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Notre Dame Academy received the gift of music

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Thanks to a generous donation to Notre Dame Academy’s Music and Arts program, students such as these can learn to play the rhythm in their hearts. (Photo courtesy of Notre Dame Academy)

Just before school began, Jackie White, a parishioner at St. Martin of Tours Church, reached out to Laura Lawless from the South Buffalo School of Music with exciting news for the Notre Dame Academy music department. There had been a generous collection drawn in memory of Frank Coseglia, a deceased alumnus who was very active in the school music program during his tenure at St. Martin of Tours Elementary School in South Buffalo. Coseglia was a member of the class of 1976.

Ted Nagel, also a member of the class of 1976 and friend to Coseglia, explained how this collection came about. “It really began when Dan Sheehan called me with the tragic news that Frank Coseglia had passed away,” stated Nagel.

“I grew up on Carlyle Avenue in South Buffalo. Dan Sheehan was right behind me on Densmore and Frank was about four houses up the street and a fence over on Downing next to the St. Martin’s rectory. We all met in kindergarten at St. Martin’s. We played sports together and were all in our school plays. The bigger the part one had, the more class he or she could miss for rehearsals, so we were all usually fighting for key roles. Our class play was ‘The Littlest Angel’ and Frank was the title role. At over 6 foot in seventh grade, I was his guardian angel.”

Nagel continued, “The class of ’76 at St. Martin’s had some great characters. One of the crucibles of St. Martin’s were the school plays. When I heard about Frank passing, I really wanted to do something for Notre Dame in his name. I knew that Jackie White was still very active in the church, so I reached out to her and asked her to get in touch with the school to see if there was a need of some sort for which we could raise money in memory of Frank. Jackie suggested that we donate to the music department. And my immediate response was, of course! Our class loved the plays whether one was participating or just supporting them in some other way. And Frank was pivotal as a leader in the musical and often elsewhere in our class.”

The story continued, “So, once Jackie and I agreed on what we wanted to do, we took to Facebook to solicit donations in Frank’s name for the music department. We were able to raise slightly more than a thousand dollars for the music department that was so important to Frank and the rest of us. We hope that this gift can keep Frank’s spirit alive in the next generation. We miss you, Frank. Class of 76.”

“It is an honor to receive this donation to the Music Department at Notre Dame Academy,” commented Lawrence Rizzuto, music teacher. “These funds will go a long way to purchase needed classroom instruments and music literature for all grades at both campuses. We are building a strong Music and Arts Program with the support of NDA families and the greater South Buffalo Community. Thank you so much to the Class of 1976. Please know that through music, the memory of Frank Coseglia will be kept alive at NDA!”

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