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Long Island Music Hall of Fame

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Photos from Long Island Music Hall of Fame

The Long Island Music Hall of Fame (LIMHoF) recently announced the winners of its 2022 Music Scholarships. This year, four Distinction in Music Award Scholarships were awarded to graduating high school seniors who plan to study music in college and pursue a career in this endeavor.

This year’s winners are Gioianna DiGiorgio and Andrew Arloro, both from Half Hollow Hills High School; Emily Wei from Great Neck North High School; and Stephanie Massimo from Syosset High School. Every year, students from Brooklyn, Nassau, Queens, Suffolk, and Brooklyn are encouraged toapply for the scholarships. This program one of several education acknowledgements that are sponsored by LIMHoF, which include the Music Educator of Note and the High School Recognition Awards.

LIMHoF is honored to celebrate each recipient’s dedication to music in addition to supporting his or her college plans. LIMHoF is able to provide these annual scholarships thanks to the support of the Long Island music community.

“The Long Island Music Hall of Fame is honored to have the opportunity to support and acknowledge accomplished high school seniors who are pursuing a future in music,” said Tom Needham, LIMHoF Education Chairman. “The talent that exists on Long Island is something we at LIMHoF want to celebrate. In addition to following their own dreams, we believe these students will encourage and inspire others.”

2022 LIHMOF Scholarship Winners:

Gioianna DiGiorgio from Dix Hills (Half Hollow Hills High School West)

When she was only a few months old, Gioianna would stroll around her home in her walker singing tunes she made up. Gioianna believes that music is a connection to nature and other people and a beautiful way to tell a story and to express yourself and your emotions.

“As soon as I was old enough to understand the concept of theater, I was enamored with the idea of being on stage, and wanted to be a part of that world,” said Gioianna in her application essay. “My life-long passion for theater inspires me to push through the challenges so that I can pursue my passion.”

Since age 7, Gioianna has performed in local community theater productions and has developed her singing talents as a soprano singer and is interested in a career in musical theater.

“I am extremely grateful to the Long Island Music Hall of Fame for this prestigious scholarship!” said Gioianna. “I am excited to receive this scholarship, as music has always been such an important part ofmy life.”

Gioianna’s career aspiration is to become a performer for the stage and screen.

“I hope to entertain audiences in a variety of venues from regional theater, national tours, cruise ships to film, TV and Broadway,” Gioianna said. “More importantly, I want to tell stories to elicit emotions and perhaps even change perspectives. While some may see performing arts as a frivolous pursuit, during the pandemic, I believe the world finally understood how important the performing arts are to our lives.”

Gioianna DiGiorgio will be attending Baldwin Wallace University, where she will major in its BFA Acting program and also minor in Music at its prestigious music conservatory.

“I am excited to learn music theory and continue to study voice at such a prestigious music school,” Gioianna said. “I am also really looking forward to learning all that I can to build a strong skillset to aid me in my professional life after college. I can’t wait to go to get started on my BFA!

Andrew Arloro from Dix Hills (Half Hollow Hills High School East)

 Andrew Arloro is a 17-year-old musician who lives on Long Island, New York. He is a recent graduate of Juilliard Pre-College and a current student atHalf Hollow Hills High School East.

He has studied the French Horn under Jen Montone, Principal Horn of the Philadelphia Orchestra; Jeff Lang, Associate Principal Horn of the Philadelphia Orchestra; and other renowned musicians from top ensembles. Likewise, he currently studies with Erik Ralske, Principal Horn of the Metropolitan Opera; and Brad Gemeinhardt, Acting Principal Horn of the Metropolitan Opera.

Last year, Andrew won the Discovery Competition for Children’s Orchestra Society. He has performed solos at Carnegie Hall and Lincoln Center over adozen times.

Andrew has had the honor of musically touring China, Spain, and Italy. He has been awarded the title of Principal Horn in various ensembles, including Juilliard Pre-College, All-State, SCMEA, Children’s Orchestra Society, Gemini Youth Orchestras’ Festival Winds and Symphony, and Cross Campus Wind Ensemble.

Next year, he will continue his studies with Erik Ralske at The Juilliard School, pursuing a Bachelor of Music in Performance on the French Horn.

“I would like to thank the Long Island Music Hall of Fame for the amazing opportunity to work with them, create with them, and share with the world the Joy of Music,” Andrew said.

Tiantian “Emily” Wei from Manhasset (Great Neck North High School)

 Tiantian “Emily” Wei is a graduating Senior at Great Neck North High School. She has been playing both the piano and violin from age 5.

