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Music & Fine Arts Department

Michael Caravello
Director of Music & Fine Arts
Phone: (631) 791-4450
Email: mcaravel@portjeffschools.org


 

 

 

  


The Port Jefferson Music and Fine Arts Department strives to facilitate the exploration and discovery of arts education for all learners by fostering the tools of imaginative self-expression and meaningful social interaction, thus furthering a creative participation in future careers and within a global community.

 

 

What's New

Careers in Music

In addition to their regular music studies, Port Jefferson Middle School student musicians are learning various careers in music through the music department’s “Careers in Music” series. Most recently, students heard from members of the Three Village Chamber Players, who were invited by music teacher Vanessa Salzman to speak about their music careers and perform for the students.  

Careers in Music image

 


National Anthem Performance

Edna Louise Spear Elementary School band students performed the national anthem at the Bethpage Ballpark to kick off the April 29th Long Island Ducks Game. The event, organized by the Port Jefferson PTA and elementary school music teacher Mark Abbonizio, doubled as a fundraiser for the Class of 2024.

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Musicians Perform at Health & Wellness Expo

High school musicians Amanda Day and Cole Fortier recently performed at the Village of Port Jefferson’s Health and Wellness Expo. The students, accompanied by music teacher Lisa Scrom, performed popular and original songs for attendees.

 


Instrument Petting Zoo

Third-graders at Edna Louise Spear Elementary School in the Port Jefferson School District participated in an annual Instrument Petting Zoo on April 19.

During the event, the future musicians tried out instruments played by Earl L. Vandermeulen High School musicians. The high school performers introduced the third-graders to the many band and string instruments that they can select to play when they enter the fourth grade, including the violin, cello, saxophone and flute. Students were able to hear and touch each of the instruments represented.

 

 

 

 

 


Music School of Excellence

The Edna Louise Spear Elementary School has been designated as an Elementary School of Excellence by the Suffolk County Music Educators’ Association (SCMEA).

The school is one of only two schools in Suffolk County to have earned the distinction for its robust programs in music education, including outstanding performing ensembles, co-curricular clubs, community performances and interdisciplinary opportunities.

“Anyone who’s attended our elementary school’s many performances, including our concerts, drama productions, interdisciplinary events like the Music Around the World program or the countless community performances, such as the Charles Dickens and Go Green Festivals, can see why Edna Louise Spear Elementary School’s music teachers and students deserve such recognition as a School of Excellence,” said Dr. Michael Caravello, director of Music & Fine Arts.

 


Student-Musicians Inducted

As a result of their exceptional musical talents and dedication, eight Earl L. Vandermeulen student-musicians were inducted into the school’s Tri-M Music Honor Society chapter at a ceremony on April 5.

During the tenth annual event, the new inductees promised to uphold the Tri-M’s five points of distinction – scholarship, character, cooperation, leadership and service – and participated in a performance for those in attendance.

The Port Jefferson School District extends its congratulations to the Tri-M Music Society’s newest members: Ju Eun Ha, Ibuki Iwasaki, Trey Pisano, Arunima Roy, Ava Schully, Luigia Than, Samuel Walker, Olivia Weldon and Annalisa Welinder.

tri-m

 


Port Jefferson Named Best Community For Music Education

The Port Jefferson School District is pleased to announce that for the 11th consecutive year it has been ranked among the NAMM Foundation’s “Best Communities for Music Education” in America, an honor that acknowledges schools and districts across the U.S. for their commitment to and support for music education as part of the core curriculum.  

The 2017 award specifically recognizes the collaborate efforts between teachers, administrators, students, parents and the community, who work in tandem to keep comprehensive music education an integral part of the core curriculum in Port Jefferson.

“The Port Jefferson School District is once again honored to be selected as one of the best communities for music education,” said Michael Caravello, director of music and fine arts. “It is a testament to the dedication of our students and music teachers and support of our community.”

The Port Jefferson School District boasts multiple vocal, band and orchestral performing groups for students and each group is provided with the opportunity to perform within the community. Additionally, through partnerships and relationships with Stony Brook University and the Staller Center many groups regularly have the chance to learn from renowned professional musicians.

