Oct 6th, 2016 – Meeting Minutes

Music Boosters Meeting

October 6, 2016


8th grader Kyoko Saito treated us to an exquisite violin performance as the meeting opened.

Membership Report

Membership mailing list at 290, up by 90 from earlier this year.

Music Department Chair K-12

Currently our district does not have a Music Department Chair, unlike the other academic areas. We discussed that Mark is covering a lot of work and admin duties that a music chair would usually handle. Just a few examples: coordinating membership renewals and money, NYSSMA, senior awards.

A Music Department Chair would also strengthen the communication/coordination across the music program, K-12.

Position would require one free period when not teaching and whatever the stipend is.  Next step – draft a petition.

MS/HS Band Parents A new position will be created for the 2017-2018 school year on the Music Boosters Board – MS/HS Band Chairperson – that will coordinate band parent efforts to support Mark Dodge with performance/travel opportunities for the MS and HS Bands. Particularly important as he plans the next five years – his ideas include Music in the Parks (eg: Six Flags), possibly the White House, Disney.

Tri-M – National Music Honor Society

NYSSMA is a requirement for National Music Honor Society

The Solo festival – all instruments including piano, voice.  Festival schedule now available on our website.

Treasurer Report

Total coming into 2016-2017: $1100.00

Costs for 5K – approximately $400.

Current Treasury total: $700.

Music Scholarship

Discussed a music scholarship to give to seniors. We would outline guidelines for the recipient but not make already busy seniors have to fill out too many forms. Amount to be determined. Perhaps have a 50-50 raffle at the jazz and concert to raise additional funds.

Hospitality Report

Winter concert planning. Agree to have donuts and water donated based on the sales success of last year. To donate, for any of the upcoming concerts, email Lorraine Verge, ltrap2192@verizon.net

HS Band Uniforms

Our HS Band uniforms are 30 years old and needs replacing. One of our science teachers organizes the NYC St. Patrick’s Day parade and our kids could march. However, our uniforms are old and in poor shape.

New uniforms would cost $800 each and we need 60.

(Sidebar fun idea: Sell “I’m with the band” t-shirts to raise money. Perhaps we have a competition or ask an artist to design or our own talented co-publicity chair, Lynn.)

Meeting Dates Overview

Doug Zantay’s presentation from last year mentioned – very well received, gave information about the growth of the elementary bands and elementary musician participation in NYSSMA.’

Scheduled so far this year:

  • December meeting – presentation by Annemarie Smith
  • April Meting – presentation by Ms. Katherine Ness

Suggestions to attract more members to meetings:

-Advertise that a student’s teacher will be here

-E-blast the parents (thank you, Minnie for the good suggestion)

Mark discussed the Barnes & Noble soon to open concept store at Vernon Hills.  B&N have invited HS students to play on November 10 at 4pm.

And about that 5K…drumroll please:

$16,000 Raised !!! The Music Boosters booth looked fabulous, the sweeps garnered TK entries for the chance to win six great prizes. We’ll explore having a booth next year because it’s good exposure. We truly appreciated Dr. Moran’s lovely opening remarks.

Diane, Rose, Mark, Dr. Hatter, Dr. Capuano and Mr. Wynne will convene next week to discuss the music faculty wish list.  As Mark noted, if you invest in the best instruments they will last for many years.

Dr. Moran

On Friday, 10/14 Dr. Moran is being honored at The Fountainhead by the Sons of Italy.

Home Improvement

Music Boosters is continually striving to improve the website and make it the ultimate hub for all things music. The faculty and parents are asked to submit anything they feel will benefit our district’s children and/or parents.  Email submissions to: easthestermusicboosters@gmail.com

Meeting Tonight!

Join us for the first meeting of the year –  Mingle, chat, volunteer – learn about what is in store for music this year and help us plan for the future!

Tonight we will also be announcing how much the Music Boosters will be receiving from the Eastchester 5K – don’t miss it!

7:30pm, HS/MS Band Room

Many Thanks!

The Eastchester 5K was a huge success with 1000+ runners registered!  We are extremely grateful to the Eastchester5K Committee for considering Music Boosters and voting for us to receive a portion of the funds.

Thanks to all who supported the Eastchester5K and Eastchester Music Boosters.  Special thanks go to the Tri-M volunteers who helped at the Music Boosters table and to Mr. Mark Dodge and the MS and HS Band members who worked hard to prepare in advance for their fabulous performances at the event.  Music is what made this 5K extra special!  

