2006-02-17 / Columnists

Notes from the High C’s

Rockaway Music and Arts Council

by Sharon Gabriel

As I sit here typing, the scenery outside is a beautiful shade of white, the snow slowly easing up. Somehow I thought that we might be lucky this winter, as the temperatures have been so high, that we might just see spring a little early. I guess the groundhog was right, another six weeks of winter. Oh well! What choice do we have? Just our thoughts of approaching spring and sunshine and flowers. With some buds popping up in the gardens last month, with 50-degree days, they are probably so confused by now, they don’t know what season it is. That’s just a funny thought that came into my head.

Here at the RMAC we have not been sitting idle. After our Holiday Brunch in November to thank all the people who volunteer with us over the year, we have been hard at work planning for the 2006 season, and there have been changes in our Board of Directors.

At our election of officers last month, Stephen Yaeger was elected as the new President, and Barbara Eisenstadt has become the Chairman of the Board, the first ever for the RMAC. In addition, Harold Cornell was elected to the new position of 3rd Vice President. The balance of our board, 1st Vice President John Musumeci; 2nd Vice President, Sharon Gabriel; Treasurer, Judy Yaeger; Recording Secretary, Shirley Golub; and Corresponding Secretary, Myra Berger; has stayed the same.

As we begin our 51st year, we want to publicly thank Barbara for her 15 years as President and for the many programs that we present today. They were her ideas; from the Sunset Picnic Concerts to the Music Memory Program in our schools, to our museum trips; Barbara fostered the idea that Rockaway is a great community and we should expand our cultural life. She has promised us she will always be there and will be part of our working committee into the future.

On a personal note, I must say that I have come to love and respect both Barbara and her husband, Marvin, for all that they do for Rockaway as a whole and for many on a personal basis. They are the essence of “community involvement.” Barbara, and all of us, will be working closely with Steve Yaeger as he assumes his new position and the many projects that will be tossed in front of him in the next several months.

Steve and his wife, Judy, have been RMAC members for as long as I can remember. They are both multi-talented. Steve is a retired teacher; an artist whose beautiful pieces can be seen at our festival each September; a lecturer; a writer who produces our RMAC Bulletin; and much more: a sort of Renaissance Man for Rockaway. And, in addition to all that, he set up my computer, which as far as I’m concerned earned him a gold star in my world. (I was just as happy with my typewriter, but that’s another story) Judy Yaeger is the RMAC Treasurer and our “Sergeant at Arms,” who keeps our meetings moving forward each month with one bang of the gavel. You better be quiet then, or there will be a few more bangs to get us in order. Judy is also a retired teacher, having been a music teacher at Beach Channel High School, and she still gives piano lessons.

We have all promised Steve that even though he is going to have very large shoes to fill in replacing Barbara, we will all be there to help him and that we know he will do a great job.

In speaking with Fern Liberman, I find that the applications for the vendors at our Fall Festival were sent out in December and many have already been returned. If you received your application, please return it as soon as possible and if you would like to be a first-time exhibitor, you can contact Fern and request an application.

Plans are also in the works for a spring tour to a new museum in New York that only opened last year. It’s a very unusual private museum and one that I’m sure everyone will enjoy. Our museum committee will be meeting this week to work out the details and I will let you know more about it in a future column.

This year is the 350th Anniversary of the birth of Mozart, and The Long Island Pops Orchestra, under the direction of Dean Karahalis, will be presenting a special Mozart Concert as part of our Summer Picnic Concert Series on August 13. You don’t want to miss this one so be sure to mark your calendars.

Also being discussed is our Second Annual “Search For The Stars,” which was so successful last year. As a matter of fact, Luba Rose, who won the competition, sang at our 50th Anniversary Gala at the Brooklyn Museum in September and won raves from everyone in attendance. This year we will be going in a different direction with the competition and are in the midst of discussions as to what type of program we will present. Maybe ballroom dancing, maybe children- we’ll let you know.

Have a great week and be careful with the shoveling.

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