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In Howell, New Jersey on June 27, the New Jersey Chamber Children’s Chorus flew out of New York’s JFK airport, with their director, Dr. Christine Plonski Sezer, Beverly Bishop, piano accompanist for the chorus, photography staff , Theresa and Michael Artigas, family members of the chorus and their chaperones. Their destination was Vienna, Austria. The students were invited to study and perform with the renowned Vienna Boys Choir after their taped audition was accepted by the head Director of this famous group, Gerald Wirth.
The New Jersey chorus students spent the first morning studying with the Vienna Boys Choir in a one on one workshop, which focused on specific vocal choral techniques taught by the Boys Choir Director, Gerald Wirth. A reception followed which included lunch, a tour of the school, and a review of its history. The culminating event was a combined concert, which included selections in German, Latin, Swahili and English.
On tour with the Vienna Boys’ Choir
Dr. Sezer used part of the scheduled rehearsal time to teach the Vienna Boys Choir a South African selection called, “Siyahamba” which they performed together during the culminating concert. This selection also incorporated choreography, which focused on a great deal of movement while singing. In true ambassadorship style the New Jersey Chorus shared a United States selection with the Vienna Boys choir entitled, “Why We Sing,” using American Sign Language. This Austrian choir had never witnessed sign language before and were delighted by this addition to a musical selection. It is a once in a lifetime honor to be selected to study under as well as perform with the famous Vienna Boys Choir. But this truly memorable event was immortalized when our American Choir “taught” the Vienna Boys Choir a new addition to singing with the use of the special choreography and shared the use of American sign language with singing.
The New Jersey Children’s Chorus left Vienna for Salzburg, Austria where they performed in the International Choral Festival along with seven choirs from countries around the globe. The event was performed in the famous Concert Hall at the University of Salzburg and was televised live in Austria. The finale was extremely moving, as we watched the seven choirs from different countries of our world sing together in English, the “Song of Peace,” which was written specifically for this event.
The choir next performed at Baden, Vienna in the Abby of the Holy Cross- an abbey built in the year 912 – precious stained glass windows were removed and hidden during the Nazi regime and then replaced after the war ended. The chorus then experienced a special “Sound of Music “ tour. Perhaps more moving than this, the students also performed at the lake home of the Von Trapp family outside of Salzburg. The chorus also performed a concert in the wedding church where Maria Von Trapp was married. The choir was away from home on the Fourth of July, and took this opportunity to spread positive American patriotism by performing at the Heurigan (a family owned vineyard/restaurant) in the lovely vineyard town of Graz not far from Vienna. The students wore red, white, and blue as they sang patriotic songs. The children’s voices and conversations were a delight to witness as they spread a piece of the positive American culture and spirit to the citizens of Austria. Another concert was performed at a children’s celebration in a children’s park in Salzburg. The concert tour was not only a musical experience but also cultural and historical one as well.
The chorus’s artistic director/conductor Dr. Christine Plonski Sezer is no stranger to the European culture. After receiving her Bachelor’s Degree and Mater of Arts Degree in music education from Marywood University in Scranton, Pennsylvania, she studied abroad for her PhD in Music Education at the University of Siena in Italy . the conservatory o f music in Prague, Czechoslovakia, the Mozarteum in Salzburg, Austria, the Universitat in Vienna, Austria and the University of Munich in Germany. . Dr. Sezer has used this experience in her teaching career to teach general, vocal, instrumental music and music history in all grade levels, elementary, middle school, high school including colleges and universities. Dr. Sezer graduated from Mountain View high School In Kingsley, PA – Mr. Hendrick Marr was her role model and teacher; he guided her in developing her talents and motivating her teaching ambition .Her student teaching was done at Montrose Area High School with Mr. Cyril Stretansky. She currently teaches choral and general music at Howell Middle School North and choral music at Memorial Middle School in the Howell Township School system in Howell, NJ.
Dr. Sezer is President of the CJMEA Music Educators. She is on the Executive board of the NJ Music Educators Association; National Board of MENC - NJ state chair for the Society of General Music; Executive Board NJ Chamber Music/ String Conference; Validator for the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards; Reader/validator for NJ PRAXIS testing; NJ state chair for the Tri-M Music Honor Society and NJ state chair for Music In Our Schools Month. Dr. Sezer is also a member of Monmouth Symphony Orchestra as a violinist. She is also a registered NJ state provider for professional development as a clinician presenter for MENC and NJMEA workshops and conferences with an expertise in music history, integrated curriculum and differentiated instruction.