Starting in elementary school, Emily has won numerous awards for her music talents and has participated in a wide range of performances with various music organizations, including the New Jersey Youth Symphony Orchestra, NYSSMA, All County and All State Symphony Orchestras and more. Emily plans to attend Mannes School of Music in the fall.

“As the German poet E.T.A. Hoffmann said: ‘Where the language stops, the music begins.’ Emily said. “Music has no boundaries. It has unlimited possibilities and tremendous potential to be created and performed to express one’s unique understanding of music and sentiments, and to be shared with other people who may relate and empathize. I think that is the soul, and one of the missions of music is that it inspires and attracts people. It is an honor to be a LIMHoF recipient, I appreciate the recognition from Long Island Music Hall of Fame.”

In 2021 she went to the Fete De L’ Alto LaSalle Summer Festival (France) and had master classes with Christophe Giovaninetti. In 2022, she performed as the Concertmaster with Great Neck North High School Symphony Orchestra at Carnegie Hall and also played a lot of violin recitals atOprea America Music Hall and Episcopal Church. She also played chamber music of Vivaldi Concerto at Salmagundi Club for two nights and has volunteered to perform in local hospitals, nursing homes and retirement homes. She has also served as a NYSSMA monitor every year when Great Neck hosted the NYSSMA Piano Festival and helped at the annual Faculty Recital.

“This experience also promoted a clearer vision of my future music career,” Emily said in her application essay. “I envision myself entering the New York Symphony Orchestra or forming my own chamber music group, performing in concert halls all over the world to show the beauty of music andexpressing my unique understanding of music. I am full of passion for music, all this experience makes me more sure of my goals to continue my music career. If I am honored to receive this scholarship, it will be the greatest recognition and encouragement to my four years of high school and my music career. I will cherish all the time spent with music and keep being passionate about music.”

Stephanie Massimo from Woodbury (Syosset High School)

Stephanie Massimo is a graduating senior at Syosset High School. She started playing the Trombone in second grade. She also plays the bass trombone and baritone horn. Throughout the years, she’s participated in ensembles in Syosset, Nassau Suffolk, All-County, All-State, All National, and various summer camps.

“I genuinely loved performing with these groups and meeting new people,” Stephanie said in her application essay. “Music has always been an important part of my life. It wasn’t until recently, though, that I decided to study music in college.”

In the fall, Stephanie plans to attend the University of Tampa (UT) as a Music major in the Trombone, pursing a Bachelor of Arts in Music. Her eventual goal to return to NY and possibly get a job with a Broadway pit orchestra. Allowing her to use everything I learn in college while enjoying the music she likes best.

“I am extremely honored to have received this scholarship from the Long Island Music Hall of Fame,” Stephanie said. “I hope to further advance my skills in both music and performance. I plan to participate in many of the bands/ensembles that UT has to offer.”


Founded in 2004, the Long Island Music Hall of Fame is a 501(c) (3) organization dedicated to the idea that Long Island’s musical heritage is an important resource to be celebrated and preserved for future generations. The organization, which encompasses New York State’s Nassau, Suffolk, Queens, and Kings (Brooklyn) Counties, was created as a place of community that inspires and explores Long Island music in all its forms. To date, the organization has inducted more than 100 musicians and music industry executives, and also offers education programs and scholarships to Long Island students, sponsors the Long Island Sound Award, and features traveling educational exhibits, including a state-of-the-art mobile museum. Visit their website at http://www.limusichalloffame.org/.

Photo courtesy of LIMHOF

The Long Island Music Hall of Fame (LIMHoF) it is now accepting applications for their 2022 Student Scholarship and “Educator of Note” programs.

This year, LIMHoF will award four $500 scholarships to graduating students. These scholarships will provide funding for eligible graduating high school students from Nassau, Suffolk, Brooklyn, Queens, or Kings (Brooklyn) Counties who have shown an interest in pursuing a career in music. To apply and to read the eligibility requirements, please download the scholarship application.

 Student Scholarships Applications Due: Friday May 13th, 2022*

LIMHoF’s “Educator of Note” program recognizes music teachers and professors in public or private schools, as well as colleges or studios who have demonstrated a commitment to music education. The winner is honored with a grant to be used within the school or district where they teach (or taught). To nominate an individual for the “Educator of Note Award,” please download the “Educator of Note” application.

Educator of Note Award Applications Due: Friday September 30th, 2022*

*All applications must be postmarked by the application due date in order to be accepted.

