The Central High School District held its first district orchestra concert on May 22.
This new performance group is a selective, upper-level ensemble led by Emily Kenyon and Kelly Friedmann, the orchestra directors who oversee the programs at Sanford H. Calhoun, John F. Kennedy and Wellington C. Mepham High Schools. Students from all three high schools, as well as some middle school and Prep Academy representation were accepted into the group based on an audition.
“The district orchestra has rehearsed every Wednesday night since the beginning of the school year and has worked to prepare a mature and challenging program,” explained Kenyon.
Cheryl Fontana, the district’s director of the fine & performing arts expressed her gratitude toward the board of education and central administration for their constant support of the music program, stating that “the creation and addition of these types of ensembles emphasizes Bellmore-Merrick’s commitment to the arts.”
The inaugural May 22 concert was hosted at Kennedy High School.The combined Grand Avenue and Merrick Avenue middle school chamber orchestra performed first, followed by the new district ensemble.
The event was also longtime music teacher Michael D’Addio’s last performance, as he is retiring in June.
In a short tribute, Fontana, referred to D’Addio as someone who “always was constantly an advocate for the orchestra program” explaining that he started the middle school chamber groups when he came to the district.
“Mr. D’Addio is an example of someone who truly teaches from the heart,” she added. “When we started planning this district ensemble this year, I was so happy he got the opportunity to experience it before leaving in June,” she added.
D’Daddio came to the district in 2002 and has been the middle school orchestra teacher both at Merrick Avenue and Grand Avenue ever since.
The evening culminated with a combined grand finale, conducted by the retiring D’Addio.
“It’s a wonderful swan song to be able to leave under these circumstances,” D’Addio closed his speech by saying.
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