Dr. Sezer will soon be holding auditions to fill a few vacant spots in the New Jersey Children’s Chamber Chorus. Audition dates will be posted on the website
www.njchambersingers.org - click on children’s chorus.
Many exciting musical events are always parts of the activities of the chorus. A special gospel project is planned with Dr. Donald Dumpson of Westminster Choir College, Princeton. Community concerts are done in various locations and also combined concerts with the NJ Chamber Singers adult chorus and the NJ State Youth Orchestra. Some more exciting concert tours are also being planned for the coming year.
Dr. Sezer is the daughter of Mrs. Isabelle Plonski, Thompson, PA and sister of Joseph Plonski Jr., Thompson, PA and Frank Plonski, Hatfield, PA.
The Hallstead-Great Bend American Legion Post 357 on Saturday, August 6, with a large membership and guests in attendance, installed their three Post units – The American Legion, the Sons of the Legion and the Post’s Ladies Auxiliary.
With Commander Richard Rood opening the evening’s activities, Vice Commander Susie Nelson explained the history of the covered MIA/POW chair, draped with a black flag.
Opening prayer was recited by Chaplain Irene Welch. Salute to the Flag was demonstrated in “Sign Language” by Margaret Darrow, a sixth grade student at Blue Ridge Middle School. She was accompanied at the program by her mother, Teri Darrow and grandmother, Doreen Wood.
Past commanders were “saluted” by Commander Rood.
During installation of the officers, first, the new Auxiliary members were seated by District President of Lackawanna/Susquehanna County, Nancy Bachurek. She was accompanied by Lucille Perek of Dickson City.
Pictured (l-r) are: Karen Sinnett, Auxiliary Vice President; Richard Rood, Legion Commander; Pat Yonkin, Auxiliary President; Walter Woolbaugh, Post 357 first commander; Andy Kovitch, SAL Commander; Andy Pickney, Jr., past SAL commander. Photo by Joanna Rauscher.
John Visci, District 15th Commander of Honesdale Post 254, installed the Sons of the American Legion.
The American Legion new officers were installed by Commander Visci, assisted by James English of Post 807, Hamlin. He is the Pennsylvania Assistant Sgt. of Arms.
Honored were John Battisti of Hallstead, a member of Post 357 for 63 consecutive years. Mr. Battisti received certificates reading, “Issued in grateful appreciation for faithful and dedicated allegiance to the ideals of the American Legion.” The certificates were signed by Thomas Cadmus, National Commander; Robert Spagnole, National Adjutant; along with Post 357 Commander Rick Rood and Post Adjutant and Past Commander Jack Bennett.
Also honored with a Certificate of Appreciation was Auxiliary Chaplain Irene Welch, who has served the post – faithfully in several capacities – for 40 years.
(How can we forget the delicious meal catered by the Knights of Columbus – no doubt – to everyone’s satisfaction.)
Several other awards were distributed to Post 357 members, by Manny Mariha, a State Legion Official. (Many awards were “handed out” by Post 357, but not being advised prior to the program, we had no knowledge of the recipients.)
In closing, Commander Rood thanked “the members, the three Units for their help throughout year with hopes of a similar year.”
Barney Wilkins and his Susquehanna County based Penn Dixie Band appeared recently at the Oil City Heritage Festival in Western, PA and the International Seaway Festival on the St. Lawrence Seaway with the Fat Tuesday Brass Band (pictured together above) from Toronto.
Pictured above are John and his wife, Katherine. Photo by Joanna Rauscher
John Battisti (formerly of Susquehanna), a member of American Legion Post 357, Hallstead-Great Bend, on August 13, 2005, was honored by the National American Legion and Post 357 for sixty-plus years of continuous service to the ideals of the American Legion. John, as many old timers will remember, starred on both the baseball and softball teams of Susquehanna.
Members of the Hallstead-Great Bend Civic Club recently presented a $1,000 check to the Hallstead-Great Bend Library. The Club has been an enthusiastic library supporter since the time it was founded 1929. In fact, it was this group of women who originally organized and staffed what is now the Hallstead-Great Bend branch of the Susquehanna County Public Library. Today’s members continue the tradition of the Club’s founders with this latest annual donation.
The Civic Club is a non-profit community organization composed of a group of women from the towns and townships in the Hallstead-Great Bend area. The Club’s focus has been on nourishing other groups and organizations that benefit the greater community, and on assisting people and organizations during times of need.
Pictured (l-r) are: Civic Club members Mary Tanner, Linda Anesi, Annette Senior, Terry Marshman, librarian Valerie Burdick, and Club member Sandra Kazinetz.