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Student Artists Exhibit Artwork

The community recently had the opportunity to view artwork created by students in the Port Jefferson School District. During the month of March, the students’ work was on display at the Gallery of the Village Center in Port Jefferson. All of the work displayed was curated by Port Jefferson art teachers Richard Anderson, Lynne Edsall, Carrie Morgan, Nancy Randazzo and Stacey Schuman.

student artists exhibit work photo

 


Student-Musicians Perform at NYSSMA

More than 250 Port Jefferson student-musicians performed at the annual New York State School Music Association Solo and Ensemble Festival at Sachem High School East on March 24 and 25. 

During the festival, each student performed a solo selection and scales for a NYSSMA adjudicator, who assessed them on their performance based on technique, precision and musicality.  

The Port Jefferson school District extends its congratulations to the student musicians for their hard work and dedication.

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‘Into the Woods’ Performance

The high school recently impressed audiences with a production of Stephen Sondheim’s musical “Into the Woods.” The performance featured more than 50 students who worked together as cast members, musicians and on the technical crew. Past graduates also returned to assist in the orchestra and backstage.

into the woods image

 


Students’ Art Pieces are on Display

Artwork created by students in the Port Jefferson School District is now on display till the end of the month at the Gallery of the Village Center, 101 E. Broadway, Port Jefferson. The community is invited to view the works between the hours of 9 a.m. and 9 p.m. during the week and on weekends.  


Artist Recognized

High school student Chloe Dugourd was recognized with an honorable mention in the art portfolio category in the 2017 Scholastic Art & Writing Awards Contest presented by the Alliance for Young Artists & Writers. Her piece, titled “Water Works,” was adjudicated along with 333,000 other works from young artists. The Port Jefferson School District extends its congratulations to Chloe Dugourd.

art

 


Student Musicians Perform at SCMEA 

Thirty-seven student musicians in the Port Jefferson School District participated in the Suffolk County Music Educators’ Association All-County Festival, held March 11 and 12 at Longwood High School.

The students were selected to participate based on their NYSSMA scores and teacher recommendations. The Port Jefferson School District extends its congratulations to the students: 

Division 1 (grades 5/6)
Alexa Ayotte, Sophie Blumenthal, Lauren Calendrille, Luke Dickuth, Kenny Dixon-Lanza, Alexa Eichinger, Teppei Fukoto, Nicholina Giannola, Lola Idi, Viviane Kim, Madeline Matvya, Gavin Onghai, Kay Ranjbar, Olivia Ross, Alana Samara, Olivia Schlegel, Andrew Schretzmayer, Tabitha Schully, Nicholas Smirnov, Sophia Wennerod and Michelle Wu.

Division 2 (grades 7/8)
Jack Reilly, Nicole Schully, Logan Shaffer, Kate Sommerstad, Noah Teaney, Brennyn Veit and Jack Worrell.

Division 3 (grades 9/10)
Samuel Florio, Cole Fortier, Ju Eun Ha, Phoenix Jampol, Jillian Lawler, Ryan Robertson, Charles Rolfe, David Rotunno and Ava Schully.

In addition, eighth-grader, Noah Teaney, was the recipient of the Joseph R. Nerbison SCMEA Scholarship for summer music study in piano.

 

 







 


Don’t Miss It: ‘Into the Woods’

The Earl L. Vandermeulen High School in the Port Jefferson School District will present “Into the Woods” on Friday, March 17, and Saturday, March 18, at 7 p.m. and on Sunday, March 19, at 2 p.m.

The musical will be sure to delight audiences with its colorful set, talented actors, actresses and musicians.  

Tickets are a suggested donation of $5 per person or $20 per family and will be available at the door.

 


Don’t Miss It: ‘Into the Woods’

The Earl L. Vandermeulen High School in the Port Jefferson School District will present “Into the Woods” on Friday, March 17, and Saturday, March 18, at 7 p.m. and on Sunday, March 19, at 2 p.m.

The musical will be sure to delight audiences with its colorful set, talented actors, actresses and musicians.  

Tickets are a suggested donation of $5 per person or $20 per family and will be available at the door.

