2010-10-22 / Columnists

Notes from the High C’s

Rockaway Music and Arts Council
by Sharon Gabriel

I am happy to report that after discussions at our monthly meeting last week our Concert Series will be back next year.

Though not quite the same, we will be presenting several concerts at The Rockaway Theatre Company during the weeks that the theatre is not being used for a production. This all came about when we had the Rockaway premiere of “The Bungalows of Rockaway” at the theatre in August.

In speaking with John Gilleece, the head of the theatre, suggestions were made that we use their theatre and continue the concerts that had been a big part of the summer fun. They will be known as The Rockaway Music & Arts Council Summer Concert Series sponsored by The Rockaway Theatre. We did have one concert there two years ago and it worked out fine and so we are now very excited for 2011. While seating will be limited we know that we will have an audience that really wants to continue the concert series. The one thing that had to be eliminated was the “picnic” part of the series. Unfortunately food cannot be brought into the theatre but you might want to get there early and have your picnic outside on the lawn prior to seeing the show.

At the moment we are discussing possible groups to appear. It takes many months and the concerts have to be cost-effective, so we are working on it. In this regard, we will be sending out 2011 membership applications before the end of the year and we hope you will once again become a member.

In speaking about “The Bungalows of Rockaway” I have had several requests for CD’s and have a call in to the director, Jennifer Callahan, to find out if they are available yet. The showings on Channels 13 and 21 went over very well and I have heard such positive responses. I am very happy for both Jennifer and Elizabeth because I know they worked on this film for years to get it right. The RMAC was happy to be able to help with the financing to make it all possible and we were delighted to host the premiere here in Rockaway.

In our last column I reprinted parts of letters we received from the students in our Music Memory Program who were taken to see an opera in New York. The letters were delightful but we have even more important news in that regard. Rather than just being called the Music Memory Program it will now be known as the “Barbara Eisenstadt Music Memory Program” in honor of Barbara who originally brought the program to the RMAC. I think it is only right that she be remembered in this way. Barbara was a very innovative, creative and forward-thinking person and was always looking for ways to bring cultural programs to Rockaway.

I think to honor her in this way is only appropriate. I remember some years back when she explained that she had read or heard about the program and thought it might be something for the RMAC, and I thought how are we ever going to get the program going? Well, leave it to Bar-bara; she followed through and here we are many years later. RMAC sponsored music and opera programs in many of our local schools give our children the opportunity to see and hear music they might never be involved with at home and it gives them another avenue to pursue as adults. The one unfortunate thing about it is that many of the schools do not become involved although they have been contacted regarding the programs. This is a shame since the students are missing out on a very important creative area in their lives. I know that the public schools have very tight budgets, but we pay for most of the program so I can’t figure out where the problem is. In any event, I know Barbara would be embarrassed to have her name attached to the program, but it is because of her that we can do this.

One final item that you may not be aware of, our Board member, Fern Liberman, has obtained a beautiful Judith Ripka ring from their company. The ring is worth approximately $700, and we will be raffling it off on November 3. If you are interested, raffles can be obtained by calling our treasurer, Judy Yaeger, at 718-945- 5645. The raffles are $10.00 each or 3 for $25.00. Good luck.

So long for now, it’s time for me to change my clothes closets from summer to winter, ugh!

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