Written by Joe Scotchie Thursday, 28 March 2013 00:00
The annual Reach for a Star Luncheon at the Henry Viscardi School is always a major event, raising important funds for this nationally renowned institution. This year’s event was a particular special event in that Elise Testone, a 2012 American Idol finalist was able to perform.
Performing in front of an appreciative crowd of over 350 guests, plus students, parents and faculty members, Testone helped to make the 31st annual luncheon a significant event. Testone performed her own material, plus a rendition of the Bill Withers classic, “Lean On Me.” As with any great performer, Testone included student participation during that number. Afterwards, Testone toured the school in December and jammed with one of the music classes.
Proceeds from the luncheon, Henry Viscardi officials note, fund after-school clubs, sports and activities that give the students the opportunity to socialize with their friends and continue the lessons learned during the school day. One of those activities is Friday Night Rec. Or in the words of Chris, a ninth grader attending the Henry Viscardi School, “You can always tell when it is a Friday Night Rec day by the smiles on the kids faces.”
“Our after-school programs encourage kids to take chances, be bold, act like leaders, work as a team, cultivate school spirit and give back to their supporting communities,” added John D. Kemp, president and CEO of The Viscardi Center during his remarks at the luncheon. “These experiences also let them dream big. Their dreams include being a football player, business owner, doctor, and fashion designer to quote a few.”
The day was a homecoming of sorts of Testone as she is a native of New Jersey and once had a voice coach from New York City. A graduate of Coastal Carolina University, Testone remained in South Carolina and began performing in bands and writing her own songs. In the summer of 2011, Testone auditioned for American Idol, earning a spot to the finals. In her nationally-televised debut, she performed songs as different as Al Green’s “Let’s Stay Together,” Billy Joel’s “Vienna” and Led Zeppelin’s “Whole Lotta Love.” Testone received praise from Stevie Nicks and Jennifer Lopez, even though famed record producer Jimmy Iovine criticized her choice of songs. But none of that looks to slow down Testone’s career as she made numerous admirers in the record industry and as important, with a nationwide audience.
Wednesday, 18 December 2013 00:00
The weather outside was frightful, but the gala inside was delightful as 250 guests braved the cold, driving rain to celebrate the centennial of Coe Hall at Planting Fields Arboretum in Oyster Bay. The house was decked out in its finest, with an enormous Christmas tree at the entrance. As guests walked past lighted garlands, waiters with silver trays of chilled champagne flanked both sides of the hallway leading to the great room, where music filled with house from the newly restored Steinway piano.
Friday, 13 December 2013 00:00
Over the years, Long Island has fostered a wide variety of musicians spanning various genres—including everyone from Billy Joel and Public Enemy to Brand New and Blue Oyster Cult. This trend continues strong today. Currently, there are hundreds of musicians littered across the island. Among them is East Norwich pop singer Steven Rodriguez.
Originally from Brentwood, Rodriguez moved to East Norwich after serving in the US Navy. Upon arriving home from service, Rodriguez’s friend heard him singing and encouraged him to pursue music more seriously.
“When I returned home from the Navy, a good friend heard me singing one day and encouraged me to sing with a band his friend was putting together.”
Thursday, 12 December 2013 00:00
Residents can take part in the Town of Oyster Bay’s Adult Co-Ed Badminton Volleyball Programs. The programs are open to town residents 18 and older, and will be held at the Town of Oyster Bay Hicksville Athletic Center.
The badminton program starts on Sunday, Jan. 5 and will be held on Thursdays and Sundays from 8:30 to 10:30 p.m. The volleyball program starts on Tuesday, Jan. 7 and will be conducted on Tuesdays from 9 to 10:30 p.m. and Saturdays from 8:30 to 10:30 p.m. The programs, which are 12 weeks in duration, are $60 for residents and $70 for non-residents. Proof of residency is required.
For further information, contact the Hicksville Athletic Center at 516-733-8406.
Thursday, 12 December 2013 00:00
The Town of Oyster Bay’s Holiday on Ice Show, which has become a holiday tradition for town residents, will again be presented at the Town of Ice Bay Center in Bethpage. The popular show, now in its fourth year, will take place on Saturday, Dec. 21 at 7 p.m. Admission is free, but in keeping with “the season of giving,” those attending the show are asked to bring two non-perishable food items to the show, which will be collected by Island Harvest, an organization committed to ending hunger on Long Island.
“‘Holiday On Ice ‘ is an event that our residents eagerly look forward to each year, and I am delighted that our town’s residents and their families will once again be able to enjoy this special presentation,” said Councilman Chris Coschignano. “Some of the finest skaters in the nation will be performing and showcasing their talent.” The supervisor added that students of the town’s figure skating program will also be performing.