 

 

 


Student Musician Named to National Orchestra

Annalisa Welinder, a sophomore violinist has been accepted into the prestigious National Youth Orchestra of the United States of America as part of Carnegie Hall’s Weill Music Institute. As a member of the NYO-USA, Welinder will represent Port Jefferson as a musical ambassador and travel around the world to play at some of the most famous concert halls. The Port Jefferson School District extends its congratulations to Annalisa Welinder on her outstanding musical achievement.

student

 


Summer Music Camp Registration

The Port Jefferson School District Music and Fine Arts Department is thrilled to announce that registration for the Summer Music Camp at Port Jefferson is now open.
 
The summer music camp provides a unique opportunity for beginning and advanced students to start or continue their musical training while meeting new friends and playing music together.

The camp offers several levels of musical training classes, including ones for beginning band and string that allow students to start their musical experience prior to the upcoming school year. There are more advanced classes for current elementary and middle school band and string instrumentalists and a Little Maestros program for students in grades 1 and 2.

The camp operates for three weeks from July 10-27 with times varying depending on experience levels. The fee is $100 per student for the Little Maestros program and $175 for all other students.   

To enroll, complete the registration form and return it to your child’s music teacher. For more information, please contact Director of Music and Fine Arts Michael Caravello at 631-791-4450.


Recycled Guitar Art

Inspired by the artwork of Harriet Segal and the Society of American Mosaic Artists, fifth-grade members of the Edna Louise Spear Elementary School art club created unique mosaics in the style of guitars. To forge their projects, the young artists, led by teacher Richard Anderson, used repurposed or old, discarded guitars.

guitar art

 


A Valentine’s Day Surprise

To show kindheartedness on Valentine’s Day, two groups of middle school students surprised their peers with art and special notes.
    
Ms. Stacey Schuman’s Art Club members hand-designed valentines featuring flowers while students involved in teacher Monica Consalvo’s kindness project wrote smiley face notes. Both groups sprinkled the special sentiments on their fellow students’ lockers.

 

  

 

 


Thespians Perform ‘Peter Pan Jr.’

Members of the middle school Drama Club presented an outstanding performance of “Peter Pan Jr.” on Feb. 11 and 12 before an audience of family, friends and community members. The exciting production featured a dedicated cast and crew who learned all aspects of the theater from Lisa Scrom and Mary LaSita, co-advisers of the drama club, as well as from members of the high school drama club who assisted with choreography and set design.  








 


Student Shares Her Culture as Part of Art Lesson

An art unit about the architecture of the Ottoman Empire was brought to life for Port Jefferson Middle School students recently with the assistance of one of their peers. Farzana Shakeri, a sixth-grader, who recently moved to the area from Dubai, presented her photos of buildings from Dubai and Afghanistan during class. The images helped her fellow students to better visualize the area’s architecture.

 

 


Percussionist Named to All-County Ensemble

High school percussionist Cezanne Lojeski has been selected to perform in the SCMEA All-County Percussion Ensemble’s “Day of Percussion” concert on Feb. 10 at Mount Sinai High School. The junior, who is one of only 14 Suffolk County percussionists selected to perform, was chosen based on an audition and teacher recommendations.


String Students Perform at LISFA

High school sting students recently performed in the Secondary Long Island String Festival on Jan. 29 at Ward Melville High School. The students, Ju-Eun Ha, Phoenix Jampol, Ava Schully and Michael Smith were selected based on a competitive basis with NYSSMA scores as the main criteria along with teacher recommendations. The Port Jefferson School District extends its congratulations to the musicians.

 



 

 


Band Students Perform at Mid-Island Band Festival

High school band students Sinan Ates, Josh Ecker, Leland Held, Jillian Lawler, David Moir, David Rotunno, Amanda Sarubbi and Dylan Valev participated in the 59th annual Mid-Island Band Festival, held on Jan. 28 at Miller Place High School. The student-musicians performed alongside students from Miller Place, Sayville, Patchogue-Medford, Hauppauge and West Islip high schools. 

 

 


Jazz Musician Named to All-County Jazz Ensemble

High school music student Tray Pisano has been selected to perform with the SCMEA All-County Instrumental Jazz Ensemble on March 23 at Miller Place High School. He will perform alongside jazz musicians from across Suffolk County at the “Evening of Jazz” concert, which will feature world-acclaimed guest artist James Burton III. The junior double bass player was selected based on an audition and teacher recommendations.

jazzy

 


Musicians Attend String Festival

Eleven elementary and middle school string students performed at the Elementary/Middle School Long Island String Festival, held on Jan. 14 at Smithtown High School West.