In addition to the Library, the list of organizations the Club supports is extensive, and includes: Barnes Kasson Senior Nursing Facility, The Women’s Resource Center, The Caring Café, St. Joseph’s, Blue Ridge High School Literary Award, local youth sports and civic groups, Blue Ridge School summer camp for kids, residents whose homes have been destroyed or damaged by fire, and many other worthy recipients.
The Club meets in the evening on the second Tuesday of every month (except for January and July) in the home of a Club member. Periodically throughout the year, members conduct fund-raising events. All proceeds from every event are invested right back into the community.
The Club is always looking for new members and friends. Simply call 879-4474 to find out at whose home they will be meeting next, drop in, take a look and decide if you would like to join in the efforts of a group of terrific women.
Pictured in front of the new building (l-r) are: Susquehanna County Democratic commissioner MaryAnn Warren; Chris Carney, Democratic candidate for Congress from the 10th Congressional District; and County party chair Joseph Franks.
Democrats in Susquehanna County are ready to welcome the thousands of visitors who will be attending the popular Harford Fair from August 22-28 in a brand-new, and permanent, building. While the building was purchased with party funds, volunteers pitched in hundreds of work-hours to lay its foundation, install electrical wiring, paint and give it the County’s typical country flair.
We had a meeting at the Harford Church Lecture Hall.
After we had our pledges and took roll call we worked on our kites. We had two guests Sara Miller and Sara Gardner.
President, Chrissy Zick asked us about how we were doing on our other project books. We are to bring the rest of our project books to the next meeting and the leaders will help us if we need help in any of our books.
We had a couple of demonstrations. Alyssa Clarkson showed us how to make Snickerdoodle cookies and then we had some that she had already made to eat.
Olivia Zick took us all outside and demonstrated many soccer moves, and what one wears when they play soccer.
All the first year 4-Hers and leaders from last year received a new, green 4-H Sizzlin’ Steaks jacket.
We were reminded by the leaders to bring in projects Thursday the 18th of August between 12:00 and 8:00 p.m. to the 4-H building at the fair.
News reporters: Alyssa Clarkson and Rebecca Gardner
North Jackson Ag
The North Jackson Ag. 4H Club met at the Paveski’s house for a picnic on July 17. The sky was cloudy that day but that didn’t stop the club from pulling together and making the picnic a true success. After the club members mingled and enjoyed all the delicious picnic food, the club president, Abby Onyon decided it was time to call the meeting to order.
After Abby asked Aaron to lead the American pledge and Tara to lead the 4H pledge, the club secretary, Holly Carey, did roll call. When Holly was finished, she read the secretary’s report to the club members to remind everyone what was discussed at the last meeting. Aaron Onyon, the club’s treasurer, read the update on the club’s bank account and finances.
Abby then moved on to discussing some old business with the club. She said that on July 22, the registration was due for the dairy members who had planned to show. On July 20, the registration was due for the horse kids in order for them to show. Also on July 20, the club planned a trip to tour Pennsylvania’s very own Gettysburg battlefields.
Next on the list was for the members that attended the livestock clinic to give a report on it. Sean and Troy Carey told the club what they did at the livestock clinic and how things went there. Abby reminded the club about the Penn State Days which would have been on July 26-28. Then she asked the club members if they would come and help out at the food booth-fundraiser at the scholarship horse show, which was on July 30. Then Abby reminded the club members that all project books for the fair are due in the 4H building by August 18.
Mrs. Pavelski then asked for the club members to bring in pictures of themselves for the club’s beautification project, which will be displayed near the dairy barn at the fair. Club members should also know that Tuesday is 4H day at the fair and also the club’s day to help out with the “farmer-for-a-day” project at the fair. Mr. Pavelski then reminded any kids that plan on bringing animals to the fair should check and make sure that their animals are up-to-date with immunizations before bringing them to the fair. All livestock books need to be done by the next meeting also so that a leader can check them over before they are judged.
Then next meeting (also the last before the fair) will be on August 10 at the Walker’s house at 7:00. Then some of the club members did their demonstrations. Casey Gorick did her demonstration on her great-grandma, Hazel Singer. She told the members why her great –grandma is so special to her and showed everyone a picture of her. Next, Austin Chisek brought his pet Chiwawah to show the club and told us the important things to know while raising a Chiwawah. Britney Zebrowski brought her pet turkins, (they look like a kind of chicken) for her demonstration. She told us a little about their origin and what to do to take care of them. The meeting was officially adjourned at 2:30.
