2006-08-04 / Community

Notes from the High C's

Rockaway Music and Arts Council
by Sharon Gabriel

Andy Cooney and his band performed last Sunday at our Sunset Picnic Concert and I have to tell you, you didn't have to be Irish to enjoy this wonderful performer. Besides being charming and delightful in person, Andy is the consummate performer and his band was fabulous. Each one was a fine musician in his own right. For close to two hours Andy performed and for many of the songs he had audience participation, whether he asked for it or not. He told a few jokes, which I wish I could remember, and had the audience in the palm of his hand.

At one point in the show Andy introduced his ten-year-old son, Ryan, (the spitting image of Tom Sawyer) with bright red hair. Ryan was born on the 4th of July and, of course, Andy didn't let that go by without having Ryan sing some George M. Cohan songs. In just a few more years I think Andy can retire if Ryan keeps up with his singing. This child is adorable and a great performer and he also did some Irish Step Dancing that he has been learning. Andy's daughter, I believe her name is Shannon, did a little dance with her father and she is just a charmer.

All in all, the concert was one of the best and we want to thank the audience for such a great turnout. I also want to take this opportunity to thank Grace McClosky, one of our RMAC Board Members for arranging to have Andy come to Rockaway. Thanks, Grace, you did great and thanks also to John Musumeci, who week in and week out, oversees all of our concerts.

Considering the washout we had at the first concert, this Sunday was just spectacular.

Our next concert on August 13 will present Dean Karahalis and the Long Island Pops Orchestra and a special tribute to the 250th Anniversary of the birth of Amadeus Mozart. More about this in our next column.

On news from the Festival front, I have just learned that in addition to the North Shore Animal League, the ASPCA will also be at the festival, though both will only be there on Sunday. If you are in the market for an animal to adopt, that will be the time to be there. Both the League and the ASPCA are very particular when it comes to adopting animals so be sure you have all your shots and all your papers in order. In addition, we are looking for people to volunteer to help at the festival. If you can give three or more hours on either Saturday or Sunday, September 16th or 17th, please let us know. We can use your help.

2006 is half-way through the year and we hope that you will renew your membership or become a new member. All of our programs are helped by our membership. From our Music Memory and Opera programs in the schools to the festival and concerts, we hope that if you enjoy our programs you will think of becoming a member. I'll see you at the next concert with membership applications.

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