The students were selected to perform alongside other musicians from across Suffolk County based on a competitive basis with NYSSMA scores as the main criteria along with teacher recommendations.  

The Port Jefferson School District extends is congratulations to Alexa Ayotte (grade 6), Teppei Fukuto (grade 6), Gavin Onghai (grade 5), Kay Ranjbar (grade 5), Jack Reilly (grade 8), Alana Samara (grade 5), Grant Samara (grade 8), Olivia Schlegel (grade 6), Nicole Schully (grade 7), Tabitha Schully (grade 6) and Lucas Welinder (grade 8).

 


Music Students Attend Lincoln Center Concert

More than 50 Port Jefferson School District student-musicians and their families attended an evening performance of the New York Philharmonic at David Geffen Hall in Lincoln Center on Jan. 5. Attendees enjoyed the orchestra’s performance that featured word-renowned pianist Emanuel Ax and maestro Alan Gilbert.  

 

 


A Tuba Christmas

Two high school band students, David Moir and Paul Penske, recently participated in New York City’s 43rd annual Tuba Christmas performance at Rockefeller Center. The Port Jefferson students performed holiday music alongside tuba players of all ages for tourists and city residents.

 

 


Artist Visit 

Fifth-graders in Richard Anderson’s art class in the Port Jefferson School District recently visited the Paul W. Zuccaire Gallery at SUNY Stony Brook’s Staller Center for the Arts to view the Lorna Bieber “Traces” exhibit. The students also met with the artist and learned more about a career in the arts and the technique of photo manipulation.



 


Honored for Spreading Cheer 

At its meeting on Dec. 13, the Port Jefferson Board of Education recognized members of the high school chamber choir and high school orchestra for spreading cheer in the Village of Port Jefferson this holiday season. Throughout the month of December, the musicians performed holiday classics at community events, including the Dicken’s Festival and the tree lighting at Danfords Hotel and Marina.     

   

 


Spreading Holiday Cheer

To brighten the holiday season for staff and visitors at St. Charles Hospital, high school chamber choir singers, under the direction of Lisa Scrom, recently performed traditional and modern carols in the hospital’s lobby.

 

 


Students Perform at Dickens Festival

Members of the entire Port Jefferson School District music department shared their musical talents at the 21st annual Charles Dickens Festival’s Victorian Tea held at the First Presbyterian Church in the Village of Port Jefferson Village on Dec. 3 and 4.

Musical ensembles that performed holiday favorites included the fifth-grade select choir, the high school jazz combination, the middle and high school orchestras and the high school chamber choir. In addition to performing at the Victorian Tea, the middle and high school orchestras played chamber music at the Port Jefferson Library.

 


Chamber Singers Kick Off Holiday Season 

Members of the high school chamber choir helped to kick off the holiday season at Danfords Hotel and Marina’s first annual tree lighting ceremony on Nov. 26. The vocalists entertained Port Jefferson Village guests with Christmas carols. 



 


‘A Groovy Midsummer Night’s Dream’ 

The high school presented an entertaining production of “A Groovy Midsummer Night’s Dream” from Nov 18-20. The clever comedy, set in Washington Square Park in the 1960s, featured a cast of talented actors, who worked for several weeks to perfect their performances.



 

 


Student Performs with University Musicians 

Middle school cellist, Lucas Welinder, recently had the opportunity to perform with the Stony Brook University Orchestra, directed by Dr. Susan Deaver. Alongside university students, the eighth-grader played works by Sibelius, Tchaikovsky and Franck.

 

 


Tuba Players Unite

High school freshman Sinan Ates recently participated in the 36th annual Howard Hovey Tuba Day, held at Smithtown High School East.

During the event, Ates performed alongside 200 tuba students from across Suffolk County on one stage. Several professional musicians, including renowned guest artist Michael Milnarik, also attended the event.