MS Concert Band members who played the”Rocky” theme on the race route (led by Ms. Katelyn Odierna):
Michael Fang
Rico-ian Banting
Stephen DeLotto
Charlie Reilly
Yumi Tsukamoto
HS Concert Band members who performed at town hall (led by Mr. Mark Dodge):
James Poletti
Jonathan Limekiller
Skylar Reilly
Noah Fredrick
Tyler Nardi
Brian Smyth
Chris Tyrrell
Hunter West
Madeline LoBono
David Ewing
Glenn Pilla
Catherine Delano
Ruri Kawabata
Rei Yoshino
Manami Tsukamoto
Mr. Don Olsen sat in – thank you!
Tri-M Volunteers 
Kureha Masuda
Junko Abe
Hiroko Abe
Olivia Damasco
Alex Siegel
Ashley Tang
Samantha Dell’Imperio
Melina Fotiadis
Chris Tyrrell
Sophia Ottaviano
Jesse Lama

Special thanks also to Lisa, Rob and Amy Cartolano and Mrs. Katherine Ness and her daughter for helping out at our booth…and Mr. Don Olsen for his support at the event – your presence was truly appreciated!  We would also like to give a personal thank-you to our new MS/HS Orchestra Director, Katelyn Odierna, for supporting us at the event and working closely with the MS Band members who performed along the race route!

A big thank you also to EHS student Olivia Damasco for her beautiful rendition of our National Anthem before the race. Wonderful job, Olivia!

Finally, special thanks to Dr. Walter Moran, our beloved Superintendent for his ever-present support for all things benefiting the children of the Eastchester School District  – shown once again by his presence at the 5K and the delivery of the keynote speech.

If you were unable to attend, our booth was teaming with activity and the children enjoyed our inflatable saxophone, guitar and microphone giveaways.

Our raffle winners were:

Haircut and Balayage Highlights at Hernan Prada, Scarsdale, Value: $310 – WINNER: Suzette Games

60 Minute Pure Bliss Facial at Branches of Beauty, Scarsdale, Value: $125 – WINNER: Steve Ryba

Two FREE Music Lessons at Crestwood Music Education Center, Value: $103 – 2 WINNERS: Sophia Ottaviano (EHS Vocalist) and Naomi Dube (Greenvale Violinist)

Dunkin’ Donuts $25 Gift Certificate – 2 Winners: Both students, names not recorded (our apologies!)

After the race awards were handed out and raffle prize winners announced, the Eastchester5K Committee presented us with a ceremonial check for $10,000. We will be notified of the actual amount shortly. All funds received will be used to fulfill as many of the music faculty’s wish list as possible.

JOIN US – Please join us at our 1st Music Boosters meeting of the year (Thursday, October 6, 7:30pm in the MS/HS Band Room) to learn more about what the funds will be used for. We will also be discussing the creation of an Eastchester Music Boosters scholarship, our next Careers in the Arts Event and the possibility of developing a used instrument program in our area.

EYC Production of GREASE

Musicians Needed

Rehearsals for the Eastchester Youth Council’s production of GREASE begins Monday 6/27 at 7pm. Musicians (Eastchester residents, ages 13-21) still needed – ALL instruments welcome.

If interested, please arrive at the Eastchester High School Band Room by 7:00pm tomorrow, Monday 6/27.  This is a wonderful opportunity for musicians to experience accompanying a stage production. Here is a note from EYC Founder, Bunny Rappaport:

Our summer theatre begins rehearsals one week early to accommodate the fact that our show will be presented one week earlier than usual. (July 29th and 30th)

Cast, Crew and Orchestra company members of  EYC summer theatre will begin orientation and rehearsals on Monday, June 27, at7pm at EHS. Our regular schedule will continue on Tues the 28th,  Wed the 29th  and Thurs the 30th. We will meet Mon-Thurs. from July 5th forward unless you are notified in advance. (no rehearsal on Monday July 4th)

Please make every effort to be there and let me know by email or phone, if you have a problem. (760-2517)

VERY IMPORTANT!!!  We are still in need of at least four more guys to join us. Gals, I hope you talked to some male friends and asked them to be “Greasers” they do not have to be experienced singers or dancers.  If you have anyone who is interested, let me know and ask them to come to the rehearsal to sign up. We will extend the signup period through next week.  Ladies who couldn’t make audition dates are welcome to sign up as well.

