Category Archives: concerts

Band Shell Concert at Sunset Park, Port Washington

From LONG ISLAND – by Ann Parry (ann-parry.com)
July 27, 2014

It felt like stepping into a Norman Rockwell painting when I attended the John Philip Sousa Memorial Band Shell concert, complete with a friendly greeting from Port Washington’s Lions Club mascot, at Sunset Park, on Manhasset Bay, during a vibrant  July 11th sunset.

Port Washington, New York, U.S. - July 11, 2014 - Audience gets ready to leave at end of night time outdoors band concert at John Philips Sousa Memorial Band Shell, at Sunset Park on Manhasset Bay in the North Shore village on Long Island Gold Coast. (Ann Parry/Ann Parry, ann-parry.com)

Port Washington, New York, U.S. – July 11, 2014 – John Philips Sousa Memorial Band Shell concert, at Sunset Park on Manhasset Bay. (© 2014 Ann Parry, All rights reserved /Ann Parry.com)

The Port Washington Community Summer Concert Band, with Conductor Aaron Prindle, presented the program “Red, White, and Youth” – including iconic patriotic songs and ones younger audience members easily recognized, such as the theme from Daft Punk’s Tron movie soundtrack.

Band Shell Concert, Port Washington:  Slideshow  |  Gallery

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Sweet Suzi & SugaFixx

From LONG ISLAND – by Ann Parry (ann-parry.com)
November 1, 2011

Sweet Suzi & Sugafixx – Long Island’s scorching blues group – performed at the recent Merrick Street Fair.

Having stepped down as head of publicity for the MBCCA concert association, I expected to take a break from covering the performing arts, but Sweet Suzi & SugaFixx’s raw, powerful, emotional performance on stage outside RS Jones stopped me in my tracks.

Making "Rock on" "horns" (corna) hand gesture is Blues singer Sweet Suzi Smith, performing with guitarist John Puglisi of "Sweet Suzi and Sugafixx" at Merrick Street Fair in Merrick, New York, USA, on October 22, 2011 (Ann Parry/Ann Parry, Ann-Parry.com)

Blues singer Sweet Suzi Smith & guitarist John Puglisi of “Sweet Suzi and Sugafixx” at Merrick Street Fair, NY, USA,  11/22/2011 (© 2011 Ann Parry/ Ann-Parry.com)

You never know what you’ll get at town fairs, where musical groups can be more notable for their enthusiasm than talent, but – Wow! – the passion, musicianship, and stage presence of Sweet Suzi & SugaFixx blew me away.

Curbdogs Guitarist JOHN PUGLISI (from right here in Merrick), bassist JOE PAGANO, and drummer RONNIE SCIASCIA are the sizzling SugaFixx in SWEET SUZI SMITH’s band.

And back at home, when googling them for caption info for their photos, I made to sure check their schedule of upcoming performances in the area.

Click here: Sweet Suzi & SugaFixx photos at Merrick Street Fair gallery

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Stanley Drucker Concert 2010

From LONG ISLAND – by Ann Parry (ann-parry.com)
November 20, 2010

Last Saturday, world-famous clarinetist Stanley Drucker gave a concert presented by the Merrick Bellmore Community Concert Association at Calhoun High School. Naomi Drucker, his wife and fellow clarinetist; and Marilyn Sherman Lehman, pianist, also performed, to the added delight of the audience.

MERRICK - NOV 13, 2010: Stanley Drucker, world famous Clarinetist formerly of New York Philharmonic for 60 years, performing during MBCCA concert (Ann Parry/Ann Parry, Ann-Parry.com)

Merrick, NY, USA. Nov. 13, 2010. Clarinetist Stanley Drucker, formerly of New York Philharmonic performing during concert presented by Merrick Bellmore Community Concert Association. (© 2010 Ann Parry/Ann-Parry.com)

While dropping off concert flyers at the Drucker home the week before the concert, I told Mrs. Drucker I’d like to take photos during concert night. She looked up, smiling. “Since you’re a photographer,” she said, “you might enjoy our photos.”

