Music Blog

The Official Blog of the Music Conservatory of Westchester


Music Conservatory's Annual Golf Classic Sets Record with $127,000

 Wednesday, July 06, 2016

“Most Successful Event Ever” Honored Music Therapy Program and Board President  

With a tally of roughly $127,000 in net proceeds, the Music Conservatory of Westchester’s 15th Annual Golf and Tennis Classic – held June 20 at Brae Burn Country Club in Purchase - proved to be its biggest ever. The event, which was held June 20 at Brae Burn Country Club in Purchase, honored the organization’s Music Therapy Institute (MTI), outgoing Board President Rodd Berro, and featured several special performances.

  (L-to-R) Music Conservatory of Westchester’s Executive Director Jean Newton of Edgemont, Board President Joel Breitkopf of Scarsdale, and Trustee Mary Bianco of California were all smiles.

“It was thrilling to have so many generous supporters turn out for this amazing event,” said Jean Newton, the not-for-profit community music school’s executive director. “In every respect, from the spirit of celebration to the unprecedented net proceeds – it was our most successful event ever.” Proceeds from the event will go toward MTI, whose co-directors Tina Brescia and Lisa Sandagata were honored with the not-for-profit community music school’s very first “Power of Healing” Award.

  (L-to-R) Music Conservatory of Westchester’s Board President Joel Breitkopf of Scarsdale, Music Therapy Institute (MTI) Co-Directors Lisa Sandagata of Ossining and Tina Brescia of Norwalk, Director of Communications Jon Chattman of Mamaroneck, Board Treasurer Nancy Goodman of Larchmont, and Development Manager Aishling Quinn of Yonkers present Sandagata and Brescia and their program with the organization’s Power of Healing Award.

In its 30th year, MTI has become the largest provider of community-based music therapy, adapted instruction and professional development in the greater Westchester region providing private and group sessions to individuals with special needs. In 2014, the program expanded to serve military veterans with combat-related injuries through the “Healing Our Heroes” program. The enrolled veterans along with MTI student Matthew Welling, who has studied and regularly plays with James Maxson and Donald Stevens, performed at the event together.

  Matthew Welling of White Plains performs with military veterans enrolled in the Music Conservatory of Westchester’s Healing Our Heroes program.

"Being able to use music to help others learn to express themselves is one of the greatest forms of gift giving.” 

Moments before Board Vice President Joel Breitkopf of Scarsdale and Board Treasurer Nancy Goodman of Larchmont presented the honor to Brescia and Sandagata, Matthew’s father Michael Welling of White Plains said,  “Musical talent is one of the greatest forms of human expression. The therapists from the MTI give this gift every day. But being able to use music to help others learn to express themselves is one of the greatest forms of gift giving.” He continued, “I have seen their impact on Matthew and on many, many of the other students at the MTI, big and small, young and old, musically inclined and not.”

Outgoing Board President Rodd Berro of Armonk receives the Distinguished Leadership Award from Board Chair Robert Heath, also of ArmonkSave 

 Berro was also honored at the event for his five years as board president. The Armonk resident is president of Pegasus Asset Management Inc. in Suffern, received the Distinguished Leadership Award by last year’s recipient: Board Chairman Robert Heath. “It has been such an honor to be the president of the board for this amazing organization,” said Berro, who resides in Armonk. As has been the case for the past three “Classics,” the celebratory awards dinner also featured a Broadway revue.

Tony nominee Tony Yazbeck wraps up a stellar evening with a tap dance at the Music Conservatory of Westchester’s 15th Annual Golf and Tennis Classic.

Broadway veterans Karen Mason and Rye’s John Treacy Egan performed as did recent Tony nominee Tony Yazbeck. Sue Anderson accompanied Egan and Yazbeck. Overall, Breitkopf, who succeeded Berro as board president July 1, summed up by saying, “The golf outing was an incredible record-setting event for the Conservatory. We had the most amount of attendees at both golf and dinner and many folks were new to the organization, which bodes well for next year's event.” The new board president, who is Principal of Alchemy Properties, added, “The highlight of the evening was clearly the music therapy students playing music for the crowd which was spellbound by the energy and passion of the musicians.”

Broadway veteran and Westchester resident John Treacy Egan starts the show off with “Sit Down Your Rockin’ the Boat” from Guys and Dolls.  

All photos by Alye Bea Carlevaro

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