with ad agencies and corporate design departments. Class meets four Wednesdays, June 15-July 6, 7-9 p.m. Fee: $158 for residents; $168 for nonresidents.

Animation & Cartoon Illustration

This course is a continuation of the cartooning and animation course begun in Cartoon Illustration (described above). It will carry forward your artwork from Cartoon Illustration into digitalized, animated video clips in the computer lab. You will learn and practice incorporating your digitalized artwork into computer-animation software. The finished product will be an animated movie clip suitable for posting on YouTube or sharing over the Internet. Tim Savage teaches this course on two Wednesdays, July 13 & 20, from 7-9 p.m. Fee: $79.

College Scholarships & Grants

Discover the latest trends in private scholarships and how colleges use scholarships and grants to attract students. Over 600,000 scholarships, worth millions of dollars, are up for grabs, regardless of your income. Combine this with over $90-billion of available financial aid and you have a compelling reason to attend this workshop. Leave with practical knowledge of how scholarships and grants work, as well as with a formula that won't let financial aid slip through your fingers. Jan and Tony Esposito, college-funding advisors, and co-authors of the book, How to Give Your Child a Four-Year College Education without Going Broke, will lead this class on Tuesday, June 7, from 7:30-9 p.m. Fee: $15.

Fly Without Fear

Are you afraid to fly? Perhaps your fear is so overwhelming that it keeps you permanently grounded. Or you may feel nervous and tense when you're in the air. If you are a fearful flyer, an international airline captain will teach you what you need to know about modern aviation to put you more at ease. You will also learn a special behavioral technique to control flying-related and other anxieties. This popular program, from Robert Schapiro, a pilot who has flown jets around the world for 34 years, will give you a better understanding of commercial flying and make it possible for you to fly without fear. Class meets three Thursdays, June 2-16, 7:30-9 p.m. Fee: $39.

Intro to the Mac

If you are new to the Mac, upgrading from an old Mac, or contemplating a switch to the Mac from a PC, don't miss this introductory course. Come away with an understanding of the basic features and applications that are standard in all new Macs. Begin with an overview of the Apple consumer computer line and Apple service options. Gain hands-on experience navigating the operating System (OS X), emailing, browsing the Internet, writing letters (with Text Edit), and more. Larry Pinsky teaches this course on two Tuesdays, May 31 & June 7, from 7-9 p.m. Fee: $79.

Facebook, LinkedIn & Twitter

The latest communications phenomenon is social networking. Learn the purpose, basic features, networking style, and fundamental differences among three of the most popular Web sites--Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. These sites are used for personal and business branding, social and professional connections, and fun. Bring your personal e-mail address and related password to class. If you're not set-up on Facebook or Twitter, we will help you get started, if time allows. Prerequisite: Internet Explorer or Mozilla Firefox or equivalent Internet navigation and your own Web-based e-mail address and password. Bonnie Graham teaches this course on Wednesday, June 8, from 7-9 p.m., Fee: $39.

Word 2: Intermediate Skills

If you've mastered the basics of Word, learn the skills you need to create more elaborate and stylized documents. Create envelopes; use Character, Paragraph, and Section formatting; apply borders and shading; and utilize symbols, text boxes, and clip art. Create hanging indents, bulleted and numbered lists, and a simple table. Fee: $119. Len Magnus teaches this course on three Mondays, June 6-20, from 7-9 p.m. Fee: $119.