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Flugelhorns enhance Cardinal O’Hara’s bands


TONAWANDA — A special gift to the Cardinal O’Hara High School music department was a highlight of the annual Fine Arts Festival on May 12 in the school’s Performing Art Center.

Three flugelhorns were donated to the music department at Cardinal O’Hara High School at the school’s Fine Arts Festival May 12. Showing off the flugelhorns are (from left) Rachel Birkman, band instructor: Elizabeth Gerwitz-Dunn, O’Hara senior; Colin Sperrazza, head of the arts department and Jackie Gerwitz, Elizabeth’s mother. (Photo courtesy of Cardinal O’Hara High School)

Elizabeth Gerwitz-Dunn, a senior at Cardinal O’Hara and a member of the Dance Ensemble, Song Corps and Senior Singers, said that her grandfather, Raymond Gerwitz, a well known musician, gave his collection of three flugelhorns to her mother Jackie Gerwitz,

The family decided to present the three horns, each of a different size and in its own case, to the music department of Cardinal O’Hara.

“This is a wonderful gift and will enhance our bands,” Rachel Birkman, band instructor, said. “Chuck Mangione is an American flugelhorn player who achieved international success with his jazz.”

Colin Sperrazza, head of the music department, added, “that although the flugelhorn looks like a trumpet, the twist here is that the flugelhorn has a warmer sound than you would expect and will be a great asset to our program.”

The festival included a display of artwork by students in Rose Katz and Troy Furco’s classes along with performances by the Dance Ensemble.

The Jazz Ensemble, Concert Band, Wind Ensemble, Combined Bands offered musical performances followed by the a-Cappella Ensemble, Song Corps and Senior Singers.

At the end of the program, senior performing arts students were recognized.

In addition, Haley Seigel was honored for winning the WNY Art Competition sponsored by Congressman Brian Higgins. Haley’s piece was chosen from among many entries from talented high school art students across Western New York.  

“Haley’s beautiful artwork will be featured online and will be sent to Washington, D.C., to be displayed in the Capitol Building. An amazing honor,” Principal Mary Holzerland said.