For more information about LIMHOF’s education recognition programs, contact Tom Needham, Education Advisory Board Chairman at [email protected]. More information and applications for both programs may be found at https://www.limusichalloffame.org/scholarshipsgrants/


Founded in 2004, the Long Island Music Hall of Fame is a 501(c) (3) organization dedicated to the idea that Long Island’s musical heritage is an important resource to be celebrated and preserved for future generations. The organization, which encompasses New York State’s Nassau, Suffolk, Queens, and Kings (Brooklyn) Counties, was created as a place of community that inspires and explores Long Island music in all its forms. To date, the organization has inducted more than 100 musicians and music industry executives, and also offers education programs and scholarships to Long Island students, sponsors the Long Island Sound Award, and features traveling educational exhibits, including a state-of-the-art mobile museum. Visit their website at http://www.limusichalloffame.org/.

Marc Greene

By Kimberly Brown

Long Island Music’s Hall of Fame announced Marc Greene as its newest 2020 Educator of Note.

Working for several decades in teaching and supervising music education, the LIMHOF explained how Greene has shown exemplary work and passion throughout his career. 

“It is so very exciting and humbling to be recognized as the 2020 Long Island Music Hall of Fame Educator of Note,” Greene said. “So many of the previous honorees are esteemed music education colleagues and mentors, providing very large footsteps in which to follow and broad shoulders upon which to stand.”

After teaching for a dozen years at middle school and high school levels in upstate, New York, Greene took a job at Newfield High School, where he became the director of choral and theater activities. 

Four years later, he was approached by Cecil Ramsey, former Middle Country Superintendent of Schools, who urged him to become state certified as an educational administer. 

Taking on his new role, he implemented a long-term plan to enhance the Arts Education experience for Middle Country students.

In 10 years, some of the programs he established on Long Island were a string orchestra program — that enrolls over 1,100 students annually — specialized kindergarten music instruction, and a music curriculum that would feature the development of social guitar, keyboard and drumming performance skills for middle and elementary school children. 

After serving his tenure at Middle County, Greene then continued to serve as a chairperson for the Suffolk New York State Council of Administrators of Music Education Honors Chorus.

He also served NYSSMA as an assistant to the Zone 14 Suffolk County representative, as a member of the statewide Curriculum Committee, and as an All-State Voice and Vocal Jazz and Choral adjudicator. 

“Upon my retirement from the public sector in 2013, I immediately joined the faculty of the Ithaca College School of Music, serving as a supervisor of student teachers on Long Island and in the New York metropolitan area,” Greene said. 

While continuing to work with the school districts of Long Island in a multitude of ways, Greene also manages a small voice instruction studio and provides vocal performance, as well as piano accompaniment.

“Long Island truly is a great place to make music, to teach music, and to surround oneself with a cadre of people who truly understand the power of music to embellish the lives of children and adults alike.”

And for all he did for students, not only in Middle Country, but across New York State, the honor came unquestioned.

“The Long Island Music Hall of Fame is very excited to honor such an accomplished and respected educator,” said LIMHOF Education Committee Chairman Tom Needham. “He is one of a small group of music educators who have had such a long-lasting and significant impact on so many music students all over Long Island.”

The Long Island Music Hall of Fame will host a New Year’s Eve a Best of the Awards Galas TV special on Thursday, Dec. 31 at 9 a.m. The 90-minute show is being presented by Jovia Financial Credit Union and will air simultaneously on News 12 plus (optimum channel 61), Fios (Verizon channel 530) and stream on Facebook Live (facebook.com/news12li).

“We are thrilled to present many highlights from our past Induction Ceremonies in this 90-minute presentation, presented by Jovia Financial Credit Union, and benefiting the Long Island Music Hall of Fame’s educational and scholarship programs,” said Ernie Canadeo, Long Island Music Hall of Fame Chairman. “It is a testament to Long Island’s diverse musical heritage with appearances and performances by so many world-renowned rock, folk, jazz, blues, hip-hop and classical artists. This New Year’s Eve presentation represents a finale to 2020 and a new beginning to live events in the new year.”

The show will be hosted by Zebra Guitarist and Vocalist Randy Jackson and will feature a mix of the best speeches, performances and special moments from past LIMHOF Induction galas from 2006 through 2018.

“I was very surprised and flattered to be asked to host the 2020 LIMHOF “Best of the Award Galas”,” said Randy Jackson, who is hosting the program. “The talent highlighted in this show far exceeds any other “regional” Hall of Fame, in both diversity and world-wide appeal. Back in 2006 I was asked to induct one of my idols, George Gershwin, into the 1st class of the LIMHOF. It is an honor to be back again to help present this retrospective ! ”

The special will also raise money for the LIMHOF music scholarship program and other educational initiatives such as the mobile museum through an auction of various items as well as accepting donations during the program.

