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Music Notes: A Blog by the Music Academy of Garden City

Wednesday, January 29, 2020

Beauty and the Beast Jr.

Congratulations to our two amazing casts of Beauty and the Beast Jr for their spirited performances at Hofstra University's Fortunoff Theater last weekend! The shows were truly wonderful, and we are proud of our students, with kids as young as 5 years old in the ensemble and as young as 11 in major roles. Wow! Looking forward to our Spring Semester's production, Once Upon A Mattress.
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Sunday, November 18, 2018

Fundamentals of Film Acting Class

Does your child love to act or want to learn how? Then this is the class for you! Students who participate will: 


Meet our Clinicians:

Patricia Meade

Ms. Meade is a professional actress and singer who has acted on Broadway, television, and in film. In addition, she holds a BFA in Theatre from Hofstra University, and has studied acting at Emerson College, Neighborhood Playhouse NYC, and Actor’s Playhouse NYC.

William Meade

Mr. Meade is  an award winning cinematographer who has worked for ABC Television, E! Network, Netflix, Marvel, Spike Lee, ESPN, American Express, and Amazon.

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Sunday, November 18, 2018

HAMILTON Triple Threat Master Class with Terrance Spencer

We are excited to present a master class with Terrence Spencer, an award winning performer currently appearing on Broadway in Hamilton! All students who enroll in this class will also receive a 30 minute private coaching with one of our theatre coaches, and participate in a one hour dance class in preparation. Call us at 516-292-2777 for more information.

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Monday, June 19, 2017

Check out our YouTube page

We are currently updating our YouTube page and adding a lot of great videos from recent performances. Check it out here:

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Thursday, March 16, 2017

Two exciting summer camps coming July 2017

Please join us for two exciting camps this July - Musical Theatre Summer Intensive and Rock Bands Camp. See below for more details. Click on the "Summer Camp" tab for registration forms for each camp.

2017 Musical Theatre Summer Camp

Throughout the year, we offer the most well-rounded and extensive musical theatre education available on Long Island. Run by our world-class instructors, all who hold advanced degrees in music and theatre, we make sure each child learns the fundamentals of reading music and score study, as well as vocal technique, choreographic skills, and acting techniques.
Read more . . .

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Drum Clinic with Paul Francis a Success

Recently, we hosted Grammy-winning drummer Paul Francis at a Jazz Drumming Workshop. Paul worked with MAGC drummers and students from around the community and taught them about jazz, drumming, and much more. Paul currently performs with Lady Gaga and Tony Bennett and can be heard on their Grammy-winning album "Cheek to Cheek." We are very proud of all the students who participated and look forward to the next master class!

Friday, February 13, 2015

Alumni Profile: Angela Pitto

Recently I had the chance to catch up with former Music Academy student Angela Pitto. I spoke with Angela about what she has been doing since graduating high school. Angela tells how her music education has equipped her with the skills she needed to succeed in college and beyond – check it out!


What years were you enrolled at the Music Academy of Garden City?

I was enrolled at the Music Academy from 2007-2011. I took lessons there throughout my four years of high school.


What instruments did you study while a student at MAGC?

I mainly focused on voice, as I am primarily a singer, but I also studied piano, mandolin, guitar, and banjo!

What are you studying in college and which college are you attending?

I am currently a senior at Macaulay Honors College at CUNY Hunter. I will graduate this June, Magna Cum Laude, with a BA in Economics with Honors and a Certificate in Public Policy and Political Science. I’m in the top 10% of my class.


Since you are not a music major, what musical activities are you engaged in at school?

I am Co-Founder and President of Hawkappella, Hunter College’s first (and only award-winning) a cappella group! We rehearse twice a week for two hours, and perform regularly. Our most recent performance was at the Fall 2014 Public Policy Capstone Celebration of Scholarship –  where I presented my first thesis – and we performed at the Roosevelt House. We also have several performances coming up this semester, culminating in our final performance on May 14 at Six Flags Great Adventure! I also performed with The Houghtones when I studied abroad at the London School of Economics for my junior year – they are another a cappella group, and they are so great.

How has your background in music helped you to achieve at school?

Music and performing has always been a major part of my life. In high school, I was never able to participate in sports due to a medical condition, so I instead put my time and energy into music. Studying music taught me discipline, which has helped me so much throughout my undergraduate career. I remember in high school preparing for NYSSMA. In my junior year, the time I spent preparing for my adjudication was intense – it would determine if I was chosen for All State. I spent hours each week prepping, and the day of my adjudication was one of my best performances ever. I got a 100 on my Level 6 piece, Una Donna a Quindici Anni, an achievement not easily accomplished. I was selected for All State, and that was an incredible experience! The hard work really paid off in the end. That drive has always stayed with me, and it’s important to have in college. As a vocalist, performing music increased my confidence as well, as had made me a better public speaker. Giving presentations is something that I do often at school and at my current job, so I’m very grateful for that great skill.


Do you think the Music Academy helped to prepare you for a successful career? If so, how?

I definitely think MAGC helped me for my future. First, I had several great teachers who not only helped me strengthen my music skills, but also became a support system for me and my sister, Juliana. We have both benefitted so much from the Academy, and we really appreciate and love the staff – they are like our family! The recitals are great too because they offer all students a chance to show off their skill. Now that I am in college and perform more with a group than as a soloist, I can really appreciate how important performances are because they are a goal to work towards. Obviously learning a new skill is important and intrinsically rewarding, but the rush of performing on stage can’t be beat, and there’s something to be said for that as a motivating factor.


