The Huntington High School Tri-M Music Honor Society’s senior recital was an intimate and enchanting evening that showcased a group of amazing teenage musicians before a mesmerized audience of family, friends and faculty members.
It was an emotional night with more than a few tears shed as a spectacular group of musicians and vocalists displayed their awesome talents. The high school stage was retrofitted for the occasion, transitioning into a small theatre with an elevated area and backdrop and chairs for the audience. The main auditorium area was darkened.
Seniors Isabella Cahill and Mia Nitekman were joined by sensational junior Abby Semelsberger for a rendition of Stephen Schwartz’s “Sincerely Me” from Dear Evan Hansen. The three performers have been on stage many times together with the chamber choir and this last time was special for each member of the trio.
“I think it was a wonderful night,” Ms. Cahill said. “Everyone who performed was extraordinary and overall it was a really great tribute to our last year in the music department. Whether you were an audience member or a performer, emotions were running high.”
Ms. Cahill is headed to the University of Massachusetts Amherst. Ms. Nitekman will be attending the University of Pittsburgh. The pair has been close friends for many years.
“Words cannot describe how it felt to close out my Huntington UFSD musical experience by singing with Isabella,” Ms. Nitekman said. “She has been my best friend since sixth grade where we met singing and have continued to navigate our way through Huntington through music together. We knew as freshmen that we wanted to sing ‘For Good’ as seniors and we also knew that we’d both be crying by the end of it. I’m so grateful for all of the opportunities Huntington music has given me and the people I’ve met because of it.”
Hannah Bailin performed Bach’s “Suite No. 3, Allemande on cello and it was absolutely delightful. The senior is headed to Rochester Institute of Technology in the fall.
“Playing in the senior recital was the perfect last performance to wrap up my time in the Huntington music program,” Ms. Bailin said. “I’m proud of everyone who performed and grateful to all the family, friends and teachers who came to support us.”
Christopher Engle gave a skilled and at times lighthearted performance of Jean Baptiste Arban’s “Carnival of Venice” on euphonium accompanied by music teacher Victoria Garbarino on piano. The teenager will be attending SUNY College at Oneonta in the fall.
“I feel like the senior recital was very nice and was a great way to end four years of playing in the music department here at Huntington High School,” Mr. Engle said. “I think everything went really well. There wasn’t a single performance that didn’t leave me in awe. Everyone who performed did a great job.”
Christina DeLuca performed Clair Omar Musser’s “Etude in A-flat Major” on marimba, displaying her exceptional talent and versatility. The teenager will be studying at SUNY College at Brockport beginning in the fall.
“I’m so happy with how it went,” Ms. DeLuca said. “After so much hard work, my classmates and I finally got to show our parents, friends and the administration what we are capable of outside of the classroom.”
Katherine DeGennaro gave what had to be the most emotional performance of the recital. The senior was taught how to play piano as a little girl by her grandmother, Florence DeGennaro and she used the instrument to perform a hauntingly beautiful rendition of “2018.5,” an instrumental piece she composed herself.
The teenager performed for nearly seven minutes, bringing the audiences through a range of emotions, which left almost everyone with tears in their eyes. The piece was so good and Ms. DeGennaro performed it so well that more than one person felt it could easily be a Hollywood film score. The senior is headed to the New School’s Eugene Lang College of Liberal Arts in Manhattan to study contemporary music.
Arielle Harvey performed on violin and gave a powerful and spirited performance of Mozart’s “Concerto No. 5 in A Major” while accompanied by Ms. Garbarino on piano. The senior plans to study music education at CUNY Queens College’s Aaron Copland School of Music.
Teddy Holly played guitar and performed vocals, electrifying and entertaining the crowd with his cover version of Bob Dylan’s “Don’t Think Twice, It’s All Right.” The senior is headed to SUNY College at Oneonta in the fall.
“I found the senior showcase to be a great experience,” Mr. Holly said. “It was fascinating to reflect on how far everyone has come in their musical capabilities. Hopefully those who performed continue to play or sing, because everyone knocked it out of the park.”
Ms. Cahill later returned to the stage to sing Sara Bareilles’ “She Used To Be Mine” from “Waitress” with Ms. Garbarino accompanying on piano. Ms. Cahill also performed a third time as she and Ms. Nitekman concluded the evening with a joint vocal performance of Stephen Schwartz’ “For Good” from the musical “Wicked” with Ms. Garbarino again accompanying on piano.
The crowd included Superintendent James W. Polansky, Huntington High School Principal Brenden Cusack, Assistant Principal Gamal Smith, Director of Fine & Performing Arts Eric Reynolds and his family, Huntington School Board member Christine Biernacki and all four high school music teachers.
The evening was coordinated by Ms. Garbarino and fellow Tri-M faculty advisor, Brian Stellato. Chris Deveau handled sound and lighting and the reconfigured the stage for the recital.