Oakmont Lions Club offers tribute to Frank Sinatra in this year's fundraising show
By Rex Rutkoski
Published: Wednesday, Nov. 7, 2012, 8:55 p.m.
When your town police chief, mayor and barber are in your show, you just might have the epitome of a community production.
The Oakmont Lions Club will offer just that in “Sinatra,” its 57th annual choral-and-variety show that, this year, pays tribute to the music and life of Ol' Blue Eyes from Friday through Sunday in Tenth Street School auditorium, Oakmont.
The longest-running offering of its kind in the Alle-Kiski Valley, the show yearly takes the fun route to raising needed monies for Lions charities, including those for the sight-impaired.
This year brings more song, dance and humor.
“I feel, as chief of police, it is important to be involved in such a time-honored tradition for such a good cause,” says David DiSanti Sr., who also is a Lion. “We get to learn from each other, share views with each other and learn how to work well together. That can only help a community be stronger,” he adds.
The depth of volunteer commitment — no one is paid — is priceless, he says.
“I have friends in the music field who have come to this show and are extremely impressed with what a fine production it is,” DiSanti says.
One of his favorite Sinatra tunes is “Time After Time,” because his mother loves the song. And, the baritone will render a solo of the number.
The chief says “My Way” reflects his personal values “of doing what is right even in the face of opposition.”
“This is a feel-good show, with great music that is as enjoyable today as it was when Frank recorded it,” he says.
Mayor Bob Fescemyer will have a cameo performance in the spirited opening number, “New York, New York.”
Barber Joe Cosnotti returns as master of ceremonies.
“He will be the spirit of Frank Sinatra, telling us how everyone loved him and still does, and tries to be him, and, of course, how he did it all his way!” choreographer and performer Anne Dapra says. “The audience loves seeing these people, different from their daily routine, up on stage,” she says.
She appreciates that Sinatra's body of work includes a variety beyond just his signature material.
“It gives the cast a lot to choose from,” Dapra says.
One of her favorites is Sinatra's “I Love a Piano.”
“This will be the first time our director, Sue Lowery, will be on stage with the cast. She will play, as we all sing. It's such a fun and catchy tune, a crowd pleaser for sure.”
There are many reasons why Sinatra's songs are considered timeless, she says, including the fact the songs were composed by “tried-and-true” successful writers.
“They were not one-song-Johnnies who had one hit and receded into history. These songwriters were, themselves, timeless and classic because of years and years of experience and success,” Lowery says.
The themes had broad appeal, too.
“Every generation falls in love. Love never goes out of style. There are still birds and bees flying around,” she says.
Everyone is excited about singing Sinatra, Nancee Federici says.
“Every generation continues to know about him and can relate to his style, as his music covers every part of life,” she says.
The songs are comfortable, “like a well-worn slipper,” says Deb Ormay, making her show debut. “Music is a way we mark time in our lives,” she says. “Sinatra's music reminds folks of their youth.”
Lowery is confident the audience will be pleased with the variety in this production, including The Lions Players' skit spoofing Sinatra and the Rat Pack, two performances by the Fairgrieve School of Dance, and the 3 Js' (Jamie Dapra Lydick, Julie Dapra Beck and Jennifer Lear) delivering a Nancy Sinatra medley, including “These Boots Are Made for Walkin.”
As orchestra director, Lowery personally writes every note the musicians play, an effort that reaches about 250 hours of donated effort.
“I cannot conceive a show without the soaring strings, soothing flutes, leading brass or colorful woodwinds,” she says. “Many in the orchestra are music teachers, many play in other groups such as the Edgewood Symphony and the Johnstown Symphony.”
Although there are many stage and choir productions locally, cast member Genevieve “Gene” Flanery says, “I don't know of any shows quite like the Lions Club's.” She began singing in the production in 1958. “I love to hear the sound of blended voices,” she says.
“We make great music together,” Sara Gildersleeve says. “I love giving back to a community that I love. I love the memories I have of this place, and the people who have touched me here, and it's the best way I have of saying ‘thank you' to them.”
Rex Rutkoski is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 724-226-4664 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- DA will audit Gilpin evidence
- Arnold Council won’t raise taxes
- Cheswick: No tax, fee hikes planned
- Oakmont overcomes sticking points, passes budget with no tax increase
- Woman accused of assault over rap music to attend anger management classes
- More people choosing traditional Christmas tree, growers say
- Education Partnership provides school supplies to Fort Crawford students in New Kensington
- Fawn man convicted of firearm violation, which carries minimum 15-year sentence
- Buffalo Twp. resident Julie Margo channels ‘life force energy’ into Reiki treatments
- Valley High Touchdown Club officers clash with parents over finances
- New Kensington approves $7.3 million budget with no tax increase