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Long Island Music Hall of Fame

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.

“BEST OF AWARD GALAS Artist Listing

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

Cowsills

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

A MUSICAL FUTURE

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.