2003-06-13 / Columnists

Notes from the High C’s

Rockaway Music and Arts Council
Season Starts With USO Gala
by Sharon Gabriel
Notes from the High C’s Rockaway Music and Arts Council Season Starts With USO Gala by Sharon Gabriel

Rockaway Music and Arts Council
Season Starts With USO Gala

Hi! It’s been a long time since we last spoke. We have been through an awful winter and not a very good spring, and hopefully with summer just around the corner the sun will start shining bright and w arm. While this column was hibernating for the winter, the RMAC was working hard to plan for our new season, and what a season it is going to be.

On Saturday evening, June 28, at 7 p.m., we will be holding a fantastic USO Gala at Floyd Bennett Field. You will be transported back to the 40’s as you walk into Hangar "B" and see all of the restored planes from WWII. The planes have been restored by HARP (Historic Air Restoration Project) and will probably bring back many memories. On a personal level, my dad worked on the P-47 Thunderbolts that were made right here at Republic Aviation in Farmingdale.

So walking into the hanger will almost be like walking into the Smithsonian Air Museum in Washington. But there is more; decorated as an old USO Canteen with tables, chairs, and decorations of the period, with coffee and donuts being served there will also be an open bar and additional food.

Come to dance and enjoy the entertainment of the Georgie Gee and his "Make Believe Ballroom" Orchestra and our own Rockaway Theatre Company USO Show you are in for a fabulous evening. Tickets are priced at $40.00 per person and special price is offered for tables of 10. So, contact the RMAC at 718-474-6760, leave a message and we will return your call.

Please note that variations of the above number have appeared in The Wave and we apologize for the errors. There is one person on our committee who has almost single-handedly produced this wonderful evening and that is our own Nancy Vardakis. Talk about the one-armed paperhanger! Be sure to call for tickets or, if you see the USO flyers around with Uncle Sam, just tear off the bottom and return it for your tickets.

Now, stay as long as you like at the USO Gala but then go directly home and sleep because the RMAC Sunset Picnic Concerts begin the very next evening. Sunday, June 29, at 6 p.m. at the Fort Tilden Parade Grounds our series will start with "The Road House Band," country music and dancing as never before. Guys wear your jeans and ladies your petticoats and get ready to dozy-do all evening long. This should be a fun evening and a new group to entertain, so bring your picnic baskets and we’ll all meet there.

The second concert of the summer will be held on Sunday, July 13 with a return engagement of Dean Karahalis and The Long Island Pops Orchestra. If you have been to the "pops" concerts before you know that Dean Karahalis is the most energetic conductor that ever was. With his white dinner jacket and baton, he is the essence of an orchestra leader. His stirring rendition of all-American music is just what we need in these times.

As the summer continues our third concert features "old blue eyes," – well not exactly, but Jerry Cardone and the Danny Vincent Orchestra. They have been brought back this year by popular request. No one sounds more like Frank Sinatra than Jerry. If you were at the concert last summer you know what I mean. Jerry Cardone probably knows every song Sinatra ever recorded and can sing them at the drop of a hat. For all you Sinatra fans (and who isn’t) we’ll see you on July 27.

It is not very often, if ever, that we have brought back two groups for the second year in a row. However, "Cherish The Ladies" made such an impression and their music and singing just brought everyone to their feet that they will again entertain you on Sunday, August 10. Be sure to get to the park early if you want a good spot to view the group. Last year – well I think the people in the back almost needed binoculars to see the stage. The "Ladies" are fabulous – be there.

A total change of pace for our last concert on Sunday, August 24 will feature an a cappella group, "Ball In The House." The group consists of six young men from Boston who sound like the whole orchestra and sing as well. Think of ‘N’Sync and the Backstreet Boys. It’s going to be a fun evening and a wonderful way to end our concert series.

A special thanks goes to John Musumeci our producer of the Summer Picnic Concert Series. John works single-handedly in arranging for each of these concerts every summer. It’s a monumental job and on behalf of all of us at the RMAC, thank you John.

If you would like to work with the RMAC speak to one of us at the concerts or call the number above and leave your name and number and someone will return your call.

Remember the USO Show – we’ll see you on June 28.

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