Sue and I, along with John, Michael, Stu and Vinny are anxious to begin the fun of this great musical. Lots of laughs and great music, not to mention an exceptional “Greased Lightening” car.

Please bring $20 for a company tee shirt. We will measure for costumes as well.

See you on Monday,


Any questions regarding the production, please contact Music Director, Stu Rabin: sturabin914@me.com

My daughter has played cello for EYC for 3 years – any general questions, please feel free to reach out to me directly. (Diane Lama, dtflama@gmail.com)


Faculty 2015-2016 Highlights

These are just some of things our wonderful music faculty have been up to over the course of the 2015-2016 school year…

Ms. Katherine Ness 

  • All kindergarten students made their Eastchester concert debuts performing in the Winter Concerts in December.  First grade students performed two concerts this year- the Winter Concerts in December and the Moving-Up Concert in June.
  • All students got to experience the instruments of the orchestra before their eyes.  As part of a special unit on instrument families, the Music Boosters arranged to borrow several instruments from Crestwood music.  The students were fascinated to see the flute, saxophone, clarinet, trumpet, trombone, violin, harp, snare drum, triangle, and cymbals as part of this special demonstration!
  • Westchester Conservatory music therapist Tina Brescia visited our self-contained special education classes for 15 sessions to co-teach with Mrs. Ness.

Ms. AnneMarie Smith (Greenvale)

  • Second Graders performed a musical revue “Everyday is Earth Day.” It   was well received; both students and audience were pleased with the outstanding performance of such a young group!
  • Third Graders performed a recorder concert to display the skills they had acquired from recorder study throughout the year.  Each class performed an individual piece and a finale was performed by the entire grade level.  An impressive listening experience was enjoyed by all!
  • Fourth and Fifth Grade Chorus Members performed two wonderful concerts this year-a Winter and Spring Concert.  All 186 members sang their hearts out  to a “sold out” audience at Eastchester High School.  Soon there will not be enough risers to hold all the chorus members; nor room in the auditorium for their adoring fans! Bravo, Greenvale!

Mr. Doug Zantay (Elementary Band Program) 

  • All 4th graders were introduced to their instruments and were instructed on a rotating lesson schedule 1 or 2 times per week.
  • All 5th grade band students were scheduled for rotating lessons 1 or 2 times per week. They performed a Winter Concert.
  • All 4th graders were combined into 1 group by January and began rehearsing as a band
  • The 5th grade band was combined with the 4th grade band by the end of April. The 4th graders performed a Spring concert with the 5th graders and also by themselves as a separate band. The 5th graders also performed with the 4th grade band and by themselves.
  • The Anne Hutchinson 4th grade band performed for both the Awards Ceremony and the 5th Grade Moving Up Ceremony at the end of June.
  • Nine 4th and 5th grade band students performed a NYSSMA solo. One student participated in All County band.

Mr. James Gedge (Adaptive Music Teacher)

  • All of my adaptive music students attended a workshop and performance of “Up and Away” at Lincoln Center. Including the NBC News segment featuring some of our kids.
  • The New York Philharmonic Orchestra was the subject of another Lincoln Center trip for a rehearsal featuring a new work based upon the late Impressionistic era known as DaDa.
  • An acting troupe from the Lincoln Center Education Program performed for our 7th grade classes and selected 11th grade classes a performance of “American Revolution.”
  • The Westchester Conservatory of Music Special Music teacher, Lisa Sandagata visited our music classes 30 times to team teach with Mr. Gedge’s adaptive classes.
  • Two bus loads of 6th, 7th and 8th graders attended the Taconic Opera Performances of Pagliacci and Trial by Jury.

Mr. Mark Dodge (MS/HS)

  • 8th grade band was awarded a GOLD rating the NYSSMA Majors Festival.
  • Over 60 music students in the middle/high school participated in the NYSSMA Solo Festival.
  • Several students were nominated and participated in the Northern Westchester Honors Band held at North Salem High School in October 2015.
  • Several students were selected for all-county band and all-county orchestra with performances at SUNY Purchase in March.
  • Tri-M National Music Honors Society held a recital at the Eastchester Public Library.
  • Tri-M students lead a sing-a-long at IHM in December.
  • In December, the HS Full Orchestra, HS Chorus and HS Jazz Band performed in the lobby of the MetLife building in NYC.

