04/26/15 6:00am
04/26/2015 6:00 AM

Gertie messed up! She didn’t understand my request or got confused. Is she becoming hard of hearing? Although Gertie and I haven’t met, she tells me where to go and how to get there. (Ahem … I would like to tell her where to go at times.) She makes calls, changes radio stations and executes most tasks, within reason, of course. Gertie is at my beck and call but, alas, she doesn’t always get it right. Some of you may be wondering who Gertie is. Give up? She’s the voice in the speech-recognition system of my car.  (more…)

04/15/15 5:00pm
04/15/2015 5:00 PM
Ninow's owner Ralph Vail sits amongst boxed up music books in his Riverhead store in downtown Tuesday. (Credit: Cyndi Murray)

Ninow’s owner Ralph Vail sits amongst boxed up music books in his downtown Riverhead store Tuesday. (Credit: Cyndi Murray)

Ninow’s Music Store in Riverhead was mostly empty Tuesday.

Sheaves of sheet music once displayed throughout the West Main Street shop now lie in boxes. A few cables and other accessories still hang on the wall, but all of them will be hauled away before the end of the month.

There are not many customers or, most notably, many instruments. Over the years, owner Ralph Vail said, fewer and fewer people have walked through Ninow’s doors.  (more…)

11/03/14 1:00pm
11/03/2014 1:00 PM
Lois Ross, left, leads the choir at a 2011 practice session of North Fork Chorale.

Lois Ross, left, leads the choir at a 2011 practice session of North Fork Chorale.

Members of the North Fork Chorale gathered at director Lois Ross’ dinning room table Friday morning. The discussion ranged from recent vacations, family updates and the group’s upcoming December concert series.

It is not an uncommon occurrence for members.

“In between songs everyone is talking to each other,” said Chorale treasurer Gene Yourch.

“Friendships come out of our group,” added his wife Mary, the group’s secretary. “There isn’t a person here I wouldn’t move my chair to sit next to. Everyone is family.”

It’s a 78-year tradition and one the Yourchs and other members hope to continue for years to come despite dwindling financial resources.  (more…)

08/09/14 10:09am
08/09/2014 10:09 AM
Mixed media artist Charles Manfredi of East Islip (far left) is interviewed next to his diorama of his figures "Baldies Visit Riverhead" by the Suffolk Theater Friday evening. (Credit: Barbaraellen Koch)

Mixed media artist Charles Manfredi of East Islip (far left) is interviewed next to his diorama of his figures “Baldies Visit Riverhead” by the Suffolk Theater Friday evening. (Credit: Barbaraellen Koch)

It was a picture perfect summer evening Friday as several hundred people filled downtown Riverhead to see JumpstART artists unveil their work on the grounds of the East End Arts complex and various venues along East Main Street and Grangebel Park.  (more…)

02/16/14 12:00pm
02/16/2014 12:00 PM
From left to right: Alex DeTurk, engineer; Bill DeTurk, banjo and guitar; John Brisotti, mandolin and vocals;  Bruce Barry,  bass; Dave Thompson, guitar;  and Bill Avasse, fiddle. (Photo by Tim Gannon).

From left to right: Alex DeTurk, engineer; Bill DeTurk, banjo and guitar; John Brisotti, mandolin and vocals; Bruce Barry, bass; Dave Thompson, guitar; and Bill Avasse, fiddle. (Photo by Tim Gannon).

The Jamesport Meeting House has been a lot of things in its 275-plus years on the corner of Main Road and Manor Lane in Jamesport.  (more…)

02/04/14 3:43pm
02/04/2014 3:43 PM

Booker T 1.jpg

One of Rolling Stone’s “100 Greatest Artists of All Time” is coming to Riverhead this month.

Booker T. Jones, originally know as the leader of the MG’s, the house band at Stax Records, where he played for an array of iconic soul singers such as Otis Redding and Wilson Pickett, will perform at The Suffolk Theater on Sunday, Feb. 16. Read all about it and find out how to buy tickets on northforker.com.

04/24/13 4:00pm
04/24/2013 4:00 PM
ROBIN BAY COURTESY PHOTO | The chamber choir from Bishop McGann-Mercy High School prior to performing at the National Festival Chorus April 21.

ROBIN BAY COURTESY PHOTO | The chamber choir from Bishop McGann-Mercy High School prior to performing at the National Festival Chorus April 21.

The Chamber Choir at Bishop McGann-Mercy High School in Riverhead was one of 10 East Coast groups that performed at the National Festival Chorus at Avery Fisher Hall in Lincoln Center Sunday.

“I couldn’t be prouder of the kids,” said Jamie Calandro, the director of fine arts at Mercy and the chamber choir teacher. “They worked really hard to get here and it’s nice to see their efforts rewarded.”

Sixteen high school students and two junior high school students at Mercy were selected to sing at the concert, which was conducted this year by guest maestro Richard Mathey and featured the award-winning Troy High School Orchestra. Works performed included “O Be Joyful in the Lord” by John Rutter, “Spiritual” by Ysaye Barnwell, and “Silver Wings”, by John Carter.

“Working with the other choirs and guest conductor was one of the greatest experiences I have had as part of chamber choir,” said senior Kaylee Navarra of Manorville. Ms. Navarra, 17, is a soprano who joined the group her sophomore year.

In preparation for the concert, the chamber choir traveled to Manhattan Saturday to rehearse with the nine other groups selected to sing at the National Festival Chorus.

“It was intense,” Mr. Calandro, 32, said of the rehearsal. “They [the students] were a little worried because we had so little time to learn the music, but they were so excited. They got to perform with everybody and hear exactly what it’s going to sound like. It was a higher caliber than anything they’ve ever been a part of.”

Danielle Allen, a junior from Aquebogue who has been a member of the chamber choir for five years and sings alto, said that rehearsing with the other groups was “a little intimidating” at first.

“The other choirs were all so talented,” Ms. Allen, 16, said. “The sound we produced together was absolutely beautiful.”

Patrick O’Brien, a 16-year-old junior from Riverhead who sings tenor and baritone and has been a member of the chamber choir for five years, said he met a lot of “amazing people” during the experience.

“I think I left a better musician,” he said.

For Mr. Calandro, who has been teaching choir for 10 years at Mercy, the concert is a high point in a decade of hard work at the school.

“It’s very humbling and flattering to be recognized on a national level,” he said. “This is definitely my favorite moment since I started the Mercy chorus 10 years ago.”

ryoung@timesreview.com