Any other thoughts you would like to share?

The reward you get from studying music is worth every minute of your time, and every dollar you invest. And it’s NEVER too late to start!

Thanks, Angela!

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Practice with a Purpose 2014

Congratulations to MAGC student Hugh Flynn, who won a $50 iTunes gift card for practicing over 20 hours during the month of December. Hugh participated in our yearly "Practice with a Purpose" charity drive. This year, we raised $675 which was donated to the Long Beach School District to fund field trips to some of New York's finest jazz and classical concert halls. The money was raised in memory of Felicia Wilson, who was a beloved school teacher in the district for 20 years. Each year, MAGC students log their practice hours for one full month, and the Music Academy donates $1 per hour to charity. We are very proud of all of our students who participated! Pictured is Hugh Flynn and his MAGC instructor Andrew Baird.

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Summer Music Camp 2015

This summer, the Music Academy is presenting the 7th Battle of the Bands. Here is some information on this dynamic weeklong day camp for kids age 9-17:


What is Battle of the Bands?

Battle of the Bands is a one week summer day camp open to kids of all abilities ages 9-17. All enrolled campers are placed into a rock band with students of a similar age and ability, and each band is facilitated by one of the Music Academy’s world-class instructors. Each band rehearses daily in preparation for a Friday night concert, where the bands compete to win the title of “Best Band of 2015.” The winning band members also receive iTunes gift cards.

What activities are offered at the camp?

Our camp is much more than just a daily band rehearsal and concert. Throughout the week, campers learn not only how to play their instrument, but also work on stage presence, music theory, improvisation, song writing, arranging, studio recording techniques, and more. In addition, professional musicians are brought in throughout the week to discuss topics like using guitar pedals, recording with Garage Band, vocal techniques, and improvising for rock musicians.

For more information, please go to (located under the "Special Programs" tab on our website.

Monday, November 17, 2014

Practice with a Purpose 2014

From November 15th, 2014 through January 1, 2015, Music Academy of Garden City students are encouraged to Practice with a Purpose. For every hour of practice students log, the Music Academy will donate $1 to a fund that has been set up to honor the memory of musician and educator Felicia Wilson.

The Wilson family have been friends of the Music Academy since its founding in 2006, and Felicia’s husband Matt, also a musician, has taught clinics at our summer camps. Matt and Felicia’s triplet sons study at the Music Academy as well.

The funds raised this year will be donated to Long Beach High School where Felicia was a music teacher. The funds will be used to organize field trips for students to experience art music in New York City.

Additionally, the Felicia Wilson Scholarship Fund will be estab- lished through the Music Academy so that each year students from a local public school will be able to experience live art music.

What Must You and Your Child Do To Participate?

All your child needs to do is practice and log his practice hours on the reverse of this form. Parents should verify the hours practiced by signing the completed form and get a new form from the Music Academy or via our website.

The Music Academy will donate the funds once a total of hours is tallied. This is a great way for you to encourage your child to practice in order to help a good cause! As a thank you to the student who practiced the most, he or she will receive a $50 iTunes Gift Card!


A Note from Matt Wilson

Felicia Wilson was an amazing woman who brought so much joy to the world. Sadly, she passed away from leukemia on June 15, 2014 at the age of 50. In addition to being a loving wife and devoted mother, Felicia was an extraordinary violinist and dedicated teacher.

She taught orchestra at Long Beach High School for nearly twenty years and guided hundreds of students through her passion and love of music. Felicia also inspired her students to welcome the spirit of creativity into their lives and recognize the beauty the world has to offer. She believed deeply in the importance of the arts and instilled in her students the desire to be loyal and gracious patrons of cul- ture.

On behalf of our children, Audrey, Max, Henry and Ethan, and myself we are honored that the Music Academy of Garden City has established this scholarship fund through their Practice with a Purpose program. The money raised will help send students to experience live concerts in a variety of genres. We hope the opportu- nity will have a profound effect on their musicianship along moti- vating them to be life long citizens of culture.

Thank you to Pete Coco and everyone at the Music Academy of Garden City for establishing this fund in her name.

Monday, October 20, 2014

October 2014 Musician of the Month Gavin Burns!

The Music Academy of Garden City is pleased to announce that Gavin Burns has been chosen as our October 2014 Musician of the Month! Gavin is a fourth-grader at the Stewart School where he plays percussion in the concert band. At the Music Academy, Gavin studies percussion and drum set with Chris Thaw. He chose to study drums because he likes to play loud and crash the cymbols! Gavin enjoys studying with Chris and describes him as a “good teacher” who is “patient and talented.” He also enjoys performing at the Music Academy’s Annual Recital and Awards Dinner because he likes to play in front of a large crowd. Gavin’s teacher Chris says of him, “He is one of the most enthusiastic, hard working students I have ever had! He is a pleasure to have in lessons and has improved dramatically over the years. He goes above and beyond in his efforts to better himself as a musician and even as a student in general.” The Music Academy of Garden City faculty and staff are extremely proud of Gavin’s achievement!

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