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Art, Drama, Music and Books
Art, drama, music & books

Al Mingrone Conducts Bronxville Pops Concert Band for 39th Year on Front Lawn of School PDF Print Email


Jul. 24, 2013: For thirty-nine years in Bronxville, midsummer has brought the joy of live music to generations of residents. Once again, the Bronxville Pops Concert Band kept the tradition alive on July 17, with the second of four summer concerts on the lawn at The Bronxville School.


Families equipped with lawn chairs, blankets, and food and drink gathered on the school's lawn to enjoy the music, forget the heat, and relax in the refreshing breeze just after sunset.


Conductor Al Mingrone and the approximately 70 musicians in the band braved the extreme heat to present a lively program that ranged from the patriotic Stars and Stripes Forever and Parade of the Tall Ships from the 1976 Bicentennial to Broadway favorites from Can Can and A Chorus Line.

A medley of film music classics like Summertime and La Strada seemed to enhance the steaminess of the evening. The band's trumpet section rose to the occasion for Trumpets Olé, and every section, woodwinds, brass, and percussion, had moments in the spotlight in Gilbert and Sullivan Soufflé.

An appreciative audience applauded and cheered, and many music lovers made their way to the flagpole to place a donation in the collection jar.

The Bronxville Pops Concert Band, dependent solely on the generous contributions from people who want to keep live music in the community, is a labor of love for conductor Al Mingrone and the musicians who assemble to practice and play the concerts.

"This is all for the love of music," Mingrone said. "Many of these musicians are local and regional music teachers, and others are longtime players."

The Bronxville Pops Concert Band will present two more concerts under the stars on the lawn at The Bronxville School. Join them, and the community, tonight, July 24, and next Wednesday, July 31, at 8:00 pm. For further information, contact the band at CLOAKING .

Pictured here: Conductor Al Mingrone with the Bronxville Pops Concert Band on July 17, 2013.

Photo by Carol P. Bartold

25th Anniversary Celebration of 'Where's Waldo' Held at Womrath Bookshop: Elusive Waldo Unable to Stump Young Bronxville Sleuths PDF Print Email


Aug. 1, 2012:  Over one hundred earnest, tenacious young detectives, along with parents, family members, and friends, converged at Womrath Bookshop on Pondfield Road yesterday to celebrate Where's Waldo's 25th anniversary and their success in finding Waldo in Bronxville.  Fans of Waldo filled the store's aisles and enjoyed snacking on popcorn, cookies, and lemonade as they waited for the big moment--drawings for prizes.

"You guys found me!" Waldo exclaimed, as he made his way through the crowd and posed for photos with his new friends.

Lina Imamura, one of the participants who turned in sixteen of the possible twenty cards handed out by local merchants when Waldo was spotted, won the special drawing for a six-book deluxe set of Where's Waldo books.  Emma Van Ness, another super-sleuth won a Where's Waldo poster book.

Other winners in the drawing took home Waldo tote bags, books, and postcard books.

Waldo spent July in Bronxville to celebrate the big anniversary of his popular series of Where's Waldo books.  But he didn't let anyone know exactly where, in the village, he was hiding.  When the folks at Womrath got wise to Waldo, they set up a search headquarters.  More than 150 local young detectives signed up to find Waldo and launched an exhaustive month-long search for the elusive, smiling--some might say smirking--character wearing his trademark red-and-white cap and round eyeglasses.

Armed with a list of 20 stores where Waldo was reported trying to stay out of sight, the young sleuths set out from Womrath on a mission to visit local merchants as well as the Bronxville Public Library and find Waldo.  Alone and in groups, accompanied searchers fanned out over the village's business district.

From Provisions for Pets on Kraft Avenue to Bronxville Running Company on Pondfield to Candyland on Park Place, Waldo fans combed the aisles, examined shelves, scrutinized window displays, and left not one square inch uninspected in their quest.  Each successful spotting of Waldo earned the finder a card, and the first 100 seekers to turn in eight different cards earned a Waldo button.

At Provisions for Pets, brothers Tucker, Ethan, and Timothy R. were hot on Waldo's trail.  They had already spied at 16 business establishments.  Owner Steve Singer said that well over 100 children had visited the store.  "I've run out of cards three times," he said.

Mike DiBlasi of Bronxville Running Company reported that many five- to twelve-year-olds had hunted for Waldo at the store.  He noted that having parents who shopped while their children searched was an added benefit to the event.

"Where's Waldo has boosted our business," said Tevin Troja, manager of Dobbs and Bishop on Pondfield Road.  "The parents buy, and we've gained some new customers.  This has been fun for us."  Troja also noted that Waldo tended to move around and hide in a different place every few days in an attempt to confound his fans.

Candyland on Park Place, always a popular destination, saw many hunters in the mornings and evenings, especially.

Participating in the Where's Waldo search were:

Pondfield Road merchants: Dobbs & Bishop, Arista Camera, Art & Frame Studio, Silver Spoon, Elite Sweets, The Silk Road, Tryforos & Pernice Florist, Topps Bakery, Shoes 'N' More, and Bronxville Running Company

Kraft Avenue merchants:  Provisions for Pets, SF Express, Fierson's, Kensington Paper, Swizzles, and Breezeway

Park Place merchants:  Häagen-Dazs, Candyland, Weezie D., and Chaos

Pictured here: Where's Waldo celebration at Womrath Bookshop with Waldo (left), Womrath owner Gene Sgarlata (standing, center), and parents and children.

Photo by N. Bower

'Taylor' Your Writing: Curious Idioms Abound in the English Language PDF Print Email

August 31, 2011:  Ah, the dog days of summer--picnics, summer camp, and kicking back.

