Sunday, March 27, 2011

Sunnymead's Variety Show

When we held auditions the last week of January, the performance date of March 25, 2011 seemed so far away.  Several weeks and many rehearsals later, the Sunnymead School Benevolent Fund proudly presented the 5th Annual Variety Show featuring multi-talented students.

As with any endeavor sponsored by an educational staff, we always begin with the instructions:
 All Benevolent Fund committee members wore the 'uniform' of the evening as a show of our strength of purpose and solidarity.  Our slogan "Together We Stand - People Helping People" emblazoned around the Huskie paw print.
 We have been fortunate to be given permission to use the large auditorium at Hillsborough High School for this growing-in-popularity event.

We are all lined up and ready to greet out guests.


Kitty Ward (an audition judge), and Jackie Levash (Emcee) both began their careers at Sunnymead School, and were reassigned to other elementary schools in district.  However.....they BOTH  give freely, graciously and generously of themselves, and have for the past 5 years,  to insure the success of the Sunnymead Variety Show. 

Marielena Cardinale, a 4-year veteran audition judge stands with yours truly (Benevolent Fund Chairperson) as we anxiously await the beginning of what promises to be an exciting and entertaining evening.


Dr. Weber and Mrs. Baker (seated) and Mrs. Cucchiara prepare ready to sell tickets to the performance
Our additional fund raisers.  Philly Pretzels and CandyGrams and Flowers sold by Mrs. Wengryn and Mrs. Renz.  (second grade and kindergarten teachers respectively)  Mrs. Fairlie and her daughter manned the Flower and CandyGram table.
 The arrival of the gymnastic mats, delivered by our Phys.Ed. teacher Mrs. Laura Wynkoop and her helper

Behind the stage scene of the complicated and powerful audio system

 The auditorium begins to fill up as our guests take their seats in anticipation of the  announcement by the Emcee that the performance is about to begin. 
 We are all asked to stand to recite the Pledge of Allegiance after which our first performer of the evening sang our National Anthem

A dance depicting the Middle Eastern heritage, and the all time baseball-time favorite Abbott and Costello  skit:  "Who's on First". 

Hula-hooping is a challenge for some, but these second graders increase the difficulty-factor of  hula-hooping to the tune of "The Macarena". 


In a flurry of sequins and colors these four girls are "dynamite" dancers

This first grade student offers a VERY spirited Irish Step Dancing performance

 The renowned Sunnymead Chorus under the direction of Ms. Megan Jadro, vocal music teacher, accompanied by Ms. Hayley Zamek (kindergarten teacher) and Mrs. Cucchiara (Special Ed. teacher)

from left to right:  Ms. Zamek, Mrs. Cucchiara, and Ms. Jadro receiving congratulations for a job well done.

Two very distinct styles, but equally talented pianists.                   

The gymnast uses a hula-hoop in her routine.

 No variety show would be complete without a Magic Act. 
Offering a cultural song.
"Dorothy" singing "Over the Rainbow" was literally the show-stopper (it was the closing act).

The committee wishes to thank all of the students, parents and staff who participated in the show and all those who donated their time, talent and continued support to enable us to continue to help others, living up to our motto:                       "Together We Stand - People helping People"

Thank you for visiting "This and That" and a little bit of the Sunnymead School Variety Show. Photos can be enlarged by 'clicking' on the specific photo.

Linda P 

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

The "Onion Snow":

 Mother Nature's cruel joke:  The "Onion Snow".  I first heard the expression from a dear friend who grew up in Central Pennsylvania.  It's a common expression for an early spring snow that comes right when the onions are sprouting in the garden.

Today's 1" of snow in Central New Jersey is definitely "Onion Snow". .  Here are some comparative photos of  Yesterday and Today.

A close up of the Barberry Plant that despite of the cold wet snow displays its tiny red berries.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Sounds of Music: Vintage to Whimsical

Music is the universal language of mankind....... Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Music is more than reading the notes and hitting the correct keys in the correct sequence and time.
"Playing" the piano or any other musical instrument is a misnomer.  It makes it sound like a game; like playing hop-scotch, or playing ball etc.  Speaking as struggling fledgling, I can tell you it is more WORK than PLAY.  I am grateful to my sister who not only encourages my attempts at playing the piano, but who also applauds my successes.

Few truly possess the God-given talent and passion for music and the ability to use the instruments to speak the language of music. My sister is one of those talented accomplished pianists, and has graciously allowed me to invade her home with my camera so that I may share some of her usual and UNusual musical memorabilia.
The vintage collection begins with this World War I Field Pump Organ - circa 1896. It was manufactured in Washington, New Jersey by Johnston Cornish who also manufactured pianos.  Mr. Cornish also served as a member  of the U.S. House of Representatives from New Jersey's 4th district from March 4, 1889 - March, 1893. 

A view of the full key board, and a close up of the manufacturer's logo.

 Three of the twelve 'stops'

The foot pedals that 'pumped' the air into the bellows which then produced the sounds..  The carving above the pedals is quite intricate.   

 The full size Harpischord has black and BROWN keys.

And closely resembles a Baby Grand Piano

 This instrument is tuned much like a guitar.  The tool pictured here tightens the frets to achieve the correct sound/tone for each of the black and brown keys.
 The 'frets' and strings.
 The contemporary continues with an accordion that dates back to the 1950's.  Here it is in its ORIGINAL RED VELVET case. It is a very cumbersome, heavy instrument, and was actually transported back and forth to the DelNunzio School of Music in an old baby stroller.

 There are 120 'base' buttons, and the silver bar is used to change raise or lower the octave.  The large black buttons on the key board changed the sound from treble to bass enabling the accordion to have a full range of octaves. 

                      The original carry case.

This magnificent instrument speaks for itself.

It is a Steinway Concert Grand Piano.

 The various patents range in date from the 1870 to 1876

 It is indeed a GRAND instrument.

We come to the 'stringed' instruments. The MANDOLIN in its original case complete with a package of replacement strings. 

 Additional 'stringed' instruments.  The Zither (also known as the Auto Harp) guitar and violin.

The Violin, Guitar and '8', '16', and '36' hole harmonicas belong to my nephews.  I received these pictures via email, and had  some 'technical difficulties'!!!


Bongos from the Virgin Islands
The more modern electric key board.  By using the keypad on the right side of the controls, this instrument 'mimics' all of the instruments highlighted here, and then some!

 The WHIMSICAL:   The lovely young lady playing the Harp,

                                       the Christmas Angel Bear, playing Christmas Carols on the accordion.  Both of these do actually PLAY music.The accordion moves in and out along with the music;
and the 'foam' floor puzzle meant for little feet to play. 


I hope you enjoyed the visuals of the "Sounds of Music".  Thank you for visiting "This and That"

please COME "BACH" again!