Eastport community notes


The Hampton Music Educators Association—also known as HMEA and affectionately pronounced “Him-Mia”—presented its 2009 High School Music Festival at the Eastport South Manor Junior-Senior High School on Saturday, January 24. The auditorium was filled almost to capacity with parents, relatives and friends of the high school musicians from the Hamptons and surrounding areas who performed under the direction of guest conductors.

There were three parts to the evening’s program: The Festival Band, The Festival Chorus and the Festival Jazz Ensemble. The students who performed on Saturday night were selected after auditioning back in December. They were the “cream of the crop” of local high school music students and came from Bridgehampton, Center Moriches, East Hampton, Eastport South Manor, Hampton Bays, Riverhead, Sag Harbor, Southampton, Southold and Westhampton Beach.

Each group of performers received a standing ovation after their performances. The audience was in awe of these talented young men and women and were equally in awe of the conductors who worked so hard with them.

You soon forgot that you were in a high school auditorium listening to teenagers sing and play music. These are the same kids who text message, instant message and watch YouTube at the same time while forgetting that it’s garbage day and where they put their Chemistry textbook. These are the same kids who usually cannot think about anything else but their next meal. And they are the same kids who can selectively tune out most adults by hitting a hidden switch somewhere in their heads.

But on Saturday night, they were amazingly transformed into these professional, focused musicians right before our very eyes. So, gone are the days when you went to the school concert, heard the children play a song, then turned to the person sitting next to you and asked “Was that Jingle Bells?” These high school students are serious about their music and it showed in every note they played or sang on Saturday night.

Thank you to HMEA, ESM and everyone who made the 2009 music festival an evening worthy of three standing ovations, if not more. A special thank you to the guest conductors: Scott Dunn who conducted the Festival Band; Dr. Robyn Gangi who conducted the Festival Chorus; and Peter Randazzo who conducted the Festival Jazz Ensemble. Bravo to all!

The Eastport South Manor Parent-Teacher Organization will host its fourth annual Coffee House/Variety Show at the high school on Saturday, February 7, beginning at 7 p.m. The event will take place in the high school cafeteria and admission is $5. Auditions will be held on February 3 and 4 in Room 1206.

All proceeds from the event will benefit the ESM Scholarship Fund. Call Lou at 325-8470 if you have any questions. Donations of baked goods for the evening would be greatly appreciated!

The music department at Eastport South Manor will host a Volleyball Marathon on Saturday, January 31, from 1 to 10 p.m., in the gym. Music students and parents are invited to participate in all or part of the marathon. You can sponsor a student, or donate some food for the event. Contact Mary Levasseur at cmlevasseur1@aol.com if you can help out in any way.

Congratulations to Faith Tuttle of Eastport who has been named to the dean’s list at Notre Dame University, where she is a freshman. Faith is the daughter of Gary and Priscilla Tuttle of Eastport and graduated from ESM last June.

The Teacher Center of the Western Hamptons is offering a workshop about the issues and challenges faced by adolescents. The workshop will cover such topics as eating disorders, drugs and alcohol, bullying, relationships and stress. It will be led by Amanda Wellman.

The workshop will take place in the library at the Westhampton Beach High School every Saturday, beginning on February 7 and ending on March 7. The cost of the workshop is $50 for parents or guardians and $95 for teachers who take the course for credit. Call Susan Kearns at 288-3800, ext. 264, to register or obtain more information.

Books & Brew in Eastport will host a book signing at the store on Saturday, January 31, from 1 to 3 p.m. Authors Tamara Pelosi and Susan Semerade, who wrote “Pennies From an Angel: Innocent Lives Behind a Crime,” will be on hand as will singer Annie Chiuchiolo who will sing a song entitled “Pennies,” which was inspired by the book.

“Crazy Sports Night” will be held at the Eastport South Manor Junior-Senior High School on Friday, January 30, beginning at 7 p.m. Teachers and staff members from all three district elementary schools will be competing in crazy sporting events such as an obstacle course, tug-of-war and a scooter race. Superintendent of Schools Mark Nocero will be the master of ceremonies for the evening and special appearances will be made by all elementary school principals. Refreshments will be served and ESM apparel will be on sale. All are invited to attend. Come cheer on your favorite teacher!

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