Many thanks to you all for enriching the lives and education of our children!


A Smashing Success!

Inaugural Careers in the Arts Evening – A Smashing Success

On June 3, 2016 the Eastchester Music Boosters hosted a Career in the Arts event – the first district event focused solely an arts careers. With 65+ people in attendance including students, parents and alumni, the evening was an entertaining and informative success that resulted in an overall sense of gratitude for this type of event.

The Music Boosters invited Eastchester alumni who work or are studying in the arts, to speak about their career path, challenges and advice to current Eastchester students.  The evening was guided by Katherine Ness, one of our fine music faculty members and included the following speakers:

  • The audience was riveted to hear from guest speaker David Viviano, a parent in the district, who is the Chief Economist for SAG-AFTRA (Screen Actors Guild-American Federation of Television & Radio Artists). He explained the economic context of the arts industries and the pros and cons of pursuing a performance arts career. Alumni in the audience could be seen nodding their heads in agreement with his commentary and advice.
  • Mike McCann (Tauss), a 1972 alumnus and 41-year broadcast professional, shared the importance of finding a college that will lead to good training and opportunities in the field you have chosen. He stressed self-educating (continuous reading) as a key to success. Do background reading so you go into a situation informed.  He mentioned other well-known people in the field of broadcasting and music who graduated from Eastchester High School.
  • Kimberly Giannelli, a 2001 alumna, shared her experiences in the world of dance. She stressed that you need to diversify your skill set. On one of her auditions she discovered that dancing was not the only skill being evaluated – she was also expected to sing.  She felt like the student who forgot to study for a test when the rest of the class was prepared…and she vowed to never put herself in that position again.
  • Pierre Piscitelli, a 2009 alumnus and professional musician, stressed working hard on your craft, expanding your repertoire and being open to new opportunities. He described how an illness that stopped him from playing his instrument, gave him the opportunity to use that time to developing his skills as an arranger. Expanding his skill set has gone a long way to ensure his financial success.
  • Brandon Salerno, a 2012 alumnus, is a professional actor. He stressed auditioning, auditioning, auditioning – even for things you don’t want. Hone your craft and be open to every possibility. Expand your skills by learning everything possible.
  • Rebecca Fix, a 2011 alumna, shared experiences in college and her path to fulfilling her dream to be a music teacher, emphasizing the importance of taking things in stride and making the most of what your college and industry offer.
  • Emily Meneghin, a 2011 alumna, has written two plays that she is working to bring to life and stressed the importance of being open minded and flexible about the future. If you are too structured, you may miss out on opportunities that could bring you fulfillment.
  • Gina Zohar, one of our wonderful art teachers, concluded the presentations with a life story that underscored the need to always be at your best, do every job well no matter how small – because you never know where an opportunity may arise.

Every person went home with a program booklet crammed with experience and advice from 30+ alumni and arts faculty that represented a broad variety of careers including technical production, broadcasting, screenwriting, photography, stunt coordination and more!

Thanks go to our many alumni who contributed to the evening, our wonderful Art and Music Faculty for their support and contributions and Music Booster’s President, Diane Lama, for imagining and orchestrating this first-time event.  Special thanks to Judy Fix and the Eastchester High School Alumni Association for sending out the call to its members;  Music Boosters member Kristin Macarchuk for her generous donation of the delicious spread of fresh fruit and pastries;  Eastchester parent Laurie Duffy of fastlinenservice.com for donating the evening’s table linens; Dr. Gines Cano of www.crestwoodmusic.com for contributing to the printing of the programs; John Gordyak  for supervising the night’s microphone and smart board set-up; PTA Council Co-Presidents Leslye Davidson and Marianne Gordineer for helping redesign the event flyer under the gun;  HS Guidance Counselors Heather Reilly and Marcos Monteagudo for manning the event’s guidance table; MaryEllen Byrne for her tireless help pinning down the date; and  the “stagehands” – Music Booster Board Members Lorraine Verge- Caterer/Coordinator, Marlo Hunter-Thank You Creator, Beverly Fang, Sara Fischer-Gerol, Rose Poletti, Dawn Tyrrell – for addressing the many details of the evening.  And as always, thank you to Dr. Moran, Dr. Hattar, Dr. Capuano and Mr. Wynne for their on-going support.

Eastchester Music Boosters is hoping to make this a recurring event – every other year – so be on the lookout!

For more photos, check out the 2015-2016 Scrapbook.