What an understatement! And suddenly I was on a fun and moving tour of photos, posters, and other artwork throughout their home, including guest bathroom – all which helped bring to life the professional musical careers of the Drucker family: dad Stanley and mom Naomi, classical musicians; son Leon, double bassist Lee Rocker for The Stray Cats; and daughter Rosanne Drucker, alternative country singer.

Stanley Drucker, world famous clarinetist and former member of New York Philharmonic for 60 years, and Naomi Drucker, clarinetist and her wife, performing at MBCCA Concert, New York, November 13, 2010 (Ann Parry/Ann Parry, Ann-Parry.com)

Merrick, NY, USA. Clarinetist Stanley Drucker, and clarinetist Naomi Drucker his wife, and pianist Marilyn Sherman Lehman performing at MBCCA Concert. (© 2010 Ann Parry/Ann-Parry.com)

Naomi Drucker is an enchanting wood sprite come to life, which made me look forward to the concert not only for the music, but for the chance to photograph such warm, charismatic Long Islanders.

MERRICK - NOV. 13: Marilyn Sherman, pianist, after performing with Stanley Drucker and Naomi Druciker in concert presented by Merrick-Bellmore Community Concert Association, November 13, 2010, in Merrick, NY, USA (Ann Parry/Ann Parry, Ann-Parry.com)

Merrick, NY, USA. November 13, 2010.  Pianist Marilyn Sherman performing during Stanley Drucker concert presented by Merrick Bellmore Community Concert Assoc.  (© 2010 Ann Parry/Ann-Parry.com)

It can be quite challenging to capture concert photos of instrumentalists, where about 95% of the photo is dark costumes, grand piano, and stage curtains and the rest is face, hands, and a tuxedo shirt that all seem to be about 9-light-stops away. I used my Nikon D200 with Nikkor 18-200mm zoom lens, and did my best – including 1600 ISO and exposure compensation – but it’s motivated me to seriously consider getting the Nikkor 70-200mm f/2.8 lens, so I can use my Nikon D700 for similarly extreme lighting situations in future.

MERRICK - NOV. 13: Stanley Drucker, clarinetist; with (R) wife Naomic Drucker, with bouquet of flowers during curtain call after performing in concert presented by Merrick-Bellmore Community Concert Association, November 13, 2010, in Merrick, NY, USA (Ann Parry/Ann Parry, Ann-Parry.com)

Merrick, NY, USA. November 13, 2010. Clarinetist Stanley Drucker with his wife clarinetist Naomi Drucker, during curtain call after performing in concert presented by Merrick-Bellmore Community Concert Assoc. (© 2010 Ann Parry/Ann-Parry.com)

Though Mr. Drucker retired last year after a stellar 60 year career with the New York Philharmonic, he remains an active international performer.

When I think about how our Merrick Bellmore Community Concert Association* was formed a few years after Mr. Drucker joined the NY Philharmonic, I’m in awe of his legendary career.

*MBCCA was founded in 1953 by Betty Mordoff Hendrix, my mother Mary Ann Parry, Leon Summit, and Bertha Winter.

Stanley Drucker Concert:   Gallery  |  Slideshow

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Duelling Divas’ Humor on the High Cs

From LONG ISLAND – by Ann Parry (ann-parry.com)
May 14, 2010

The Duelling Divas brought Humor to the High C’s during their recent Long Island concert, presented by the Merrick Bellmore Community Concert Association.

