Montauk Community Notes, May 23


On Sunday at Montauk Community Church, we celebrated Pentecost, 50 days after Easter, and tradition had us wearing red. Red reminds us of the Holy Spirit, which first arrived, as described in the New Testament, Acts 2:1–4, as a mighty wind blowing and tongues of fire. It was Children’s Sunday, a special service when the Sunday school children present readings, music and lead worship.

The service was opened by three children, Jillian Hear, Katie Nordlinger and Lea Mancini. Dressed in white as ballerinas they danced down the aisle during gathering music.

Later, Vicky Koutsogiannis guided her four sons, Andreas, Alex, John and Evan, as they taught the congregation about Apostle Paul of Tarsus. John, age 7, spoke, while standing on a box behind the podium. He loves geography and provided a big map of Asia Minor and parts of Europe he drew and painted all by himself. Youngest brother Evan placed cut-outs of Saint Paul on the map showing the route taken in the apostle’s far reaching ministries as described by his brother. During the offering, John played Beethoven’s “Ode to Joy” on the keyboard. According to Sunday school teacher Joy Hear, the oldest of the Koutsogiannis brothers is no more than 9, the youngest is preschool age, about 4.

Another highlight came as Lilly Norris and Meghan White sang, danced and gave a tribute to Laura Sisco, their jazz dance instructor, who made a big difference in their lives by bringing YMCA dance classes directly to Montauk School.

Ms. Hear said she greatly enjoyed the first ever children’s performances at Gosman’s Stage on Friday during the Montauk Music Festival. Montauk School kids performed from 3:30 to 4:30 p.m. followed by children from other local schools. According to Ms. Hear, “It was awesome.”

On the day this newspaper is published, Wednesday, May 22, the fifth and sixth grades at Montauk School return to Citi Field in Queens, on a third-time, repeat invitation to sing the National Anthem before that afternoon’s Mets game. The kids are under the direction of choral director Mr. Skoldberg of Montauk School, and travel via Jitney to the stadium. Ms. Hear plans to attend with sixth-grade daughter Jillian who sang last year as well.

After church, Lydia Shaternik Burns and I ran down to the Montauk Green where the Far East Fiddle Club of East Hampton High School, under direction of Mr. Grindle, was finishing its performance. Singer and guitarist Charlie Sabin appeared next to provide a few rock classics.

Then the East Hampton High School Jazz Band took the stage, directed by Marilyn Van Scoy. Ms. Shaternik describes the band as, “reminiscent of Herb Albert and the Tijuana Brass.” Lydia’s son, East Hampton High School senior Michael Burns, played keyboards and later sang solo the standard, “Mack the Knife.” Next to appear singing in tandem with the band were Charlotte Wiltshire and Yori Johnson. The Jazz Band appears again this Thursday, May 23, at 7 p.m. for a free concert at East Hampton High School.

I chatted with Montauk resident Matt Cossentino, known as singer Matt Coss. He was working as emcee. He sends news of his brother, Joseph Cossentino, who is known as Joe Coss of the band LiquidPhase, which performed Sunday at the Montauk Lighthouse. Matt said Joe, who attended Stony Brook University, has written papers on theoretical physics. His thesis provokes scientists with a new theory of the unification of the four fundamental forces of nature. According to Matt, his brother’s theory on the nature of light will lead to the eventual acceptance by the physics community that gravity is electromagnetic. “This is huge news, at the Einstein level, in the world of physics,” he said.


Many special events for Memorial Day weekend are planned. On Saturday, May 25, all veterans have been invited to the U.S. Coast Guard Station for a free fish and chips dinner beginning at 5 p.m. Veterans may bring guests. Adults will be asked for a $20 donation for dinner, children 10 years and under, $10.

The Memorial Day Parade and Remembrance Ceremony is Sunday, May 26, beginning at noon. The march starts at Kirk Park and proceeds east to the Village Green memorial site where there will be a commemorative service at 12:30 p.m., followed by a sing-along of favorite military songs and a live band.

On Monday, May 27, at 8 a.m. on the green, there will be a Coast Guard and Scout flag raising ceremony and remembrance with guest speakers. At sundown, at approximately 7 p.m., the scouts again will be present for the flag lowering. Flags in need of retirement will then be burned under the watchful eye of the Montauk Fire Department. For more information, please contact or phone 631-375-6625.

The third annual Blessing of the Boards takes place Sunday, May 26, at 11 a.m. following the 10:30 a.m. Mass at St. Therese of Lisieux Church. Bring your surfboard, stand-up paddle board, boogie board or skateboard to the church, two blocks from the beach at the corner of South Essex and Montauk Highway.

The much anticipated opening day for the summer season of the Women’s Guild Rummage Sale at Montauk Community Church is Saturday May 25, from 9 a.m. to noon. You’ll find a large selection of clothing for the whole family, baby items, shoes, household items and handmade rugs. Shop every Saturday beginning May 25 until Labor Day, rain or shine.

The Montauk Playhouse Community Center Foundation kicks off the season with a benefit event at Solé East Resort, 90 Second House Road, Saturday, June 15, at 7 p.m. Held outdoors at the Backyard restaurant, “A Night of Classic Italian Food & Film” features fare by guest celebrity chef Ralph Pagano, whose TV appearances include Iron Chef and Hell’s Kitchen. The evening’s film is “It Started in Naples,” a 1960 romantic comedy starring Clark Gable and Sophia Loren. Tickets, $75 per person, $100 after June 8 or at the door, are available online at, by phone at 668-1124, 668-2105 or at the Willow gift store in Montauk.

On Saturday, May 18, Hayden B. Ward of Montauk, a business administration major, completed baccalaureate studies at SUNY Oswego, which held its commencement that day. Also graduating on Sunday, May 19, from Quinnipiac University, in Hamden, Connecticut, is Deja Restrepo, who majored in Spanish and Math Education. Ms. Retrepo continues at Quinnipiac this summer and next fall to earn her master’s degree in education. I’m happy to post news of your graduates. Please send information to me here at this column.

At The Library

Wednesday, May 22, from 7:30 to 9 p.m., the Montauk Writers Group presents, “Works in Progress.” Members read excerpts from their new works. Please refer to the May 15 issue of this column for details on Montauk writers scheduled to participate.

Saturday, May 25, from 3:30 to 4:15 p.m., adult/child interactive play. Younger children may attend, but note, some toys contain small pieces.

Contact the Montauk Library at 668-3377 for more information on these presentations.

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