The special is sponsored by Jovia Financial Credit Union and produced by LIMHOF. Performances, speeches and behind the scenes with Billy Joel, Debbie Gibson, Joan Jett, Mountain, Johnny Maestro & the Brooklyn Bridge, Little Anthony, Lou Reed, LL Cool J, Taking Back Sunday, Chuck D, Twisted Sister, Clive Davis, Little Steven, Good Rats, BOC, Steve Vai and many more.


Randy Jackson host

Johnny Maestro & the Brooklyn Bridge

Lords of 52nd Street

Uniondale High School Show Choir

Joan Jett

Jen Chapin / DMC

Chuck D

LL Cool J

Kurtis Blow

News 12 clips/interviews (Taylor Dayne, Salt N Pepa)

Little Anthony & the Imperials

Debbie Gibson

Lou Reed

Ramones/Chris & Tina

Dee Snider

David Johansen

Leslie West / Mountain

Leslie West ID

Ritchie Havens

Billy Joel

Peter Tork

Garland Jeffreys

Eric Bloom/Buck Dharma

Roger Waters

Cousin Brucie

LL Cool J

Taylor Dayne

Steven Van Zandt

Dream Theater

Lesley Gore / Connie Stevens

Clive Davis

Taking Back Sunday

Good Rats


Bowzer and friends

Photos courtesy of Long Island Music Hall of Fame


Student scholarship winners, from left, Gabrielle Caine, Melissa Mandel, Esther Duclair, Allison Brook, Michael Golub, José Suarez and Jessica Ringston. Not pictured, Samuel Abramson, Shaun Gibbons and Rachel Schlesinger


The Long Island Music Hall of Fame has announced the recipients of its 2020 student scholarships. This year LIMHOF acknowledged five students with the Distinction in Music award and an additional five students with the Merit in Music award for their accomplishments. All ten students are from Long Island and plan to pursue music studies in college. 

This year’s applications came from all four counties and the winners represent Bayside, Brooklyn, Elwood, Franklin Square, Half Hallow Hills, Hampton Bays, Huntington, North Babylon, Roslyn Heights, Sayville, and Smithtown.

Students in Brooklyn, Nassau, Queens and Suffolk counties are eligible to apply for the scholarships. This program is in addition to other Education acknowledgements that the Long Island Music Hall of Fame sponsors, including the Music Educator of Note and the High School Recognition Awards.

LIMHOF is able to provide these scholarships thanks to support received from the Long Island music community and from Jill’s Dreams, a foundation established in the name of, and in memory of former LIMHOF Board member Jill Nees-Russell. For 2020, an additional memorial scholarship in honor of Len Rothenberg, a longtime friend of LIMHOF has been awarded. 

LIMHOF commemorated each recipient’s dedication to music and support their college plans with an outdoor reception held in August where students were able to receive their awards, visit the Mobile Museum and celebrate their achievements.

“Long Island Music Hall of Fame is honored to have the opportunity to support and acknowledge accomplished high school seniors who are pursuing a future in music. There were many amazing candidates and our committee was honored to be able to recognize some additional students.  The talent that exists on Long Island is something we at LIMHOF want to celebrate.  In addition to following their own dreams, we believe these students will encourage and inspire others,” said LIMHOF Education Chairman, Tom Needham.

2020 Distinction in Music Scholarship winners included Melissa Mendel and Michael Golub:

Melissa Mandel

A graduate of Elwood-John Glenn High School in Elwood, Melissa attends the Berklee School of Music and plans to major in Music Performance and Music Management.

“Melissa is a talented and intelligent young woman, who is highly involved in our school’s music community. I have had the pleasure of having Melissa as a student for four years, and the unique experience of getting to know her in her most natural element; music. She has worked collaboratively with other musicians in the department while displaying leadership and a high level of personal responsibility for each project,” said Rachel Nagle, Melissa’s Choir Director.

“As a performer, Melissa is always looking to better not only herself, but the choir. She is a perfectionist and a team player. She looks for constructive criticism, applies, and adapts. She can do this as a musician, and as a student in general. Melissa is responsible, communicative and reliable,” she added.

Michael Golub

Michael Golub graduated Smithtown High School West and majors in music performance in college.    

“Michael is an exceptional music student who is challenging himself and succeeding at every opportunity. He is highly committed as a musician and works diligently to achieve the upmost results. In my 25 year career, Michael is among the best music students I’ve heard.  His excellence is marked by his high-quality coursework dedication community into compassion for his peers. Michael will certainly succeed at the next level and dominate in his musical career path” shared Smithtown High School West Chorus Teacher, Timothy Cassera.

