2013-06-21 / Community

Spring Concert At PS 114 Reviewed

OPEN MIC An Occasional Feature...
By Jane Kane

On Thursday evening, May 23rd, a very special event took place at P.S./M.S. 114 in Belle Harbor. After enduring the trauma and extensive damage from Superstorm Sandy, and after months of being displaced, the children of our wonderful neighborhood school stood proudly on their auditorium stage and filled the room with joy and music at their Spring Concert.

Having returned to the school just a few short months ago, the children -- with the encouragement and support of Principal Stephen Grill and Assistant Principal Barbara Poggioli- Esposito and the leadership of bandleader Harald Martins, glee club/music teacher Robin Levy and codirector Dianna Zwirn -- gave a heartrending performance, filled with emotion and extraordinary talent.

The concert band led off the evening with a fantastic rendition of a number by the band Chicago, “25 to 6 to 4.” The glee club, singing with depth and feeling -- accompanied by Dorothy Wagner on the guitar -- brought tears to the audience with their special interpretation of “Home,” “Here Come the Sun” and “Bridge Over Troubled Water.”

The Middle School Bucket Ensemble showed an amazing mastery of extensive and complicated drumming rhythms. With drumsticks tapping on Home Depot plastic buckets, the group was flawless in their execution of these rhythmic pieces.

Piano soloists followed with poise and dramatic flair, each playing their pieces -- some simple, some more advanced, but all artfully performed with joy.

The Concert Band concluded the evening playing “Strike up the Band,” ”Rolling in the Deep” and finally the “African Spirit Dance.” Soloists performed on flute, saxophone, clarinet and trumpet.

To add to the emotion of the evening, a special “Thank You” was given to the family of the late Bernice Meyers, who generously donated a beautiful baby grand piano to replace the one that had been destroyed by the storm. Mrs. Meyers was a long-time supporter of music at PS 114, and the beautiful plaque that is displayed on the piano in her memory will give her a place of honor for all to see and appreciate.

Kudos to Mr. Grill, who is so supportive of the music program at PS/MS 114, and to Mr. Martins, Mrs. Levy and their assistants, who put this show together under the most difficult of circumstances. These 4th, 5th and 6th graders and middle school students augmented their classroom rehearsals by practicing during their free time early in the morning and at lunch hour. They were completely dedicated and devoted to their music, and it showed in their glowing faces on stage.

What a great tribute to the power of music to make everyone in the audience forget about the devastation and loss that we all shared and instead feel the childrens’ love and warmth and rejoice in the beautiful, creative talents that are part of our wonderful, positive community.

(Jane Kane is a PS 114 parent).

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