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Teacher Goes Out With A Twist And Shout

The Roosevelt Elementary School spring concert wore a veil of sadness this year when it was announced that after serving 39 years for the district, the famously adored Robert Stern has decided to make this year his last. If Stern’s goal was to go out on top, he has certainly exceeded that mark with this year’s concert topping the best of the best.

The concert played tribute to Broadway, with second graders singing “Sunrise, Sunset,” from Fiddler on the Roof, Beethoven with first-graders perfuming “Ode to Joy,” and The Beatles for the grand finale performance.

“I’ve learned never to underestimate a 6-year-old,” Stern said, before he introduced the coming number, “Young at Heart,” in the style of Frank Sinatra. Stern went on to tell the story of how when asked about the kind of music they listened to, one, otherwise reserved, student piped up that they liked Frank Sinatra, so he decided to include it in this year’s performance.

PTA President, Jennifer Scamell, thanked Stern for his contributions over the years. She described Stern’s concert as a “complete” concert in which he would delight us with music spanning multiple generations and covering a variety of genres. Rather than simply introduce the next number, Stern would typically share an anecdote and transport the audience back to the place and time where the song was originally heard.

“There is no concert like a Mr. Stern concert,” said Scamell.

On a similar note, PTA Vice-President, Jenn Isles remarked, “While we are happy for Mr. Stern, we are sad for ourselves, because there never has been nor will there ever be another Mr. Stern.”

For the finale performance, Stern described a scene at Shea Stadium in 1965 which permanently altered the course of music, when Ed Sullivan introduced--the Beatles. In a hot gymnasium in a school celebrating its 50th anniversary, Stern went on to introduce, “The Beatles,” as four second-grade students ran out with plastic  guitars and played the part of John, Paul, George and Ringo amidst squeals of delight from their back-up singers.

Stern has surprised his audience in a myriad of ways over the years, but this year, the staff and students at Theodore Roosevelt Elementary had a surprise for him. As he was about to dismiss the students, Roosevelt Principal, Gina Faust, took hold of the microphone and informed the audience there was yet one more number to be performed unbeknownst to their music teacher and up until that moment the master of ceremonies. Faust then guided the students as they sang “Happy Trails To You,” while swaying and waving a banner that read, “We Love You Mr. Stern.”

News

The Raise The Roof Concert, held at Christ Church on Nov. 9, was an intergenerational event to benefit the Life Enrichment Center of Oyster Bay’s seniors.

Board member Suzanne Paolucci explained the center’s wish to get iPods for the seniors as a source of musical therapy. She brought the idea to the center from a talk by social worker Dan Cohen, the founder of Music & Memory. He has produced a film, Alive Inside, that tells the story of music as being restorative. Music is like therapy for the elderly, in particular for those with dementia, as it has been shown to awaken memories of happier times in life, when energy and enthusiasm were boundless.

Driving rain and an early start time did not deter 600 people who arrived at Crest Hollow Country Club recently to celebrate the Women’s Fund of Long Island’s 20th year and to honor four exceptional women.

The breakfast started with a meet and greet and a chance to showcase Women’s Fund contest winner Patti Hogarty, designer of “Women as Bamboo.” Inspired by her neighbor’s bamboo, she entered the contest drawing a design of the bamboo, which Ambalu Jewelers of Roslyn then turned into various pendants of which 40-percent of the profits would go to WFLI. Hogarty wrote a short essay comparing women to bamboo in that they are strong and can weather difficult storms, yet remain graceful and continue to grow sending out new shoots.


Sports

On the weekend of Nov. 8, the Oyster Bay High School Boys and Girls Cross Country teams traveled to the State University of New York at Canton just a few miles from the Canadian border to compete in the New York State Cross Country Championships.

Alex Tosi became the first Bayman since Joe Jazwinski and Justin Nakrin (2008) to become All-State, placing 16th with a time of 16:53. Most runners ran about 20 seconds slower than their Bethpage times because of the muddy conditions on the course. Tosi’s time was basically equivalent to his best Bethpage time, as he powered through the toughest parts of the race. He led the Baymen to a seventh place finish in the Class C race, an improvement from their 11th place finish last year, which ties the highest place at the New York State Championships of a Baymen team since 2009.

In the history of Oyster Bay High School athletics, no one has ever won a Girls’ Tennis New York State Championship. Celeste Matute and Courtney Kowalsky became the first when they won the 2014 New York State Doubles Championship in Latham on Nov. 3. What makes this tremendous achievement even more remarkable is that Matute is a junior and Kowalsky is a sophomore.

The girls, who are usually singles players, teamed up to take on the very best players in Nassau County and New York State. They won all 10 matches in the section XIII and NYSPHSAA tournaments and left Latham as the 2014 New York State doubles champions.


Calendar

Annual Turkey Trot

Thursday, Nov. 27

Turkey Detox Workshop

Friday, Nov. 28

East Norwich Holiday

Sunday, Nov. 30



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1959: The Year The Music Stopped Playing
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