Over 100 student-musicians from John F. Kennedy Elementary School in East Islip participated in a well-attended concert on May 14, held in the East Islip High School auditorium.
Directed by Angela Fetcho, JFK’s beginner orchestra performed American classics like “Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star” and “Bile 'Em Cabbage Down,” while the advanced orchestra followed with rousing renditions of pieces by Mark Williams (“Fancy Fiddles”), Leopold Mozart (“Happy Dance”) and Rob Grice (“Defender of Time”). The latter tune featured percussionist John Leddy. Both orchestras were accompanied by teacher Jaime DeMaria on piano.
Later in the program, the beginner and advanced bands – both directed by Ronald Fox – performed a number of crowd-pleasing tunes. The beginner band reprised “Bile 'Em Cabbage Down” and added Johann Strauss Jr.’s “Southern Roses” and Czech folk song “Stodola Pumpa.” An arrangement of Katy Perry's anthemic “Firework” was a highlight of the advanced band’s performance, along with “First Suite for Military Band” by Gustav Holst and the main theme from “Star Wars” by John Williams.
Singing under the direction of Kathy Carter and Katelyn Keating, the JFK Elementary chorus closed out the evening with dazzling renditions of “Red River Dances,” “America of Thee I Sing,” “Ah, Poor Bird” and lastly George Mysels’ “Buy Me Chocolate,” earning the students a well-deserved ovation.
East Islip Director of Art and Music Stephen Guarino thanked the community members in attendance for their continued support of the fine music programs offered districtwide, and JFK Principal Aileen O'Rourke praised the parents on hand for providing students with a welcoming practice environment in their homes.
Photos by Eric Holden