Idioms abound in the English language almost as much as construction and gardening work in Bronxville.  As I am jolted awake by steady sledge hammering next door, my mind wanders, albeit in shock waves, to wonder about the origins of several commonly used American idioms and proverbs.

How exactly did "dog days" come to mean that hot, lazy time when one could "kick back" and relax?  The Romans called the hottest weeks of the summer "dog days" because, according to Brewer's Dictionary of Phrase & Fable, their theory was that "the dog-star, or Sirius, rising with the sun, added to its heat, and the dog-days  bore the combined heat of the dog-star and the sun (July 3rd to August 11th)."  These days coincided with times of disease and great discomfort. "Kicking back" has only recently come to mean to relax, and I was unable to locate a source for this meaning.

Two common idioms regarding speech have opposing meanings.  To "shoot the breeze," or to chat without purpose or meaning, appears to have originated in the 1940s as meaning "idle chat."  "Bite your tongue" appears as early as Shakespeare:  "So York must sit and fret and bite his tongue."  Henry VI Part II (1.1.319).  Next time you hold back what you really want to say, you are in good company.

Then there's "to split hairs," or to make meaningless distinctions.  Not to be confused with the more problematic "split ends," the idiom actually originated as early as the 1600s from the early difficulty of cutting hair because of the lack of sharp tools and the necessary stubbornness attendant in attempting to cut hair.

We all know that "time is money," but so did the Greeks, who recorded this notion as early as 430 B.C.:  "The most costly outlay is time."  The phrase evolved through the English up to Benjamin Franklin, who is commonly credited with creating it: "Remember, that time is money."  (Advice to a Young Tradesman, 1748.)

Then there's the clever phrase, neither an idiom nor a proverb, but interesting nonetheless, and a favorite of mine:  "If you think [you're going to the party], you've got another think coming."  Many people mistakenly say "If you think . . . you've got another thing coming."

An interesting but dense article comparing the linguistics of "think" and "thing" demonstrates that most English speakers do not enunciate two separate "k" sounds for the ending of the word "think" and the beginning of the word "coming."  Rather, most speakers elide the two into one pronounced "k" sound, which makes the words run together as if the speaker is saying "thing coming."  This could lead to the confusion in the phrase, but the article points out that the first printed usage was "think coming."  I encourage the reader to try this with a friend or family member to see if the distinction can be heard.

Finally, as much as I wish the workers next door would quit pounding the pavement, literally, I realize that time is money, so I won't split hairs and tell them they can't work on weekends, nor will I shoot the breeze with them, but, rather, I think I will bite my tongue and kick back during this dog day of summer.  But if you think I will sit here and listen to their incessant pounding, you've got another think coming. (Didn't think I could string these together, did you?!)

Editor's Note:  To contact the writer or suggest a topic for future articles, send an e-mail to CLOAKING .


Concert to Remember 9/11 Sponsored by Tuckahoe-Eastchester Lions Club and Bronxville Women’s Club Sunday, September 11 PDF Print Email


August 31, 2011:  A memorial concert to remember the events of September 11, 2001, will take place on the tenth anniversary of the tragedy, Sunday, September 11, at 3:00 pm at The Bronxville Women's Club.

The event is sponsored by The Tuckahoe-Eastchester Lions Club and The Bronxville Women's Club.  Local officials will open the program with bagpipes, which will be followed by a concert including William Anderson, guitar; Joyce Rasmussen Balint, violin and mandolin; Michael Ouzounian, viola; Patricia Rogers, bassoon; and Lion Pat Farenga, voice.

A reception donated by Trader Joe's will follow the program.

The net proceeds from the concert and journal ads will benefit the police and fire departments of Bronxville, Eastchester, and Tuckahoe along with EVAC.  A 50/50 raffle will benefit the ongoing renovations of the historic building of The Bronxville Women's Club.

Donations for the event are $20 each.  Advance ticket holders will enjoy reserved seating.  The Bronxville Women's Club is a 501(c)(3) organization, and donations are tax-deductible to the full extent allowable.

For more information, visit The Bronxville Women's Club website,


Concordia Conservatory of Music and Art to Host Open House on September 17 for Early Childhood, Youth, and Adult Programs PDF Print Email


August 31, 2011:  Concordia Conservatory of Music and Art--Concordia College's community arts school--will host an open house to preview its music offerings in early childhood, youth, and adult programs on Saturday, September 17, from 1:00 pm to 4:00 pm.

There will be student and faculty performances, demonstrations, and visits to the OSilas Gallery throughout the afternoon.  The open house will also include early childhood preview classes and opportunities to meet with students, department heads, faculty, and staff.

Music programs at Concordia Conservatory include private instruction for all orchestral instruments, voice, composition, and theory; classes in musical theater, rock band, and songwriting; chamber music; early childhood programs; adult programs; and summer camps.

Visual arts programs at Concordia Conservatory include private instruction; classes in ceramics, drawing, painting, sculpting, illustration, theatre design, Eco Art, and portfolio development; adult programs; and summer camps.

Melissa Alexander, head of the conservatory's piano department, holds an M.M. from the University of Hartford-Hartt School of Music, did postgraduate studies at Mannes College of Music, and holds a B.A. from State University of New York-Albany.

Annette Espada, head of the chamber music department, holds a D.M.A. from the University of Miami, an M.A. from New York University, and a B.M. from the Conservatory of Music of Puerto Rico.

Rami Vamos, head of the string department, holds an M.A. from Queens College, an M.M. from Yale University, and a B.M. from Indiana University.

Patricia Miranda, head of the art department, holds a B.F.A. from SUNY Purchase Conservatory and also studied at the School of Sacred Arts, NYC.

For more information, call 914-395-4507 or visit

Pictured here:  Conservatory student and Bronxville resident Eleanor Fitzgibbons prepares for her piano lesson.

Photo by Joe Pregiato


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