Other winners were Allison Brook (Brooklyn Technical High School), Gabrielle Caine (Hampton Bays High School) and Esther Duclair (North Babylon High School).

2020 Merit in Music Scholarship winners included Samuel Abramson and José Suarez:

Samuel Abramson

Samuel Abramson graduates from Half Hollow Hills High School this month and will attend Ithaca College in the fall. He plans to major in Music Education.

Choral Director Dr. Danielle McRoy shared “Sam’s commitment to music and theater are a testament to the kind of dedication he possesses in everything in which he chooses to take part. He has become a true leader within the department, holding leadership roles in multiple organizations. What has impressed me most is his quiet dedication to grow and learn. His musical and vocal growth has been incredible.”

José Suarez

José Suarez graduated from Huntington High School this month and will attend Syracuse University in the fall.  He plans to major in Music Education.

“José is not only a very talented musician, but his work ethic is second to none. Most days you will find him in the band room after school, practicing for one ensemble or another. He’s always prepared, self-motivated and always goes above and beyond. He is a mature performer with great technical proficiency expression and tone quality,” said his Band Director, Jason Giachetti. “In my AP music theory class, José was a leader and he developed a deep interest in music theory. José is incredibly passionate about and dedicated to music and will be quite successful,” he said.

Other winners were Shaun Gibbons  (Sayville High School), Jessica Ringston (Carey High School Franklin Square), and Rachel Schlesinger from North Shore Hebrew Academy in Lake Success.

For more information about LIMHOF, visit www.limusichalloffame.org.

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Gene Casey and the Lone Sharks play well into the night. Photo by Heidi Sutton

“Tonight is a very special night,” said Norman Prusslin, one of the co-founders of the Long Island Music Hall of Fame. He was speaking to a large crowd numbering in the hundreds last Wednesday night who had gathered to see Gene Casey & the Lone Sharks perform in concert at the Mayor Jeanne Garant Harborfront Park in Port Jefferson. It was intermission and the sun was slowly setting over the calm waters of Port Jefferson Harbor as the boats gently swayed back and forth. The temperature was a comfortable 80 degrees. But Prusslin wasn’t referring to the concert or the tranquil setting.

He was about to present the Long Island Hall of Fame’s Long Island Sound Award to its latest recipient, the frontman of the Lone Sharks, singer/songwriter Gene Casey. The award recognizes a local musician who has made “outstanding contributions to Long Island’s musical heritage.”

“Starting in the late ’80s or so, I started to hear this buzz about this guy out east who was drawing all these crowds playing rockabilly, swing, R&B, traditional, country” he said. “For the past 27 years or so, Gene and his colleagues, The Lone Sharks, have been really serving as ambassadors to our Long Island community, … playing the music from the heart, and  … I think we are all very fortunate to be living on Long Island and to have Gene and his compatriots [entertain us] through his recordings, through his performances, through his sound track placement — clearly he is, has been and continues to be the real deal.”

Along with LIHoF member Amy Tuttle and Executive Director Joe Jankowski, Prusslin then presented Casey with the well-deserved award.

“Well here it is,” beamed Casey as he held it high above his 6’ 5” frame. “Thank you folks for such a wonderful turnout tonight. I’d rather play [music] than talk … but first I want to thank the Long Island Music Hall of Fame for the work they are doing and continue to do and I hope they find a permanent home soon. I am very proud to be considered a Long Island musician. I think any scene that has Joan Jett and Debbie Gibson and Dee Snider and Billy Joel — that’s a scene I want to be part of.”

Since their inception, Gene Casey and the Lone Sharks have played at hundreds of venues from Manhattan to Montauk and have produced five CDs of original songs with several featured on the FX Network’s TV show “Justified” and in “The Tall Man,” a feature film starring Jessica Biel.

After thanking his wife and manager Heather and his band mates, Chris Ripley, Tony Palumbo and Paul Scher, Casey said “I am going to accept this award with gratitude and appreciation on behalf of all my hardworking musician friends, many [who] are out here tonight, for keeping the faith and carrying the torch and not giving up on a dream on those very long nights driving home on Route 25, 27, [Interstate] 495. On behalf of them, I thank you folks for supporting live music, local music, and God bless you. Now let’s get back to rockin’!”

True to his word, Casey and his band went on to play well over the scheduled time, taking requests and belting out favorites from Johnny Cash, Chuck Berry, Elvis Presley and performing original songs including “Don’t Leave Her Lonely,” “You Ain’t Missing Much” and “It Should Rain.” And yes, it was a very special night.