 


Students Showcase Talents at Go Green Festival 

Port Jefferson School District students showed off their musical and artistic talents at the ninth annual Port Jefferson Go Green Festival, held on Nov. 5 at the Village Center. During the event, the Port Jefferson Elementary school’s select choir performed several songs and Earl L. Vandermeulen High School singer-songwriter Cole Fortier performed two original works. Festival attendees also viewed artwork created by high school students in Lynne Edsall’s Studio in Art classes.

    


 

 


Students Selected for All-County Festival

Three high school students have been selected to participate in the prestigious New York State Council of Administrators for Music Education All-County Music Festival.

The singers — Leland Held, Ibuki Iwasaki and Trey Pisano — will perform along with students from across Suffolk County in November at Connetquot and Northport-East Northport high schools.

The students were chosen based on their New York State School Music Association scores and teacher recommendations.  






 

 


9/11 Tribute

Five seventh- and eighth-grade students from the middle school paid musical tribute to those who lost their lives on Sept. 11 by giving a moving performance during the Port Jefferson Fire Department’s annual 9/11 memorial service.

The students, Jack Reilly, Grant Samara, Nicole Schully, Noah Teaney and Lucas Welinder, led by music teacher and volunteer firefighter Christian Neubert, performed “The Star-Spangled Banner” and “God Bless America” at the somber ceremony.

The event was attended by members of the community and the Port Jefferson School District Board of Education and administration.





The Sounds of Summer

Over the summer, elementary and middle school students in the Port Jefferson School District participated in the district’s annual summer music camp.

The three-week camp gave beginning and intermediate band and string students the opportunity to make new friends while advancing their musical abilities in a positive and enjoyable environment.

Also, for the first time, the camp offered a “Little Maestros” violin class to first- and second-graders, enabling young students to begin their musical studies prior to participating in the district’s formal fourth-grade instrument program.


National Anthem Performance

Band students performed the national anthem at Bethpage Ballpark to kick off the June 18 Long Island Ducks game. The event, organized by the Port Jefferson PTA and elementary school music teacher Mark Abbonizio, doubled as a fundraiser for the Class of 2023.

 


Director Returns

Retired Port Jefferson music director Paul Sulkin recently taught several master classes to middle school students in preparation for their performances at the NYSSMA Majors Festival. Through the classes, the students learned new techniques to perfect the selections and worked to sharpen their music skills.

 

 


String Performance

To highlight the benefits of a music education, high school and middle school string students were invited to a workshop with the Harborfront Trio. Students enjoyed a musical rendition of Tchaikovsky’s Quartet No. 1 and were able to ask questions of trio members. The event was organized by the district’s music department and took place on June 2.

 


Student-Musicians Inducted

As a result of their exceptional musical talents and dedication, 18 high school student-musicians were inducted into the school’s Tri-M Music Honor Society chapter at a ceremony on April 13.

During the ninth annual event, the new inductees promised to uphold the Tri-M’s five points of distinction – scholarship, character, cooperation, leadership and service – and participated in a performance for those in attendance. Also recognized during the ceremony were senior members of the society, including Gin Albinson, Shannon Christ, Rachel Collins, Parris Garant, Danielle Goldstein, Jessie Gray, Andreya Harvey, Calla Kelley-Renda and Marianna Spentzos.

The Port Jefferson School District extends its congratulations to the Tri-M Music Society’s newest members Allison Abbonizio, Gin Albinson, Abigail Bossert, Anthony Buono, Xinyi Hong, Cezanne Lojeski, David Moir, Louis Martin-Deprez, Matthew Pifko, Anita Rescia, Michael Ruggiero, Brianna Scarda, Timothy Skula, Michael Smith, Dylan Valev, Ryan Worrell, Bridget Yost and Zoe Zeniou.



 

 


Musicians Perform at NYSSMA Festival

Nearly 250 Port Jefferson musicians performed at the annual New York State School Music Association Solo and Ensemble Festival, held at Smithtown High School East on April 8 and 9.

The students each performed a solo selection and scales for a NYSSMA adjudicator, who assessed their performance based on technique, precision and musicality.
    
The Port Jefferson School District applauds the music students for their hard work and dedication.

 

 


Art Students Visit MoMA

High school students in Carrie Morgan’s art classes recently took an educational field trip to the Museum of Modern Art. During the trip, the student-artists explored gallery works that they have been studying in class.

