My friend and fellow scribe, Lynn Cuda, who lives in Liverpool, recently wrote a delightful review of a local concert which celebrated the music of one of America’s best-known television stars:
Somewhere Mister Rogers was smiling down on those assembled in Le Moyne College’s beautiful chapel Oct. 14.
The autumn sun shone through the stained-glass windows of the Panasci Family Chapel as the Le Moyne Jazzuits sang their hearts out, and really lived up to their college’s motto, “Greatness Meets Goodness,” just as did the man they were honoring, Fred Rogers. Their exceptional tribute to this truly good man who passed away 15 years ago, was a tightly packed presentation of 21 songs, 20 of them penned by the beloved man in the zippered cardigan and sneakers, punctuated by wonderful narration put together by Tom Andino ably assisted by Jazzuits conductor Carol Jacobe.
The narration between songs was comprised of direct quotations from this gentle giant, whose 895 episodes, entertained and educated millions of children. Andino, director of Le Moyne’s Campus Ministry, flawlessly paired meaningful spoken lessons from this television personality with the music that generations grew up with, such as “It’s You I Like,” “It’s Such a Good Feeling,” “Everybody’s Fancy,” and, of course, the one we all learned to sing along, “Won’t You Be My Neighbor.”
While I grew up watching Captain Kangaroo, my children grew up in “Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood,” a special place envisioned by a gifted puppeteer, writer, musician and minister who knew how to offer slow-paced little sermons to the littlest in the congregation and that always boiled down to: “I like you just the way you are.”
It was hard for the audience members to hold their applause until the end of the concert. That’s how good it was.
The music was arranged by Jacobe and Scott Arcangel, and the whole project was the brain-child of Andino, who mindfully dressed in cardigan and sneakers and delivered the narration in quiet, slow-paced tones.
In these fast-paced days we live in, it was so refreshing and peaceful to think back upon Fred Rogers’ three decades of “quiet talk,” sharing his own uniquely wholesome and meaningful values with our children. Director Morgan Neville has produced a documentary this year titled “Won’t You Be My Neighbor?” And Tom Hanks will portray Rogers in a feature film called “You Are My Friend,” due out in October 2019. So I hope that Andino and the Jazzuits will consider presenting this concert again for those who missed it.
Liverpool mayor Gary White has created a Christmas in the Park Committee to be chaired by Diane Recor, wife of village Trustee Jason Recor.
At the Oct. 15 village board meeting, White said the village plans to participate in holiday festivities to support the annual appearance of Santa Claus sponsored by American Legion Post 188 at Johnson Park. This year’s yuletide event is slated for Sunday, Dec. 2.
For information, call the Village Clerk’s office at 315-457-3441, ext. 1.
A Salt Festival is being planned for July 27, 2019, at Onondaga Lake Park. The first-ever festival designed to celebrate Liverpool’s long history of salt-boiling is a joint program planned by the Friends of Historic Onondaga Lake and the Greater Liverpool Chamber of Commerce.
A certificate of appreciation was awarded to civilian Bruce A. Vanantwerp of Baldwinsville by Liverpool Police Chief Don Morris at the Village Trustees meeting on Oct. 15. Vanantwerp was recognized for assisting Officer Kevin Greenwood on June 22 when a DWI arrest entailed a physical struggle with the suspect. Vanantwerp was driving by, noticed the situation and offered Greenwood assistance, which the officer accepted.
Volunteers coordinated by the Village Tree Committee planted 11 new trees in public spaces around the village on Saturday, Nov. 3, which was an unusually cold and rainy day. The committee is chaired by village Trustee Christina Fadden Fitch who was assisted by Clare Carney, natural resources educator from Cornell Cooperative Extension of Onondaga County, whose grant program provided the bare-root trees
Some two dozen volunteers braved the inclement weather to plant purple prince crabapple trees, a swamp white oak, and an American basswood tree at Washington and Johnson parks, and a cucumber magnolia tree and another white oak is now taking root on the Gleason Mansion lawn.
“The oldest trees often yield the sweetest fruit.”
The columnist can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.