2004-08-20 / Community

Notes from the High C’s

Rockaway Music and Arts Council
by Sharon Gabriel

A few weeks back I was reading The Wave and came across the “Looking Backward” column of 20 years ago. Lo and behold there was an item about the fact that the RMAC was going to have their first “Gala Fair” as The Wave called it. It is hard to believe that this will be our 20th Fall Festival. So much water has gone under the bridge as the saying goes. From our little one day event with possibly 2,000 in attendance to today, when it is estimated that 20,000 attend.

Twenty years is an event itself, but this year the Festival falls on Saturday and Sunday, September 11 and 12, so in addition to celebrating 20 years, we are planning to have a Memorial Tribute to 9/11 and to our friends and neighbors who perished on that dreadful day. A special program is being prepared for noontime on Saturday. As the program is put in place, please watch this column for more details.

As to our 20 year celebration, the festival grounds will be decked out in red, white and blue with flags and banners and special items for sale. Our festival committee will be meeting this week to go over the program, check with the television networks for possible coverage and to have a kind of preliminary dress rehearsal as to how everything is going to work.

There is on thing that you can help with. We need volunteers, as we do every year, to assist the RMAC members on the days of the festival. If you can give a minimum of four hours on either day please contact us. I can be reached at 718-474-8353. Please leave a message and someone will call you back. To paraphrase the old Uncle Sam poster, “We Need You.” We could not possibly cover all events at the festival if it wasn’t for our friends who volunteer each year. As a special thank you, there is a special something we do once the festival is over, to thank all our volunteers. Unfortunately, it has to be a surprise, I can’t tell.

We hope you will join us this Sunday, August 22 for the last concert of our Summer Concert Series. This concert will feature “The Platters,” who will perform their famous “The Great Pretender,” “Only You” and many more.

Through the years, this has always been known as our “Legends of Rock n’ Roll” Concert and for the last several years it has been dedicated in memory of Leon Locke, The Wave publisher and former Chairman of the RMAC Festival Committee. Whenever the Sunset Picnic Concerts were being planned, Leon always made sure that there was a do-wop or rock n’ roll group included and whichever group we had was always a big draw. We know that’s going to be the same this Sunday.

As our concert series comes to an end this season, there is one person who has to be congratulated for the fantastic job he does each year in planning and putting together the concerts and that is John Musumeci. Literally, without John there would be no concerts. He is at Fort Tilden early in the day of each concert to see that the stage is in usable order, the musicians are taken care of and the sound is set properly. It is a big job.

John needs help and we would welcome assistance. If you are interested, please see John, Barbara Eisenstaft or myself at the concert to become part of our group and lend a hand.

If you have not yet become a member of the RMAC, please consider doing so. Our programs are funded by our members and grants from different organizations.

Please consider becoming a member. You will be supporting your neighborhood and will help make it a better place to live. My phone number is above so just call and I will be happy to send you membership information.

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