MERRICK, NY - February 21: Duelling Divas stars, sopranos Birgit Firavante and Wendy Reynolds - wearing Roman cloaks and singing ?Mira, O Norma? and ?Casta Diva? from Bellini's "Norma" - in comic opera concert presented by Merrick Bellmore Community Concert Association on February 21, 2010 at Merrick, NY. (Ann Parry/Ann Parry, ann-parry.com)

Merrick, NY, USA. February 21, 2010.  Duelling Divas, (L-R) sopranos Birgit Fioravante and Wendy Reynolds, singing ‘Mira, O Norma’ from Bellini’s ‘Norma’ – in comic opera concert presented by Merrick Bellmore Community Concert Association. (© 2010 Ann Parry/Ann-Parry.com)

Sopranos Birgit Fioravante aka The Baroness and Wendy Reynolds akaLa Bouvier, and pianist Heather Coltman aka Paige Turner are beautiful musicians and inspired comic actresses.

MERRICK, NY - February 21: Duelling Divas stars, sopranos Birgit Firavante and Wendy Reynolds - wearing Roman cloaks and singing ?Mira, O Norma? and ?Casta Diva? from Bellini's "Norma" - in comic opera concert presented by Merrick Bellmore Community Concert Association on February 21, 2010 at Merrick, NY. (Ann Parry/Ann Parry, ann-parry.com)

Merrick, NY, USA. February 21, 2010. Duelling Divas sopranos (L-R) Birgit Fioravante and Wendy Reynolds sing from Bellini’s ‘Norma’ – in comic opera concert presented by Merrick Bellmore Community Concert Association at Calhoun High School. (© 2010 Ann Parry/Ann-Parry.com)

My mother and my brother John were opera singers, and I remember listening, from the time I was a very young child, to opera playing on the stereo with Mom singing along. Well, I enjoyed the grand opera and grand hi-jinx of the Duelling Divas in Merrick even more than many Metropolitan Opera productions I’ve caught in Manhattan.

What great fun it was seeing southern belle La Bouvier parry The Baroness, who went from regal to fierce to deflated as she emptied her jeweled flask, while Paige Turner valiantly, vainly refereed the Duelling Divas during their überspirited jealous rages.

MERRICK, NY - February 21: Duelling Divas concert with sopranos Birgit Firavante and Wendy Reynolds and pianist Heather Coltman in bloody fight, one using sword to block hatchet swung at her face, in Mad scene from Donizetti's "Lucia di Lammermoor" in comic opera concert presented by Merrick Bellmore Community Concert Association on February 21, 2010 at Merrick, NY. (Ann Parry/Ann Parry, ann-parry.com)

Merrick, NY, USA. February 21, 2010. In Duelling Divas concert, sopranos (L-R) Birgit Fioravante and Wendy Reynolds thrust and parry in Mad scene from Donizetti’s ‘Lucia di Lammermoor’ in comic opera concert presented by Merrick Bellmore Community Concert Assoc. (© 2010 Ann Parry/Ann-Parry.com)

The Duelling Divas have super loyal fans from throughout the country, and quite a few traveled from Manhattan and beyond to attend the concert and then chat with the Divas afterward. For audience members seeing the Duelling Divas for the first time, many said how surprised they were that the three classical musicians were so funny. Others said how they were surprised the hilarious comic actresses were such accomplished opera singers. Brava, Divas!

MERRICK, NY - February 21: Duelling Divas concert - starring opera sopranos Birgit Firavante and Wendy Reynolds and pianist Heather Coltman - in comic opera concert presented by Merrick Bellmore Community Concert Association on February 21, 2010 at Merrick, NY. (Ann Parry/Ann Parry, ann-parry.com)

Merrick, New York, USA.  February 21, 2: Duelling Divas concert – starring opera sopranos Birgit Fioravante & Wendy Reynolds & pianist Heather Coltman – in comic opera concert presented by Merrick Bellmore Community Concert Assoc.  (© 2010 Ann Parry/Ann-Parry.com,

Jump at the chance to see the Duelling Divas when they charge into your area. Until then, here they are in an interview and opera performance:

Duelling Divas 2010 concert photos:   gallery   |  slideshow

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