News Reporter: Kaitlin Flor
The Sizzlin’ Steaks 4-H Club met recently. President Chrissy Zick opened the meeting. We said the pledges. Chrissy asked us how we were doing on our projects and what each of us was taking.
Chrissy and Rebecca both did a demonstration. Chrissy told us how to make black bottom brownies and some of the new things that she learned. Rebecca should us how to paint with water colored pencils.
September 3 we will meet at Julie and Will’s house for a club picnic. Gardner’s will bring party potatoes, Missy Clarkson pasta salad, Zick’s brownies-baked beans, Mitchell’s drinks, Mackenzie cupcakes. We will write a story about our club project. The story must be as many sentences long as we are old. Brittany told about one-camp and what a good time she had.
We worked on the kites to make sure that they were a little bit rounded.
We also worked on a new banner for the 4-H building.
News Reporters: Rebecca Gardner and Alyssa Clarkson
Farmer Market Food vouchers for seniors to purchase free fresh fruits and vegetables are still available at the Area Agency On Aging Office located at 35 Spruce Street, Montrose. Individuals who have not received food vouchers during 2005 and meet eligibility criteria can receive $20.00 worth of food vouchers. Food vouchers are utilized to purchase PA grown fruits and vegetables at WIC approved farm markets.
For further information, contact the Area Agency On Aging at (570) 278-3751 or 1-800-634-3746.
Following are the Susquehanna Fire Dept. July 150 Club winners.
July 9: Rachel Adornato, Jack Norris, Dennis Fisk.
July 16: Mason Evans, John Ball, Gene Delsandro.
July 23: Harry Stanley, Paul McCormick, Judy Lair.
July 30: Debra White, Erika Fisher, Kay Orr.
Sizzlin’ Steaks 4
The Sizzlin’ Steaks 4-H Club members tested their kites to see if they would fly. We met at the Mountain View High School and then went to a hay field that belonged to Mr. Jim Zick to do our testing. There was a slight breeze and no rain.
At first the kites would not get up in the air. Then Mr. Mitchell said we all needed tails on our kites. The leaders helped us make and tie on tails. The kites then went way up in the air. They were beautiful when they were flying. There were seven paper kites and two material kites and they all flew well.
We are happy that our kites flew. This was a successful club project.
News reporters: Alyssa Clarkson & Rebecca Gardner
North Jackson Ag
The North Jackson Ag 4H club held their most recent meeting on August 10 at the Walker’s home. The cub president, Abby Onyon, called the meeting to order and asked Chelsea Saam to lead the club in the American pledge and then Lyle Foster to lead in the 4-H pledge. Holly Carey, the club secretary, took role call and then read the minutes of the last meeting. Abby gave the treasurer’s report because the treasurer wasn’t there. After that, Kaitlin and Tara Flor gave a presentation on breeding their mini-lop rabbits. Next, Tim Carey gave the club some pointers on how to play volleyball. Abby Onyon then gave the club a presentation on “The Day of the Dead,” a very important Hispanic holiday that celebrates the deceased.
Megan Carey then updated the horse kids on some events and meetings. After that, Kaitlin and Abby told the rest of the club about the trip to Gettysburg and the specifics. Maria Preston was the only club member to attend Penn State Achievement Days this year so she told the club what it was like to be there. Then, Megan Carey told the club how the horse and pony roundup went at the Harford Fair grounds. The club had many winners at the dairy roundup. Beth Giangrieco won first in all her classes and a grand champion. Eric Giangrieco won a first and two second prizes. Chelsea Saam won two first prizes and a reserve grand champion. Abby Onyon won a first, a fifth, and a reserve grand champion. Eileen Walker also won a first place ribbon in the show. Bonnie Onyon asked the club members to help with a fundraiser at the dairy district show on August 15. Abby reminded the club that all project books are due at the harford fair by the 18th of August. Also, the club will have another fundraiser at the fiber festival on September 10. The district horse show is coming up on August 27-28.
The next meeting will be a picnic at the Onyon’s house on September 11. Then there were a few more presentations to be given. Mary Katherine Walker did a demonstration on woodworking. Lyle Foster did his presentation on his homemade rockets. Beth Giangrieco did a presentation on her summer job, which is helping out at the hospital in the occupational therapy department. Beth has graduated high school this year and plans on going to school to become an occupational therapist.
The club wanted to give their sincere thanks to all the patrons that helped support the North Jackson Ag 4H Club at the county horse and dairy shows.
Newsreporter: Kaitlin Flor
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