2006-09-08 / Columnists

Notes from the High C's

Rockaway Music and Arts Council
by Sharon Gabriel

Well, once again, a whole section was missing from my column last week. I don't know what's going on. In going back to look at the hard copy of the column, it looks like the gremlins decided to edit what I wrote and that's okay, but they took out the whole portion relating to the RMAC Sunset Picnic Concert last week. For those interested, I would like to repeat those paragraphs here:

"On Sunday evening, rain and all, we had our last concert of the season, 'Kings of the Keyboard' and considering the fact that it was held in the Chapel Building at Ft. Tilden, everything turned out well. As with our first concert this year, it was raining and nasty but many people came out and the Chapel was full. I have to thank Ed Berlin for once again bringing us two fantastic pianists, Brian Holland and Aaron Diehl.

Aaron Diehl, as his publicity says, is almost too young to have a biography, but he does. Aaron performs all over the world and has been featured in the Jazz at Lincoln Center series with performers such as Wynton Marsalis. He not only plays jazz piano but classical as well, and he is only in his senior year at the Julliard School. This young man has a wonderful future ahead of him.

Brian Holland cut short an appearance at a Midwest ragtime festival in order to come to Rockaway. He started playing the organ at age three, and then went to piano at age six. He has won the World Old-Time Piano Playing Championship three years in a row but then stopped competing so that others would have a chance. As with Aaron, Brian also studied classical piano but then went back to jazz and ragtime.

If I tell you that the rafters in the Chapel were shaking, you can believe me. The acoustics in the building were perfect for piano, almost better than outside. On behalf of the RMAC, I want to thank everyone who braved the elements to come to this great concert; I know they all had a great time."

So there you have it, the paragraphs that were missing. Let's hope the gremlins are not at work again this week because these two gentlemen deserve the publicity and accolades.

This is now two weeks in a row with nasty weather. Here it is, Labor Day, and as last year, it is raining and miserable. Let's hope that when our Festival comes around on the 16th and 17th of September that the sun will be shining warm and bright. Enough of the rain already.

As is usual, a lot of work is going on behind the scenes to make this another great festival and in order to do that, we need lots of help. Four hours or more, either day or both, will be a big help to us. Help is needed at the children's events, with the vendors in setting up and a million other things. If you would like to help, please call me at 718-474-8353 and I'll be glad to speak with you.

This year we have several new events and new organizations in the Cause Area so even if you can't help, please come to the festival and check it out. With the holidays coming up, you can probably do some of your shopping right there and be ahead of the crowds in the stores. Along with the North Shore Animal League, the ASPCA will also be featured this year so think about a puppy or kitten for yourself and your children. Additionally, the Shore Garden Club of Belle Harbor and Neponsit will be presenting a show in the bathhouse, so don't forget to stop in and get some greenthumb advice for all those plants that don't seem to grow in your home.

Parking is free and entry to the festival is free. The only money required is what you want to spend on food and other items.

Just a reminder, 2006 membership is open. Please become a member and support our efforts in the schools, at the concerts, the festival and other events. You are important. We can't do it without you.

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