09/27/14 6:00am
09/27/2014 6:00 AM

The weeks after Labor Day heralded the blues; my “beach bum” days were coming to an end. Although I walk the beach daily in all seasons, this summer I took advantage of “paradise found” and spent almost every weekend at the beach. It was truly a memorable summer. Spending quality time with old friends and meeting new friends was just the boost my spirits had needed.   (more…)

09/25/14 4:47pm
09/25/2014 4:47 PM
ANNIE BALUCH COURTESY PHOTO | Team Pulaski headed by Candice Perry won the award in 2011 for the team bringing in the most pledge money.

ANNIE BALUCH COURTESY PHOTO | Team Pulaski headed by Candice Perry won the award in 2011 for the team bringing in the most pledge money.

16th annual 5K Walk for Breast Cancer Awareness, sponsored by Tanger Outlet Center, will be held Sunday, Sept. 28, at the outlet center. Registration begins 7:30 a.m.; opening ceremony, 8:45 a.m.; and the walk, 9 a.m. For more information, call 631-208-8889 or visit northforkbreasthealth.org. Do consider participating and enjoy refreshments, giveaways and so much more. Registration is $25.  (more…)

09/25/14 6:00am
Red Tide won the Southampton Youth Bureau Battle of the Bands. (Credit: Southampton Youth Bureau courtesy)

Red Tide won the Southampton Youth Bureau Battle of the Bands. (Credit: Southampton Youth Bureau courtesy)

As September comes to a close I cannot believe my baby girl has been away at college for a month already. It feels like forever to me. Do any other parents feel the same way? I can’t wait until she comes home for a visit Oct. 10; I’ll be one happy mom. How is everyone else doing with this back-to-school business? It’s very strange not having a child in the Riverhead Central School District. I feel like I’m so out of the loop. If you’re reading this and belong to or attend any district PTA/PTO meetings (especially at Phillips Avenue) and you know of something coming up, please send me an email or give me a call. I’d love to write about it and know the community would love to hear about it.   (more…)

09/23/14 10:00am
09/23/2014 10:00 AM
Amy Methven, a senior at RHS, was one of 100 high school students selected nationwide to perform in a prestigious orchestra next month in Nashville. (Credit: Carrie Miller)

Amy Methven, a senior at RHS, was one of 100 high school students selected nationwide to perform in a prestigious orchestra next month in Nashville. (Credit: Carrie Miller)

She hits all the right notes. And soon, 17-year-old violinist Amy Methven will be rewarded for it.

Come October, Amy will be performing on a much larger stage — at the famous Grand Ole Opry House in Nashville — as one of 100 high school students selected nationwide for the National Association for Music Education’s 2014 All-National Honor Symphony Orchestra.

“On one level [playing the violin] is very personal and requires a lot of focus. You have to train yourself to spend a lot of time practicing by yourself,” Amy said. “On a broader level, it is something really great to do with others. You create something beautiful with all these different people.”

A senior at Riverhead High School, she is the first Riverhead student chosen to perform by the organization, which works to promote music education.

The select group of students will have the opportunity to work with internationally recognized conductor Gerard Schwarz of the Seattle Symphony during a three-day conference leading up to the performance on Oct. 29. Students will also attend training sessions with other classical greats.

“He is a celebrity in the classical world, and I am really, really excited to meet all these other kids who share the same interest,” Amy said.

While Amy said she enjoys learning and playing with classmates in the orchestra and chamber orchestra at Riverhead, she said there aren’t many students in the district who are passionate enough to pursue lessons beyond school.

Amy’s orchestra teacher, Marisa Macchio, who encouraged her to apply for All-National honors, said Amy’s enthusiasm is what makes her stand out.

“Amy strives not just for perfection but for improvement, and that is what makes her stand out among her peers,” she said. “She is always looking for constructive criticism to help her through a difficult skill or musical passage.”

Amy said she has been working on improving since the day she started playing the violin — when she was 8 years old.

<z9.500>“To me, it’s more than a hobby. I spend so much of my week going to lessons and youth orchestra and pre-college [classes], and if I’m not doing that I’m practicing,” she said. “It is a big commitment. But I love it.”

The All-National Honor Symphony Orchestra will be playing a symphonic poem called “October,” by 20th century Russian composer Dmitri Shostakovich, which Amy said she has already started practicing.

She said she wished more emphasis was placed on music and the arts in school, as there’s so much more to learn than simply performing.

“It definitely gives you a sort of focus you don’t get from anything else — it’s more than just win the game. You have to do it with a sort of poise and understanding,” she said.