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.

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