 

 


‘All Shook Up’

The high school presented “All Shook Up,” a musical celebration featuring the works of Elvis Presley, on March 18 and 19. The production showcased the talents of 50 Port Jefferson high school students who worked over the past several months to perfect their performances.

 

 

 


Student Earns Music Scholarship

For her dedication to music, Edna Louise Spear Elementary School double bassist Alexa Ayotte was awarded the Dr. Joel Ratner Memorial Scholarship to pursue her music studies over the summer. Ayotte, a fifth-grader, received the award at the Division 1 East SCMEA concert.

 

 


Port Jeff Musicians Bound for All-County Festival

More than 40 Port Jefferson student-musicians performed in the Suffolk County Music Educators’ Association All-County Music Festival at Ward Melville High School on March 13.

The students were selected to participate based on teacher recommendations and their New York State School Music Association solo evaluation scores.

The Port Jefferson School District extends its congratulations to the following student performers:

Grades 5-6
Alexa Ayotte, Giancarlo Caltagirone, Brady DeWitt, Lucy DeWitt, Luke Dickhuth, Kenny Dixon-Lanza, Justin Garcia, Jack Hennessy, David Lawler, Annie Maier, Hugo Onghai, Andrew Patterson, Stefano Rabeno, Anna Rebic, Kiera Reale, Peter Rizzo, Isabelle Roberts, Logan Schaffer, Olivia Schlegel, Caelan Schretzmayer, Tabitha Schully, Michael Tessler, Brennyn Veit and Sophia Wennero

Grades 7-8
Sinan Ates, Massimo Cipriano, Saiorse Cohen, Samuel Florio, Felicity Hyams, Jack Reilly, Grant Samara and Peggy Yin

Grades 9-10
Cole Fortier, Ju Eun Ha, Miles Kaming-Thanassi, Cezanne Lojeski, Trey Pisano, David Rotunno, Michael Ruggiero, Ava Schully and Michael Smith

 

 

 

 


Students Break It Down Jazz-Style

Student-musicians in the elementary school’s fifth-grade band learned several new jazz techniques during an improvisational workshop on March 14.

During the program, professional musicians Tom Manuel (trumpet) and Ed Balsamo (drums) taught the students how to express themselves through music and create their own sounds. 

 

 


Violin Performance

High school violinist Annalisa Welinder kicked off the Stony Brook University men’s basketball America East Championship opening game on March 12 by performing a classical rendition of the national anthem.

 

   

 

 


Beginning to Master Keyboard Skills

As part of a new music initiative at the elementary school, students are learning to play the keyboard in a lab setting.

Throughout the unit of study, taught by music teacher Jessica Pastor, the students are learning about melodies, composing and improvising. The kindergarten through second-grade budding musicians are also encouraged to practice and perform at home using either a piano or electronic keyboard, or a piano app on their smart devices.

 

     

 

 


Port Jeff Named Best Community for Music Education

The Port Jefferson School District is pleased to announce that for the 10th consecutive year it has been ranked among the NAMM Foundation’s “Best Communities for Music Education” in America, an honor that acknowledges schools and districts across the U.S. for their commitment to and support for music education as part of the core curriculum.  

The 2016 award specifically recognizes the collaborate efforts between teachers, administrators, students, parents and the community, who work in tandem to keep comprehensive music education an integral part of the core curriculum in Port Jefferson.

“To receive this award – one that is shared by our entire community – signifies Port Jefferson’s strong commitment to the support of the arts and our students’ musical development. We are truly fortunate,” said Michael Caravello, director of music and fine arts.

The Port Jefferson School District boasts multiple vocal, band and orchestral performing groups for students and each group is provided with the opportunity to perform within the community. Additionally, through partnerships and relationships with Stony Brook University and the Staller Center many groups regularly have the chance to learn from renowned professional musicians.

 

 

 


Artist on Display

Elementary school third-grader Emily Snyder is the second Port Jefferson student to have her artwork selected for showcase at the Long Island Museum’s “Colors of Long Island” exhibit. Her piece will be on display on March 13 from 2-4 p.m.

Emily’s mixed media collage was based on the work of artists Hannah Hoch, Henri Matisse and Man Ray, as well as incorporated artistic concepts she learned in art class.

 


Saturday, May 27, 2017